Located in the Midwest region of the United States is the state of Missouri. It is bordered by 8 different states and the Mississippi River. The largest city in Missouri, located near the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, is the city of St. Louis, also known as the "Gateway to the West," now commemorated by the Gateway Arch that stands beside the Mississippi River.
The population of the city of St. Louis itself is just over 350,000 people, while the greater metropolitan population of the city is closer to 3 million people making it the 16th largest city in the United States. In more recent years, St. Louis has had some changes in demographics, as people started moving to the suburbs since housing became more available after World War II. There was also a desire to live in the newer neighborhoods many of which are now connected to the downtown area by public transportation which includes buses and rail. Locations of rail and bus depots can be found in the St. Louis, Missouri business directory as well as the St. Louis, Missouri yellow pages. Being that St. Louis is located in the Southern section of the Midwestern region, the summers can be hot and humid while the winters can be somewhat mild. Since it is landlocked and has no nearby mountains to stop any of the arctic air from the north, it can also be subject to below freezing temperatures and freezing rain as well as wetter springs that occasionally produce tornadoes.
Before the Europeans arrived, the St. Louis area was inhabited by mound building natives, some of those mounds still exist today. The first explorers to the region were two Frenchmen, Louis Joliet and Jacques Marguette, who explored the Mississippi River region in 1673. Later in 1678, after the area was officially claimed by France, it was named Louisiana after King Louis XV. In 1699, a small settlement was formed just downstream from where the Missouri and Mississippi rivers meet. Word about this new settlement spread like wildfire after the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1763 when the land across the river was given to Great Britain. It was then governed by the French from 1766-1768. Then Spain took over the territory until 1800 when it was secretly given back to France. Then in 1803, United States president Thomas Jefferson bought the area, called the Louisiana Purchase, from France, then making it a United States territory. Missouri officially became a state in August 1821.
Written by Lyndsey Morgan