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Artifact Madness 2015
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25, February 2015

Digging Deeper into Immigration

As part of the award-winning program Teens Make History, we, the Teens Make History Players, research, write, and perform plays throughout the Missouri History Museum. Our shows enhance both traveling and permanent exhibits by sharing stories and bringing to life historical moments. Our most recent play, Emigrant/Immigrant, is based on the experiences of immigrants to St. Louis and was written to go along with two of the Museum’s current exhibitions—Utopia and The Missouri Immigrant Experience. Read more »

24, February 2015

Clark Terry, 1920–2015

Famed jazz trumpeter and St. Louisan Clark Terry passed away this weekend at age 94. Terry was so passionate about music as a child that he fashioned a trumpet out of a funnel attached to a garden hose (the unpleasant noise drove his neighbors to eventually buy him a trumpet from a pawn shop). He performed with the Count Basie Orchestra and the Duke Ellington band, eventually playing, and popularizing, the flugelhorn. In 1960 he became the first African American staff musician on the Tonight Show. Read more »

23, February 2015

WWI Artifacts and Memories—From the Mexican Border to Northern France

For many Missourians military service did not start with World War I. Rather, it began on the Mexican border after the Mexican Revolution in 1910. American soldiers stationed on the Mexican border would clash with Mexican rebels over several years, culminating in the 1916 Punitive Expedition, during which General John J. Pershing pursued Pancho Villa into Mexico. The events on the Mexican border resulted in the mobilization of National Guard regiments across the country, including the Missouri National Guard. Read more »

13, February 2015

Uncovering an Unsung Hero: Mary Taussig Hall

In today’s world of empowered women and increased focus on gender equality, we are not shocked by stories of fearless women dedicated to making lasting change in their communities. But looking through the archives of the Library and Research Center of the Missouri History Museum, I came across the story of a woman out of place for her context in history. Read more »

12, February 2015

WWI Artifacts and Memories: Service Flags

The First World War saw the largest mobilization of United States armed forces since the Civil War. Soldiers, sailors, and marines were drawn from the National Guard, volunteers, and conscription. By the war's end the armed forces had swelled to a staggering three million personnel. Patriotic fervor also swelled, and a desire to outwardly display support of the military led to the creation of the service flag, also known as a “son in service flag” or “blue star flag,” which is still used today. Read more »

9, February 2015

Civil War Love Letters: The Journey Home

Last week, we printed the very last letter that Captain James Love wrote to his beloved Molly during his time in the Civil War. But that wasn't the end of the story, in the next several weeks, we'll be providing an epilogue of his and Molly's life, beginning with James's journey home after the war. Read more »

6, February 2015

WWI Artifacts and Memories—Over There: Missouri and the Great War

Since 2012 the Missouri History Museum has hosted associate historian Rochelle Caruthers at the Museum’s Library and Research Center. As a part of the Over There: Missouri and the Great War digitization project team, Rochelle has surveyed, scanned, and transcribed selected World War I collections at MHM and in the greater St. Louis region. Rochelle has counterparts across the state who have scanned and transcribed thousands of pages since the beginning of the project. Read more »

4, February 2015

Civil War Love Letters: February 4–16, 1865

James wrote this letter over several days in February 1865. For most of the letter, he remained at Camp Asylum prison in Columbia, South Carolina, and still hoped that his friends from his old regiment, the 8th Kansas Infantry, would arrange his exchange. James passed the time by reading Jane Eyre, which was published in 1847, and Very Hard Cash, a novel about the abuses of private insane asylums written by Charles Reade in 1863. While James’s condition had not changed, the war progressed nearby. In early February, Union general William T. Read more »

30, January 2015

Field Trip Fridays: Busch Stadium

Our blockbuster exhibit 250 in 250 is closing in just two weeks. So for our last Field Trip Friday post, I’m sending you to a place with ties to multiple subjects in the exhibit: Busch Stadium. It’s an eight-for-the-price-of-one deal!

Left: Twilight game at Busch Stadium. Photograph by Ralph D'Oench, 1966. Missouri History Museum.

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29, January 2015

Civil War Love Letters: January 29, 1865 (letter 2)

In this letter, James continues to write about the “deadly policy” of the United States government, most likely a reference to either the policy of stopping packages from home, or the persistent refusal to exchange prisoners. In early 1865, Confederate officials asked for a prisoner exchange because they needed the manpower, but Union officials refused, leaving Union prisoners to languish in prisons throughout the South. Read more »