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5 Fun Facts About March 8 In Missouri History

---Learn Every Day: MO Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history mo To: 618-270-4005---

1. In 1855, the Missouri State Legislature established the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City. This prison became infamous for its overcrowding and inhumane conditions and was eventually closed in 2004.

2. On March 8, 1861, the Missouri State Convention approved a resolution rejecting secession from the Union. However, the state's divided loyalties would lead to it becoming a "border state" during the Civil War, with significant battles and skirmishes taking place on its soil.

3. In 1939, a massive tornado struck the town of St. Louis, killing 29 people and causing extensive damage to buildings and infrastructure. The tornado remains one of the deadliest in Missouri history.

4. On March 8, 1945, the USS Missouri was commissioned into the United States Navy. The battleship saw action in World War II, the Korean War, and the Gulf War, and it remains a popular tourist attraction as part of the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites in Honolulu, Hawaii.

5. In 1978, Missouri became the first state to enact a law requiring motorcycle riders to wear helmets. The controversial law has been the subject of debate and legal challenges over the years, with some arguing that helmet use should be a matter of personal choice.
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