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The State Of Missouri
The state of Missouri has received many a nickname since it was admitted into the Union in 1821. One popular name is the "Show-Me State". Even though some think that the term came from a quote by Missourian Willard Vandiver in his famous 1899 speech to Congress where he declared that "I'm from Missouri, and you have got to show me", researchers believe that the phrase was coined before the 1890s, and thereby prior to Willard's speech. Another legend guesses that the phrase was used in reference to Missouri miners brought to Leadville, Colorado being unfamiliar with mining methods used there. Whatever its origin, the term may be linked to the fact that the phrase "I'm from Missouri" means that one is skeptical and not easily convinced.
Missouri has also been called the Puke State, possibly due to an account of an 1827 gathering at Galena Lead Mines where George Earlie Shankle said that "...so many Missourians had assembled, that those already there declared the State of Missouri had taken a puke."
This became an inside joke to Missourians, referring to themselves as "pukes" and poor residents who still supported slavery as "poor white trash." Walt Whitman listed "pukes" as a name for Missourians in his 'Western Nicknames' piece.
Another nickname for Missouri is "The Cave State", as there are over 6,000 known caves, making Missouri's cave count second only to Tennessee. Perry County, Missouri, has not only the largest number of caves; it also has the single longest cave in the state.
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