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30, April 2013

And In Other News: Opening Day at the 1904 World's Fair Overshadows Train Crash

At 12:15 p.m., on the afternoon of April 30, 1904, David R. Francis declared, “Open ye gates. Swing wide, ye portals.” With those words, the grandest event in St. Louis history was underway. Nearly 190,000 people ascended on Forest Park for the opening day of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, remembered today as the 1904 World’s Fair. Read more »

25, April 2013

A Look Back at a Notorious Bank Robbery in South St. Louis

Sixty years ago this week, a story that inspired a Hollywood movie was unfolding in South St. Louis. On the morning of April 24, 1953, a gang of bandits from Chicago attempted a heist at Southwest Bank at the intersection of Southwest and Kingshighway.

As the bank’s alarm sounded, officers Melburn Stein and Robert Heitz were first on the scene, Heitz heading to the side entrance while Stein went for the front door. A shootout followed, wounding Heitz. When bullets whizzed above Stein’s head, he ducked behind a newspaper vending machine outside. Read more »

25, April 2013

Civil War Love Letters: April 25–27, 1863

While James remained in Nashville, where Union officials continued to drive out any resident who would not sign an oath, other members of the Army of the Cumberland went on an expedition from Murfreesborough to McMinnville, Tennessee. Major General Joseph J. Reynolds commanded the force of 6,600 troops that, during the course of the expedition, destroyed railroads, burned bridges, and captured prisoners. On April 21, Colonel John T. Wilder and his brigade took possession of McMinnville. 

Hd. Qts. 8th Ks. Vols.
Nashville Tenn
April 25th 1863

Molly Dear Read more »

19, April 2013

Honoring the Oldest Library West of the Mississippi

This week is National Library Week, and that got us thinking about an incredible St. Louis institution that is going to be part of our 250 in 250 exhibition. Before there was a Fox, a Peabody, or a St. Louis Speakers Series; before there was a Chess Hall of Fame; and before there was a Missouri Historical Society, Read more »

19, April 2013

Teens and Staff Collaborate to Tell Veterans' Stories

This week, a year’s worth of work by five teenagers, members of the Museum’s Teens Make History program, concluded with the opening of the exhibition Between Two Worlds: Veterans Journey Home. These young people, in partnership with Museum staff, have taken the exhibit from proposal to installation. Between Two Worlds examines the experience of veterans, from WWI to the current conflict in Afghanistan, as they deal with separation from home, struggle to maintain communication with loved ones, and ultimately transition back into civilian life. Read more »

16, April 2013

Civil War Love Letters: April 16, 1863

Hd. Qts. 8th Ks. Vol.
Nashville Tenn
April 16th 1863

My Dearest Molly

Since I wrote last all is quiet on the "Potomac"? We have had rain & spring has come in earnest. I wish I was in the woods to enjoy it or even in your 9th St. garden that "Alex" says is so much improved. By the bye I had that letter from him to day. Read more »

12, April 2013

And the Winner Is...Artifact Madness Champion Revealed

And you thought that the Louisville-Michigan game was exciting.

When it comes to thrilling tournaments, we believe our Artifact Madness competition topped all others. And now the time has come to announce the winner. Read more »

12, April 2013

The Sisters Who Captured the World's Fair on Film

During the 1904 World’s Fair, two sisters—Emme and Mayme Gerhard—cemented their place in photographic history. St. Louis natives, the Gerhard sisters learned their craft as young women, apprenticing with Fitz Guerin, a popular local photographer. When Guerin retired in 1903, the sisters took over his studio, just in time for the World’s Fair. However, both Emme and Mayme were already quite well known and respected for their work in the St. Read more »

10, April 2013

Civil War Love Letters: April 10–12, 1863

While James remained at Nashville, wondering if his secret engagement to Molly would cause awkwardness if he was able to visit St. Louis, he heard news of guerrilla raids and skirmishes in the area. From April 7–11, Confederate major general Joseph Wheeler raided Union trains on several railroads in the region between Nashville, Chattanooga, and Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Louisville, Kentucky. In one attack, the Confederates hit 18 railroad cars loaded with horses and other stock. Read more »

8, April 2013

Art in the Archives: Exhibit Opens at the Museum's Library and Research Facility

When artist and art therapist Gussie Klorer bought a neighborhood guardhouse in Clayton, she found more than a place for a studio, she found fascinating and troubling stories about her community’s past. She also found inspiration for her latest art project, which will be featured in the Missouri History Museum’s Library and Research Center beginning today, April 5. Read more »