According to INDEXDOTCOM, Missouri was first explored by the French in the early 1700s, and was part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. In 1821 Missouri became a state, making it the 24th state. From its early beginnings, Missouri has been a center of commerce and transportation. The Missouri River and the Mississippi River have played an important role in the state’s development, and St. Louis has become a major port city. Missouri was a slave state before the Civil War, but during the war it remained loyal to the Union. Afterward, Missouri was one of four states that made up what was known as “the border states” – those states that stayed with the Union but had slavery before emancipation. During Reconstruction, African Americans gained voting rights and other civil rights in Missouri. The 20th century saw tremendous growth in Missouri’s economy and population, due to industrialization and urbanization. In recent decades, technology companies have become important to the economy of St. Louis and other cities throughout Missouri. Today, Missouri is known for its agriculture industry as well as its manufacturing sector which includes automotive production and aerospace engineering companies like Boeing. Check Agooddir for more about Missouri.