United States map showing the area included in the Louisiana Purchase.

The Louisiana Purchase

The U.S. Senate approves the Louisiana Purchase that adds more than 800,000 acres of land – including what would become Missouri – to more than double the size of the United States.

The first free kindergarten in the country opens

On August 26, 1873, the first free kindergarten in the country opens in Carondelet. Susan Blow taught the children in the morning at the Des Peres School, while educating the teachers in the afternoon.

August 16, 1868

When you hear the word "bodybuilder," do you think of Bernarr Macfadden? You should. He was born on this date in 1868.

August 15, 1953

Springfield, Missouri's "Great Cobra Scare" began on this date in 1953 when the first of nearly a dozen cobras was found in a yard not far from a pet shop on St. Louis Street.

August 13, 1908

Lula Christman died in Centralia on this date. Her grave was dug a week earlier. It's a strange story.

August 12, 1986

Legal gambling on horse racing began on this date in 1986. The state-sanctioned betting was off and running at the Missouri State Fair.

August 11, 1807

Missouri U.S. Senator David Rice Atchison was born on this date in Frogtown, Kentucky. Atchison also holds the distinction of being U.S. president for one day.

August 10, 1821

On this date in Missouri history, Missouri became a state and St. Charles was designated as the temporary capitol.

August 9, 1900

Tar and feathers? That was just one of the anti-chicken thief punishments promised by a new vigilante group in Shelby County 122 years ago.

August 5, 1805

Missouri History Today is a regular feature of missourilife.com that chronicles the Show-Me State's history day by day. What dates, events, or accomplishments are we missing from our collection?