The Bicentennial Alliance is a coalition of statewide non-profit organizations and government agencies working together to develop and promote statewide projects commemorating the Missouri Bicentennial. Current members include Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy, Missouri Arts Council, Missouri Council for History Education, Missouri Folk Arts Program, Missouri Historical Society, Missouri Humanities Council, Missouri State Archives, Missouri State Fair, Missouri State Library, The State Historical Society of Missouri, and the University of Missouri Office of Extension and Engagement.


Missouri State Archives created Our Bicentennial History: Missouri Through Primary Sources in 2019 to celebrate the state's upcoming bicentennial in 2021. Telling the story of the Show Me State through 200 primary sources, the online collection is broken down into six categories, including land, society, progress, adversity, leisure and people. From a list of supplies purchased by Meriwether Lewis as gifts for native peoples encountered by the Corps of Discovery to the ordinance abolishing slavery in the state prior to ratification of the 13th Amendment, Our Bicentennial History has something of interest for everyone!


Missouri Council for History Education and Missouri Humanities Council have partnered to create lesson plans to aid teachers in educating students about the state’s struggle for admission into the Union called Four Years to Statehood. The lessons introduce students to four young people who lived in Missouri during the years 1818 to 1821: a boy in French Ste. Genevieve, an Osage girl near Arrow Rock, an enslaved boy in Pike County and his descendants, and the daughter of Missouri's first Attorney General. Each unit has a short narrative and a variety of activities where students can learn about the history of Missouri and the town and county in which they live. The units are designed for third through fifth grade, but can easily be used in middle and high school.


The lesson plans are available on the Missouri Council for History Education website for free teacher download, and workshops will be presented around the state to discuss their use. To learn more, contact Gary McKiddy, past president of Missouri Council for History Education, at or Claire Bruntrager, Missouri Humanities Council associate director, at or 314.781.9660.


Two hundred years later, you can watch the Missouri statehood process unfold. The Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri and Missouri Humanities Council are "live-tweeting" Missouri's struggle for statehood, and the nation’s struggle with that.


Update: Due to concerns regarding COVID-19, the tour of Struggle for Statehood, has been suspended. For updates, please visit


Struggle for Statehood is a traveling exhibit, commemorating the bicentennial of Missouri statehood, created by the Missouri Humanities Council in partnership with the Kinder Institute for Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri. The exhibit chronicles the three years that the controversy over Missouri's admission into the Union was fiercely debated and reexamines the lasting significance of the conflict on a local and national scale. The exhibit leads visitors through the story of Missouri's admission with accessible educational content, including historical accounts and stories of people that this controversy touched. The exhibit will travel throughout the state until December 2021. For a full schedule of tour dates, please visit To learn more contact Claire Bruntrager, Development Manager, at or (314) 781-9660.