Liberal, Missouri is a small town located in southwest Missouri with a population of just over 600 people. The town has a rich history and has been witness to many significant historical events throughout the years. Here are seven historical events that have taken place near Liberal, MO.
1. A Civil War Battle
The area around Liberal was a site for a number of Civil War battles. One of these battles was the Battle of Baxter Springs that took place on October 6, 1863. It was fought between Union General James G. Blunt and Confederate General Jo Shelby. This battle is known as one of the last Confederate victories of the Civil War.
2. Cherokee Indian Removal
The Treaty of New Echota, which was signed by the Cherokee Nation in 1835, gave the U.S. government the power to remove the Cherokee from their lands. In the winter of 1838, the Cherokee people were forced to leave their homes and walk to the Indian Territory. Many of the Cherokee Indians were sent through the area now known as Liberal, MO.
3. The Building of Route 66
Route 66, also known as the Mother Road, was a historic highway in the United States that ran from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California. Route 66 passed through the town of Liberal, MO, and played an important role in the history of the town. The highway was built in 1926 and served as a major transportation route until it was replaced by the interstate highway system in the 1950s.
4. The Joplin Tornado
On May 22, 2011, a devastating EF5 tornado hit the city of Joplin, Missouri which is located 50 miles east of Liberal. The tornado killed 158 people and injured more than 1,000 others. The town of Liberal was one of the many communities that offered support to the people of Joplin in the aftermath of this tragic event.
5. The Ozark Music Festival
In July of 1974, the Ozark Music Festival was held near the town of Sedalia, Missouri, which is about 90 miles northeast of Liberal. The festival featured popular bands such as The Eagles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the Ozark Mountain Daredevils. It was estimated that over 350,000 people attended the festival, making it one of the largest rock festivals in history.
6. The Wild West
The Ozarks were the territory of the "Wild West" and the area around Liberal saw its fair share of outlaws and gunfights in the late 1800s. Jesse James and his gang were known to have robbed banks and trains in Missouri, and the town of Liberal was not immune to these events.
7. The Salem Witch Trials
In 1692, the infamous Salem Witch Trials took place in Massachusetts. One of the accused, Mary Estey, had family members who had moved to the area near Liberal, MO. Mary Estey was hanged on September 22, 1692, making her one of the victims of the Salem Witch Trials.
In conclusion, Liberal, MO, and the surrounding area have seen numerous historical events over the years. From Civil War battles to Route 66, and from tornadoes to rock festivals, the region has played a significant part in the history of the United States. Today, Liberal remains a small, peaceful town with a rich history that is celebrated by its residents.
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