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19, December 2014

A Day for Descendants

On December 13 at the Missouri History Museum, I enjoyed the greatest pleasure in meeting more than 50 people who shared the fact that their ancestors had been members of the original Giessen Emigration Society. There were descendants from the Arens, Berg, Hillenkamp, Kunze, Molitor, Muench, Schieffer, Schone, Freymuth, Wehrheim, Weinrich, and Mades families, a special day of programming planned around the Museum's Utopia – Revisiting a German State in America exhibit. Read more »

17, December 2014

Mid-Century St. Louis Through the Lens of the Mac Mizuki Photography Studio Collection

For the past year, I have had the great pleasure of processing the Mac Mizuki Photography Studio collection at the Museum. This collection contains negatives and other material created by Henry T. “Mac” Mizuki in the course of operating his independent photography studio. My job has been to rehouse and catalog the 1,590 separate job assignments included in the collection. Mizuki opened his studio around 1953 and remained in business until his retirement in 1985 or 1986. Read more »

13, December 2014

WWI Artifacts and Memories: Forty and Eight

At the end of World War I in November 1918, U.S. military men and women began their return home. The shared experiences and bonds formed in military service gave rise to veterans’ organizations on a local and national scale. The American Legion and the World War Veterans were both founded in 1919. In 1921 the Disabled American Veterans of the World War was formed to provide care for the more than 200,000 injured Americans returning from war, in addition to job-finding services and vocational training. Read more »

12, December 2014

Teaching about History Through Video Games

Recently, I was invited to the Wentzville Middle School by my daughter’s sixth-grade teacher to give a presentation. I was asked to discuss a blog series that I have been working on during my assistantship at the Missouri History Museum. Needless to say, this was a very exciting opportunity for me. Not only did I get to visit my daughter at school, but also I was able to discuss two areas that I am passionate about: video games and history. While I was excited, I was also very nervous. Read more »

5, December 2014

Civil War Love Letters: December 5, 1864

Conditions at Camp Sorghum were so bad that prisoners escaped nightly. James escaped shortly after writing his last letter on November 19, and spent the next two weeks walking through swamps and living with slaves on plantations. He reached the Savannah River, at which point he was not far from the army of Union general William T. Sherman. Sherman was in the midst of his March to the Sea, or Savannah Campaign, marching from Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia. On December 3, 1864, Sherman, with part of his army, was at Millen, Georgia, just south of the Savannah River. Read more »

26, November 2014

Beneath the Feet of 1875 St. Louis

Often while taking strolls through Carondelet Park, just a few blocks from my house, I marvel at the park’s strange topography. Most of St. Louis seems relatively flat, but crossing into the park’s natural settings, the land suddenly undulates wildly. Rolling hills drop into large depressions in the land. When snow-covered, these holes can look like an alien planet, and after a heavy rain new ponds show up across the park. Read more »

19, November 2014

Civil War Love Letters: November 19, 1864

By the time James wrote this letter, he had lost all hope of Molly’s brother William obtaining a special exchange for him, but he was pleased with the re-election of President Abraham Lincoln. The war and related issues caused the formation of factions within the primary political parties ahead of the presidential election on November 8, 1864. A group of radical Republicans, who did not like Lincoln, formed the Radical Democracy Party. Read more »

14, November 2014

Having a Ball While Celebrating German Heritage

As we are gearing up for the upcoming exhibit, Utopia: Revisiting a German State in America, members of the Traveling Summer Republic are hosting an exhibition of Boßeln (Bosseln), a ball game popular in the northwestern region of Germany (East Frisia). This exhibition game will be played at 11 am on November 15 at the Jahn Memorial in Forest Park. Read more »

10, November 2014

Wartime Sweethearts

In September 1917, plumber Frank Clinton Mitchell found himself at Camp Pike, an army training camp in Little Rock, Arkansas. Working a construction job in support of the war, he was not only separated from his native St. Louis, but also from his sweetheart, Edna Kessler. Read more »

7, November 2014

Making Connections in New Ways

Technology has changed our world like never before. Everywhere we look, we see people on their cell phones and tablets or carrying their laptops. Digital technology is advancing at such a rapid rate that people are now wearing their devices. The digital realm has become our reality, and it will continue to embed itself as part of our identity in the future. We are living in a knowledge-based society that expects to gain access to information within seconds. Read more »