ST. LOUIS – Missouri can be commonly represented as the “Show Me State” by locals and across the country. But how did the state get the nickname?

According to Missouri Secretary of State John Ashcroft, the slogan is not even officially recognized, even though it is on the state license plates. Instead, it is just a well-known phrase.

Although the beginnings of the saying are not widely agreed upon, according to National Geographic, the quote that is brought up most often comes from Missouri Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver in 1899.

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“I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me,” Vandiver said at a naval banquet in Philadelphia.

The other theory of how the nickname came to be is that during a mine strike in the mid-1890s, miners from Joplin traveled to Colorado to fill in the spots they lost. When those from southwest Missouri asked for instructions, it became a common saying to say to other Coloradans, “That man is from Missouri—you’ll have to show him.”

We may never know the true origin of where the saying came from. But since these introductions, “Show Me” has grown to take on a deeper meaning for the character of Missourians.

Note: The video is from reporter Jeff Bernthal in 2012.