How did Missouri get its nickname?

There are a number of stories and legends explaining how Missouri became known as the "Show Me" state. The most widely known legend attributes the coining of the phrase to Willard Duncan Vandiver, who was a member of Missouri's delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives from 1897-1903.

In an 1899 speech at a naval banquet in Philadelphia, he declared: "I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."

Whether he actually coined the phrase or not, his speech certainly helped popularize the saying.