St. Louis at Play
St. Louis at Work
250 in 250 logo
18, February 2013

In Honor of President's Day

My family visited the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, Ilinois, yesterday. An interesting graphic reminded me that Missouri did not vote for Honest Abe in the 1860 election.

Left: Lincoln family statues at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. Photo by Lauren Mitchell. Read more »

15, February 2013

Civil War Love Letters: February 15, 1863

James remained on provost duty in Nashville, Tennessee, where his main complaint was the constant rain. In other parts of the state and region the main problem was the guerrilla warfare of Confederate officers John Hunt Morgan, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Joseph Wheeler, and their troops. These men led many raids into Tennessee and Kentucky with the goal of disrupting supply and communication lines by destroying wagons, railroad tracks, and telegraph lines, and capturing transports and gunboats. Read more »

14, February 2013

Ending What Started in St. Louis

The International Olympic Committee’s decision to eliminate wrestling from the 2020 Olympics has left many athletes and fans of that sport worried about its future. At the Missouri History Museum, it left us thinking about the past and the unique role that St. Louis has played in both Olympic and wrestling history.

The 1904 Summer Olympics marked not only the first time the Games were hosted by an American city, but also the first time that freestyle wrestling made an appearance in the Olympics. Read more »

11, February 2013

What Comes Around Goes Around: Flu Edition

Lately it seems that every person I come into contact with has just gotten over either the respiratory flu or the stomach virus. Every day at least one person calls in sick, or has to leave work to go pick up a sick child from school. But St. Louis is no stranger to widespread illness, especially the flu. Throughout the 19th century, cholera outbreaks resulted in hundreds of deaths nearly every year, mostly due to poor sanitation and a tainted water supply. In 1849, a cholera epidemic swept through the city, killing more than 7,000 residents, or about 10% of the total population. Read more »

8, February 2013

Civil War Love Letters: February 8, 1863

In this letter, James briefly mentions war news, a recent issue of Harper’s Weekly, and the sad story of an officer from an Ohio regiment. In war news, James mentioned a second attack on Fort Donelson. A year earlier, in February 1862, Union naval and military forces captured Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River in Tennessee. In the second attack, on February 3, also known as the Battle of Dover, 4,000 Confederate troops repeatedly charged the fortifications, but were repulsed by the 800 Union men stationed at the fort, commanded by Colonel Abner C. Harding. Read more »

6, February 2013

Documentary Tells Struggle of Interracial Couple in 1950s Virginia

The Missouri History Museum's mission involves deepening the understanding of past choices, even on the possibly unexpected topic of love. The Loving Story will screen at 7 p.m. on February 13 in the Museum’s Lee Auditorium. This community program takes place on the eve of Valentine’s Day, when the open expression of love is widely celebrated. What makes The Loving Story remarkable is that it documents a relationship that could not be legally expressed and, in fact, was defined as a felony offense. Read more »

5, February 2013

What's in a Logo?

For almost every exhibit we create at the Missouri History Museum, we also produce a logo and graphic identity. The logo is typically used in the exhibit, as well as in its promotion. Much like an exhibit, the accompanying logos are trying to tell a story—only in a more concise way. We recently sat down with graphic designer Amy Berkbigler to discuss how she creates logos for Museum exhibits, in particular how she conceptualized the graphic identity for 250 in 250. Read more »

1, February 2013

Old-time Fiddler to Receive Missouri Arts Award for Cultural and Artistic Contributions to Missouri

We just found out that old-time fiddler and friend of the Missouri History Museum Vesta Johnson will be receiving a Missouri Arts Award. The Missouri Arts Council presents the award each year to people and groups who “have made profound and lasting contributions to the cultural and artistic climate of the state.”

Vesta has been playing the fiddle since the late 1920s. She has become an ambassador for the kind of music that she grew up with and is helping to ensure that the Missouri fiddle tradition lives on. Read more »

1, February 2013

Civil War Love Letters: February 1–2, 1863

In most of this letter, James expresses his feelings about his relationship with Molly and their future plans. However, he briefly mentions some war news. At the end of January, not far from where James was camped in Nashville, a Confederate force of 900 men, with several pieces of artillery, established a position on the Cumberland River at Palmyra, Tennessee, hoping to disrupt Union shipping on the river. James refers to an incident of the Confederates firing on Union boats, but the attempted disruption failed. Read more »

30, January 2013

Behind the Scenes: Foundry Tools, Part II

Many steps go into creating a new collection at the Missouri History Museum—join curator David Lobbig as he takes us through the process in this two-part series. In Part I, you learned the types of information curators gather about new objects. In the second part, learn how objects are cleaned, labeled, and transported to our conservation lab. Read more »