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19, March 2014

Connecting with a Photograph: A 250 in 250 Image

Last month, the city rolled out the red carpet to celebrate 250 years since its founding. And here at the Missouri History Museum, we opened a yearlong exhibit called 250 in 250, which features the stories of 50 People, 50 Places, 50 Images, 50 Moments, and 50 Objects. Read more »

14, March 2014

Making History at 250 in 250

Nothing is stranger than seeing a person reading about herself in a history museum exhibition. I wrote the panel about Frankie Freeman for the 50 People section of 250 in 250, and seeing the real Freeman standing right in front of it felt nearly surreal. Freeman continued through the rest of the 50 People in the exhibit. Read more »

14, February 2014

Picking My Favorite Out of 250

I’ve worked as an editor at the Missouri History Museum for over 12 years, so I know a lot about St. Louis history. I mean a lot. I read about history all day. So when I first heard about the 250 in 250 exhibition, I thought, ‘Yep, Pierre Laclède, Budweiser, the World’s Fair…I’ve heard it all before.” Read more »

7, February 2014

A Beatle and a Rabbitt

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the day the Beatles first journeyed to America as a band. They’d make their Ed Sullivan Show debut on February 9, 1964. You all know how that went down.

But did you know that George Harrison was here in St. Louis in September 1963? Read more »

12, December 2013

Welcome to Mound City!

Welcome to Mound City, Missouri! This lithograph, produced around 1873, shows St. Louis as it then appeared, with its long-held nickname “Mound City.” A quick scan of the image, however, reveals an unquestionably flat city, completely devoid of any mounds.

The St. Louis area was the home of many Native American peoples. The most lasting monuments that they built were the mounds—great heaps of earth expertly crafted into flat, conical, or wedge-topped shapes. Some of these were burial mounds, and some were the homes of the elites of the mound-building cultures. Read more »

10, October 2013

A Visual Symphony of St. Louis

Art imitates life. This statement probably wouldn't have become a cliché had it not, in some sense, been true. It was certainly true in the early days of the art of filmmaking. In 1903, in a theater in New York City, a film called The Great Train Robbery had its debut. Students in film schools across the country are taught that this 12-minute film led to the dawn of modern narrative cinema, with it described as a "faithful imitation of the genuine 'Hold Ups' made famous by various outlaw bands in the far West" (Brooklyn Clipper, December 19, 1903). Read more »

20, September 2013

Chasing the Ghosts of Pearl Curran

When I was asked to write about a handful of the fifty people who would be featured in the 250 in 250 exhibit, my eyes were immediately drawn to a few of them. As a student interested in the history of education and childhood, I was, of course, immediately drawn to Julia Davis and Susan Blow, two of the most influential educators in St. Louis history. I have a keen interest in the 1904 World’s Fair, which made writing a label about Fair president and former St. Louis mayor David Francis seem like a no-brainer. I have also done some research on ragtime in St. Read more »

8, August 2013

Hunting for History in an Ever-Changing City

My fellow label writers and I came up with the idea of actually visiting the St. Louis “places” featured in the upcoming 250 in 250 exhibit at the Missouri History Museum. It sounded good, but we soon discovered a difficulty: Some of our places have transformed radically or just don’t exist anymore. Read more »

30, July 2013

Progress Report: 250 in 250 Exhibit

Summer is heating up and so is the work on our 250 in 250 exhibit. I thought now might be a good time to catch you up on our progress.

We’ve written a lot in the last few months about how we’ve decided who and what to include in our list of 50 People, 50 Places, 50 Moments, 50 Images, and 50 Objects. For the most part, those selections are now set. Read more »

19, June 2013

Exhibit Features 50 Eyewitness Accounts of Life in St. Louis

We’ve all been there. You sit down with your family, or a group of old friends, and suddenly everyone is telling stories: “I remember when your Uncle Bob and I…” Or your grandmother starts talking about what life was like during the Great Depression, and it’s just riveting. You can tell by the look in her eyes and the expression on her face that as she’s speaking, she’s reliving that time of her life. Read more »