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Past St. Louis Cardinals baseball players
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9, March 2017

Phoebe Couzins: Blazing the Way for Women

A leading figure in the suffragist movement, Phoebe Couzins has a legacy that shouldn’t be forgotten. The question is, what are we more likely to remember her for?

Couzins was born in St. Louis on September 8, 1842, to John E. D. and Adeline Couzins, both of her whom were tireless public servants. Witnessing their work as chief of police and battlefield nurse, respectively, likely inspired Couzins’s interest in social causes. Her cause of choice? The empowerment of women. Read more »

6, March 2017

Eye on Exhibits: From Headline to Exhibit

The process for creating the kinds of exhibits we do at the Missouri History Museum is a long one. So many decisions have to be made over the course of their development that by the time we finally open, I don’t often recall the moment that we began. But I clearly remember the day we decided to create #1 in Civil Rights: The African American Freedom Struggle in St. Louis. Read more »

3, March 2017

The Highs and Lows of Gov. James Wilkinson

Occasionally there are figures who weave in and out of history, connecting seemingly disparate people and events. It’s like when an infamous recurring character’s name pops up in the credits of a television show: You just know things are about to get messy.  

James Wilkinson was one such person. Throughout his lifetime he had been called a conspirator, drunkard, slanderer, traitor, insurgent, perjurer—and the Louisiana Territory’s first governor. Read more »

1, March 2017

66 Through St. Louis: Motel Row

When it came to getting sleep along Route 66, motel owners often managed precious little because they were too busy competing to convince travelers that they alone offered the best night’s rest. With each passing year, motorists had more money to spend and more options to choose from on the Mother Road. As a result, motel owners were constantly updating their offerings and advertisements to draw in those dollars. Gone were the days when bed linens and indoor plumbing were enough for most folks. Now people wouldn't dream of sleeping somewhere that didn’t feature a television, air conditioning, or a flashy piece of roadside neon. Read more »

23, February 2017

Where Teens, Leadership, & Team Building Meet

Earlier this year we welcomed students from 17 area high schools to spend eight weeks exploring museum work with us in our Teens Make History Academy. So far the teens have met with and learned from a curator, marketers, a conservator, librarians, archivists, and members of our education department. Each week they’ve taken what they’ve learned and put it to the test via museum challenges, small-scale projects that exemplify what museum professionals do every day. Read more »

20, February 2017

Breaking News: President Kennedy's Assassination

Last October, I received a letter from retired newspaper reporter Ted Pollard. In it he offered to donate a document related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Although he lives in Ohio now, for about six months in 1963 Pollard worked on the business desk of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. Each day he watched the incoming tapes of the noontime quotes from the Dow Jones business-wire machine, which sat next to the main, broad-tape teletype device that carried major news stories from the Associated Press (AP). Read more »

17, February 2017

But for One Man . . .

Missouri owes a lot to Thomas Jefferson, who signed off on the land agreement that almost doubled the size of the United States. When we look back at history, it seems almost guaranteed that Jefferson—former governor of Virginia, U.S. ambassador to France, first Secretary of State, and second vice president—would become president at some point. But history is often messier than it seems at first glance. Read more »

9, February 2017

66 Through St. Louis: Donut Drive-In & Ted Drewes

For Route 66 fans, there's no better place on a mild spring night than Chippewa Street. On a short section near St. Louis's city limits, two Route 66 legends sit just blocks apart. Their neon signs glow in the night, calling to travelers and lighting up the neighborhood. For more than half a century, they’ve tantalized Mother Road drivers with a truly challenging question: Should I stop for custard, or should I stop for a donut? Read more »

8, February 2017

Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City

America’s cities are sources of controversy. Some people see them as places where the American dream has gone to die; others celebrate them as places where the American dream is alive and thriving.

How did communities that were once the sites of such promise—especially St. Louis—become ground zero for seemingly every major ongoing political conflict? Mapping Decline, a new traveling exhibit created by the Missouri History Museum and the Missouri Humanities Council, provides some much-needed historical perspective on this very question. Read more »

6, February 2017

Was Budweiser Really Born the Hard Way?

With the words “Welcome to St. Louis, son,” an exhausted, visionary immigrant joins the ranks of famous Anheuser-Busch Super Bowl commercials alongside croaking frogs, “Wassup” dudes, and Clydesdale-puppy friendships. The immigrant is Adolphus Busch himself, and the commercial is a minute-long mini-drama of what it takes to leave all behind and follow your dreams. Read more »