Spring in St. Louis
14, November 2014

Having a Ball While Celebrating German Heritage

As we are gearing up for the upcoming exhibit, Utopia: Revisiting a German State in America, members of the Traveling Summer Republic are hosting an exhibition of Boßeln (Bosseln), a ball game popular in the northwestern region of Germany (East Frisia). This exhibition game will be played at 11 am on November 15 at the Jahn Memorial in Forest Park. Read more »

10, November 2014

Wartime Sweethearts

In September 1917, plumber Frank Clinton Mitchell found himself at Camp Pike, an army training camp in Little Rock, Arkansas. Working a construction job in support of the war, he was not only separated from his native St. Louis, but also from his sweetheart, Edna Kessler. Read more »

7, November 2014

Making Connections in New Ways

Technology has changed our world like never before. Everywhere we look, we see people on their cell phones and tablets or carrying their laptops. Digital technology is advancing at such a rapid rate that people are now wearing their devices. The digital realm has become our reality, and it will continue to embed itself as part of our identity in the future. We are living in a knowledge-based society that expects to gain access to information within seconds. Read more »

5, November 2014

Utopia Interactive Offers Unique Opportunity to Experience Immigration

One of the things that makes the Museum’s upcoming exhibit Utopia: Revisiting a German State in America special is a “travel agency” situated within the exhibition. Part performance and part interactive station, the travel agency deals with the issue of "goodbye" and "welcome," according to Esther Steinbrecher, who came up with the idea. Read more »

31, October 2014

A Halloween History Lesson

Halloween is a holiday that allows us to find joy in the eerie and frightful, but where did it come from, and how did we come to celebrate it as it is today? Read more »

30, October 2014

Disability Awareness

Because October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, my son told me about a program at his school yesterday in which they discussed how people with disabilities work and live, and the students learned disability etiquette. They watched a video about a man with cerebral palsy who creates art on a typewriter.

Left: Colleen and Max Starkloff in 2005.

Read more »

30, October 2014

A Ring of Mourning, A Memory of Love

As Halloween approaches, we prepare to celebrate with costumes, parties, and trick-or-treating. However, at one time, Halloween was a time for remembering the deceased. According to Peter Tokofsky, associate adjunct professor in folklore and mythology at the University of California at Los Angeles, "The earliest trace (of Halloween) is the Celtic festival, Samhain, which was the Celtic New Year. It was the day of the dead, and they believed the souls of the deceased would be available" (as quoted in the Daily Bruin on October 31, 1997). Read more »

27, October 2014

Keeping 1875 St. Louis in Order

When I was asked to take the lead on the upcoming exhibit A Walk in 1875 St. Louis, I immediately was thrilled at the idea of basing an exhibit around one of my favorite maps, Compton & Dry’s “Pictorial St. Louis.” “Pictorial St. Louis” was published as a book, with 110 separate map plates that could be pieced together into a single grand view. Read more »

24, October 2014

Utopia Exhibit Attracts Muench Descendants Nationwide

“Great event!” “Amazing!” “A life-changing experience.” These were some of the comments heard on September 6 and 7, 2014, during the opening weekend of the Utopia exhibition at the German–American Heritage Museum in Washington DC. “It's larger than the museum itself!” exclaimed museum curator Petra Shuermann when the Utopia delivery truck first pulled up in front of the museum. The museum is housed in the former townhouse of German immigrant-merchant John Hockemeyer. Read more »

22, October 2014

The Louisiana Purchase and the Changes It Wrought

When I was a kid learning about the Louisiana Purchase in school, I learned the basic framework of the story—in 1803, President Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana Territory from France, nearly doubling the size of the United States. And, from what I learned, the Louisiana Purchase was undoubtedly a good thing: It gave the United States access to the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains, granted the United States control of the Missouri, and gave Americans millions of acres of land to settle. Read more »