The Harry S. Truman birthplace in Lamar honors the former president. The Pony Express Stables and the home where Jesse James died may be visited in Saint Joseph. Mark Twain’s boyhood home is now a museum in Hannibal. In Saint Charles the house that served as Missouri’s first capitol is open to visitors. Among the many limestone caverns in the Ozarks is Marvel Cave, where a waterfall pours over a group of limestone formations. The Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, also called Shaw’s Garden, has a large Japanese garden and the Climatron, a geodesic dome. In Fulton is the Winston Churchill Memorial, which commemorates Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech of 1946 and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 with a portion of the wall.
The sweep of life in Missouri is witnessed in the variety of annual events held in the state’s small communities and major cities. Fishing tournaments, rodeos, Native American gatherings, ethnic celebrations, craft shows, and historical reenactments fill the year’s calendar. The festival season begins with one of the nation’s largest Saint Patrick’s Day parades in Kansas City in March. The beginning of the Pony Express and the end of outlaw Jesse James are celebrated in Saint Joseph in April, the same month visitors flock to a championship turkey-calling contest in Kirksville. Hermann holds its German Maifest in May. National Tom Sawyer Days in Hannibal in July includes a fence painting championship for children and culminates with a fireworks show on Independence Day, as do many Fourth of July celebrations across the state. Fair St. Louis, held at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, is called the nation’s largest Fourth of July Celebration.
Sainte Genevieve commemorates its French heritage with Bastille Days celebrations two weeks later. Missouri’s agricultural heritage is showcased in one of the country’s largest state fairs in August in Sedalia. Old Mines relives its French Creole past by serving croquignolles amid old log cabins at its Fête d’Automne in October. For more than a century outdoor lights have dazzled holiday shoppers in Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza.
Missouri has many professional sports teams, including the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals (baseball), the Kansas City Chiefs and the St. Louis Rams (football), and the St. Louis Blues (ice hockey). A greater variety of spectator sports are provided by the state’s colleges and universities.
Facilities for sports are widely available in Missouri. Interest in horse shows and racing dates back to the period of early settlement by Kentuckians and Virginians. Among game hunted are quail, pheasant, doves, deer, wild turkey, raccoon, squirrel, and rabbit. Thousands of miles of streams ranging from creeks to broad rivers and thousands of lakes ranging from farm ponds to huge reservoirs make every sort of fishing possible. Bass, catfish, bluegill, perch, trout and jack salmon are plentiful. Canoeing and float fishing, or fishing from a boat while it slowly floats downstream, are popular in the Ozarks. "Missouri" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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