Missouri’s 200th birthday is seven years away as the state officially entered the Union on August 10, 1821. Nonetheless, the State Historical Society of Missouri (SHSMO) is already at work planning for the festivities. SHSMO’s Bicentennial Committee held a focus group meeting on January 24 with Society members and organizations in northeast Missouri. The objective was to begin incorporating the area’s unique history into the statewide bicentennial plans and to develop relationships with local organizations.
“Who better understands the vibrant history of our region than the museums, genealogical societies, and other organizations that help us celebrate it every day?” said Judge Robert Clayton III, a member of the SHSMO board of trustees. “Groups like our host, the Mark Twain Museum, are invaluable resources to help plan a comprehensive approach for the bicentennial.”
The pilot meeting investigated not only possible statewide initiatives but also potential organizational strategies, community stakeholders, and partnerships.
“The focus group was really a fact-finding mission,” Clayton said. “We are glad that so many organizations took part in this exploration of how the state commemorations can support the local ones. A true celebration of Missouri and all its unique facets is complex, but that is the goal. Our diversity is a large part of our story.”
The Bicentennial Committee anticipates additional focus group meetings will follow. Invitations will be sent electronically, so make sure your information is up-to-date if you would like to take part in the planning. Contact SHSMO at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573.882.7083 to verify your email address.