St. Louis at Play
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23, August 2013

Solar Impulse Recalls the Spirit of St. Louis

Part of my job as Curator of Civic and Personal Identity requires that I spend time thinking about early 20th-century aviation, more specifically, Charles Lindbergh and his transatlantic flight in 1927. I have grown quite fond of this collection and often take for granted that I can go in the storeroom and view these items at any time. A case in point is the flight suit that Lindbergh wore on his historic flight. I know how iconic it is, but I also know it is never too far from my view, and so it seems comfortable and familiar. Read more »

22, August 2013

Civil War Love Letters: August 22, 1863

Louisville Hotel
August 22d 1863

Molly Dear Read more »

21, August 2013

Civil War Love Letters: August 21, 1863, Pt. 2

128 Morgan St.
St. Louis Mo
August 21st 1863

Dearest Molly Read more »

21, August 2013

Civil War Love Letters: August 21, 1863

Based on the text of this letter, it appears that James traveled to Washington, Illinois, to see Molly, and that he convinced her to resume their engagement. He mentions his friends William and Jane, most likely a reference to Molly’s brother and sister. By the time he wrote this letter, he had returned to St. Louis, and was ready to leave again to return to his regiment.

Office of the

August 21st 1863

Dearest Read more »

16, August 2013

A Piece of St. Louis Shopping History is Gone

For almost 90 years, downtown St. Louis was home to one of the area’s favorite shopping destinations. Beginning in 1924, people traveled to Sixth and Olive streets to shop at the grand department store housed in the Railway Exchange Building. Famous-Barr occupied the building until 2006, when it was bought out by Macy’s.

That shopping tradition ended last week when Macy’s shut down operations at this location. As a result they closed the department store and moved their corporate offices to a location in St. Louis County. Read more »

14, August 2013

Recognition for History Museum Authors

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch released its first annual “Go! Magazine List” recently. Critics chose the best of St. Louis in such fields as concert venues, art, restaurants, etc. The Missouri History Museum is honored to have made the list three times. First, the award for “Best Book by a Local Author” went to King of the Hill in the Museum’s publication The Boyhood Memoirs of A. E. Hotchner: King of the Hill and Looking for Miracles by A. E. Hotchner. Read more »

10, August 2013

Civil War Love Letters: August 10, 1863

After writing his last letter on July 25, when he received the news that Molly was ending their engagement, James requested a leave of absence so he could return to St. Louis and change her mind. His letter of request, which he wrote to Brigadier General James A. Garfield, General William S. Rosecrans’s chief of staff and future president of the United States, on July 27, 1863, is in James’s Compiled Service Record at the National Archives. In his request, James states that he received two letters that required his immediate return to St. Louis. Read more »

8, August 2013

Hunting for History in an Ever-Changing City

My fellow label writers and I came up with the idea of actually visiting the St. Louis “places” featured in the upcoming 250 in 250 exhibit at the Missouri History Museum. It sounded good, but we soon discovered a difficulty: Some of our places have transformed radically or just don’t exist anymore. Read more »

7, August 2013

Teaching About Slavery: Cohort for K–12 Educators

One of our missions at the Museum is to create meaningful professional development opportunities for teachers. As we learned more how to talk with children about the history of enslavement in America, we realized that these conversations were almost everyday occurrences at the Museum, but might occur only once or twice a year in the school curriculum. This meant that we had ample opportunities to refine our approaches, and would have something to offer our school community. Read more »

31, July 2013

Teaching About Slavery: Spotswood Rice Letters

In a museum context, school groups are like the tide: They wash in, stay with us, and then wash back out into the community. We have to trust that we are planting a seed that we will never have the joy of seeing grow. But we can do everything in our power to make sure the seed will eventually flower. We only have one hour to plant this seed, but the good news is that, sometimes that it all it takes. Read more »