Among little known facts about the state are laws that are or have been on the books of the state or localities within the state. Here are a few of those that are most interesting.
A law enacted in 1820 charged a tax on all single men between the ages of 21 and 50. The tax was $1 per year. At that time, that would have been a lot of money. Maybe the purpose of this law was to encourage the single Missouri men to get married and have families
Missouri is one of four states with an official “State Dessert.” The State Dessert is the ice cream cone, so honored in 2008. Ice cream cones were introduced and became very popular at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
One of the nicknames of the state is “The Cave State.” The March 2000 issue of The Missouri Conservationist (published by the Missouri Department of Conservation) says that there were more than 5700 caves listed in the Missouri Speleological Survey files in Rolla. It also states that about 125 caves are discovered each year. Graham Cave State Park shows evidence of human habitation going back 10000 years. McDougal’s (McDowell’s) Cave became famous through the story of Tom Sawyer told by Mark Twain, Today it is known as Mark Twain Cave and became the first “show cave” (tourist attraction) in Missouri in 1886.
Another interesting fact about Missouri’s caves is that many of them were turned into fallout shelters in the 1950s, the height of the Cold War, when people feared the real chance of nuclear war.