The wood-fired locomotive rushed across the Missouri prairie at record speed. Down the line a few miles a group of citizens was waiting in a telegraph office when the printer started clicking. The messsage read, “Something yellow, flying low, just shot through town.” The message had come from Cameron at 4:49 p.m. The train, rushing from Hannibal to St. Joseph, was carrying important cargo. It traveled so fast it set a record which would stand for a half a century. The cargo? Forty-six pieces of paper. In a few hours those forty-six pieces of paper would constitute new pages in history.

AOWM – April 3