Next year, Missouri's Bicentennial will celebrate two hundred years of statehood. While numerous events and recognitions are planned, Missourians can get a head start delving into the state's past through the pages of a new book, Missouri: An Illustrated Timeline - 200 years of rogues and heroes, heartbreak and triumph(Reedy Press 2020) written by John W. Brown, a Missouri native.

The 200 pages of the book chronicles state history from well before Missouri gained statehood and sets the stage for next year's Bicentennial. The state's history is presented through a series of vignettes, illustrations and photographs.

Rich with images from every era and corner of the state, Missouri: An Illustrated Timeline tells the tales that many know and stories not as familiar.

Well-known Missourians are there, including Harry Truman, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Chuck Berry, JC Penney, infamous Bonnie and Clyde and Jesse James.

Missouri can claim to be the first with numerous milestones that include having the first gas station prototype in America in 1905, the first woman to cast her vote in an election five days after President Woodrow Wilson signed the 19th Amendment into law, and the first radio station west of the Mississippi. The Chillicothe Baking Company produced and sold the first machine sliced bread in recorded history in 1928 and the first drive-through restaurant in the nation began serving in Springfield in 1946.

Readers will learn how the bluebird became a state symbol and how Missouri gained the nickname "The Show-Me State" and how General Ulysses S. Grant married Julia Dent in St. Louis before the Civil War. Sports teams past and present, military installations and wars, retail and restaurants, theme parks and milestones are all part of Missouri's story. From grasshopper plaques to Wild Bill Hickok to the Great Flood of 1993 and Pope John Paul's visit, it's here, along with everything in between. The book chronicles it all including the lynching on the Springfield Square and the Kansas City race riots in 1968.

Author John W. Brown was born in St. Joseph, MO, also the hometown of news pioneer Walter Cronkite. He's lived in a number of Missouri communities and in his career as a journalist, Brown has covered news in almost every corner of the state. Brown is a TV news anchor, author, inventor, public speaker, and radio talk show host.  He is currently the evening news anchor at KTVLL Fox 2 in St. Louis and also he inventor of Bib Magnets. Brown is the author of some other titles which include "Missouri Legends: Famous People From The Show-Me State" and "The Ultimate Missouri Trivia Book." He and his wife Teresa, have two children and live in Webster Groves, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. The book is available through both Amazon and Barnes and Noble.