Jumping jacks one step closer to officialdom

Mar 30, 2012

The Missouri House voted this week to adopt jumping jacks as the official state exercise of Missouri. But don't start jumping just yet: the bill still has to pass the Senate.

The bill was sponsored by Representative Pat Conway, Democrat of St. Joseph. Conway says the bill is the brainchild of fourth grade students at Pershing Elementary School, who have traveled to Jefferson City to appear at hearings and speak to lawmakers.

“They learn about lawmaking, they learn how the process works, they learn you can’t just put a piece of legislation out there, that you have to sponsor that legislation, and you have to lobby that legislation.”

The bill would honor native Missourian John J. Pershing, the Army general credited with inventing the jumping jack as a training exercise for cadets at West Point in the late 1800s.

The bill passed 130 ayes to 20 noes.

Missouri would be only the second state to name an official exercise; Maryland chose walking in 2008.