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18, November 2013

Finding Meaning at the Missouri History Museum

When I first began working as a graduate research assistant at the Missouri History Museum, I was not sure how my background in sociology and anthropology, which had a cultural emphasis, would be applied. My idea of being a cultural anthropologist has always meant studying a specific living culture or creating an ethnography of the cultural meaning found within the group. However, while working with David Lobbig, curator of environmental life, my view completely changed. I am now finding myself creating ethnographies of those who lived in the past. Read more »

12, November 2013

A Permanent Home for the Symphony in 1968

While our nation was captivated by the latest hits of the most popular rock n’ roll artists in 1968—the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, and the Doors, to name a few—St. Louisans were delighted by an additional genre of music that year: classical. The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, which had already engaged audiences for more than 85 years, found its first permanent home at the Powell Symphony Hall. Read more »

8, November 2013

Civil War Love Letters: November 8, 1863

Libby Prison Hospital
Richmond Va
Nov 8th 1863

My Dear Eliza Read more »

1, November 2013

Fifty Years Later: The Jefferson Bank and Trust Protests

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Jefferson Bank and Trust protests. Although the event is often commemorated at the end of August (the first protest against unequal hiring practices at the Jefferson Bank and Trust at Jefferson Avenue and Washington Boulevard took place on August 30), the protests continued until March 31, 1964. Many local civil rights activists were involved, such as William “Bill” Clay, Ivory Perry, Norman R. Seay, Charles and Marian Oldham, and Robert Curtis. Read more »

1, November 2013

Visitors to Experience Utopia at Museum Next Year

At the Missouri History Museum, we often host traveling exhibits from across the country. Right now, for example, we are hosting exhibits from Monticello and Minnesota. Rarely, however, do we feature exhibits that will take as long of a trip as one that will be coming to us next year. Read more »

31, October 2013

Civil War Love Letters: October 31, 1863

In this telegram, Molly’s brother R.B.M. Wilson, in Washington, Illinois, informs his friend in nearby Peoria, Dr. Murphy, that James was wounded and a prisoner, but all right. Molly might still have been visiting her brother and friends in Illinois. The telegram may indicate that the family had just received James’s letter from Atlanta dated October 10, and perhaps had not known James’s fate after the Battle of Chickamauga for over a month. 


Peoria Oct 31st 1863 Read more »

28, October 2013

African American Pioneers in 1968: Margaret Bush Wilson

The 1968 Exhibit sheds light on the national landscape of American culture, politics, movements, music, and more of that tumultuous year. While preparing for the exhibit's opening, Community Education & Events intern Domonique Taylor studied the content in search of ways to showcase St. Louis’s own contributions to the era. She focused her attention on four accomplished African American St. Louis women. These women embody the characteristics of the time period in their fights for equality and success in male-dominated fields. Read more »

25, October 2013

Hometown Hockey Team Links to 1968

Many events occurred in and around 1968, from the controversial Vietnam War and the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy, to the election of Richard Nixon and the successful Apollo 8 mission. On one hand, popular culture and music echoed the opinions of this fractured society by staging anti-war demonstrations and producing memorable albums like Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland and the Beatles' "White Album." On the other hand, consumerism boomed during the largest period of economic expansion in U.S. Read more »

24, October 2013

Civil War Love Letters: October 24, 1863

On October 21, 1863, James arrived at the hospital at Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia, where Confederates primarily held Union officers. The building was originally a warehouse for Libby & Son, a ship chandlery, grocer, and commercial agent. It could be guarded easily and was accessible by railroad and river transportation. The prison was three stories high in the front and  four stories in the back. The first floor of the building consisted of an office for the Confederates in the west room, a room for cooking in the middle, and a hospital in the east room. Read more »

18, October 2013

“Where Did They Go to High School?”: A Brief History of the First High Schools in St. Louis

Part 2: Public Schools and African American Schools

The first public high school in St. Louis was founded in 1853, although it sadly closed in 1984, after 131 years. Known as Central High School, or simply “the High School,” this school was originally housed in a room of the public elementary school near Benton Park.[...]

Image at left: Central High School, Davison Avenue and Natural Bridge Road location. Photograph by W. C. Persons, 1937. Missouri History Museum. Read more »