Don't ask how it happened, but somehow today I ended up at Kids.gov, "a safe place to learn and play" for kids, sponsored by the U.S. government. One of the features on the site is a "learn about your state" link, so I clicked it and picked up five new facts about the Show-Me State. 

1. Bob Barker from The Price is Right graduated high school in Missouri, and then attended Drury University in Springfield. Springfield is also where got his first job in radio.

2. Most states have a state flag, and a state seal, etc. In Missouri, we also have an official State Invertebrate (the crayfish), State Dinosaur (Hypsibema missouriense) and a State Folk Dance (the square dance). Our official State Dessert is the ice cream cone (invented at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis).

3. The first public kindergarten in the U.S. was opened in 1873 in St. Louis.

4. Missouri is home to the first state university west of the Mississippi River (The University of Missouri) and the oldest bank west of the Mississippi (Boatmen’s Bank, acquired by NationsBank in 1996).

5. The original state capital of Missouri was St. Charles.