Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Cape Girardeau, Missouri
settlement_type = City
nickname =
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption = Downtown Cape Girardeau



mapsize = 250x200px
map_caption = Location of Cape Girardeau

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =

subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Missouri
subdivision_type2 = Counties
subdivision_name2 = Cape Girardeau, Scott
government_footnotes =
government_type =
leader_title =
leader_name = Jay Knutdson
leader_title1 =
leader_name1 =
established_title =
established_date =

unit_pref = Imperial
area_footnotes =

area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 63.0
area_land_km2 = 62.9
area_water_km2 = 0.1
area_total_sq_mi = 24.3
area_land_sq_mi = 24.3
area_water_sq_mi = 0.1

population_as_of = 2000
population_footnotes =
population_total = 35349
population_density_km2 = 562.4
population_density_sq_mi = 1456.5

timezone = Central (CST)
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = CDT
utc_offset_DST = -5
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 107
elevation_ft = 351
latd = 37 |latm = 18 |lats = 33 |latNS = N
longd = 89 |longm = 32 |longs = 47 |longEW = W

postal_code_type =
postal_code =
area_code = 573
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 29-11242GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0731549GR|3
website =
footnotes =

Cape Girardeau (pronEng|ˈkeɪp dʒɨˈrɑrdoʊ) (. Although it is the largest town in Cape Girardeau County, the county seat is actually Jackson, Missouri.


The city is named after Jean Baptiste de Girardot, who established a temporary trading post in the area around 1733; he was a French soldier stationed at Kaskaskia, Illinois, 1704-1720. The 'Cape' in the city name was a rock promontory overlooking the Mississippi River, later destroyed by railroad construction. As early as 1765, a bend in the Mississippi about sixty miles south of the French village of Ste. Genevieve had been referred to as Cape Girardot or Girardeau. The settlement there dates from 1793 when the Spanish government, which had secured Louisiana in 1762, granted Louis Lorimier, a French-Canadian, the right of establishing a trading post. His grant gave him extensive trading privileges and a large tract of land surrounding his post. Lorimier was made commandant of the district and prospered from the returns on his land sales and trade with indigenous peoples such as the Ozark Bluff Dwellers and the Mississippian. The town of Cape Girardeau was incorporated in 1808, prior to Missouri statehood, and was reincorporated as a city in 1843. The advent of the steamboat in 1835 led it to become the biggest port on the Mississippi River between Saint Louis and Memphis.

The Civil War Battle of Cape Girardeau took place on April 26, 1863. The Union and Confederate Armies collided in a fierce, four-hour artillery barrage, on that day, 23 Union and 30 Confederate soldiers were killed. Today, Cape Girardeau is the home to numerous Civil War sites and memorials such as,
* Fort D
* Old Lorimier Cemetery
* Common Pleas Courthouse
* Confederate War Memorial
* Minton House

Reflecting the area's rich appreciation of history, numerous murals create a beautiful backdrop to some of the city's most charming areas. The largest, and most dramatic of these, is the Mississippi River Tales Mural, located on the city's downtown floodwall. Covering nearly 18,000 square feet, this mural spans the length of the downtown shopping district, and features 24 panels that tell the tales of Cape Girardeau and the mighty Mississippi River. Behind the floodwall lies the Riverfront Park of Cape Girardeau Missouri, where riverboats dock and visitors can view the river.

The city is also known to some as "The City of Roses" because of a nine mile (14 km) stretch of highway that was once lined with dozens of rose bushes. There also used to be many prominent rose gardens around the community. Few of these gardens persist today. In December of 2003, a new four-lane cable-stay bridge crossing the Mississippi River at Cape Girardeau was opened. Its official name is [ "The Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge."] The two towers of the bridge reach a height of approximately 91 meters. The "Old Bridge was completed in September 1928 to replace a ferry and was only convert|20|ft|m wide. [cite book
author = Mary Charlotte Aubry Costello
year = 1995
title = Climbing the Mississippi River Bridge by Bridge
publisher = Mary C. Costello
location =
id = 0-9644518-1-6
page = 48
] It was demolished after the completion of the Bill Emerson Bridge. as a Preserve America Community. [ [ Preserve America Community ] ]


Cape Girardeau is located at coor dms|37|18|33|N|89|32|47|W|city (37.309042, -89.546498)GR|1. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 26.4 sq mi (16,875 acres or 68.4 km²). The "cape" that the city is named after no longer exists. A rock which remains from the previously existing cape can be seen on a promontory which overlooks the Mississippi River in Cape Rock Park.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 35,349 people, 14,380 households, and 8,297 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,456.5 people per square mile (562.4/km²). There were 15,827 housing units at an average density of 652.1/sq mi (251.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.32% White, 9.30% Black or African American, 1.13% Asian, 0.39% Native American, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 1.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.10% of the population.

There were 14,380 households out of which 25.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.8% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.3% were non-families. 33.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.90.

The age distribution is 20.5% under the age of 18, 18.4% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 89.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,452, and the median income for a family was $43,917. Males had a median income of $31,575 versus $21,392 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,918. About 8.5% of families and 15.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 or over.

Four of the largest employers in Cape Girardeau are Southeast Missouri Hospital, Saint Francis Medical Center, Procter and Gamble, and Southeast Missouri State University.

Health and Education

The city is served by two major medical centers, Saint Francis Medical Center and Southeast Missouri Hospital. There are three major school systems in the city: Cape Girardeau Public Schools (including Central Senior High School), the Catholic Church-run private schools (including Notre Dame High School), and Southeast Missouri State University. The city features several fitness centers and a walking/biking trail, as well as outdoor public sporting complexes.


Cape Girardeau Regional Airport serves the city. Cape Girardeau is also served by Interstate 55 and an Interstate business loop, known locally as "Kingshighway". [ Cape County Transit] provides public transportation of the city by buses and taxis.

In popular culture

The James McMurtry's "Song for a Deck Hand's Daughter" is set in Cape Girardeau. The book "Killshot" by Elmore Leonard is partly set in Cape Girardeau. In January 2006, some scenes were shot on location for the movie adaptation starring Diane Lane, Thomas Jane, Johnny Knoxville, and Mickey Rourke.

Notable people

*Chic Hecht, US Senator from Nevada
*Rush Limbaugh, talk radio host
*David Limbaugh, lawyer
*Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr., Missouri Supreme Court Judge
*Dale Dye, actor
*Terry Teachout, writer
*Andrew Conway Ivy, (1893-1978), president of the American Physiological Society (1939-41)
*Mark Littell, baseball player (St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals)
*Billy Swan, singer who had a #1 hit song named I Can Help in 1974.


External links

* [ City's official website]
* [ Convention & Visitors Bureau]
* [ Southeast Missourian newspaper]
* [ Cape Girardeau Public Schools]
* [ City Guide]

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