It feels good to hold it. The Blue Book is back in printed form. Remember the Legislature decided a couple of years ago to end appropriations to have it printed. The last one to be printed was the 2009-2010 edition.
The Missouri Press Association and its Foundation picked up the ball and ran with. It is quite a gamble to have it printed, and to sell it. The press association hopes to recoup the cost of printing it by selling copies for $24.95. Copies for sale may be available at The Missourian office later.
The Blue Book, published every two years, dates to 1878. The full title is the Official Manual of the State of Missouri.
The 2013-2014 Blue Book is dedicated to President Harry S. Truman. Secretary of State Jason Kander’s office is the official publisher of the Blue Book. But for the first time, an outside organization has assumed the cost of printing it. The press association didn’t agree to publish the printed form to make money. It felt many people wanted it in the printed form. We prefer it that way. We use it for reference. When the print form was abandoned, it was available on the Internet. Our experience is that we can find things quicker from the printed form than going to the Internet. Many people feel the same way.
The Blue Book is more than a directory of Missouri government. It is a history book. It is bulky with 1,536 pages.
Kander said the book was dedicated to Harry S. Truman because he represents “the spirit of public service and history contained in this volume.” Kander added: “President Truman’s well-known work ethic, no-nonsense approach and deep love for his home state remain the gold standard that those of us in public service strive to achieve. So it is with great honor that I dedicate the 2013-14 Blue Book to the memory of President Harry S. Truman, truly one of Missouri’s finest.”
The Blue Book has many historic photos of President Truman. Many of the photos came from the Truman Library and Museum. Jon Taylor wrote the story on Truman that is in the book. It tells the story of Truman from birth to death.
Questions about the book may be directed to the Missouri Press Foundation at 573-449-4167. The Missouri Press Foundation is located at 802 Locust St. in Columbia, 65201.