The Pure Missouri Post: 11/21/21

Exploring the kick-ass geography, history and modern culture of the Show Me State from our headquarters in Possum Trot, Missouri

Happy Thanksgiving week! 🦃

Wanted to bring you a Turkey Week edition of The Pure Missouri Post and tell you about my big news: I’m now publishing The KC Downtown Loop, an online publication that shines a light on Downtown Kansas City, Missouri, for those who call it home, office, or playground. If you’re a KC Downtown dweller, 9-to-5’er, or urban explorer (even if you don’t live in KC), give it a look!

And now, let’s talk Missouri!


Wild turkeys in Missouri were nearly extinct by the mid-20th century. According to University of Missouri Extension, in the early 1950s the state could count approximately 2,500 birds in only 14 of the 114 counties. In that same decade, and continuing for the next twenty-something years, conservation officials began relocation efforts that moved those populations of turkeys to more adequate environments around the state. More than 2,600 turkeys were captured and given new homes in 91 counties. The Missouri Department of Conservation estimated approximately 600,000 turkeys in the state at their peak in the early 2000s, but that number has since dropped to about 350,000 due to an unusual decline in natural turkey reproduction. Wildlife experts are investigating the phenomenon.

It was this week in 1893 that the football teams from the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri began a 14-year run of Thanksgiving-day games in Kansas City. It was generally considered the biggest sports event in the city for most of those years, and reached 18,000 spectators by 1910. (The streak was interrupted in 1907 when the game was played in St. Joseph, but the Thanksgiving-day games would return to Kansas City in the three years following). Mizzou won the first Turkey Day battle 12-4 (touchdowns were worth four points back then), but KU would win 11 of the next 17 games (there were three ties) before the games were moved to the Columbia and Lawrence campuses. Overall, Missouri leads the series 57–54–9, including the 1960 game that Kansas had to forfeit for using an ineligible player.


“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”

—St. Louis-born Maya Angelou


President Harry S. Truman often is wrongly credited with being the first president to pardon a Thanksgiving turkey in 1947. Actually, he was the first to receive a live turkey from the National Turkey Federation, an industry group that has presented the presidential bird ever since. Truman didn’t pardon the “National Turkey”; he ate it. As did presidents through Lyndon B. Johnson, except for John F. Kennedy.

—Excerpt from The Washington Post (full story here)


Augusta officials have announced that the 20th Annual Augusta Plein Art Festival is now accepting registrations for artists of all levels. The event will take place April 20 through April 30, 2022, in and around the charming eastern Missouri town known for its location in Missouri Wine Country and on the Katy Trail. More info here:

Whataburger is invading Missouri—but only in the Kansas City metro area so far. The Riverfront Times in St. Louis has a message for KC Whataburger franchise partner and Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes: “Patrick, buddy, could you shine a bit of that burger light on us? Without the Rams, you're the quarterback for the whole state, and that means you have to embrace both borders, like two perfect buns of equity containing all Missourians. Kansas City is so close, but still so far.” Read the “Big Mad”, RFT's weekly roundup of righteous rage here:

In case you missed it (or just want to watch it over and over again, like I do), here’s the result of last night’s overtime game between Missouri and Florida in Columbia:


The Arabia Steamboat Museum celebrated its 30-year anniversary last weekend in Kansas City. Here's a MOment with the replica paddlewheel (attached to actual Arabia hardware and elements not seen below) with City Market patrons milling outside on the market square.

Thanks for reading and sharing this Pure Missouri Post. Don’t forget to check out The KC Downtown Loop, too. In the meantime be well, stay in touch, and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

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