22 May 2016--Yesterday we went to the state Capitol and then over to the Runge Conservation Nature Center...everything within a 10 minute drive of the state park we are staying at...Love it!
Here are the state flag and state seal that I usually include for each state we visit, but I left out the license plate we usually feature because it is just a standard-issue prisoner made plate...boring! In its place I included a shot showing that a church is almost right on top of the Capitol...it is amazing to me that everywhere we go, and I mean you can take it to the bank, we see that like here a church or churches are right across the street from the seat of political power. In this case it is a Catholic church, but right around the corner are 3-4 more churches of different Protestant denominations.
Here is the back of the building, then the front, where there is a big statue of Thomas Jefferson...He is the 'father of the Louisiana Purchase', which covered Missouri. This is the 3rd capitol building, built from 1913 to 1916 after fires destroyed the previous two.
We were told that Jefferson City was picked as the place of the state capitol because it was centrally located in the state, it was on high ground, and supposedly Lewis and Clark said the best view of the Missouri River was from here...That's the best view we could get from the building...nothing to write home about really! haha You saw the church presence in the last group of pics...here is a statue of the 10 Commandments on the grounds in the back...just another example of our collective misunderstanding of the 'separation of church and state' rulings on the Constitution.
Inside the building is pretty, with 4 floors stretching from the ground floor rotunda straight up to the dome.
Both the Senate and House floor entrances were locked, but we could see in a bit through the door windows. This Freedom award recipient had this poster on the door to his office. You have to wonder, what exactly is everyone else doing that they don't seem to like freedom? Eckkk...makes me cringe!!!
On the 3rd floor were displayed a series of 40 busts of famous people who were born or accomplished something great in Missouri. I included these ones because they were born here, I thought most would recognize them, and I couldn't bare to put either John Ashcroft or Rush Limbaugh...haha:
Harry Truman and Walter Cronkite
Dred Scott, the slave who sued for his freedom but lost in the Supreme Court in 1847, where they said that although Missouri allowed slaves to sue, the "slave had no rights which the white man is bound to respect"! Win or lose, I figure this guy had massive guts!!!
Marlin Perkins, the host of the Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom TV show, quite possibly my favorite show as a kid.
Ginger Rogers, Betty Grable, Josephine Baker and Mark Twain all came from here!
The state history museum is right in the capitol, in one wing of the 1st floor, so it wasn't very extensive. A lot of the limited space was taken up with a special display on the Civil War, so it didn't take us long to get through it. Fortunately, they started with the Indians...most go all the way back to the Mastodon and bore you to death with repetitive stuff from state to state. haha
Amazing how quickly a people can become dependent.
I don't recall the old Daniel Boone TV show every sharing with me that ol' Daniel was broke!
The most interesting part of the history of the state, for me, was the period leading up to and including the Civil War. Missouri became the 24th state in 1821, and was let in the Union as a Slave State, offset at the same time with Maine's entry as a Free State. (The Missouri Compromise) We were told by a historian that while most Missourians did not own slaves, and those that did generally held 4 or less, the very 1st slaves brought here were brought to work the mines...1000 of them.
With Missourians basically warring with each other and the surrounding states 10 years before the Civil War started, Abraham Lincoln wasn't exactly popular here, and lost the popular vote. What surprised me though was the breakdown of the votes...4 parties are listed, not the 2 we basically deal with now, and as you can see our current day parties have basically swapped personalities from what they were 160 years ago.
The 1860 State Convention found the members to be split...they wanted to stay neutral between the north and south fight over slavery, but they supported other state's right to secede from the Union. (I can now understand why my Missouri born and raised friend Hallie is so indecisive! haha) We never heard much of anything about it till Vietnam and later, but here is an account of PTSD after the Civil War.
Over to view the Governor's mansion, right down the street from Capitol...you can see the capitol in the 1st pic. The grounds and park behind the house are really pretty.
And then over to the Runge Conservation Nature Center for a stroll through the woods to see what we could find. From inside the Center you can see birds gathering at the bird houses outside the window. The 3rd pic here is of a Downy Woodpecker...couldn't get a better one.
A Snapping Turtle inside a tank. Seemed a little big to be in that tank, but check out that jaw. The 3rd pic shows a much smaller Red-eared Slider...look at the claws on it!
Outside they have 3 miles of trails, mostly in heavily wooded areas. We were hoping to see some pretty flowers, but we caught them between seasons, so our pickings were limited.
A few small ponds showed us something I haven't seen before. Check out the 2nd pic--notice that this 'frog' has both legs and a tail, sort of caught between being a tadpole and a full-blown frog! Weird, huh?
A Bullfrog and some kind of other frog....I put it because when you blow it up it almost looks like it has false teeth! haha
I react just as Cathy tells me she sees a tick on my leg and the camera goes off!
A baby and adult Blue Bird.
Another water source showed us a snail...the Naturalist told us they swim and feed upside down.
And the weirdest of all...what are called 'blood worms'!, which eventually grow into an insect called a 'Smidge". Check out how they float around in the water while attached to the ground, but retreat when Cathy puts her hand down towards them.
So, that is our trip to the Capitol, a little of the state's history, and our very own 'Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom' episode. On to St Louis for a week tomorrow...it seems like a lot more to see there!