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Missouri ( /mɪˈzʊəri/ ( About this sound listen) or /mɪˈzʊərə/) is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2009 estimated population of 5,987,580, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It comprises 114 counties and one independent city. Missouri's capital is Jefferson City. The four largest urban areas are St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia. Missouri was originally acquired from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase and became defined as the Missouri Territory. Part of the Missouri Territory was admitted into the union as the 24th state on August 10, 1821.

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Missouri mirrors the demographic, economic and political makeup of the nation with a mix of urban and rural culture. It has long been considered a political bellwether state. With the exceptions of 1956 and 2008, Missouri's results in U.S. presidential elections have accurately predicted the next President of the United States in every election since 1904. It has both Midwestern and Southern cultural influences, reflecting its history as a border state. It is also a transition between the Eastern and Western United States, as St. Louis is often called the "western-most Eastern city" and Kansas City the "eastern-most Western city." Missouri's geography is highly varied. The northern part of the state lies in dissected till plains while the southern part lies in the Ozark Mountains (a dissected plateau), with the Missouri River dividing the two. The confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers is located near St. Louis. Read more ...

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The USS Missouri grounding incident occurred on January 17, 1950, when the battleship USS Missouri ran aground while sailing into Chesapeake Bay. No casualties occurred during the incident; however, the battleship remained stuck for over two weeks before being freed from the sand. Damage to the ship incurred from the incident required her to return to port and reenter dry dock for repairs.

After the battleship was freed a naval court of inquiry was convened to determine the facts surrounding the grounding. In the end, Captain William D. Brown and a handful of other naval officers were found guilty of negligence for their role in the grounding incident. Captain Brown suffered the loss of 250 places on the promotion list, which effectively ended his naval career.

Missouri was repaired and reentered service with the active fleet shortly afterward. She would go on to serve in the Korean War before being decommissioned in 1954. She entered the Puget Sound Reserve Fleet in Bremerton, Washington, where she remained until being reactivated in 1984 as part of the 600-ship Navy plan put forth by then President Ronald Reagan and his Navy Secretary John Lehman.

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St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese (23) (5883489176).jpg

David Richard Freese (born April 28, 1983) is an American third baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball (MLB). For the Cardinals, Freese batted .545 with 12 hits in the 2011 National League Championship Series (NLCS), and set a MLB postseason record with 21 runs batted in (RBIs), earning the NLCS MVP Award, World Series MVP Award, and the Babe Ruth Award, naming him the MVP of the MLB postseason.

A star high school player, Freese declined a college baseball scholarship from the University of Missouri, an NCAA Division I baseball program in the Big 12 Conference. Needing a break from baseball, he sat out his freshman year of college before feeling a renewed urge to play the game. He transferred to St. Louis Community College–Meramec, a junior college, where he played for one season before transferring to the University of South Alabama.

The San Diego Padres drafted Freese out of South Alabama in the ninth round of the 2006 Major League Baseball draft. Before the 2008 season, the Cardinals acquired Freese for Jim Edmonds. He made his MLB debut on Opening Day 2009 due to an injury to incumbent third baseman Troy Glaus. Despite suffering injuries in his minor league career and first two MLB seasons, Freese emerged as the Cardinals' best hitter during their 2011 World Series championship season.

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A tall, beige building with many dark windows stands on the right side of a street.

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