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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 »

25, February 2015

Digging Deeper into Immigration

As part of the award-winning program Teens Make History, we, the Teens Make History Players, research, write, and perform plays throughout the Missouri History Museum. Our shows enhance both traveling and permanent exhibits by sharing stories and bringing to life historical moments. Our most recent play, Emigrant/Immigrant, is based on the experiences of immigrants to St. Louis and was written to go along with two of the Museum’s current exhibitions—Utopia and The Missouri Immigrant Experience. Read more »

23, January 2015

Experience German Heritage at the Museum's Cultural Fest

With a rich heritage, Germans have long been a part of St. Louis history. In 1824, a German man named Gottfried Duden spent three years living in Missouri, and when he returned home and published his book Report on a Journey to the Western States, he was called the dream spinner. But soon, early German immigrants, like Friedrich Steines, were writing letters home to their relatives urging them to come to America too. Read more »

15, January 2015

Tour Utopia with a Curator on Tuesdays

The history of Utopia – Revisiting a German State in America actually goes back to 2009, when I received an email from filmmaker Peter Roloff asking me if "there anything left that is German in Missouri." Writing from Berlin, Roloff was looking for traces of the Giessen Emigration Society, whose members had arrived in Missouri in 1834. He had contacted me as I was working on a biography of Friedrich Muench, the group's founder. Read more »

12, January 2015

Reflections on the Immigrant Experience

As I walk into the Missouri Immigrant Experience installation I am greeted by countless faces. They look at me from pictures posted all over the walls, some grainy and black and white and others in modern color. Within each image, I find a unique story. I watch as a group of fresh-faced European immigrants arrive on a platform in Union Station in the late 1840s. I observe a group of German women performing a dance in Carondelet Park in the 1900s. I even glimpse a Russian immigrant giving blood for a Social Security test in 1990. Read more »

19, December 2014

A Day for Descendants

On December 13 at the Missouri History Museum, I enjoyed the greatest pleasure in meeting more than 50 people who shared the fact that their ancestors had been members of the original Giessen Emigration Society. There were descendants from the Arens, Berg, Hillenkamp, Kunze, Molitor, Muench, Schieffer, Schone, Freymuth, Wehrheim, Weinrich, and Mades families, a special day of programming planned around the Museum's Utopia: Revisiting a German State in America exhibit. Read more »

26, November 2014

Beneath the Feet of 1875 St. Louis

Often while taking strolls through Carondelet Park, just a few blocks from my house, I marvel at the park’s strange topography. Most of St. Louis seems relatively flat, but crossing into the park’s natural settings, the land suddenly undulates wildly. Rolling hills drop into large depressions in the land. When snow-covered, these holes can look like an alien planet, and after a heavy rain new ponds show up across the park. Read more »

14, November 2014

Having a Ball While Celebrating German Heritage

As we are gearing up for the upcoming exhibit, Utopia: Revisiting a German State in America, members of the Traveling Summer Republic are hosting an exhibition of Boßeln (Bosseln), a ball game popular in the northwestern region of Germany (East Frisia). This exhibition game will be played at 11 am on November 15 at the Jahn Memorial in Forest Park. Read more »