State lawmakers have approved the jumping jack as Missouri’s official exercise. Why you say? Students from St. Joseph’s Pershing Elementary School lobbied for the jumping jack in honor of General John Pershing. The Missouri born general led U.S. Forces in World War One and is credited with inventing the jumping jack as a training drill for cadets when he taught at West Point. Some of the students from the elementary school were present yesterday when the senate voted 25 to 5 to pass the bill. It now needs the signature of Governor Nixon to become law.