Legislation designating July 7th of each year as “Missouri Sliced Bread Day” was given final approval Monday by the Missouri House in Jefferson City. The bipartisan vote was 139-9.

State Rep. Rusty Black, R-Chillicothe, speaks on the Missouri House floor on February 21, 2018 (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

State Rep. Rusty Black, R-Chillicothe, is the bill sponsor. His legislation encourages Missourians to participate in events to commemorate the first sale of sliced bread, which happened in 1928 in northwest Missouri’s Chillicothe.

Chillicothe sits at the junction of Highways 65 and 36, and is the county seat in Livingston County. There’s a large mural in downtown Chillicothe which reads “Home of Sliced Bread: Chillicothe, Missouri.”

Black notes Highway 36 is known as “The Way of American Genius.

“Starting with Mark Twain (in Hannibal) and ending up with the Pony Express (in St. Joseph), Walter Cronkite, that 36 corridor has some awful neat things that happened along there and sliced bread is an important piece of that,” Black says.

Black references longtime “CBS Evening News” anchor Walter Cronkite, who was born in St. Joseph in 1916.

A mural in downtown Chillicothe notes the city is the home of sliced bread (2018 file photo courtesy of the Greater Chillicothe Visitors Region)

Bill supporters say it celebrates Missouri’s history and promotes Chillicothe, which has about 9,300 residents. Representative Black says the first automatic bread-slicing machine was used in Chillicothe.

State Rep. Barbara Washington, D-Kansas City, urged her colleagues on both sides to back Representative Black’s bill.

“We need to increase our tourism in Missouri, and as we work with the budget and make sure more people come in and bring us their money from outside places,” Washington said on the House floor.

Representative Black tells Missourinet he’s optimistic about House Bill 78‘s future in the Senate.

“Senator (Denny) Hoskins is going to take the bill over on the Senate side of the building and I hope we make it to the end past at the end instead of being killed on the last day,” says Black.

Black’s bill died in the Senate on the 2018 session’s hectic final day.

Hoskins, R-Warrensburg, the Missouri Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee vice-chairman, tells Missourinet he’s optimistic about the bill in the Senate, adding that the bill doesn’t cost the state anything “and will help promote Chillicothe and preserve the history of where sliced bread came from.”

Hoskins also confirms he will look for other places to add the sliced bread bill on as an amendment in the Senate.


Click here to listen to the full two-and-a-half minute interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and State Rep. Rusty Black, which was recorded in the House press gallery after adjournment on March 11, 2019: