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25, June 2015

The Whiskey Ring Scandal

 “The chances are that a man cannot get into congress now without resorting to arts and means that should render him unfit to go there.”

—Mark Twain, The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today (1873) Read more »

23, June 2015

Art in the Clubhouse

When our History Clubhouse exhibit opens this weekend, the first things you’ll encounter are large-scale paintings of St. Louis attractions. Local children helped paint these murals alongside St. Louis artist Cbabi Bayoc. We are very excited to unveil these 12-foot-high murals when we open the Clubhouse this weekend; they truly embody what the History Clubhouse is all about. Read more »

18, June 2015

History Clubhouse: By Families, for Families

On June 27, the Missouri History Museum is doing something big, something we’ve never done before—we’re opening the History Clubhouse, a nearly 6,000-square-foot space that is designed specifically for children and families. Children have an innate need to figure out how the world around them works, and they are equipped with the necessary tools, including their vivid imaginations that can skyrocket them to another time or place. In the History Clubhouse everything is big, colorful, and hands-on. Read more »

26, May 2015

Who Was Camille Dry, Anyway?

Anyone studying Pictorial St. Louis, the enormous map that is a main feature of A Walk in 1875 St. Louis, will agree that producing something so exact and detailed surely took the skills of a master cartographer. Unfortunately, little is known of Camille N. Dry—or “Drie” as many of his maps before Pictorial St. Louis display his name.  Oddly, for a man whose profession involved extensive amounts of paper, we have little of his behind-the-scenes legacy left. Read more »

1, May 2015

Why 1875?

The origins of A Walk in 1875 began with a simple question: What if we brought Missouri History Museum visitors so much information about life in a single year of St. Louis history that they could imagine they were actually there? The idea was exciting no matter what year we chose, but settling on just one seemed nearly impossible! St. Louis has no shortage of big years in its past, all with different and exciting ways to bring them to life. However, one stood above all the rest.

So… why 1875? Read more »

17, April 2015

War or Negotiation? Political Divisions and the Mississippi Crisis

No matter your political stripe, you’ve probably heard and agreed with the following sentiment at some point in the last few years: “Congress never gets anything done! The founding fathers would be rolling in their graves if they heard about the ways Congress was dealing with [insert current event]!” Popular opinion polls make it clear that many of us harbor at least a part of that sentiment: In a January 2015 Gallup opinion poll, congressional approval was at a mere 16 percent. Read more »

1, April 2015

Sylvestre Labbadie Jr. and the French Connections of Colonial St. Louis

Colonial St. Louisans had to go to great lengths in order to maintain their ties to French culture. Their village, after all, was small and at the very edge of the part of North America that Europeans had explored. In order to maintain their ties to France and French culture, St. Louisans traveled to France or to towns in North America that also had a strong French culture, like New Orleans or Montreal. They also brought in French goods such as fabrics, home décor, and books in order to try to keep up with the latest trends in Paris. Read more »

23, March 2015

Celebrating Women’s History Year Round

One of my favorite objects in our Reflections gallery is a print of the March 1919 cover of The Missouri Woman. In bold letters at the bottom of the cover it reads “Suffrage Triumphant.” This triumph was the Missouri House’s passage of the Presidential Suffrage Bill on February 12. This bill wasn’t a close victory either; it passed by a vote of 123 to 7. If the Senate passed this bill Governor Fredrick Gardner would sign it into law. Only a month prior to the House passing the bill, Governor Gardner had this to say about woman’s suffrage: Read more »

17, March 2015

The Louisiana Purchase and the Constitutionalism of Thomas Jefferson

The Louisiana Purchase Treaty was officially announced to the people of the United States on July 4, 1803. That day, subscribers to the National Intelligencer and Washington Advertiser saw the following announcement: Read more »

5, March 2015

The Louisiana Purchase and the Haitian Revolution

What makes the Louisiana Purchase such a defining moment in American history is the very fact that many of us couldn’t imagine our nation without it. Just think about it for a second: How different would the history of the United States be if the nation’s western boundary stopped at the Mississippi River? It would change the very fabric of how Americans imagine themselves, how the economy of the country works, and how the nation was shaped. Indeed, many of you reading this right now might not have even been Americans if not for the Louisiana Purchase. Read more »