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23, April 2014

MHM Book Gets New Attention with DVD Release of Movie Adaptation

In King of the Hill, A. E. Hotchner shared his inspiring story about growing up impoverished in St. Louis during the Great Depression. In 1993, Steven Soderbergh adapted the memoir into a screenplay and directed the movie, which starred Jesse Bradford, Adrien Brody, Spalding Gray, and Elizabeth McGovern. Until recently, if you wanted to watch the movie you had to dust off your VCR. Fortunately, just this year Soderbergh supervised a digital transfer of the movie into DVD and Blu-ray formats. Read more »

3, April 2014

A Timely Find: Pieces of St. Louis History Uncovered During City's Anniversary Year

Archaeologists working a construction site near the Poplar Street Bridge in downtown St. Louis have made quite a timely find. Buried beneath hundreds of years of city development were the first pieces of evidence from the French founding of the city in 1764. Historical records have long shown who was living in the settlement during the French colonial period of the city, but up until this point no artifacts from these early people had been found. Read more »

12, March 2014

Artifact Madness 2014 Starts on March 17!

On March 29, an exciting new exhibit opens at the Museum—one that asks children and their grownups what they want to see in a space to be created just for them! History Clubhouse: Let’s Build It! engages families to interact with and explore some of St. Louis's favorite places, such as Soulard Market, Cahokia, and downtown St. Louis, in a gallery setting. The feedback we get from families will be incorporated into the permanent History Clubhouse gallery, opening in 2015. Read more »

25, February 2014

Harold Ramis, 1944–2014

Actor and screenwriter Harold Ramis has died from complications of a rare autoimmune disease. He co-wrote Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, and Groundhog Day, among other blockbusters.

But his first big screenplay was the result of living here in St. Louis. Chicago native Ramis attended Washington University, and his experiences in the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity inspired his screenplay for Animal House. (He later served on the university’s board of trustees for eight years.) Read more »

29, January 2014

Local Authors Win Lifetime Achievement Award

The American Library Association announced this week that Patricia and Fredrick McKissack of Chesterfield have received the 2014 Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award. The annual award is presented in even years to an African American author and/or illustrator who has made a significant literary contribution in books for children and/or young adults. Read more »

24, January 2014

Beer Can Appreciation Day

It’s January 24, and surely you know what that means: Beer Can Appreciation Day! On this day in 1935, the first canned beer was sold by the Krueger Brewing Company. After initial resistance from the imbibing public, the market exploded—today half of beer sales are canned products. Read more »

22, November 2013

50 Years Later: Remembering John F. Kennedy

From the south side of Chicago to central Missouri, to the north side of St. Louis, my friends and family shared with me what they were doing when they heard the news that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963. Whether young or old, black or white, urban or rural, there was a common thread of sadness and shock in each of the people that shared their story with me. Read more »

1, October 2013

Celebrating Bosnian Heritage

Last weekend, in the Bevo Mill district of south St. Louis (also known as “Little Bosnia”), ground was broken on a new monument to the area’s Bosnian community. This monument will be a replica of the Sebilj, a stone and wooden fountain in the center of Sarejevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This new monument will celebrate the great success of the Bosnian community in St. Louis. Today, St. Louis is home to the most Bosnians outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina; about 70,000 Bosnian people live in St Louis, and another 45,000 live in the Chicago area. Read more »

6, September 2013

What's Old Will Become New as Cathedral Undergoes Renovation

When you’ve lived through a fire that reduced over 800 buildings around you to ash (1849) and a cholera epidemic that sent thousands coming to you for reprieve (1849), your walls can get a little dirty. When you’ve survived the shots of an irate anti-immigrant mob (1854) and a cyclone passing directly over you that killed hundreds (1896), things can get a little dusty.

Photo at left: Old Cathedral in downtown St. Louis is undergoing a restoration. Courtesy of St. Louis Review, Archidocese of St. Louis. Read more »

23, August 2013

Solar Impulse Recalls the Spirit of St. Louis

Part of my job as Curator of Civic and Personal Identity requires that I spend time thinking about early 20th-century aviation, more specifically, Charles Lindbergh and his transatlantic flight in 1927. I have grown quite fond of this collection and often take for granted that I can go in the storeroom and view these items at any time. A case in point is the flight suit that Lindbergh wore on his historic flight. I know how iconic it is, but I also know it is never too far from my view, and so it seems comfortable and familiar. Read more »