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Past St. Louis Cardinals baseball players
Pageant and Masque crew and assorted costumed cast members with Art Hill in the distance, 1914.
19, September 2017

How Our ACTivists Bring History to Life

#1 in Civil Rights: The African American Freedom Struggle in St. Louis has introduced a new feature to exhibits at the Missouri History Museum: live performances by four actor-interpreters, or as we like to call them, our intrepid ACTivists. Read more »

15, September 2017

Have You Seen This Handkerchief?

I recently checked my mail slot and found a Priority Mail envelope addressed to Archives at the Missouri History Museum. Because I’m the head archivist, the envelope was left in my slot. When I picked it up that day, I had no idea I was about to open a mystery that remains unsolved. Read more »

14, September 2017

Ebbie Tolbert and the Right to Vote

St. Louis changed forever in mid-September 1920 as thousands of women lined up at polling places all around the city to ensure they could finally make their voices heard on Election Day. Congress had formally ratified the 19th Amendment about a month prior, officially giving women the voting rights they had pushed for since 1848. Over the span of five days, more than 125,000 women registered, far exceeding local election officials’ predictions. One of those women was Ebbie Tolbert, an elderly African American who registered to vote in the city’s 7th Ward on September 14, 1920. Read more »

11, September 2017

A 9/11 Rescue Worker Remembers

Editor’s Note: This post contains descriptions of what it was like at Ground Zero in the days after 9/11 that some may find disturbing.

As a young boy, Missouri native Dennis Grooms knew he wanted to be a firefighter. Inspired by the 1970s TV show Emergency!, which told the story of the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s fictional Squad 51, Grooms wanted to be part of the action and help people. In the days following September 11, 2001, he did just that. Read more »

8, September 2017

Celebrating Scott Field's Centennial

After the US voted to enter World War I in April 1917, the need for military pilots grew, and those pilots had to have places to train. Aviator Albert Bond Lambert worked with local business leaders and government officials to secure 624 acres of land near Belleville, Illinois, to establish a training field for pilots, ground crew, and mechanics. The Unit Construction Company of St. Louis was hired to begin construction in June 1917 and immediately set to leveling the landing field, establishing a rail spur, and erecting dozens of buildings, including hangars and barracks. Read more »

30, August 2017

The Case of the Mysterious Blue Writing

One of the most magnificent rooms in all of mid-19th-century St. Louis was . . . a private library in a Carondelet home. That home, and many of the more than 900 books within it, belonged to Henry T. Blow, a lawyer who made most of his fortune through manufacturing and mining. He also spent time in Venezuela and Brazil as a U.S. ambassador. Blow is a prominent St. Louis figure even now, as is his daughter, Susan, the well-educated, well-traveled woman who brought public kindergarten to the United States. Read more »

29, August 2017

A Panoramic Preview

Over the past several years, the Missouri History Museum has helped people experience different aspects of St. Louis history like never before. A Walk in 1875 St. Louis explored one amazing year in our city’s past, Route 66 revealed local history through a road that connected our region to the nation, and #1 in Civil Rights brought to light our city’s incredible contributions to the continued struggle for equality. Our newest exhibit, Panoramas of the City, continues this tradition. Read more »

27, August 2017

The St. Louis Epidemic That Wasn't

Major Walter Reed, a surgeon in the U.S. Army at the turn of the 20th century, is typically given credit for proving the connection between mosquitos and yellow fever. But what if he wasn’t the first person to observe the link between the two? Read more »

24, August 2017

Our Burning Love for Nitrate Film

The end of August marks the halfway point for our Picturing 1930s St. Louis project. For almost a full year now we’ve been going through all the remaining negatives created by the Sievers Studio during the 1930s. We’ve found lots of great images, learned some interesting facts about the photographers who created them, and gotten a glimpse of what St. Louis was like during the early part of that decade. We’ve also achieved an important project goal: We’ve identified and cataloged all of the nitrate film. Read more »

22, August 2017

The Great Divorce

Throughout the 1860s the entire 588-square-mile area that now makes up St. Louis County and St. Louis City was ruled as one by the St. Louis County Court. Back then more than 300,000 people occupied the land east of Grand Avenue (the city’s boundary at the time), while the vast space beyond was home to barely 31,000 people. Older towns such as Florissant and small train stops such as Kirkwood and Ferguson sat in a sea of undeveloped land and farm fields. Read more »