SHSMO logoState Historical Society of Missouri

Under the Missouri 2021 banner, the State Historical Society of Missouri is committed to coordinating a truly statewide celebration that incorporates both rural and urban communities in projects, programs, and events that contribute to a better shared understanding of the State’s geographic and cultural diversity as well as the similarities that bring us together as Missourians. In 2018, SHSMO is excited to offer these initial projects.

Missouri Encyclopedia logoMissouri Encyclopedia

The online Missouri Encyclopedia will provide users easy access to authoritative information on the history and culture of Missouri. To be comprehensive, the editorial team needs your help. Who are the people and what are the places and events that shaped your community, your county, and your region? Learn more about the Missouri Encyclopedia and help contribute topic suggestions.

About the Missouri Encyclopedia

Missouri Community Legacies

Missouri Community Legacies provides an opportunity for local groups, school classes, and others to document local traditions and creative expressions, meaningful places, and organizations and institutions of significance to communities, counties, and regions around the State. When completed, the documentation will be donated to the State Historical Society of Missouri research center responsible for collecting in the county where the individual project emerged. The result will be a “snap shot” of Missouri during its Bicentennial—built by the people of Missouri—and a resource of long-term use to Missourians and others interested in the history and culture of the State.

Missouri landscapeMy Missouri 2021

My Missouri 2021 invites professional and amateur photographers to capture and share distinctiveness of place across Missouri by using the hashtag #MyMissouri2021. Photographs meeting program guidelines will be shared online through the Missouri 2021 website, social media platforms, and exhibition. A selection of these photographs will also be added to the State Historical Society of Missouri’s permanent Bicentennial manuscript collection.

Submit Photos to My Missouri 2021

Endorsement Program

The Endorsement Program creates a media partnership with local organizations wanting to develop and host their own Bicentennial activities or to brand existing community offerings for the Bicentennial year. Endorsed programs and events receive an acknowledgement from the State Historical Society of Missouri and permission to use Missouri 2021 logos according to established guidelines. The endorsed program or event will be included in a list of endorsed activities on the Missouri 2021 website.

Submit an Endorsement Application

View Endorsed Projects

NHDMO studentShow-Me Award

National History Day in Missouri, a youth outreach program of the State Historical Society of Missouri, gives students a unique opportunity to explore the past and ignite a passion for learning. The Show-Me Award was created in 2014 to promote engagement with Missouri history by National History Day in Missouri participants and elevate awareness of the approaching Missouri Bicentennial. Each year, the State Historical Society of Missouri will issue up to five awards of $50 each to the best individual senior division entries in the state competition. The projects must demonstrate a significant development in Missouri history and / or how a Missourian contributed to significant events in national or international history. Learn more about National History Day in Missouri.

About National History Day in Missouri

Bicentennial Alliance

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 Council for History Education, Missouri History Museum, Missouri Humanities Council, Missouri State Archives, and the State Historical Society of Missouri.

MHC logoStruggle for Statehood, 1818-1821: A Traveling Exhibit

A traveling exhibit chronicling the three years that the controversy over Missouri’s admission into the Union was fiercely debated, Struggle for Statehood reexamines the lasting significance of the conflict on a local and national scale. The exhibit will lead visitors through the story of Missouri’s admission with accessible educational content, including historical accounts and stories of people that this controversy touched. It will have a high quality graphic design and interactive kiosks. The traveling exhibit will go on display beginning in December 2018 and travel to different counties until December 2021. Additionally, every site will receive funding and planning assistance for public programs around the Struggle for Statehood. Potential programming includes speaking events with scholars and writers, education performances for children and schools, and commemorative events all aimed to provide a local aspect and highlight local issues related to crisis. To learn more, contact Claire Bruntrager, associate director, at or 314.781.9660.

MOCHE logoBicentennial Penny Drive

The Bicentennial Penny Drive is a fundraiser scheduled to take place in Missouri public elementary and intermediate schools beginning in February of 2018. The goal of the penny drive is to raise funding for the conservation of founding state documents in honor of the approaching bicentennial of Missouri Statehood. Additionally, the Missouri Humanities Council and the Missouri Council for History Education have partnered to create lesson plans to aid teachers in educating students about the state’s struggle for admission into the Union that can be used concurrently with this fundraiser. To learn more, contact Claire Bruntrager, associate director, at or 314.781.9660.

Partner Projects

Focus groups, online feedback, and outreach have revealed a strong interest in a truly statewide commemoration of the Missouri Bicentennial. A network of individuals, organizations, and institutions is being built to participate in a number of projects in partnership with the State Historical Society of Missouri.

A wide variety of partner projects is under consideration. Proposed projects include but are not limited to developing a traveling exhibits program; hosting talks by experts on Missouri business, agriculture, science and technology, and other vital topics; working with Missouri libraries to host a “big read” in which communities across the state will read and discuss the same books.

Learn more about how to get involved with Missouri Bicentennial project planning.

Bicentennial license plateBicentennial License Plate

The State Historical Society of Missouri has also worked with a number of government agencies on important statewide commemorations such as the Bicentennial License Plate. Revealed at the Missouri State Capitol in February 2017, the new automobile license plate is expected to be in use beginning in January 2019.