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The circa 1838 courthouse was the site of the 1870 Old Drum trial, famous for George Graham Vest's closing argument, known as Tribute to a Dog. The oratory is said to be the origin of the phrase "a dog is a man's best friend." By act of legistatrure, Old Drum is now Missouri's State Historic Dog! Tours offered. A restored ca. 1837 one-room school and the Mary Miller Smiser Heritage Library and Johnson County Museum are adjacent. Admission: $3.
Held on the Old Courthouse Square the second Saturday of April, Old Drum Day is a free annual celebration of best friends. Attend an Old Drum Trial Re-enactment in the very building where it occurred in 1870, supported entirely by volunteers, local businesses and vendors; live music, food and craft vendors, and a dog show and fair.
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