COLUMBIA, MO, June 12, 2020 — To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the first Missouri Constitutional Convention, the Supreme Court of Missouri’s bicentennial committee, in partnership with Missouri 2021, created two quizzes highlighting the importance of the Missouri Constitution to the lives of Missourians.
On June 12, 1820, delegates from across the territory of Missouri gathered in St. Louis to develop Missouri’s first constitution. After nearly six weeks, on July 19, 1820, the delegates adopted a constitution, taking another critical step toward Missouri statehood.
Two quizzes are available: one quiz is designed for students and the other quiz, with increased difficulty, is for adults. Missourians of all ages are encouraged to test their knowledge of the Missouri Constitution from June 12 through July 19, mirroring the period of the first Missouri Constitutional Convention. The quizzes can be taken multiple times and no personal information will be collected. The quizzes are available on the Missouri 2021 website – missouri2021.org/missouri-constitution-quiz.
Missouri Supreme Court Judge Mary R. Russell assisted in developing questions for the quiz, which range from the structure of government created by the first constitution to amendments passed by voters in recent times.
“As we prepare to celebrate Missouri’s Bicentennial next year, we are reminded that a constitution had to be written before we could become a state,” said Judge Russell. “It was 200 years ago next month that the first Missouri Constitution was adopted. Over the years, this document and its successors have reflected the will of Missourians about how to check and balance the powers of their three equal branches of government while guaranteeing the fundamental rights of the people. In contrast with our federal constitution, the people have made multiple amendments to Missouri’s constitution over time, ensuring the supreme law in our state remains relevant in our daily lives.”
A native of Hannibal, Judge Russell served nearly a decade on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, before her September 2004 appointment to the Supreme Court of Missouri where she is one of seven judges. She served as the state’s chief justice from July 2013 through June 2015. Judge Russell is also a member of the Missouri Bicentennial Commission, which has been tasked with assisting the State Historical Society of Missouri to plan for and implement the commemoration of the Missouri bicentennial.
The State Historical Society of Missouri is the premier research center for the study of Missouri state and local history. Under the Missouri 2021 banner, SHSMO is coordinating a bicentennial commemoration in collaboration with local and statewide entities. The mission of Missouri 2021 is to promote a better understanding of Missouri and its regions, communities and people, both past and present.