Archives

31, October 2017

Spirits in St. Louis

“The Misses Fox, the original and genuine Spirit Rappers, or Rochester Knockers are in St. Louis.” That was the headline in Glasgow, Missouri, in June 1852. Obviously eager to witness the phenomenon firsthand, the editor of the town’s Weekly Times newspaper finished the notice with a plea: “Send them up this way, gentlemen of the press.”

The “Misses Fox” to whom the article referred were sisters Kate and Maggie Fox, the unlikely founders of an obsession that swept the nation in the 1850s. Read more »

27, October 2017

The Premiere of Our EDPremier Project

We have some pretty exciting news to share: Through the generosity of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, we recently secured funding to fully process the film portion of our Epsilon-Dalzell Premier Collection. This means that for the next three years, we’ll be cleaning, repairing, and preserving thousands of rolls of film created by a company that played a major role in St. Louis’s advertising heyday. Read more »

26, October 2017

Gaines v. Canada: A Monumental Civil Rights Victory

Of the several groundbreaking civil rights cases to originate in St. Louis and reach the US Supreme Court, Gaines v. Canada ranks high. The 1938 decision struck a resounding blow to the heart of segregation in higher education. It also signaled the beginning of the end of legal segregation, which had been put in place by the High Court’s 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision that established the doctrine of “separate but equal.” Pioneering NAACP attorneys Charles Hamilton Houston and Thurgood Marshall were determined to reverse the Plessy v. Read more »

24, October 2017

Let's Go to the Movies!

Going to the movies during the Great Depression was a very exciting experience—or at least that’s what I had always thought. Granted, that assumption was based largely on the number "Let’s Go to the Movies" from the musical Annie. The historical accuracy of singing and dancing ushers aside, it’s safe to say that seeing a movie today is a very different experience from what it was in the early 1930s. Many Sievers Studio Collection photos related to the St. Louis movie theater industry illustrate this perfectly. Read more »

22, October 2017

The Importance (And Challenges) of One Red Flyer

Panoramas of the City features some pretty breathtaking objects that immediately capture your attention as you make your way through the exhibit. There’s a stunning dress from a Veiled Prophet queen, a carefully restored 1927 Ford Model T Fordor Sedan, and a collection of some of the most eye-catching medals and awards won by Charles Lindbergh. Read more »

20, October 2017

A Personal Quest to Prove St. Louis the Best

For much of the United States of America’s first century, its national capital was a half-built city in a swamp. As the country expanded westward, and particularly in the years just after the Civil War, loud voices clamored for the removal of the US capital from Washington, DC. They argued that it was simply common sense to move it to the geographic center of the country: St. Louis, Missouri. Read more »

18, October 2017

Selling a War: World War I Propaganda

American leaders faced quite the public-relations crisis after finally deciding to enter World War I in April 1917. During the preceding three years of fighting in Europe, a serious split had developed in the United States between those who favored preparedness, including former president Theodore Roosevelt, and those who supported neutrality. The latter consisted of people who believed the fight was “Europe’s War” and first- and second-generation Europeans, often Germans, who wanted to avoid conflict with their native lands. St. Read more »

12, October 2017

Hidden Gems of Our Manuscript Archives

The Missouri Historical Society's Manuscript Archives contain more than 3,000 individual collections that range in size from a single document to 1,800 boxes full of documents. The vast array of material makes it difficult, if not impossible, for us archivists to know what’s in all of them. However, through our two primary tasks—processing collections and assisting researchers—we get to know the collections better.  Read more »