January Missouri History

January 1

1788 – Etenne Cabet was born in France this day.  As an adult he established a communist utopia near St. Louis. Money problems and bickering caused abandonment of the commune in 1864.  Italians later moved into the area and today we call the area the Hill.  This area is renowned for the best Italian food and pristine homes.

1789- Birthday of William Jewell.  The politician, physician, and educator from Columbia is the namesake of the William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri.

1800- The first German-speaking immigrants came to Missouri.  They built their homes in what is now part of Cape Girardeau.  A very cold time to arrive with no homes.

1836- The first Jewish congregation in Missouri met in St. Louis and began to build their homes in the dead of winter.

1836- Dr. George Engelmann began taking weather readings in St. Louis.  His 47 years of records are the only ones we have for that period.  He was also largely responsible for developing Henry Shaw’s Garden.

1861- The last slave auction was held in St. Louis.  2000 people showed up to jeer and interrupt the proceedings.  Finally, the auctioneer gave up and the event was cancelled.  Missouri began as a slave state and then became neutral.

1864- A blizzard struck southern Missouri

1907- The Aero Club of St. Louis was formed

1914- Missourians Tom Benoist and Tony Jannus began the first scheduled passenger airline service in America.  After testing their flying boat at Creve Coeur, they began flying a scheduled route between Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida.

1939- Sharecroppers demonstrated throughout the month in Southeast Missouri

1939-Landlords in Butler, Pemiscot, New Madrid, and Dunklin Counties evicted hundreds of sharecroppers (black and white) who then moved their possessions onto the roadways of Highways 60 and 61.

1954- A new Jane Russell film opened at the Fox theatre in St. Louis.  This caused Archbishop Ritter to declare the Fox Theatre “a place of sin.”

1986- The dries month in the state’s history with only 0.1 inch of precipitation on average across the state.

2000- Everyone breathes a sigh of relief as the Y2K computer crashes failed to happen.

January 2

1822- Clay County was formed on this date

1833- New Missouri counties were formed on this date include Carroll, Clay, Clinton, Greene, Howard and Lewis.

1835- Shelby County and Stoddard County were formed on this date in 1835.

1911- A fire destroyed the Autenrieth Hotel in Clayton.  This building housed the Clayton fire department, and the fire engine was inside the hotel when it burned.

1920- A Frisco passenger train jumped the tracks near St. James when an axle broke on one of the passenger cars.  Two were killed.

1932- In Brookline near Springfield, the Young Gang shot six police officers dead.  Six gang members were involved as well as two other gunmen.  One of those was believed to be “Pretty Boy Floyd.”  When finally cornered, the gang shot themselves rather than surrender.

1955- Construction began on a 16-acre drive in theatre on Page Avenue in St. Louis County.

January 3

1735- The village of St. Genevieve was founded by French trappers and miners.  French settlers had been living in the area for three years prior to that.

1787- Birthday of mountain man, William S. “Old Bill” Williams.  A fur trapper, guide, and Protestant preacher, he lived with the Osage and Ute but came back to Kansas City where he is buried.

1835- Benton County was established on this date

1844- A steamboat (navigating in January!) hit a snag and sank south of St. Louis.  Forty people were killed in the sinking of the Shepherdess.

1851- The exact northern border of Missouri was established thus ending the dispute which had led to the Honey War in 1839.

January 4th

1793-Louis Lorimer received permission to establish a trading post at what would become Cape Girardeau.  Another Frenchman, Jean Girardot, had set up a canoe landing there in 1720 and Loriimier remembered him naming the place.

1819- Henry Schoolcraft was exploring the Ozarks and this day was camped at the location of present-day Springfield, Missouri.  His glowing description attracted many early settlers to the area.

1860- The school board was incorporated in St. Joseph.
1884 – Temperatures across eastern Missouri dropped to more than 25 degrees below zero.

1909- Works of art, music, entertainment, and other special features were banned from St. Louis saloons.  It was feared they might inspire patrons to linger.

January 5th

1779- Birthday of solider and explorer, Zebulon Pike who was stationed in St. Louis and is the namesake of Pike County.

1833- Morgan, Warren and Ripley Counties were formed on this date.

1835- Polk County was established on this date

1849- The very first cases were reported on this date in what would become the great cholera epidemic.
1853- George and Mary Sibley donated the estate now called Lindenwood on this date to be used as a Christian College.  Today it is known as Lindenwood University.

1857- Trusten Polk was sworn in as Governor.  One month later he was appointed US Senator.  He was the shortest-serving Governor, until Governor Greitens. Missouri had four Governors in a ten-month period in 1857.

1867- Beginning of the Missouri Women’s Christian association which became the YWCA. The young men were known later as the YMCA.  Now the YMCA is open to all genders.

1892 – Several men were killed near Aladdin, Missouri when two freight trains collide head on.  At this time that was almost unheard of.

1905- Employees of the World’s Fair discovered the fine qualities of the snow-covered hill in front of what is now the Art Museum.  It proved a great place for toboggans.  Today that tradition continues every time it snows except now, we use sleds, snowboards and in some cases cardboard.

1907- The “skidoodle wagons” were no longer fast enough to catch speeders so the St. Louis Police ordered four motorcycles.

1917- Birthday of St. Joseph’s Jane Wyman, wife of Ronald Reagan and singer and actress in her own rite.

1943 – Death of botanist, George Washington Carver from Diamond, Missouri.  Carver was born a slave in January 1864, but his exact date is not kwon due to incomplete records of slaves.

January 6th

1815- This date saw the first theatrical production in Missouri.  Two plays were performed at the Courthouse in St. Louis.

1831- Monroe County was established on this date

1833 – Morgan County and Pettis County were established on this date.

1837 – Linn, Livingston, Macon, and Taney Counties were formed on this date. Note:  Notice the names of Livingston and Taney

1867-St. Joseph, Missouri’s Orphans Home was founded.

1872 – The heartthrob of this day, 22-year-old Grand Duke Alexis, son of the Czar, was visiting Missouri on this date.

1912 – The wonderful main library on Olive Street in St. Louis opened on this date.  Cass Gilbert was the architect, and the library is considered one of the 12 architecturally significant libraries in the world!

January 7th

1856- The Mississippi River was frozen over, and people were walking across it in disbelief.  Saloon keepers were doing great business in the middle of the river and out of the reach of the law as it was a river and not under any jurisdiction.

1905- Telephone callers in Clayton, Missouri could now call direct to St. Louis without going through the “Hello Girls” which were the central operators.

1944-Internationally syndicated talk show host and Radio Hall of Fame inductee, Jim Bohannon was born.  Jim had his roots in Lebanon, Missouri.

1949- Four men are accused and plead guilty to “homosexual Offenses” at Washington University in Columbia, Missouri.

1962- Seventy employees of GEM stores were arrested for being in violation of Missouri’s Sunday sales laws.  GEM claimed that such a ban was unconstitutional.  GEM stores were private membership store much like the Sam’s and Costco stores now.

January 8

1798 – The Spanish Governor of the territory prohibited manual labor on Sundays.  He also ordered that saloons and pool halls could not open until high mass was completed.

1814- Governor William Clark signed Missouri’s first “Blue Laws” into effect banning working on Sundays for slaves, servants and apprentices.  Note: That Blue Law changed as to the slaves, servants and apprentices but remained effect for businesses until 1963 except for the St. Louis area which finally repealed the law in 1984.

1818- Missouri’s petitions were presented to Congress asking that Missouri be ranted Statehood.

1863- The Battle of Springfield was fought.  The Union army won.

1926- “The Airline Route” as the road was known was finally complete between St. Louis and Kansas City.  A 2, 200-foot gap near High Hill was finally surfaced with rock and gravel.  The Missouri Highway Two became US Highway 40 and then Interstate 70.  To this date Intestate 70 continues to be remodel, resurfaced, and expanded.

1952 – Frankie Baker died on this date.  She claimed to have been the “ebony-hued cakewalker” who shot her lover, Johnny, at a St. Louis bar in 1890.  The incident gave birth to the song “Frankie and Johnny” as well as the motion picture.

January 9

1806- John Clark conducted the first Protestant marriage in Missouri

1809- On this date, Moses Austin and Samuel Hammond purchased 400 arpents (French units of land) of land to lay out the town of Herculaneum.

1892- Academic Hall at the University of Missouri burned leaving six columns on Francis Quadrangle.  The columns made of limestone were all that remained after the fire, and they stand today as a testament to the University’s past.

1901- Murat “Chic: Young was born on this date.  The McKinley High School grad created the Dagwood and Blondie comic strips that was launched in 1930.  The comic strip remains in print in many papers throughout the world.

1975- The Globe Democrat ran a feature story on a promising 22-year-old announcer on KMOX radio and KPLR-TV known as Channel 11 in St. Louis.  This announcer and the beginning of his career was Bob Costas.  Bob Costas although not a native of St. Louis has worked tirelessly for St. Louis and considers St. Louis his second home.

1978 – It snowed on this date in eastern Missouri and although not uncommon to snow it started 71 straight days with snow on the ground.

1984 – A DC-3 cargo plane crashed in Bridgeton, Missouri only a few feet from Interstate 70 and a residential subdivision.  An airport worker had put jet fuel into the propeller-driven plane.

January 10

1843- Frank James was born in Clay County near Kearney.  Frank was the older and shy brother of Jesse James.  He was a book reader and hated “Northerners.”

1864- Probable birth of George Washington Carver in Diamond, Missouri.  Exact date is unknown due to slavery records being incomplete. He saved the economy of the south with his concept of crop rotation and the hundreds of new products he developed from legumes.

January 11

1822- A bill was adopted to create the official Seal of the State of Missouri

1862 – Both Missouri Senators were kicked out of office by Congress because the majority in Congress did not like their opinions.  Think about that!

1863 – Wright County’ Courthouse was burned by soldiers in 1863.  It had earlier been burned in 1849 and in 1862.  Another fire destroyed the temporary facility in 1864. A tornado damaged the building in 1888. There were two more devasting fires in 1896 and 1897.  

1864 – In one of his last appearances, John  Wilks Booth performed Shakespeare’s “Richard the III” at the St. Louis Theatre.  He was well acquainted with theatres.

1865 – Missouri abolished slavery and became the first former slave state to do so.

1887 – The Globe-Democrat reported that St. Louis had one saloon for every 175 residents.  By comparison it reported one church for every 2800 people!

1903 – A St. Louis man who had been seriously injured sued the driver of an automobile which startled the man’s horse.  He claimed that the diabolical machine made “unearthly noises that would have knocked an equestrian statue off its pedestal.

1922 – The states highway officials announced that advertising signs have been prohibited.  They also announced plans to put up signs telling drivers the direction and distances to various locations.
1944 – Missourian, James H. Howard got separated from his fighter group and, all alone, attached a German flight of thirty planes.  He shot down six.  He had earlier recorded six kills while serving with the “Flying Tigers” in Asia.  He was therefore the first Ace in both of those theaters of operation.  Howard was given the Congressional Medal of Honor.

1945- Using war surplus planes, Ozark airlines began flying between St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield.  In time the “Zark Birds” as they were known were all jets and flew a 2/3 transcontinental area.

1962- The St. Louis Firefights battled an explosion and dust fire at Checkerboard Squares Purina Chow Plant.  That same day, in seven degrees below zero, they had a five-alarm fire burning at Gaslight Square, and at the Ambassador Hotel, which was advertised as “absolutely fireproof.”  Many firemen were killed and injured that day. Note: Remember the boat that was considered unsinkable..Titanic!

1970- Kansas City Chiefs returned to the Super Bowl to play the Vikings.

2001 – After a mysterious explosion off Long Island and the resulting lawsuits, St. Louis based TWA filed for bankruptcy.

January 12

1789 – Birthday of Bishop Joseph Rosati who was the first Bishop of St. Louis from 1826-1833.  Previously he had opened St. Mary’s Seminary in Perryville.  Rosati Kain was later named after him.

1920- The Assistant Health Commissioner in St. louis proposed that Governors be placed on automobile engines holding them to 20 mph.  Further he asked for mental and physical testing for aspiring drivers.

1948 – The law lifting the ban on married teachers was lifted though many communities continued to have a de facto rule.

1951 – Birthday of Cape Girardeau resident, Rush Limbaugh, the number one radio personality in America.

1997 –  Steve Fosssett took off from Bush Stadium aboard his balloon “Solo Spirit” and set a world  distance record when he landed in India.  He might have made it around the world, but Libya denied him permission to cross their country.

2007 – The “Missouri Miracle” – Kirkwood Police followed the lead given by a 15-year-old Beaufort, Missouri boy and located two kidnapped rural Missouri teenagers in the same apartment.  A pizza shop manager who lived in the apartment was immediately arrested.

January 13

1855- Following a panic, there was a rush on the banks in St. Louis.  The country was in a deep recession at the time.

1904- Nine boys and one man were killed in St. Louis at the Brown Show Company.  A quitting time rush caused people to crowd onto an elevator which was actually one floor up at the time.  The victims fell six stories.

1927 – Charles Lindbergh made the first flight using a new system of 24 beacons spaced ten miles apart thus guiding aviators along the St. Louis-to-Chicago Airway at night.

1974 – Catholic church officials gave a qualified nod of approval of the new movie, The Exorcist, which was based on an incident in St. Louis, near St. Louis University.

1990- Missouri’s Route 66 Association was founded.

January 14

1733 – This was the date of the Baptism (exact birthdate is not known) of Madame Chouteau, the first white woman in St. Louis.  Her grandson founded Kansas City in 1821.

1790 – Birthday of Daniel Dunkin.  Dunkin was the fifth Governor of Missouri and is sometimes called the Father of Missouri Public Schools.  He is also remembered for turning a blind eye to the Mormon problems.  Note: No relation to Dunkin Donuts!

1868 – The only typewriter in the United States was in use in St. Louis as Charles Weller transcribed court notes.

1895 – Chicago was building a canal to dump sewage into the Illinois River and send it downstream to Peoria, St. Louis and other cities.  Officials in St. Louis objected but Chicago said it was absurd to believe that pollution could somehow affect drinking water as far away as St. Louis.
1925 – Harry Snodgrass led a wildly popular band that broadcast radio programs from Missouri’s State Pen. He left prison with a small fortune and a contract for two years on Vaudeville.

1959 – The village of Champ was founded.  This was the proposed site of a 100,000 seat domed stadium.  Eleven people live in Champ which, for the most part, is a landfill.

1972 – Premier of “Sanford and Son” starring Redd Foxx (born John Sanford) who grew up next to a junk yard in St. Louis.

January 15

1814 – The Missouri Gazette carried an advertisement for what seems to be the first live entertainment in the State’s history.  A magician claimed to present a “Spectacle of recreative sports, of Mathematicks, and Phisicks.”  Among other things, he promised to cut the head off a chicken then fix it back like new.

1844 – Birthday in Jackson County of guerilla fighter and outlaw, Cole Younger.  

1889 – The Missouri Reform School was founded at Boonville.  

1902- A female housepainter in St. Louis asked the city for permission to wear trousers while she climbed the ladders at work.  It was illegal for women to wear trousers.

1930 – Lieutenant James Doolittle arrived in St. Louis to serve as Director of Aviation Activities for Shell Oil Company.

1967 – The Kansas City Chiefs appeared in the nations very first Super Bowl.

January 16

1831 – The Robert Rountree family arrived in what is now Springfield, Missouri.  They started the first school in that log cabin community.

1833 – Money was appropriated for the new state penitentiary in Jefferson City, Missouri.

1870 – The Corpulent Masculine Social Association held its first meeting g in St. Louis, Missouri.  Membership required a weight of at least 200 pounds, but First-Class members must weigh at least 250 pounds.

1883 – Lily Langtry was performing in a play at the Olympic Theatre in St. Louis.

1911 – Birthday of Baseball’s most colorful character, Dizzy Dean.  

1919 – The prohibition amendment was ratified. Then came still in the hills.

1980 – Birthday of Cardinals great, Albert Pujols.

January 17

1843 – The practice of imprisoning debtors was outlawed.

1854 – The Mississippi was frozen over, and a saloon keeper set up business in the middle of the river.  His new location was so popular that he added a “ten pin alley.”  Soon seven additional saloons were operating in the middle of the river and away from any authorities.

1857 – Stephens College was incorporated in Columbia.

1873 –  A huge ice flow broke off at the mouth of the Missouri River and sped downstream to smash into the new bridge piers being erected in St. Louis. The piers held but panicked workmen had to be removed.

1927 – Birthday of humanitarian Dr. Thomas Dooley in St. Louis.  He was a diligent medical pioneer in Southeast Asia and John F. Kennedy named Dooley as his inspiration for starting the Peace Corps.

January 18

1851 – Christian College in Columbia, Missouri was incorporated.  (At that time it was known is the Christian Female College.)

1909 – George H. Rawlings died on this date.  In 1887 he had opened a sporting goods store in St. Louis. In 1919 a Cardinals pitcher asked the Rawlings firm to make a glove with a web between the forefinger.  This set a pattern for all future baseball gloves and started the Rawlings Sporting Goods Company with several manufacturing locations in Missouri.

1916 – A meteorite weighing just over 1.3 pounds fell on a barn near Baxter in Stone County.

January 19

1833 – On this date Pulaski County was formed.

1871 – Hiram Leffingwell presented his plans for a huge city part west of Kingshighway in St. Louis.  Forest Park was to become a jewel of the state and the Midwest.  Note:  Forest Park is the largest park in the United States, even larger than Central Park in New York.

1881 – The Missouri Legislature began consideration of a bill to reinstate whipping in Missouri.  Felons would be lashed with a “substantial leather thing.”

1953 – The last wooden-hulled passenger boat on the Mississippi departed St. Louis on its final voyage.  The St. Paul, also known as The Excursion Queen was 70 years old.

1965 – Un-named Gemini spacecraft (built in St. Louis) orbited earth and was successfully recovered.

1981 – Hope was running high in Krakow, Missouri.  The family of Iranian hostage, Ricky Sickman had heard rumors that the hostages were soon to be released.

January 20

1845 – The first meeting of a statewide historical society in Jefferson City.

1872- Governor B. Gratz Brown and his family became the first to occupy the New Governor’s mansion.

1886 –  William Burroughs and three other men founded the Arithometer Company in St. Louis on tis date.  They were selling their new invention, the adding machine.

1923 – Missouri Highway Department offices were busy on tis day placing numbering signs on state highways. The road from St. Louis to Kansas City was Route Two.  North Hannibal, Route Nine was the road.

1935 – Birthday of pro basketball player and Mizzou coach “Stormin Norman” Stewart from near Shelbyville.

January 21

1813- Birthday of military officer and explorer John C. Fremont. He was a leader (along with Kit Carson) of several expeditions west and more responsible than anyone else for America’s possession of California.

1826 – This was the last day to meet in the first Capital Building in St. Charles, Missouri.

1845 – This is the birthday of Edward Mallinckrodt. With his brothers, he used the family farm in St. Louis County to start the first chemical manufacturing firm west of the Mississippi.  Today it remains in St. Louis and one of the larger chemical companies.

1863 – Skirmish near Columbia, Missouri between southern sympathizers and the 61st Enrolled in Missouri Militia.

January 22

1820- William Clark was busy on this day paying for the schooling of John Baptiste Charbonneau, son of Sacagawea.

1825 – The city of Union was created by an act of the Legislature which also moved the county seat of Franklin County from Newport to a new city (Union) to be built surrounding a court house in the exact center of the county.

1826 – Birthday of Meriweather Jefferson Thompson, who was a Brigadier General in the Missouri State Guard (Union).  He had a Confederate ship named for him.  Disillusioned with the Union tactics in Missouri, he led rails against other Union forces then joined the Southern cause.  He was known as the “Swamp Fox.”  He was also Mayor of St. Joseph and supervised construction of the Hannibal and St. Joe Railroad.

1829 – The Missouri State Library was established.

1829 – Randolph County was carved out on this date.

1955 – Beginning on this date, the Ozark Jubilee, a national TV show aired from Springfield, Missouri, for six years and introduced many young stars to the nation.  Red Foley was the host.

January 23

1816 – Howard County was formed on this early date.

1829 – Crawford County was formed on this date in 1829.

1840 – Birthday of James Gay Butler, Civil War Colonel, and tobacco manufacturer.  Butler was very generous throughout his adult life and he and Mrs. Butler left a fortune to Lindenwood College.

1851- Birthday for John R. Kirk, attorney, educator, and leader in Missouri’s schools. He is remembered in Kirksville, Missouri with the Kirk Auditorium (now the Kirk Building), Kirk Academy, Kirk society and his portrait in the president’s gallery.

1887- William Greenleaf Eliot died on this day.  He was a co-founder of Eliot Seminary which became Washington University.  He was the grandfather of the St. Louis author T.S. Eliot.

1896 – A murder on this  date was the most recent streak of crimes committed in a rural area west of St. Louis.  Residents of the area near seven stops along the Frisco tracks came together to form a new community with police protection.  This new community and town was called Webster Groves.

January 24

1871 –  The Liberal Republicans unhappy with President Grant, met in Jefferson City to consider who they might back in the State and National elections.

1883- Several breweries including Miller and Schlitz were making beer they called Budweiser!  On this date Anheuser-Busch won the exclusive rights to the name.

1903 – A shootout occurred in Union, Missouri following the robbing of the Union Bank.  A posse of citizens followed the robbers on horseback, and Pinkerton detectives and doctors were rushed by train from St. Louis to care for those in need.

1967 – A tornado ripped through ten communities in east central Missouri from Chesterfield to Spanish lake.

January 25

1835 – Planning work began on a road to connect Manchester with Jefferson City by way of Union and Mount Sterling.  This road became well-traveled by horseback and stagecoach travelers.

1837 – Having been organized in 1836, the Medical Association of Missouri was incorporated on this date.

1871 – Birthday of the very talented sculptress from Christian College in Columbia, Vinnie Ream.  At age 18, she was given the commission by Congress to sculpt the statue of Abraham Lincoln which stands in the National Capital Rotunda.

1875 – Pinkerton agents raided the Clay County home of Frank and Jesse James.  Frank and Jesse were not at home, but the fire-bomb attack killed their brother and injured their mother.

1945 – Like a scene from a movie, a train backed through the lobby at Union Station in St. Louis.  Pedestrians scrambled out of the way, and no one was hurt.

1959 – Drunken pigeons? The St. Louis Health and Hospital Director announced a plan to get swarms of pigeons drunk on alcohol-soaked breadcrumbs.  The drunken birds would then be scooped up and hauled off to the city pound’s gas chamber.  Bird lovers killed the plan rather than the birds.

January 26

1833- Pettis County was established on this date.

1837 – Birthday of Episcopal Bishop, Daniel Sylvester Tuttle, who was the Bishop of Missouri and for twenty years the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of America.

1924 – The National Football League franchised th team farthest west of all their teams, the Kansas City Blues.  The Blues had to play all of their games on the road because the other teams all refused to travel that far west.

1945 – An era ended on this date when “Boss” Tom Prendergast died.  With his Kansas City Democrat machine, he controlled the Missouri politics for years.  Six years before his death he was convicted of tax evasion.

1999 – Pope John Paul the Second arrived in St. Louis.  Exaggerations in the local media caused people to avoid the city’s expected traffic jams on that day.  As a result, almost no one came to see the Pope.  However more than 20,000 young people later crowded into the Kiel Center for a youth rally.

January 27

1810 – St. Louis officially organized citizens in to fire companies.  All able-bodied men were required to keep two sturdy buckets on hand and be ready to serve.

1891 – The Missouri Daughters of Confederacy was organized.

1963 – Plans were made for a miniature railroad in the St. Louis Zoo.  Note:  Today the Zoo operates five trains, and they are all staffed mostly by former railroad workers on a volunteer basis.  Recently last week, April 2023 a new electric train was unveiled to keep up with the modern day.

1999 – More than 100,000 attended a Mass led by the Pope at St. Louis Trans World Dome.

January 28

1817 – Governor William Clark authorized a territorial lottery.  It was to use profits to purchase fire equipment for the territory’s capital city, St. Louis.

1836 – Birthdate of Joseph J. Lawrence who developed a surgical disinfectant which was named Listerine.  His friend, Jordan Lambert helped to perfect the formula and then founded a firm to market the liquid.

1853 – Christian University (now Culver-Stockton) began in Canton, Missouri.

1858 – Clark Green’s ferry boat sank at Glasgow on this date.

1963 – Plans were announced to restore the St. Charles buildings that had served as the first State Capitol.

1981 – Rocky Sickman, a hostage in Iran for 444 days came home to cheering crowds and a quiet return to Krakow, Missouri. Note:  Rocky and his wife and their three children now live in St. Louis, Missouri and Rocky works with Anheuser Busch and many veterans causes.  He never forgets those who lost their lives in the failed rescue attempt to free him.

January 29

1841 – Several new counties were formed on this date, including Adair, Andrew, Bates, Camden, Dade, Dallas, Grundy, Holt, Jasper, Osage, Ozark, St. Clair, Scotland, Shannon and Wright counties.

1858 – Birthday of St. Joseph born folklorist, Mary Alicia Owens.

1944 – The last and largest battleship ever built, the USS Missouri, was launched.  Note: On March 31,  1992, the battleship Missouri was decommissioned and remained part of the reserve fleet until January 12,  1995, when she was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register. The battleship Missouri was donated as a museum and memorial ship on  May 4,1998, and today rests near the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. Tourist can walk her decks and see where on September 2, 1945, the Japanese signed the papers to surrender.  James McArthur and many other dignitaries were present.

January 30

1801 – Birthday of Father Pierre-Jean DeSmet, a beloved priest (DeSmet now a High School in St. Louis.) He was greatly respected by the Native Americans who called him “Blackrobe.”

1982 – On January 30 and January 31, 1982, a blizzard occurred with the heaviest axis of snow blanketing St. Louis, Missouri with 21-24 inches of snow. Note:  All transportation and schools shut down for a week.  Some subdivisions were left stranded for days with only four-wheel drive vehicles used for transportation.

1984 – Robert and Anna Rucker liked to play the lottery.  But on this day the Florissant couple both played, and they had identical numbers so they both won over a million dollars.

2000 – St. Louis RAMS were in the Super Bowl to play the Tennessee Titans in what some writers described as the most exciting Super Bowl ever. Note: The St. Louis Rams played their last game in St. Louis, Missouri on December 17, 2015, defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31–23. The next 23 years would be fight after fight with the NFL over the RAMS leaving St. Louis.  St. Louis finally won with a record settlement.

January 31

1812 – Birthday of William H. Russell of Lexington, Missouri.  He was the co-founder of a huge freight firm, the Overland Stage Company and the Pony Express!  Note:  The Overland Stage Company was sold in 1866 to Wells Fargo and in 1869 the Union Pacific Railroad took over the trails as a railroad and new transportation.  The Pony Express operated until November 1861.

1817 – The Bank of Missouri was incorporated.

1874 – The first train robbery by the James gang, the robbery was at Gads Hill, Missouri (in Wayne County, Missouri).  After the robbery, Jesse gave the conductor a written press release so the information would be recorded and reported accurately.

1929 – The second largest theatre in the world opened on this day in St. Louis.  It would be called the Fox Theatre and seated 7500 people.  Note:   The Fox Theatre now seats 4500 people and the Wurlitzer organ was purchased in 1929 at a whopping cost then of $75,000.  It was later replaced with two other organs at a much lower cost.

1961 – The St. Louis built Mercury capsule carried the chimp, Ham, into space.  Ham lived to be 26 years old in a zoo after the space travel.