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10, February 2012

Pulling the Wool Over Our Eyes

A man in Siberia is claiming to have shot a video of a woolly mammoth, a creature that became extinct 10,000 years ago. Wouldn’t you just know it—the video is so blurry that you can’t make out the creature! (Come to think of it, do any crisp images exist of Nessie or Bigfoot?)

Illustration by Velizar Simeonovski © The Field Museum. Read more »

25, July 2011

Tickled Purple

There is a memory I have from childhood. It’s the last week of school, and my best friend, Christa, and I are at recess. She has a cassette player and we are listening to a tape that she took from her sister’s room. I remember sitting there on the grass and just being wowed. It is unlike anything I have ever heard. Keyboards build, a guitar teases, a woman starts singing, followed by a male, then by another male who takes over the song. The three join together for the chorus, and then the magic words, “Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1999.” What an idea! Read more »

29, March 2011

Reflections on the Missouri History Museum's First Student-Led Exhibit

On March 26, the Missouri History Museum celebrated the opening of Chalkboards to Computers: A Lindbergh School Retrospective. The exhibition documents the history of Truman Elementary School, which was formerly Lindbergh-North Junior High, The Middle School, Harry S. Truman Middle School, Affton-Lindbergh Early Childhood Education Center, and the Kindergarten Center during the course of its 49-year history. Read more »

21, January 2011

Not the Last Sale of Slaves in St. Louis

On Saturday, January 15, visitors to the Old Courthouse in St. Louis encountered a re-enactment of a slave auction staged to show the historic brutality involved in the selling of human beings. Here at the History Museum there are vivid reminders of slavery’s legacy all around me. On view in the Currents gallery is a large and powerful painting that never ceases to stir my emotions, The Last Sale of Slaves in St. Louis, as depicted by artist Thomas Satterwhite Noble (1835–1907). Read more »

18, November 2010

Growing Awareness

Editor’s note: Sharon Smith, Curator of Civic and Personal Identity, recently curated the History Museum’s exhibition The Americans with Disabilities Act: Twenty Years Later. She writes about her experience:

In order to understand what the ADA has meant to the disability community, as well as society in general, we wanted to look at life before the passage up until the present day. We recognize that work is not complete: Some have fought the legislation. And still today there is work going on to keep the ADA in the minds of the public and businesses. Read more »

28, October 2010

Moved by the Spirits at Lemp Mansion

I enjoy a good ghost story, Halloween or not. Lucky for us, St. Louis is home to one of the top haunted houses in the country, the Lemp Mansion. The Lemp family history is riddled with tragedy. Most St. Louisans are familiar with the stories of the decline of the Lemp family—stories of beer brewing and prohibition, lost lives and fortunes, and ghosts of unhappy souls. Somehow, though, this knowledge about the cursed family did not deter my then-fiancé and me from planning our wedding reception at the Grand Hall, a banquet facility that is part of the Lemp Mansion grounds, in January 2000. Read more »

17, September 2010

Remembering Our Soldiers

A co-worker emailed me a news story about National POW/MIA Day. The article featured a man who, for 39 years, has worn a bracelet bearing the name of a missing soldier from the Vietnam War, someone he had never met. It got me thinking about our own Vietnam display in the Reflections gallery of the Museum, specifically, the story of Richard D. Chorlins. His family has also been waiting more than 39 years for his return to St. Read more »

20, August 2010

Remembering Sammy Lane Resort

On a recent phone conversation with my mother, she informed me that she and Dad are taking a vacation to Branson, Missouri. Read more »

18, August 2010

A Voice Heard

The Sunday after the opening of the exhibit The Americans with Disabilities Act: 20 Years Later here at the Missouri History Museum, I arrived at work a little earlier than normal in order to beat the large crowds expected for the 20th annual Disability Pride Parade in Forest Park. I noticed a woman heading toward traffic in her motorized wheelchair around the circle drive at the museum. As she passed me I pointed out the accessible ramps installed along the sidewalks. Read more »

10, August 2010

Father of Waters

One day during my first year of working in the Library and Research Center of the Missouri History Museum I was showing materials to a group of elementary school children. The idea was to show them items from the collection that would give them a sense of history of the area. They could look at old newspapers, magazines, atlases, maps, and books about St. Louis. Fourteen years later, I still smile when I see one of the items that we showed the kids. It was a map of the Mississippi River that starts with the headwaters in Minnesota and goes down to the Gulf of Mexico. Read more »