Slavery Behind Nixon Veto Of Effort To Rename Giant Rock
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed legislation that included designating part of Interstate 70 as "Graham's Picnic Rock Highway."
Nixon said in his veto message Thursday that the name refers to the Dr. Robert Graham, who owned the farm where the large rock is located.
The rock can be seen in the median of Interstate 70 roughly halfway between Columbia and the St. Louis region.
The governor said a popular outing during the 1880s was to drive horses and buggies to the rock for a picnic. But the rock also has been called "slave rock," which Nixon says comes from a belief that slave auctions occurred at the site.
Nixon says the highway designation would have elevated one part of the site's history above the others.