Independence is a city that is located in the western portion of the US state of Missouri. It is the fourth largest city in the state and is in Jackson County. It is a suburb of the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. It has been called the "Queen City of the Trails" because it was at one time the starting point for the great Oregon Trail across the United States. English is the primary spoken and written language in Independence.
The city of Independence was founded in 1827 and was the farthest point westward that ships could travel up the Missouri River. As such it became an important city for shipping and storage of goods. Soon it became a popular spot with frontiersmen who wanted to travel to Oregon along the famous Oregon Trail. Shopkeepers who sold all manner of wagon train supplies moved to Independence and the population began to grow.
During the US Civil War the city was overrun by Confederate soldiers and partly destroyed. The city never fully recovered from that destruction, and most of the residents moved to nearby Kansas City. Today the city is still a busy river city and is the home of one of the largest Latter Day Saints communities in the country.
Independence has a humid continental climate, which means hot summers and cool winters. Summer temperatures generally stay in the 80's Fahrenheit and winter temperatures can dip into the 30's Fahrenheit from time to time. Snowfall occurs periodically, but rainfall occurs year round, with most of the rain coming in the months of June through August.
The two largest tourist attractions in town are the National Frontier Trails Museum, which displays memorabilia and artifacts from the city’s frontier days, and the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, which has been hailed as the “best presidential library” in the United States.
The closest major airport to Independence is Kansas City International Airport, which services all major domestic and international carriers.
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