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Destination MO: Blunt Highlights Top Stops Around the Show-Me State

August 01, 2019

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) spoke on the Senate floor to highlight some of the top destinations in Missouri for a family road trip this summer, including Silver Dollar City, the Gateway Arch National Park, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and more.

Following Are Excerpts From Blunt’s Remarks:

“Mr. President, I was told I had some time to talk about everything you could be doing in Missouri in the next month or so with your family, and then I was told I had five minutes. Those seem to be impossible restrictions for me. So let me see how many things I can talk about here as we end the summer family travel season. But there are other people traveling after the summer. Families still, some of them, have their summer vacation. Some schools start after Labor Day, some before. So I’m for sure going to leave things out that I will be glad to talk about at a later time. Let me first just mention a couple of our national parks.”

Wilson's Creek National Battlefield:

“If you leave my hometown of Springfield, Missouri, and you head west, pretty quickly you get to the Wilson's Creek National Battlefield park. There was a battle in August of 1861. Several thousand people fighting who really weren't prepared to fight. They weren't trained. They weren't ready. It was a big battle that made a big difference in what happened in Missouri in the war.”

George Washington Carver National Monument:

“Not too far from there, you get to Diamond, Missouri, where the George Washington Carver National Monument is. It is about a 240-acre park on a farm where George Washington Carver grew up on. A farm he was born on as a slave but quickly was free and was raised by the older white couple that lived there. He managed to get to school there a little bit and nearby soon in those years after the Civil War became a leading scientist and spokesman for agriculture in the country. But also, when this monument was established in 1943, it was the first national park dedicated to an African American.”

Branson and Silver Dollar City:

“Now I have to circle back a little bit to get to Branson, but with 50 theaters in Branson, they have more theater seats than Broadway. It is never too early to find a show you want to see in Branson. Silver Dollar City is there, a great park in the summer. Last year, was named the No. 1 Christmas venue in America to visit.”

Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium:

“Now we’re back to my hometown of Springfield. … It is the home of Bass Pro Shops. The Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium right there by Bass Pro was named ‘America's Best Aquarium' by USA TODAY Travel last year. That museum has … fish, birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibious animals there.”

Ste. Genevieve Historic District:

“A park we just added to our National Park System--I will pop right up to almost St. Louis, to Ste. Genevieve, where you have French architecture that dates back to the 1700s. This is the first summer that there has been a full-time park person there. But this park is just rising out of what that community has preserved so well for so long. A number of houses there that reflect that early French architecture along the Mississippi River.”

Missouri’s National Veterans Memorial:

“South of there, at Perryville, is the full-sized replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. There have been some traveling memorials, and there are a couple of memorials that are miniature in some way of the Vietnam Memorial, but in Perryville, Missouri, you can see a full-sized replica. It’s on a 47-acre family farm that Jim Eddleman and his family made possible, along with other donations. I was there not too long ago, I was at the Vietnam Wall here not too long ago. They are in different places, but they are the same wall, exactly the same size, the same names, the same way to visit.”

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum & National WW1 Museum and Memorial:

“On the other side of our state, in Kansas City, is the National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum at Kansas City. Senator Kaine and I, actually this week, introduced legislation for a memorial coin to go to the benefit of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. Congressmen Cleaver and Stivers in the House did the same thing. While you are in Kansas City here at the end of the 100 year centennial of World War I, the World War I Museum in Kansas City was the World War I Memorial dedicated in the 1920s. It is the No. 1 place in America to think about the war and think about all the impact the war has had in the 100 years that have passed since then.”

Pony Express Museum:

“If you want to go north to St. Joseph, you, of course, pass some baseball stadiums and football fields that are good places to visit if you are there at the right time. But in St. Joseph is the Pony Express Museum. The Pony Express didn't last very long, but it became a really important part of the lore of the West. These young riders that were suddenly, before telegraph, taking a message as quickly as they could ride and change from one rider to another from St. Joe to California.”

Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum:

“I wouldn't want to leave out Mark Twain and Hannibal. There was a time when Mark Twain was by far the best-read American author anywhere in the world and that Hannibal boyhood instilled an important part of that.”

Gateway Arch National Park:

“We will circle right back down to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, with 135 million people visiting the Arch since 1963, just went through that 60-year renewal of the facility, connected it better to downtown. It is really the first example of what the park service hopes will be the next century of the park, a true public-private partnership.”   

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