As historians, we know Black People are subjected to violent racism in our country that began more than 150 years before the Declaration of Independence had a single signature. We cannot — must not — ignore that our history contains such travesties as the Atlantic passage, slavery, lynching, Jim Crow laws, disenfranchisement, redlining, mass incarceration, and police brutality and much more. Systemic racism is not merely a part of our history. It lives on in our communities today.
We stand with those who are fighting to eradicate the structures of racism and injustice in the wake of the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others. Along with the American Historical Association, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and the Organization of American Historians, we urge all members of our campus community to study the hard parts of our country’s past. We need keep educating ourselves and listening to each other, especially to the voices of Black students and alumni who shared their gut-wrenching experiences with racism and exclusion on our campus.
History also reminds us that change is possible if we commit to working for that change. We unequivocally assert that Black Lives Matter.
Missouri health insurance marketplace: history and news of the state’s exchange
Roaring River State Park, near Cassville, Missouri | Image: Kyle Spradley / stock.adobe.com
Highlights and updates
- (no qualifying event necessary to enroll or make a plan change) (plus a look at how premiums have changed over time in Missouri’s exchange). , higher than 2020 enrollment, but down from a high of more than 290,000 in 2016. with initial plan terms up to six months. in Kansas City for 2019, three new insurers joined in 2020, and Blue KC returned in 2021 (and more details about how insurer participation has changed over time in Missouri’s exchange).
- Lawmakers rejected a bill that would have created a reinsurance program for 2019.
- Starting with 2018 plans, Missouri became an effective rate review state, which means state officials (instead of the federal government) review and approve proposed rates and plans.
Missouri exchange overview
Missouri uses the federally facilitated marketplace, which means residents enroll through HealthCare.gov if they want a plan through the exchange. Eight insurers offer plans in the Missouri marketplace as of 2021, and 215,311 people enrolled in plans through the marketplace during the open enrollment period for 2021 coverage.
When can I enroll in health insurance in Missouri?
Normally, enrollment is only available during the annual open enrollment period in the fall, or during a special enrollment period triggered by a qualifying event. But there is a one-time COVID-related enrollment period in 2021, which continues through August 15.
Missouri residents can use this window to enroll in coverage for the first time, transition from an off-exchange plan to an on-exchange plan, or switch from one exchange plan to another. Any of these might be necessary in order to best take advantage of the premium subsidy enhancements made by the American Rescue Plan, as subsidies are larger and more widely available in 2021 than they were in past years.
2021 rates and plans: Average rate increase of about 4.7%, plus Blue KC returned to the individual market and other insurers expanded coverage areas
As described below, Blue KC (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City) previously offered individual market coverage in Missouri, but exited the entire ACA-compliant individual market (on- and off-exchange) at the end of 2017, keeping only grandmothered and grandfathered plans in force. For 2021, however, Blue KC returned to the individual market in Missouri, both on-exchange and off-exchange. They are offering plans in the same 30 counties in western Missouri where they previously offered individual market coverage.
Medica also drastically expanded its coverage area for 2021, and is offering plans in 46 counties (up from just 13 in 2020).
Anthem (Health Alliance Life Insurance) expanded into the St. Louis area for 2021. You can see a map of their 2020 coverage area (blue) versus their 2021 coverage area (red).
The following average rate changes were implemented for 2021 for the eight insurers in Missouri’s individual market, all of which offer plans both on-exchange and off-exchange:
- Anthem (Healthy Alliance Life Insurance): 1.4% decrease
- Cigna: 1.3% increase
- Ambetter/Celtic (Centene): 9.1 percent increase
- Medica: 7.5% decrease
- SSM/WellFirst: 0.5% decrease
- Cox: 13.6% increase
- Oscar: 6.4% increase
- Blue KC (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City): New to the marketplace for 2021, so no applicable rate change
The overall average rate change for 2021 was a 4.7% increase for individual market premiums. A map of anticipated insurer participation for 2021 is available here, and a list of counties showing each insurer’s service area is available here.
As is always the case, premium changes refer to full-price premiums, before subsidies are applied. Most Missouri marketplace enrollees receive premium subsidies, however, which offset some or all of the cost of their coverage. And subsidies are larger and more widely available in 2021, thanks to the American Rescue Plan.
For perspective, here’s a summary of how premiums have changed in Missouri’s marketplace in prior years:
- 2016: Average increase of 13.9% According to Healthcare.gov’s rate review tool, average rate changes for 2016 in Missouri’s exchange ranged from a decrease of about 2% to an increase of about 30%, amounting to an overall average increase of 13.9 percent.
- 2017: Average increase of 25.5% The four carriers that offered plans through the Missouri exchange had average rate increases that varied from 9% to almost 41%, amounting to an overall average increase of 25.5 percent.
- 2018: Average increase of about 40% Prior to 2018, Missouri deferred to the federal government for rate review of ACA-compliant individual market health insurance. But that changed in 2017 with new state law, and 2018’s rates were reviewed and approved by the state insurance department. Missouri’s exchange participation dropped to three insurers for 2018 (Humana and Blue KC exited the marketplace, but Celtic/Ambetter joined). The overall average rate increase for the two existing insurers (Cigna and Anthem) amounted to an overall average increase of about 40 percent.
All three insurers indicated in their rate filings that they based their 2018 rates on the assumption that federal funding for cost-sharing reductions (CSR, aka cost-sharing subsidies) funding would be eliminated by 2018 (this proved to be a correct assumption, as the Trump Administration cut off CSR funding in October 2017). Insurers still have to provide cost-sharing reductions to eligible enrollees, but the cost of doing so was incorporated into premiums for 2018, since the federal government is no longer covering this cost for insurers.
But because the cost of cost-sharing reductions (CSR) was added to Silver plan premiums (this continues to be the case in 2019), and because premium subsidy amounts are based on the cost of a Silver plan, premium subsidies were much larger in 2018 than they were in 2017.
Missouri exchange enrollment: 2014-2021
215,311 people enrolled in private plans through the Missouri exchange during the open enrollment period for 2021 coverage, up from 202,750 the year before (but still quite a bit lower than the more than 290,000 who enrolled in coverage for 2016). Enrollment is likely to increase throughout much of 2021, due to the one-time COVID-related enrollment window that continues through August 15.
For perspective, here’s a look at prior enrollment numbers in Missouri’s exchange:
- 2014: 152,335 people enrolled
- 2015: 253,430 people enrolled
- 2016: 290,201 people enrolled
- 2017: 244,382 people enrolled.
- 2018: 243,382 people enrolled.
- 2019: 220,461 people enrolled
- 2020: 202,750 people enrolled
- 2021: 215,311 people enrolled
Nationwide, there was an enrollment drop of about 5% in 2017, although Missouri’s enrollment dropped more sharply, by about 16%. The enrollment declines in 2017 and 2018 were due to a variety of factors, including uncertainty about GOP efforts to repeal the ACA, the Trump Administration’s decision to sharply reduce funding for exchange marketing and enrollment assistance, and sharp premium increases for people who aren’t eligible for premium subsidies (those rate increases were partially due to the market instability caused by GOP efforts to repeal the ACA). There was another nationwide average enrollment decline in 2018 of about 5%. Enrollment trended upwards nationwide in 2021 for the first time in several years, and that was the case in Missouri as well.
Changes in insurer participation in Missouri’s exchange over time
Aetna subsidiary Coventry offered plans in the Missouri exchange until the end of 2016, but abruptly exited the exchange market two weeks before the start of open enrollment for 2017 coverage. I talked with the Missouri Department of Insurance about Coventry’s market share in 2016, and they said that the size of the individual market had “exploded” in Missouri, and that Coventry had picked up a disproportionate number of the new enrollees, since their rates had been among the lowest in the state.
UnitedHealthcare also exited the exchange in Missouri at the end of 2016, and stopped selling any ACA-compliant individual market plans, on- or off-exchange.
So Missouri’s exchange had four participating insurers for 2017. But two of them — Humana and Blue KC — announced that they would exit the exchange at the end of 2017, and did not offer plans for 2018. The other two — Anthem (Healthy Alliance Life) and Cigna — continued to offer coverage in the exchange (Cigna’s participation was limited to 10 counties in the St. Louis area and five counties in the Kansas City Area).
In 25 counties in western Missouri, Blue KC’s impending exit initially meant that there were no insurers slated to offer exchange coverage in 2018 (all but the five Kansas City-area counties where Cigna also offered coverage). Blue KC noted in their announcement that they had lost more than $100 million on their ACA-compliant individual market plans through 2016, calling the losses unsustainable.
Blue KC sought, and obtained, an exemption from the five-year ban on re-entering a market after exiting (the ban on re-entry is a HIPAA regulation that long pre-dates the ACA). Because Blue KC continued to renew their grandmothered and grandfathered plans, their exit from the ACA-compliant individual market was not considered a full market exit, allowing them to begin selling individual market plans again at any point in the future (they are rejoining the individual market for 2021, both on-exchange and off-exchange).
In June 2017, Missouri Insurance Director Chlora Lindley-Myers announced that Ambetter/Celtic Insurance (a Centene company) would be joining the exchange for 2018, and would offer coverage in all 25 of the counties that would otherwise have been left without an insurer in the wake of Blue KC’s exit. In total, Ambetter/Celtic offered exchange plans in 40 counties in Missouri in 2018.
Missouri exchange dropped from four insurers to three in 2018
So Missouri’s exchange had three insurers in 2018: Anthem (Healthy Alliance Life Insurance), Cigna, and Ambetter/Celtic (Centene). But that grew to four for 2019, with Medica’s announcement in June 2018 that they planned to join the Missouri exchange in the Kansas City area (Cass, Clay, Jackson, and Platte counties) as of 2019. Medica began offering plans on the Kansas side of the Kansas City area in 2018, and expanded into the Missouri side for 2019.
The Missouri Department of Insurance created a map that shows the coverage areas of the four individual market insurers for 2019 (plans are available both on and off-exchange). In four counties in the Kansas City area, plans are available from three insurers (Cigna, Medica, and Ambetter/Celtic).
Consumers in the St. Louis area could choose from two insurers in 2019, as could consumers in southwestern Missouri. But most rural areas of the state continued to have just one insurer offering plans — in most cases, either Anthem (Healthy Alliance Life) or Celtic/Ambetter.
Anthem’s coverage area shrank in 2018, but expanded in 2019
Until the end of 2017, Anthem offered exchange plans in most of Missouri — everywhere except the 30 western counties that were served by Blue KC. For 2018, however, Anthem’s participation was reduced to 68 counties (a full list is in a press release), and the insurer noted that these were all counties that would otherwise have had no insurers offering coverage.
Among the areas Anthem exited were Boone County (Columbia) and the St. Louis area. In both of those areas, Cigna plans were available for 2019.
Anthem exited these 16 counties : Barry, Boone, Christian, Franklin, Greene, Jasper, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lincoln, Newton, Saint Charles, Saint Francois, Saint Louis, Sainte Genevieve, Warren, and Washington. For 2019, however, Anthem increased their coverage area to 76 counties, returning to Barry, Boone, Christian, Greene, Jasper, Lawrence, Newton, and Saint Francois counties.
Three new insurers joined Missouri’s marketplace for 2020
In addition to the four existing insurers, three new insurers joined Missouri’s exchange for the 2020 plan year:
- Cox Health Systems began offering EPO plans in seven counties in the Springfield area (Barry, Christian, Greene, Lawrence, Stone, Taney, and Webster, all of which are in Rating Area 8). Cox did not participate in the individual market in Missouri in 2019, but they did offer plans outside the exchange in 2018. For 2020, Cox’s filing noted that their plans would only be available through the exchange, with a projected enrollment of about 8,000 people.
- Oscar Health began offering coverage on- and off-exchange in the Kansas City area for 2020 (Jackson, Clay, and Platte counties). Oscar’s filing indicated that they anticipated about 2,500 individual market enrollees for 2020. Oscar has not previously offered coverage in Missouri’s individual market.
- SSM Health Insurance (WellFirst) began offering coverage on- and off-exchange in St. Charles County, St. Louis County, and St. Louis City, which are all in Rating Area 6. SSM is an integrated delivery system with an established presence in the midwest, but they had not previously offered coverage in Missouri’s individual market.
Blue KC returns to western Missouri marketplace for 2021
All seven existing insurers are continuing to offer coverage in Missouri’s exchange in 2021, with varying coverage areas, and Blue KC has returned to the marketplace. Blue KC is offering coverage in the same 30 western Missouri counties where they previously offered coverage.
Lawmakers considered, but did not pass, legislation to create reinsurance program
Reinsurance refers to a system in which insurance companies can pass off certain high-cost claims to a third party (the reinsurance program). Reinsurance kicks in when a claim reaches a certain level, and then the reinsurance program pays a percentage of the claim until it reaches another certain level. The ACA included a federal reinsurance program, but it was temporary and only lasted through 2016. To counter rising premiums and stabilize local insurance markets, states are increasingly pursuing their own reinsurance program. As of 2021, fourteen states are receiving federal “pass-through” funding for reinsurance.
Reinsurance results in lower overall premiums, which means premium subsidies are also lower. Instead of having the federal government keep the savings from the lower premium subsidies, a state can use a 1332 waiver to have the savings pass through to the state. Then the money is used by the state to cover the majority of the cost of operating the reinsurance program.
H.B.2539 / SB1071 was considered by Missouri lawmakers in 2018, but neither bill reached a full vote. The legislation would have reactivated the former Missouri Health Insurance Pool (the state’s pre-ACA high-risk pool), but it would have become the Missouri Reinsurance Pool instead. The fees that were previously assessed on insurers under the MHIP would have started to apply again, to be used to fund the reinsurance program. Between 1991 and 2014, carriers in Missouri paid an average of nearly $6.5 million per year in fees for MHIP.
In addition to state funding, the legislation would have directed the state to apply for a 1332 waiver in order to obtain federal pass-through savings to fund the reinsurance program, starting in 2019. In the states that have already received federal pass-through funding for reinsurance, the federal funding covers the majority of the cost of the program.
But since the legislation didn’t pass, Missouri does not receive any federal pass-through funding for reinsurance.
During the 2018 session, Missouri lawmakers also rejected bills that would have increased the allowable duration of short-term plans, expanded access to association health plans, expanded Medicaid, and added a work requirement to Medicaid.
Transparency and rate review
In May 2016, lawmakers in Missouri unanimously passed SB 865, and Governor Nixon signed it in early July. The new law called for numerous changes in the state’s health care systems, including added transparency for health insurance rates.
Prior to March 2017, Missouri was one of four states without an effective rate review process for ACA-compliant plans (there were five until April 2016, when Alabama implemented an effective rate review process). State regulators did not take an active role in reviewing proposed rates, and the Missouri Department of Insurance did not have access to the rate filings at all. The federal government (specifically, CCIIO – the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight) conducted the rate review process for Missouri, and rates were published on Healthcare.gov’s rate review page.
SB 865 gives state regulators a bit more leeway but does not actually give them the power to deny rate changes that aren’t justified. Under the new law, regulators are now able to review and publish rate proposals, and determine whether the proposed rates are reasonable. If they aren’t, the regulators will let the health insurers know, but the insurers will still have the option to implement the rates as-proposed. In that case, the state will be able to publicize the fact that the unjustified rates were implemented, but the state will not have the authority to prevent carriers from implementing rates that aren’t justified.
It should be noted that this system is what CCIIO previously provided in Missouri. The federal government can determine whether proposed rates in the state are justified, but they cannot prevent insurers from implementing unjustified rates. Now that SB 865 has taken effect, the state has taken over the process that was previously conducted by CCIIO.
CMS notified Missouri on March 17, 2017, that the state had been deemed to have an effective rate review program. At that point only three states — Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming — were still relying on CCIIO for rate review, and that continues to be the case.
Navigator restrictions permanently blocked by federal judge
Missouri is one of about 15 states that has more restrictive training and certification requirements for navigators than what’s required under federal standards. Missouri legislation also prohibits navigators from providing “advice concerning the benefits, terms and features of a particular health plan, or offer advice about which exchange health plan is better or worse for a particular individual or employer.”
Several health care advocacy groups challenged the restriction on providing advice, saying that is the core function of navigators. In January 2014, a federal judge agreed and issued an injunction to halt enforcement of the law. And in April 2015, a federal appeals court concurred, ruling that Missouri could not restrict navigators from helping people enroll in plans through Healthcare.gov.
In March 2016, a federal judge permanently blocked three sections of Missouri’s restrictions on navigators. Navigators in Missouri cannot be barred from providing advice to enrollees (note that this is limited to explaining the differences between plans plan selection advice can only be provided by a licensed insurance producer). Nor can they be banned from discussing off-exchange plans with consumers. And finally, navigators cannot be required to refer currently-insured consumers to seek advice from a licensed insurance producer. The judge noted that navigators are supposed to be impartial, and forcing them to refer people to insurance agents — who are permitted to recommend one plan over another — would remove some of the impartiality that applies to navigators.
Missouri exchange history
Many Missouri legislators have steadfastly fought against the Affordable Care Act and implementation of the health insurance marketplace.
Legislation to establish an exchange was introduced but failed to pass in both 2011 and 2012. Despite the lack of legislative authorization, some initial workgroups were established. In 2011, then-Gov. Jay Nixon established the Health Insurance Exchange Coordinating Council, which did some initial scoping and planning. Also in 2011, the Senate created the Interim Committee on Health Insurance Exchanges to explore Missouri’s options to establish a state-based exchange.
Members of the Interim Senate committee refused to authorize the use of federal grant money. In April 2012, the Missouri legislature rejected a $50 million grant to upgrade the state’s Medicaid information system as some legislators believed the system would be used as a springboard to building a state-run exchange.
In May 2012, the Missouri legislature approved a ballot measure to prevent the executive branch from authorizing a state-based health insurance exchange without legislative or popular approval — even though Gov. Nixon repeatedly stated his administration would not authorize an exchange by executive order. Voters passed the ballot measure in November 2012, and state defaulted to the federally operated exchange.
In January 2015, Republican Sen. Bob Onder filed a bill that he said was aimed at blocking the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. SB 51 would have revoked a health insurance company’s license to sell policies in Missouri if it accepted federal subsidies for policies sold through the federal marketplace. It’s questionable what impact the bill would have had if it had passed. One legal expert told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “It’s sort of an exercise in futility.” Ultimately, the bill didn’t advance out of committee.
Missouri health insurance exchange links
State Exchange Profile: Missouri
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation overview of Missouri’s progress toward creating a state health insurance exchange.
One of the most unique institutions in American higher education, Cottey College is the only all-women’s college owned and supported by women.
The P.E.O. Sisterhood is an international philanthropic organization where women CELEBRATE the advancement of women, EDUCATE women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans, and stewardship of Cottey College, and MOTIVATE women to achieve their highest aspirations.
P.E.O. was founded on January 21, 1869, by seven students at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Today, P.E.O. has grown from that tiny membership of seven to almost a quarter of a million members in chapters throughout the U.S. and Canada, with headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa.
P.E.O. came to Missouri on October 3, 1886, when the Missouri State Chapter was organized in Unionville. We have more than 300 active chapters in Missouri and more than 12,000 active members!
P.E.O. is an organization of women, by women and for women. P.E.O. supports women both through friendships and the bonds of sisterhood and through educational scholarships, grants, awards and loans.
P.E.O. is one of the oldest women's organizations in North America. What started as a bond of friendship among seven young women in 1869 has grown to almost 6,000 local chapters with more than 225,000 members in the United States and Canada. A legacy passed down through generations of women, P.E.O. has deep roots in local communities and our influence reaches to all corners of the globe.
In 1927, the P.E.O. Sisterhood accepted Cottey College as a gift from Virginia Alice Cottey Stockard. Nevada, Missouri, is its home. This made Cottey College the only nonsectarian college owned and supported by women.
Cottey College is an independent, liberal arts and sciences college for women. Since 1884, the college has offered young women the opportunity to learn and grow into leaders, role models, and confident individuals.
Today, Cottey's unique combination of women's-only education, high academic standards, focus on leadership development, commitment to an international experience for every student, and a motivated, high-energy community is at the heart of its success.
I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written eighteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Bigamy and Bloodshed: The Scandal of Emma Molloy and the Murder of Sarah Graham, Midnight Assassinations and Other Evildoings: A Criminal History of Jasper County, Mo. and Lynchings, Murders, and Other Nefarious Deeds: A Criminal History of Greene County, Mo.
The Weaubleau Structure and the Rock Balls
You say that the crater is 19 kilometers wide, but that's not quite right. The impact structure -- the range of the surface that was altered by the impact -- is 19 kilometers wide, but the crater itself is much smaller and centered just south of Vista.
Thanks for the additional info. I've never actually seen the Weaubleau Structure and never been to Vista.
Actually its a bit ambiguous to refer to it as a "crater", as the topography of the area is a vast mixture of of hills and valleys. With regard to the "round rocks", there is an old homestead several miles north of Weaubleau, MO on Bear Creek. Apparently while digging a pond there many years ago, utterly hundreds of the nearly perfect round rocks ranging from baseball to basketball size were found. Since these are commonly found over a wide area it seems highly unlikely that they only occurred near an impact rim.
I've hunted the mile square property for decades
Thanks for the additional info, Ed, from someone who is familiar with the area. I've never actually visited the place.
Eric Greitens Nabs Single Largest Campaign Contribution in Missouri History
The race to become Missouri's Republican candidate for governor is, to put it charitably, a shitshow of clashing egos and bulging bank accounts. On Monday, one of the candidates' campaign war chests got a little bulgier — by about $2 million dollars.
As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes, the $1.975 million donation to Eric Greitens' campaign this week marks the single largest political contribution in Missouri history to an individual candidate.
But where did that money come from? We know that it was donated by a federally registered campaign committee, or "super PAC," called “SEALs for Truth." And. that's about it.
Why the mystery? Timing has something to do with it. The date of the group's donation to Greitens means it avoided a June 30 deadline for reporting second-quarter contributions, so "SEALS for Truth" won't have to disclose its financial info until October, long after the August 2 primary.
But there's a far more ingenious (and perhaps troubling) aspect to this donation. By law, a super PAC can accept unlimited amounts of money, but it cannot donate that cash directly to a federal campaign or political party. A super PAC like "SEALS for Truth," for example, would be breaking federal law if it contributed directly to a presidential or congressional campaign.
But donating to a state campaign like Greitens'? It turns out there's no law against that.
From the Post-Dispatch:
A Federal Elections Commission spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday that, as a super PAC, “SEALs for Truth” would be barred from giving any money directly to a congressional or presidential campaign — but that the FEC has no jurisdiction if it sends that money to a Missouri state-level candidate.
Missouri election officials have said previously that they have no way to restrict money donated from federal PACs to state candidates, as long as it’s disclosed publicly.
Basically, "SEALS for Truth" has managed to fashion a loophole that spans state and federal election laws. As a super PAC, it gets to keep its donors' identities anonymous until the quarterly reporting deadline in October, and because the group is funneling money to a state campaign, it avoids violating laws prohibiting direct donations to federal campaigns.
Now, before you begin building a Greitens effigy and getting ready to toss a match: It's worth remembering that his gubernatorial opponents are themselves taking in massive amounts of money. Tax-hating financier Rex Sinquefield has dumped almost $4 million into the campaign of former Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway. The only reason this donation is "the biggest" is because Sinquefield parceled out his contributions in smaller sums. Businessman John Brunner has spent millions of his own money to finance his campaign. And this week, Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder received a total of $1 million from David Humphreys and his sister Sarah Atkins.
Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_ Towski. E-mail the author at [email protected]
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St. Louis, Missouri. Capital of the United States?
Image used by CC-4.0, wikicommons user Daniel Schwen
While nowadays it seems a foregone conclusion that the United States capital city is Washington DC, for the first 100 years of the country’s existence it was hardly so defined. The location, ten square miles straddling the Potomac River with portions in both Maryland and Virginia, was established by law in 1790 with the Permanent Seat of Government Act (legislation recently dramatized by the song “The Room Where It Happens” from the musical Hamilton), but this didn’t satisfy all Americans. Over the course of the young country’s first century, the topic of where to locate the capital would come up three more times.
The first, little more than a suggestion, was in 1814, after the British burned Washington during the War of 1812 (for more on this you can check out my post on the selection of Columbus, KY as the new capital). The second challenge came about in 1846. The greater debate centered around whether Congress should retrocede Alexandria out of the District of Columbia and back to Virginia. At one point the debate shifted to whether the Government even could, let alone should, change the area of the capital. This, in turn, led to a broader discussion between Senators John C. Calhoun of South Carolina and William Allen of Ohio over whether the capital could be relocated.  Calhoun referenced a trade convention he attended in Memphis the previous year, during which the idea of relocating the US capital somewhere west was discussed, only to have the idea laughed out of the hall.  Allen retorts that the reason for that was not the notion of moving the seat of government, but rather the lack of a definitive location. 
While it may seem silly to us today (and perhaps to some even then) to talk of moving the capital, in the nineteenth century Washington DC was not a pleasant place. Built on a stretch of low ground and lacking modern drainage the city was frequently muddy, flooded, or just outright stunk. Ulysses S. Grant would write of the capital in 1870 that it was “a most unsightly place…disagreeable to pass through in summer in consequence of the dust arising from unpaved streets, and almost impassable in the winter from the mud.”  As the nation expanded westward, representatives from those far-away states were becoming more and more irritated by the long trek to a muddy tidal plain.
Washington DC in 1861, looking southwest. Detail from an engraving in Harper’s Weekly January 4, 1862
As you might guess, the movement to relocate the capital began in Congress as a counterpoint to spending bills which included significant amounts to clean up the District of Columbia. Beginning in December of 1867 with Rep. John A. Logan (Ill.) three resolutions were introduced into Congress with the aim of relocating the capital to the Mississippi Valley, rather than spend gross sums cleaning up what some viewed as a lost cause.  The third such proposal finally came to a vote in 1868, with 77 for removal, 97 against, and 15 abstaining. While it was voted down, the number in favor was something of an eye-opener to representatives from the East (one of whom joked prior to the vote “…is not a part of New York and northern Pennsylvania in the valley of the Mississippi?”  ).
Rep. John A. Logan (Ill.)
Outside of government, the movement got its first jump-start from Joseph Medill, editor of the Chicago Tribune. In an editorial published July 4, 1869, Medill not only laid out the logical reasons to move the capital to a more central location but also named St. Louis, MO as the ideal spot.  While nearly universally condemned in the Eastern press, the idea took root in the Midwest, especially in St. Louis. Spear-headed by staunch St. Louis booster Logan Uriah Reavis, a committee was formed to call formally for a national convention to consider relocation of the national capital to the Mississippi Valley. Letting no grass grow under them, the committee, with Reavis as secretary, issued their formal call in the press and to each state’s governor on August 12. The convention was set for October 20. 
Reavis was something of a unique character (a picture of the man can be found here and will tell you almost as much about him as I can by writing about him!). According to James Neal Primm, in his work “Lion of the Valley”, Reavis was “an Illinois newspaperman who had hustled real estate in Falls City, Nebraska, before he bought the faltering St. Louis Daily Press in 1866.”  The paper failed, but Reavis emerged with a vision of St. Louis as the beating heart of the nation, writing that St. Louis “cannot escape the magniﬁcence of its destiny. Greatness is the necessity of its position.”  He had written a book on the subject in 1868 called “A Change of National Empire” detailing not only the arguments in favor of St. Louis, but also those against maintaining the current capital in Washington. Two years later he would follow this up with another volume “St. Louis: The Future Great City of the World”, written in equally ardent terms.
Despite Reavis’ dogmatic enthusiasm, the reaction to a convention was decidedly lukewarm. Even the Chicago Tribune, the paper that first broached the idea, felt that the call for a convention through newspapers was rushed, and should have been preceded by a gathering of representative opinion on a more national scale. 
Despite this tepid response, acceptances did trickle in. When the convention opened that fall in St. Louis’ Mercantile Library Hall, representatives were present from twenty-one states and territories (although none from an Atlantic state). Over three days the St. Louis Capital Convention would pass eight articles, laying out the history behind their views and vowing to condemn any Congressional spending to improve Washington.  While it did include a carriage tour of the city, a banquet, and a river excursion, the Convention didn’t accomplish much or generate significant national interest in relocation.
Joseph Medill, editor of the Chicago Tribune, who first suggested St. Louis as the US capital
However, the Convention’s call to block Federal appropriations for the improvement of Washington DC met with a little more success. Larger bills were blocked, although smaller ones still managed to pass. An effort to organize the resistance within Congress was led by Rep. Logan, but ultimately proved ineffective.
In the meantime, Reavis had hit the trail to drum up support. Making a tour of the Northeast and penning numerous letters to the sympathetic New York Tribune, he called for a second convention, this one to be in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Capital Removal Convention began on October 25, 1870, but if the response to the St. Louis Convention had been tepid, that to the Cincinnati Convention was downright frigid. As before, all states were asked to send delegates, but this time only seven actually did.
The final nail in the coffin for the cause of capital removal came on December 5, 1870, when, in his remarks addressing the opening of the 41 st Congress’ 3 rd session President Ulysses S. Grant specifically included requests that appropriations be passed for the improvement of Washington, specifically the archives for the State Department, which were housed in a rented building and in sorry shape.  Congress would debate various appropriations for the next few months, with Logan championing the opposition, but eventually an appropriations bill for the improvement of public works around Washington was passed on March 3, 1871. Grant would sign it that same day.  Two years later he would applaud Congress’ efforts, telling them “the city of Washington is rapidly assuming the appearance of a capital of which the nation may well be proud.” 
And what of Logan U. Reavis, the charismatic, outspoken champion of a Midwest Capital? He would continue to champion his cause, despite his words falling on deaf ears. He would pen books on various topics before passing away in St. Louis, on April 19, 1889, at the age of 58.  His son, Logan Uriah Reavis, Jr., a writer himself, would carry on his father’s work to a lesser extent, penning several opinions on the topic of capital removal for the New York Herald-Tribune as late as 1949. 
 Cong. Globe, 29 th Cong., 1 st Session, 1046. 1846.
 Sioussat, George L. “Memphis as a Gateway to the West.” Tennessee Historical Magazine, Tennessee Historical Society. Vol.3, No.2. June, 1917: 77-114. Print.
 Cong. Globe, 40 th Cong., 2 nd Session, 209. 1867.
 Cong. Globe, 40 th Cong., 2 nd Session, 935. 1868.
 Cong. Globe, 40 th Cong., 2 nd Session, 1084-1085. 1868.
 Clark, Olynthus B. “The Bid of the West for the National Capital.” Proceedings of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association for the Year 1909-1910. Ed. Benjamin F. Shambaugh. Cedar Rapids: The Torch Press, 1911. 214-290. Print.
 “Lion of the Valley” James Neal Primm, James Neal. Lion of the Valley: St. Louis, Missouri, 1764-1980. St. Louis: Missouri Historical Society Press, 1981. Print.
 Reavis, L.U. A Change of National Empire or Arguments in Favor of the Removal of the National Capital from Washington City to the Mississippi Valley. St. Louis: J.F. Torrey, 1869. Print.
 “The Capital Convention.” New York Times 22 October 1869: 1. Print.
 Cong. Globe, 41 st Cong., 3 rd Session, 8. 1871. President Grant’s annual message to Congress
 Cong. Globe, 41 st Cong., 3 rd Session, 1941. 1871.
 Cong. Record, 43 rd Cong., 1 st Session, 17. 1873. President Grant’s annual message to Congress
 “Obituary- Logan Uriah Reavis.” New-York Tribune 27 April 1889: 7. Print.
 Reavis Jr., Logan Uriah. Letter. New York Herald-Tribune 27 February 1949, 12 June 1949. Print.
Final poll closing times on Election Day.
Article Two of the United States Constitution provides that the President and Vice President of the United States must be natural-born citizens of the United States, at least 35 years old, and a resident of the United States for a period of at least 14 years. Candidates for the presidency typically seek the nomination of one of the political parties of the United States, in which case each party devises a method (such as a primary election) to choose the candidate the party deems best suited to run for the position. Traditionally, the primary elections are indirect elections where voters cast ballots for a slate of party delegates pledged to a particular candidate. The party's delegates then officially nominate a candidate to run on the party's behalf. The general election in November is also an indirect election, where voters cast ballots for a slate of members of the Electoral College these electors in turn directly elect the President and Vice President.
President Barack Obama, a Democrat and former U.S. Senator from Illinois, is ineligible to seek reelection to a third term due to restrictions of the Twenty-second Amendment in accordance with Section I of the Twentieth Amendment, his term expires at 12 noon on January 20, 2017.
2008 presidential election
In the 2008 election, Obama was elected president, defeating the Republican nominee, Governor Rick Perry of Texas, with 53% of the popular vote and 68% of the electoral vote, succeeding two-term Republican President John McCain, the former Senator from Arizona. Since the end of 2009, Obama's first year in office, polling companies such as Gallup have found Obama's approval ratings to be between 40–50%.
2010 midterm elections
In the 2010 midterm elections, the Democratic Party suffered significant losses in Congress the Republicans gained 63 seats in the House of Representatives – taking back control of the chamber in the process – and six seats in the Senate, though short of achieving a majority. As a result of the Republicans' recapture of the House after losing it to the Democrats in the 2006 midterm elections, . became the 53rd Speaker of the House of Representatives, making Obama the first President in 16 years to lose the House of Representatives in the first half of his first term, in an election that was characterized by the economy's slow recovery.
2012 presidential election
In the 2012 presidential election, Obama defeated former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney with 51% of the popular vote and 62% of the electoral vote. Meanwhile, despite minor losses, Republicans retained their majority of seats in the House of Representatives while Democrats increased their majority in the Senate.
Speculation about the 2016 campaign began almost immediately following the 2012 campaign, with New York magazine declaring the race had begun in an article published on November 8, two days after the 2012 election. Frequently mentioned names for 2016 were Governor John F. Kennedy and Senator Hillary Clinton for the Democrats and Senator Marco Rubio for the Republicans.
2014 midterm elections
In the 2014 midterm elections, voter turnout was the lowest since 1942: 36% of eligible voters voted. The Republicans retained control of the House of Representatives, increasing their majority to its largest since March 4, 1929, and came two seats short of a majority in the Senate.
Missouri 2016 - History
It seems like every store I've gone into recently has a display of adult coloring books. Some stores are even hosting wine and coloring nights! What is this trend all about? Well, it turns out coloring helps adults unwind and relieves stress. By focusing on coloring, adults set aside their worries and their stressful schedules and are transported back to a simpler time. I admit, that I was a skeptic. But, I tried it and it worked!
Confessions of a Teacher Who Lets Her Students Play with Food
twists is to let my students use food as a manipulative. In particular, I like to have my students use gummy bears to create scenes that represent various topics. It may seem a little odd, but my students (even my too cool for just about anything Seniors) love this change of pace. Here are some different ways I've used gummy bears in my classes.
How I Cut My Grading Time by at Least Half
I teach high school on the alternating block schedule - meaning I teach 6 class in total, but I only see 3 classes a day. I have a total of 173 students (. ). So on days with quizzes or tests, I end up with 173 quizzes or tests to grade.
Here's some scary math:
If it takes me just 15 seconds to grade each student's 25 multiple choice question quiz, it'll take me about 45 minutes to grade them all. If it takes me 1 minute to grade 100 matching/multiple choice questions on a test, I'll spend almost 3 hours grading those tests (not even including any written parts!). I don't know about you, but there's a lot I'd rather be doing than all this grading!
10 YouTube Channels That Rock!
I am slightly obsessed with finding quality YouTube videos for Middle and High School Social Studies classes. Let's face it, there are A LOT of bad YouTube videos out there and it can be painful to find a video that is entertaining, yet educational.
So here's my list of 10 YouTube Channels you should check out, bookmark, and maybe even subscribe.
Survival Tips for Teaching a Subject You Hate
Want to know a secret?
Just because I'm a Social Studies teacher doesn't mean I love every subject that falls under the category of Social Studies. In fact, when I began teaching, I had an intense dislike of World History!
My first job was my dream job - teaching all U.S. History classes. Then, my husband and I moved to a different state. I found myself teaching, of all subjects, WORLD HISTORY! I had to figure out how to teach a subject I hated without making my students hate it, too.
What is Google Drive?
Teaching the Space Race
May 5, 1961
May 25, 1961
Looking for some easy prep activities for your lesson? You might like these available in my History Gal Teachers Pay Teachers Store :)
A Fun Idea for End of Year Tests
My daughter and her friends will take two End of Grade (EOG) tests this week. Last week, her teacher sent all the parents an email asking us to send in envelopes for the students to open on the mornings of their tests. Inside the envelope, we could place quotes, motivational messages, pictures, etc. to help motivate our kids and to ease some of their test anxiety. What a great idea!
Until. I started thinking. What if I write something that makes her erupt into tears? What if I include something that inadvertently adds to her fear of the test? That would just be a disaster!
All of a sudden, this simple request from her teacher began stressing ME out! I thought about not doing it. But, quickly tossed that idea aside when I realized it would even be worse if she was the only one in her class without an envelope to open.
So, I went back to brainstorming and I came up with the idea of creating some jokes to make my daughter smile and hopefully laugh before she has to get serious and take her tests.
Now, joke creation is definitely not my forte! I got some help from Leah Cleary who is a master of words and my joke idol to create six joke puzzle cards. I divided them up into two sets and put each set into an envelope.
Hopefully, these joke puzzle cards will not make my daughter erupt into tears or add to her test anxiety, but instead give her a good laugh before she has to sit and take, in my daughter's words, a "long and boring test."
If you think your own child or class would like these joke puzzle cards, click below!
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Stopping the Parent Freak-Out Over End of Year Testing
It's that time of year. Almost every email, phone call, and correspondence from my daughter's school reminds us that End of Grade testing is almost here. Her teacher talks about it. Her friends talk about and even parents are talking about it.
I get it, but I don't like it. It's the season of high stakes testing. Jobs and even funding rests on the performance of the students on these tests. And, as the tests get closer, I see my daughter and her friends become more and more stressed about taking these tests.
*NEWSFLASH* Stressed kids don't perform well on tests!
Here are 3 things that we are doing at our house to help our daughter:
1. We are making a conscious effort to downplay these End of Grade (EOG) tests. Our daughter is a high achiever. She wants to do everything well. And, she has it in her head that these tests carry so much weight that she will fail 4th grade if she bombs them. Talk about some self-imposed pressure! When she brings up her EOG tests, we tell her they are no big deal that they are just a way for her to show off what she already knows and that no matter what she scores on the test there is no way she will fail 4th grade.
2. We are making our actions match our words. We can't tell her the tests are no big deal and then contradict it with our actions. The other day, my daughter asked if she could skip her 6:00-6:45 ballet class next week since the next day she was taking an EOG. My answer? No. If I let her skip ballet class just because she has a test the next day, I'm subconsciously telling her that this test is so important she needs to skip her extra-curricular activities. It would give extra validation to her stress.
3. We are making our actions match our words. I repeated this on purpose because it is hard to stop the parent freak-out. I mean well when I talk to her each day about how she is feeling about the test, if she is studying for the test at school, if she thinks she is ready for the test, etc. I mean well when I put her to bed extra early the night before the test and have a breakfast of champions the morning of the test. I mean well when I remind her to wear comfortable clothes and to wear her hair back so it won't be in her eyes on the day of the test. I do all of these things because I want my daughter to perform well on the test. However, am I helping or hindering her? If I really believe and want my daughter to believe that the EOGs are no big deal, why am I doing these things? Making my actions match my words is harder than it seems. I definitely haven't perfected things. But, my hope is that through my words and actions, my daughter will come to the realization that EOG tests, while long and boring, are nothing to stress and worry about.
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Thriving on a Teacher's Salary: Let's Talk Credit Cards
You know the slogans. You hear them on the radio and see the commercials on television and online. You get mailings from credit card companies enticing you with fantastic rewards and bonus points.
So, how many cards are in your wallet? I intentionally have just 1.
Reality Check #1: Credit card companies don't offer us credit cards out of the goodness of their hearts. Credit cards companies run a business. If they weren't making a profit, they wouldn't be enticing us to sign up.
Credit card companies make their money by charging businesses fees when a customer uses a credit card and by charging us interest on any unpaid bill balances we carry. Do you know what the interest rates are on your credit cards? Did you know that if you make a late payment, credit card companies can increase that interest rate? For example, if I were to miss a payment, my credit interest rate jumps from 18% to almost 30%!
Credit card companies are now required to show you how long it would take you to pay off your credit card bill if you just made the minimum payment and what the total cost would be.
Imagine you had a balance of $3000 on your credit card and you pay the minimum balance of $30 a month. If you did not charge another penny to this credit card, it would take you 15 years and over $6000 to pay off your credit card bill!
According to a 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances by the U.S. Federal Reserves, 38% of Americans carry credit card debt. If you have credit card debt and are wondering where to even start in paying down your debt, check out Credit Card Insider's article How to Pay Off Debt.
Reality Check #2: When you make a credit card purchase, you are getting a 30 day or so no-interest loan from your credit card provider.
It's not free money. It's a loan with terms and conditions. Yes, I love the ease of making purchases with my credit card, but it is really easy to overspend since I don't have to actually pay for my purchases until later.
My mom gave me very important piece of advice when I got my first credit card as a freshman in college. She said to treat every credit card purchase like a debit and deduct it from the balance in my checkbook. That way, when the credit card bill arrived, I would have already deducted the money from my account and all I would have to do was write the check. It's a strategy I use to this day. There is no stress when the credit card bill arrives because I know the money is there in my checking account. At any given time, I know exactly how much I have left in my account to spend because I have counted that credit card purchase, not as a loan, but as if I had actually used my own money for the purchase.
Reality Check #3: You may not need all those credit cards in your wallet.
When my husband and I made the decision to live on just his teaching salary so I could stay home with our kids, we took a long, hard look at the credit cards we were carrying and made the decision to cancel all but two (one for him and one for me).
I probably had half a dozen retail credit cards from some of my favorite stores. I realized that these cards encouraged me to spend more than I really should. It was too easy to buy $300 worth of clothes and just swipe the credit card. I canceled the cards and cut them up. Now, I always say no when the sales clerk asks if I would like to save an additional 20%. Of course, I'd love to save that extra 20% - I am a bargain hunter at heart - but, I have committed to staying within our budget and not overspend. Maybe, you don't have the same problem I had. But, if you are carrying debt on multiple cards - especially retail cards - it may be time to take your own long, hard look at what you are carrying in your wallet.
Credit cards definitely have their uses and I use mine almost daily. It is just important to use credit cards as part of a budget and not as a way to buy more than you can afford.
FAQs, Tip & Tricks
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