U.S. Congressman Duncan Vandiver is credited for Missouri being coined as the "Show-Me State." Learn more by clicking on "Missouri History: Common Questions" in the "Archives and Records" section, on the official Missouri Secretary of State website: www.sos.mo.gov.
There are a number of stories that explain the origin of Missouri’s unofficial nickname, the Show-Me State. One is based on the skepticism of Missourians. Another is attributed to a speech delivered by Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver. When questioning a colleague, he said, “Frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.” Yet another is based on the Missouri miners who traveled to Colorado in the 1890s and who had to be shown everything. Other nicknames for The State of Missouri include the Cave State, the Puke State, the Lead State and the Bullion State.