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6, February 2013

Documentary Tells Struggle of Interracial Couple in 1950s Virginia

The Missouri History Museum's mission involves deepening the understanding of past choices, even on the possibly unexpected topic of love. The Loving Story will screen at 7 p.m. on February 13 in the Museum’s Lee Auditorium. This community program takes place on the eve of Valentine’s Day, when the open expression of love is widely celebrated. What makes The Loving Story remarkable is that it documents a relationship that could not be legally expressed and, in fact, was defined as a felony offense. Read more »

1, February 2013

Old-time Fiddler to Receive Missouri Arts Award for Cultural and Artistic Contributions to Missouri

We just found out that old-time fiddler and friend of the Missouri History Museum Vesta Johnson will be receiving a Missouri Arts Award. The Missouri Arts Council presents the award each year to people and groups who “have made profound and lasting contributions to the cultural and artistic climate of the state.”

Vesta has been playing the fiddle since the late 1920s. She has become an ambassador for the kind of music that she grew up with and is helping to ensure that the Missouri fiddle tradition lives on. Read more »

24, January 2013

Planetarium to Reflect on 50 Years

One of the most recognizable features of the St. Louis landscape is about to turn 50. The James S. McDonnell Planetarium has become a symbol of the city since it opened in 1963, and the St. Louis Science Center is celebrating with a number of events, including one that we think may be of special interest to readers of History Happens Here. Read more »

13, November 2012

Remembering Rose

I often tell people I have the best job at the Missouri History Museum. A big part of that job is interviewing fascinating people for our growing oral history collection. I have interviewed all sorts of people—activists and architects, weavers and photographers, test pilots and zookeepers. And on more than one occasion I had the great pleasure of interviewing Rose Church. Rose was a nurse at McDonnell Aircraft in the 1950s and ’60s, and when the company landed the contracts to build and test NASA’s Mercury and Gemini spacecraft, she became McDonnell’s first aerospace nurse. Read more »

9, November 2012

Police Control Shifts to St. Louis

Earlier this week, St. Louisans voted to return control of the police department to the local government, thus ending 151 years of state oversight. Most people wonder why the governor ever had control of the city police.[...]

Left: Members of the Jefferson Guard, a division of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police. Photograph by Byrnes Photographic Company, 1903. Missouri History Museum. Read more »

25, October 2012

Haunted History Tour Highlights Spooky St. Louis

When it comes to the morbid, eerie, and downright horrific, St. Louisans aren't scared. In fact, there are several websites dedicated to locating and compiling all the alleged shriek-inducing places in St. Louis and metro Illinois. A cursory Google search turns up a cast of regular haunts, along with some unexpected ones. The Lemp Mansion—a sort of royalty among the macabre—is likely at the top of anyone's list of places that share space with apparitions. After all, three members of the Lemp family met their demise at the home, all by their own hand.  Read more »

21, August 2012

Phyllis Diller, 1917–2012

Actress and funny girl Phyllis Diller has passed away at the age of 95. One of the first successful female comedians, she’s best known for appearances in Bob Hope films and the TV show Laugh-In. Read more »

14, August 2012

Revisiting the Willie Lynch Myth

On March 27, 2012, an unseasonably warm evening, people streamed into the Lee Auditorium of the Missouri History Museum to hear a lecture on the Willie Lynch Myth. Dr. Jelani Cobb spoke before an audience of more than 300. Shortly before the event, Dr. Read more »

20, July 2012

Archaeological Dig Is Revealing

Archaeologists in Austria have discovered four linen bras that are 600 years old. This is an important find because until now it was believed that women did not wear bras until after the age of the corset. A bra was first patented in the United States in 1914.

The medieval bra is remarkably feminine and pretty, with lace details that suggest it was used for more than support. Corsets did not usually feature aesthetic details, so it’s curious that these old bras did. Read more »

19, June 2012

National Tour of Traveling World War I Gallery at History Museum

Waddell & Reed and Ivy Funds have created an ambitious and unconventional acknowledgement of the firm’s 75th anniversary: in partnership with the National World War I Museum, a custom 18-wheel “big rig” truck has been transformed into a traveling gallery that will visit 75 communities across the country, stopping at a variety of local museums and cultural institutions to raise funds and awareness. Read more »