"I'm from Missouri"--show the NY TIMES

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Mon Feb 2 08:45:27 UTC 2004

   From Monday's (today's) NEW YORK TIMES"

In Missouri, Hard Soil and Straight Talk


Published: February 2, 2004
WASHINGTON — A Missouri congressman once declared: "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." 
More than a century later, understanding Missouri — the state where I grew up —
 begins with understanding the show-me mentality. 
   Missouri Congressman Williard Van Diver didn't coin the phrase.  If he did 
say this, it was in 1900, not 1899.  Our first citation is from 1897.  Van 
Diver didn't even popularize "show me" in 1900, because "show me" was already 
popular during the 1898 Transmississippi Exposition.  An 1898 song with this 
"I'm from Missouri-Show Me" title was published by New York songwriters years 
before Van Diver's alleged speech (and we don't even have a contemporary citation 
for it).
   Maybe Gerald Cohen can write a letter and set the "straight talk" 
straight.  If it's not from "Barry Popik," it might at least have a chance to be 

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