What do Walt Disney, Brad Pitt, Sheryl Crow, President Harry Truman, and author Mark Twain all have in common? They all hail from Missouri, The Show Me State. Just exactly where that name came from is unknown, but most likely from a Senator who refused to be convinced by eloquent language. Excavations have shown that civilization along the Mississippi River began in 9,000 B.C. The first European settlers to arrive were French Canadians. Mormons who began settling in the 1830s were summarily driven out of the state. Serving as the nexus between the East and the West, the Pony Express, the Oregon Trail, the Santa Fe Trail, and the California Trail all started here, where Lewis and Clark had once launched their Corps of Discovery. The land that became the state of Missouri was assembled from parts of numerous different territories possessed changing and often indeterminate borders, with many different Native American and European names between the 1600s and statehood. Sitting in the middle of the Midwest, Missouri also blends the North and the South, as the birthplace of ragtime, Kansas City jazz, and the St. Louis Blues. Kansas City (yes, Kansas City is in Missouri) style barbeque and St. Louis-style barbeque further illustrate the cultural influences. Today, Missouri is home to some American household names including Anheuser-Busch, the world’s largest beer producer, Monsanto, Emerson Electric, Financial Advisers Edward Jones, H&R Block, Express Scripts, and Wells Fargo Advisors, as well as the world-famous entertainment at Branson and Lake of the Ozarks.