31, December 2014

A Fabulous New Year's Eve

How are you celebrating New Year’s Eve? Thinking back about books we’ve published at MHM, I recall many stories about New Year’s through the decades, but the one that I enjoy the most is from Gail Milissa Grant’s At the Elbows of My Elders. Read more »

24, December 2014

How Santa Got His Suit

The image of Santa Claus is widely recognizable. But how did Santa come to look as he does today? Santa’s transition began long before he started drinking cola to pull off a gift-giving round-the-world all-nighter. Santa Claus is a hybrid figure, and while he may have descended from the bishop Saint Nicholas, he has evolved into a secular figure from the influence of many people over the years.

John Pintard and Washington Irving 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 »

17, December 2014

Mid-Century St. Louis Through the Lens of the Mac Mizuki Photography Studio Collection

For the past year, I have had the great pleasure of processing the Mac Mizuki Photography Studio collection at the Museum. This collection contains negatives and other material created by Henry T. “Mac” Mizuki in the course of operating his independent photography studio. My job has been to rehouse and catalog the 1,590 separate job assignments included in the collection. Mizuki opened his studio around 1953 and remained in business until his retirement in 1985 or 1986. Read more »

13, December 2014

WWI Artifacts and Memories: Forty and Eight

At the end of World War I in November 1918, U.S. military men and women began their return home. The shared experiences and bonds formed in military service gave rise to veterans’ organizations on a local and national scale. The American Legion and the World War Veterans were both founded in 1919. In 1921 the Disabled American Veterans of the World War was formed to provide care for the more than 200,000 injured Americans returning from war, in addition to job-finding services and vocational training. Read more »

12, December 2014

Teaching about History Through Video Games

Recently, I was invited to the Wentzville Middle School by my daughter’s sixth-grade teacher to give a presentation. I was asked to discuss a blog series that I have been working on during my assistantship at the Missouri History Museum. Needless to say, this was a very exciting opportunity for me. Not only did I get to visit my daughter at school, but also I was able to discuss two areas that I am passionate about: video games and history. While I was excited, I was also very nervous. Read more »

5, December 2014

Civil War Love Letters: December 5, 1864

Conditions at Camp Sorghum were so bad that prisoners escaped nightly. James escaped shortly after writing his last letter on November 19, and spent the next two weeks walking through swamps and living with slaves on plantations. He reached the Savannah River, at which point he was not far from the army of Union general William T. Sherman. Sherman was in the midst of his March to the Sea, or Savannah Campaign, marching from Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia. On December 3, 1864, Sherman, with part of his army, was at Millen, Georgia, just south of the Savannah River. Read more »