The Reverse side depicts Lewis and Clark’s historic Corps of Discovery navigating the Missouri River with the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (Gateway Arch) in the background, inscribed “Corps of Discovery 1804–2004.”
Missouri became the 24th state on August 10, 1821, as part of the Missouri Compromise. While much of the state’s history is tied to the mighty rivers that flow through it, the “Show Me State” got its nickname because of the devotion of its people to simple common sense. In 1899, Rep. Willard D. Vandiver said “Frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I’m from Missouri. You’ve got to show me.”It is easy to imagine President Thomas Jefferson saying “show me” as he sent Lewis and Clark forth on their 1,500-mile trek into the uncharted Louisiana Purchase territory. Their 1,500-mile journey, which some claim was the greatest U.S. military expedition ever, began in St. Charles—just 20 miles west of St. Louis—and gave rise to America’s westward expansion.