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29, August 2014

WWI Artifacts and Memories: The 805th Pioneer Infantry Bearcats

In May 1917, President Woodrow Wilson directed the organization of eight African American infantry regiments for service in WWI. One of these regiments, the 805th Pioneer Infantry, was raised at Camp Funston, Kansas, and included many Missourians. Nicknamed the “Bearcats,” the regiment arrived in France in September 1918. They were assigned to the Department of Light Railways and Roads, where they built and provided upkeep of roads and railroads behind the front lines. They served in this role, performing admirably, until the end of the war in 1918. Read more »

28, August 2014

How an Email Turned into an International Story

In summer 2009, I received an email from someone in Germany, asking how much of “the German” there was left in Missouri. Never having met the sender, I almost did what most of us do with spam. As I sat there pondering the message, I thought: Why would anyone even take the time to ask such a question? Read more »

27, August 2014

Festival of Nations Allows Museum to Showcase Its International Focus

On August 22–23, the Missouri History Museum had a booth at my favorite St. Louis event, the Festival of Nations. The annual two-day multiethnic celebration features music, food, dance, crafts, and folk art demonstrations. More than 50 different nations are represented at the festival each year. Our staff ate delicious food at the celebrations, from doro wat (Ethiopian) to jasha maroo (Bhutanese). We were able to watch the energetic moves of the Grupo Atlántico Dancers (Colombian) and hear the beautiful music of St. Louis Spelmannsag (Scandinavian). Read more »

22, August 2014

Building Bridges: Labor Rights Activism in St. Louis

This post is the third in a series about the Teens Make History Avenues of Activism Oral History Project. Be sure to check out the Avenues of Activism playlist to watch more stories of activism in St. Louis. Read more »

20, August 2014

Happy Birthday to Eero Saarinen

On this day 104 years ago, the designer of St. Louis’s greatest monument was born. Eero Saarinen entered a design competition for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in 1947. He didn’t live to see the Gateway Arch completed in 1965, but he discussed his vision in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch interview reprinted in the book Lion of the Valley by James Neal Primm: Read more »

20, August 2014

Civil War Love Letters: August 20, 1864

In this letter, James mentions that he was paroled with 600 other officers a few days earlier. The exact reason and circumstances for his parole are not known. However, it may have related to the Union shelling of Charleston, which started in 1863, and the resulting movement of prisoners, by both sides, to the area under fire. In June 1864, Confederate major general Samuel Jones requested the transfer of 50 Union prisoners to Charleston, to be placed in the area of the city that was being shelled by the Union. He hoped this action would encourage the Union to stop bombing the city. Read more »

14, August 2014

The Anniversary of St. Louis’s Founding Celebrated at the Birthplace of Its Founder

One hundred years after St. Louis produced the Pageant and Masque in 1914, the small village of Bedous, France, commissioned a pastorale to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of St. Louis. The events took place on August 4–5, and I was honored to have the extraordinary opportunity to attend as the official representative of the City of St. Louis and the Missouri History Museum. Read more »

8, August 2014

Field Trip Fridays: Missouri Botanical Garden

This week’s Field Trip destination is the Missouri Botanical Garden. Henry Shaw, one of our 50 People in the 250 in 250 exhibit, established the garden in 1859.

Left: View looking across the Missouri Botanical Garden toward the Conservatory (1868–1916). Photograph, ca. 1906. Missouri History Museum. Read more »

6, August 2014

More Than Meets the Eye: Civil Rights Activism in St. Louis

This post is the second in a series about the Teens Make History Avenues of Activism Oral History Project. Be sure to check out the Avenues of Activism playlist to watch more stories of activism in St. Louis.

When you think of the civil rights movement in America, what sorts of images come to mind? Sit-ins, marches, and protests? Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech? Rosa Parks sitting calmly on the bus? Read more »

6, August 2014

Civil War Love Letters: August 6, 1864

Charleston S. C.
August 6th 1864

Molly Dear Read more »