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5, December 2014

Civil War Love Letters: December 5, 1864

Conditions at Camp Sorghum were so bad that prisoners escaped nightly. James escaped shortly after writing his last letter on November 19, and spent the next two weeks walking through swamps and living with slaves on plantations. He reached the Savannah River, at which point he was not far from the army of Union general William T. Sherman. Sherman was in the midst of his March to the Sea, or Savannah Campaign, marching from Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia. On December 3, 1864, Sherman, with part of his army, was at Millen, Georgia, just south of the Savannah River. Read more »

26, November 2014

Beneath the Feet of 1875 St. Louis

Often while taking strolls through Carondelet Park, just a few blocks from my house, I marvel at the park’s strange topography. Most of St. Louis seems relatively flat, but crossing into the park’s natural settings, the land suddenly undulates wildly. Rolling hills drop into large depressions in the land. When snow-covered, these holes can look like an alien planet, and after a heavy rain new ponds show up across the park. Read more »

19, November 2014

Civil War Love Letters: November 19, 1864

By the time James wrote this letter, he had lost all hope of Molly’s brother William obtaining a special exchange for him, but he was pleased with the re-election of President Abraham Lincoln. The war and related issues caused the formation of factions within the primary political parties ahead of the presidential election on November 8, 1864. A group of radical Republicans, who did not like Lincoln, formed the Radical Democracy Party. Read more »

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.


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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 »