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27, July 2012

A Long Way from London

The 2012 Olympics opens today with a ceremony featuring thousands of performers, created by the director of Slumdog Millionaire, and expected to draw a worldwide television audience of 1 billion. It will be the first and maybe biggest example of how different the 2012 Games will be from those held in St. Louis in 1904. Read more »

29, June 2012

St. Louis vs. Chicago: An Olympic Rivalry

St. Louis holds a unique and important place in Olympic history as the first American city to host the modern games. Earning the title, however, was not a victory easily won. Read more »

22, February 2012

Some Sauerkraut with Your Schnitzelbank?

Thirty years ago, in 1982, I was invited to attend the Fasching Sonntag at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Baden. I had no idea what a Fasching Sonntag was, but it sounded like an interesting change from the usual date of dinner and a movie or concert. Read more »

29, August 2011

The Premier Hotspot of St. Louis: Gaslight Square

A nickname can be a great indicator that someone, something, or someplace is unique. The place of which I speak, a portion of Olive Street (between Whittier and Pendleton avenues) and Boyle (perpendicular to Olive), has had not one nickname but three. This place was first known as Antique Row, the crossroads of America’s antique businesses. Then, in the mid-1950s, as the area was increasingly inhabited by intellectual bohemians and beatniks, its name evolved to become Greenwich Corners. In early March 1961, Alderman Joseph F. Read more »

30, June 2011

Race, Class, and Social Movements: Black Worker Struggles in St. Louis, 1930–1973

Stories of social struggle in the city of St. Louis demonstrate the deep ties between civil rights and labor rights there. The study of history has often discussed the fights of working people for better wages, safer working conditions, and a stronger voice in the workplace as distinct and separate from the fight of African Americans for equality, justice, and civil rights. The truth is these two movements, black freedom and labor, are linked inextricably. Read more »

26, April 2011

A Brief History of First Baptist Church

First Baptist is the oldest extant black church in the city of St. Louis. Its storied history dates to 1817 when two Baptist missionaries, John Mason Peck of Connecticut and James E. Welch, a native of Kentucky, arrived in St. Louis at the behest of the Baptist Triennial Missionary Convention based in Philadelphia. They were charged with establishing schools and churches with orders from the convention to pay particular attention to “the Fox, the Osage, the Kanses and other tribes of Indians.” Reaching St. Louis in December of 1817, they quickly set about fulfilling their mission. Read more »

8, March 2011

Susan Blow: Bringing Public Kindergarten to the U.S.

The following is an excerpt from Movers and Shakers, Scalawags and Suffragettes: Tales from Bellefontaine Cemetery, by Carol Ferring Shepley. It has been edited for length. Read more »

24, February 2011

Profiles: Jessie Housley Holliman

If you have ever gazed in admiration at the 38-foot mural “The Origins of Freemasonry” that spans the lobby of the New Masonic Temple at 3681 Lindell Boulevard in St. Louis, you have seen one of the few true fresco works in Missouri. The enormous mural was created in 1941 by Jessie Housley Holliman (ca. 1905–1984) and was dedicated by then-Senator and Free Mason Harry S. Truman. It is the only surviving mural by Holliman in a St. Louis public building.

Holliman, an accomplished artist, muralist, and art teacher, graduated from Sumner High School in St. Read more »

11, February 2011

Profiles: William Wells Brown

Each week during Black History Month, we will feature stories of African Americans who made History Happen—through the legacy of slave narratives, art and music, or activism in the civil rights movement.

William Wells Brown

William Wells Brown was born into slavery in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1814. Read more »

22, October 2010

Dreaming the Mississippi

By Katherine Fischer (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2006)

Reviewed by David Lobbig, Associate Curator of Environmental Life

Dreaming the Mississippi is Katherine Fischer’s passionate account of life on the ever-changing great river of North America. Read more »