Missouri is surrounded by six different states and also touches the Ohio, Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Missouri was originally part of France and became part of the United States as a result of the Louisiana Purchase almost 200 years ago. Springfield, Kansas City, and St. Louis are notable cities. Missouri was an important part of the Civil War, as over a thousand battles took place on its soil. It also has historical significance because the Pony Express and the Oregan Trail both started in Missouri.