Please join the Bicentennial Committee in congratulating Jakob Palmer, Hannah Scott, and Sarah Worthley! Palmer’s senior division documentary, Alexander William Doniphan; Scott’s senior division exhibit, The Safekeepers of History: A Monumental Stand for Cultural Preservation During World War II; and Worthley’s senior division website, That’s Nuts: A Man’s Stand For Growing Generosity, were selected as the 2017 Show-Me Prize Winners at the National History Day in Missouri state contest on April 29.

The award, established in 2014, is presented to the best individual senior division entry in any category that showcases a significant development in Missouri history or demonstrate how a Missourian contributed to significant events in national or international history.

After public meetings and consultations with the Missouri Highway Patrol, a new automobile license plate design was selected by an Advisory Committee in late January 2017. The design commemorates Missouri’s 200th anniversary of statehood on August 10, 2021. The color palette honors the Missouri state flag with the use of red, white, and blue.

The new Missouri license plate will be available starting on January 1, 2019.

According to Gary Kremer, the State Historical Society of Missouri’s executive director, the Advisory Committee also worked to find a design that represented the entire state. “The waves in the bands of color represent a river,” Kremer said. “Rivers are an important symbol for Missouri, as waterways figured prominently in the state’s historic role as a gateway for American exploration and transportation.”

Ruth Otto of the Motor Vehicle and Driver’s License Division at the Missouri Department of Revenue agreed. “This design option is universal to the state of Missouri and not specific to a certain region of the state,” she said.

The selected design also had the greatest readability when tested by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, according to Lieutenant Brian L. Daniel. “We placed the sample plates on a vehicle and positioned a patrol car 50 feet behind the test vehicle to ensure officers could read the plate,” Daniel said. “This test was completed both during the day and night. The patrol car’s head lights, emergency lights, and spot light were also utilized to determine if the plate’s reflectivity compromised the readability of the plate.”

The bicentennial design will replace the current Missouri bluebird license plate. State law requires the Department of Revenue to begin a full reissuance of license plates with the new plate design in January 2019. “Plates will be issued on or before January 1, 2019,” Otto said. “If we have the plates produced and distributed to the license offices before January 1, 2019, we will begin issuing sooner than this date.”

House Bill 2380 established the Advisory Committee in 2016 to develop and approve a new motor vehicle license plate design commemorating the bicentennial of Missouri. The committee held public meetings last year in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Poplar Bluff to gather input on the design.

Committee members included the director of the Department of Revenue or his or her designee, the superintendent of the Highway Patrol, the correctional enterprises administrator, the director of the Department of Transportation, the executive director of the State Historical Society of Missouri, and the respective chairpersons of both the Senate and House of Representatives Transportation Committees.

NHDMO student, Deanna Schmidt

Deanna Schmidt, 2016 Show-Me Prize Winner

The Bicentennial Committee established the Show-Me Prize for National History Day in Missouri students in 2014 to inspire exploration of significant developments in Missouri history and the role Missourians have played in national and international events. Currently, 6,000 sixth- through twelfth-grade students are competing at regional competitions throughout the state. Should you know a NHDMO scholar advancing to the state contest on April 29, please encourage them to check out the Show-Me Prize. See for more information.

Missouri2021 logoThe launch of the bicentennial license plate project this past fall also inspired a redesign of the Missouri bicentennial website and logo. Patrons can now visit for all bicentennial updates.

The website, which replaces the former site, will keep readers posted on news concerning bicentennial plans. A suggestions page for submitting ideas about bicentennial projects and events has also been added.

Christina George, a SHSMO strategic communications associate, said that the updated logo encourages the public to think of Missouri’s history as a story that is constantly in progress. The logo’s three stars represent the past, present, and future of the Show-Me State. “The new logo focuses on the bicentennial as an important moment in Missouri’s history,” George said. “Our story is one that is still being written. We all have a say in what it will mean to be a Missourian in the future.”

The suggestions page invites the public to help determine what types of commemorations will be planned during the bicentennial. Alexandra Waetjen, SHSMO’s education outreach coordinator, said that public input will be indispensable to the bicentennial’s success. “There is no typical Missourian,” Waetjen said. “There is no typical Missouri town. It will take ideas and planning from all of us to ensure that each facet of Missouri’s heritage is commemorated in its own unique way.”

SHSMO has begun commemorating the Show-Me State’s cultural diversity on a social media page dedicated to the bicentennial. Visit Missouri 2021 on Facebook for information about upcoming statewide events as well as fun facts about Missouri.

Online Voting begins September 27, Meetings to be held throughout the Show-Me State

All Missourians are encouraged to help select the design of a new automobile license plate, which will be out in time for the Show-Me State’s bicentennial in 2021. Options for the plate design will be presented at four public hearings across the state:

Missouri Bicentennial License Plate Options

Missouri Bicentennial License Plate Options

  • September 27 at the Southwest District–Missouri Department of Transportation building (3025 E Kearney Street, Springfield, MO 65803), phone 417.895.7600
  • October 11 at the Kansas City Area District– MoDOT building (600 NE Colbern Road, Lee’s Summit, MO 64086), phone 816.607.2000
  • October 25 at the MoDOT Transportation Management Center (14301 South Outer 40 Road, Town and Country, MO 63017), phone 314.275.1500
  • November 1 at the Tinnin Fine Arts Center (Tinnin Fine Arts Center, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901), phone 573.840.9605

All sessions begin at 6 p.m. The public is invited to discuss the plate options at the meetings. Online voting will be open from September 27 until through December 1 on this website.

Missouri became the nation’s twenty-fourth state on August 10, 1821. Planning for statewide commemorations began in 2013, after the 97th General Assembly selected the State Historical Society of Missouri to spearhead the efforts.

“It was essential that the process start when it did,” said Gary Kremer, SHSMO executive director. “The bicentennial license plate is the first step of many to help ensure that all Missourians are a part of the state’s celebration.”

State Representative Glen Kolkmeyer of Missouri’s 53rd District sponsored the legislation, and Dave Schatz, Senator from the 26th District, helped ensure the effort progressed on the Senate floor. On July 1, 2016, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed House Bill 2380, authorizing the bicentennial plate.

SHSMO trustee Doug Crews has also been an instrumental figure in the project. “A lot of people helped bring the idea of a bicentennial license plate this far. We are thankful to the Governor, Representative Kolkmeyer, and Senator Schatz for their support,” Crews said.

The public meetings were organized by the Bicentennial License Plate Advisory Committee, created by HB 2380. Members include leaders from the State Historical Society, Department of Revenue, State Highway Patrol, Department of Corrections, and Department of Transportation, as well as the chairpersons of the transportation committees in both houses of Missouri’s General Assembly.