We Made History in 2016
There are record-breaking years, and then there are years like 2016 at the Missouri History Museum. We're still crunching the numbers on what will go down as one of the most successful years in our 150-year history, but here's what we can say for sure:
In 2016 we welcomed 517,337 visitors, people from near and far who viewed our exhibits and participated in our programming. This number also makes 2016 our third consecutive year with annual attendance of more than 400,000—a first in our institution's history. We haven't seen these kinds of numbers since the 1920s and 1930s, when we showcased Charles Lindbergh's trophies following his historic 1927 flight across the Atlantic.
Another reason numbers are up? Our Library and Research Center also saw some of its highest attendance on record in 2016, welcoming well over 6,000 researchers and students for specialized programs, tours, and individual research.
Starting with the 2014 exhibit 250 in 250, which celebrated the 250th anniversary of St. Louis's founding, we've committed to creating more special exhibits in-house by using mostly our own collections rather than relying on traveling exhibits from other institutions. You've responded to this effort in an incredible way: In 2016 alone we closed A Walk in 1875 St. Louis (our 4th most popular exhibit ever), opened Little Black Dress: From Mourning to Night (our 5th most popular exhibit ever), and opened Route 66: Main Street Through St. Louis (on track to be our 2nd most popular exhibit by the time it closes this summer).
We couldn't have asked for a better subject for our first foray into documentary filmmaking than the tale of the Mother Road's 300-mile journey through the Show-Me State. Seen by tens of thousands here at the Museum and on television thanks to our partners at the Nine Network, Show Me 66: Main Street Through Missouri marks an exciting new way for us to document the history of our region. (Missed it last year? Click here to find more info on screenings happening in 2017.)
Of course, none of this would be possible without you. By visiting and supporting the Missouri History Musem, you made 2016 a historic, record-breaking year. And rest assured, we have no plans to slow down.
In 2017 we'll explore the complex, compelling, and often-overlooked history of St. Louis's civil rights movement; commemorate the 100-year anniversary of America's entry into the Great War; and zoom in on some fascinating panoramic images and local photography history. With your help, we can continue to create more in-house exhibits, present programs, and share St. Louis's history. If you aren't already, please consider supporting this effort through an annual membership with MHM, or consider increasing your current level of giving.
With all that said, here's to another great year ahead—one we can't wait to share with you!
—Sam Moore, Online Communications Coordinator