Jumping jacks to become Missouri's official state exercise

Jul 11, 2014

Credit Jacob Fenston / KBIA

The jumping jack is about to become Missouri's official state exercise.

Gov. Nixon signed legislation Thursday adding the jumping jack to a list of more than two dozen official symbols and things.

The jumping jack was championed as the official state exercise by students from Pershing Elementary School in St. Joseph.

They lobbied for it as a way to honor Gen. John J. Pershing. The Missouri-born general led U.S. forces in World War I. He's credited with inventing the jumping jack as a training drill for cadets when he taught at West Point in the late 1800s.

The measure becomes state law on August 28th.

In 2012, KBIA's Jacob Fenston reported on the effort to get the jumping jack recognized, and the possible public health implications. Listen to his story here.