Plato’s distinction as the population center of the United States was recognized Monday with a ceremony in the Texas County village.
The U.S. Census Bureau and its director, Robert Groves, unveiled a monument that commemorates the northwest Texas County community as the population center of the country.
“We were in the middle of nowhere,” said Bob Biram, village chairman. “But now we’re in the middle of everywhere.”
Groves and Biram spoke at the 40-minute ceremony. A large crowd also heard from representatives of Gov. Jay Nixon and U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson.
“This community is now part of the history of the nation in a special way, and I think Plato also rightly serves as a national reminder that the rural portion of our country is just as important, if not more important, than the urban portion,” Emerson said in a press release. “… Our quality of life is unsurpassed by any other place in the nation, and we work extremely hard to build and support the future of the country. It’s nice for that effort to get some recognition on this important day.”