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1, December 2017

William Carr Lane: St. Louis's First Mayor

William Carr Lane had a restless nature, floating from academic studies, to work, to militia fighting, to medicine. Eventually, President James Madison appointed him as “garrison surgeon’s mate” at Fort Belle Fontaine, north of St. Louis. Lane served there until 1819, when he settled in St. Louis. By this time, Lane was nearly 30, and although he maintained a continuous medical practice and served as chairman of the Department of Obstetrics at Kemper College, he began to turn more of his attention toward public office. 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 »

24, August 2017

Our Burning Love for Nitrate Film

The end of August marks the halfway point for our Picturing 1930s St. Louis project. For almost a full year now we’ve been going through all the remaining negatives created by the Sievers Studio during the 1930s. We’ve found lots of great images, learned some interesting facts about the photographers who created them, and gotten a glimpse of what St. Louis was like during the early part of that decade. We’ve also achieved an important project goal: We’ve identified and cataloged all of the nitrate film. Read more »

14, August 2017

History in the Heavens

It’s a rare day I’d say this, but on the early afternoon of August 21, I really hope you’re NOT inside the Missouri History Museum. In fact, I hope you’re not even in Forest Park! If you are, you’ll miss the history happening outside. Read more »

8, February 2017

Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City

America’s cities are sources of controversy. Some people see them as places where the American dream has gone to die; others celebrate them as places where the American dream is alive and thriving.

How did communities that were once the sites of such promise—especially St. Louis—become ground zero for seemingly every major ongoing political conflict? Mapping Decline, a new traveling exhibit created by the Missouri History Museum and the Missouri Humanities Council, provides some much-needed historical perspective on this very question. Read more »

13, August 2016

150th Staff Spotlights: Part 2

Over the past 150 years, the Missouri Historical Society (which operates the Missouri History Museum and the Museum's Library and Research Center) has been fortunate to count numerous passionate and dedicated people in its ranks. Here's your chance to meet a few of the folks who keep the Museum and the LRC up and running. Read more »

12, August 2016

150th Staff Spotlights: Part 1

Over the past 150 years, the Missouri Historical Society (which operates the Missouri History Museum and the Museum's Library and Research Center) has been fortunate to count numerous passionate and dedicated people in its ranks. Here's your chance to meet a few of the folks who keep the Museum and the LRC up and running. Read more »

10, August 2016

Missouri Historical Society: The Last 50 Years

The Missouri Historical Society celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2016. This is the second in a three-part series on the organization's history. You can read the first installment here and the second installment here. Read more »

21, January 2013

Dr. King's Short Visit Left Legacy at Museum Library

Like many other cities in the United States, St. Louis has monuments to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: a bridge, a major street, a school, a statue in Fountain Park. It also has historic connections to him, including at the Missouri History Museum's Library and Research Center on Skinker Boulevard, which was once home to the United Hebrew Congregation.

On November 27, 1960, the civil rights leader spoke at the United Hebrew temple. Years later, when Museum staff members were discussing the purchase of the building, Rabbi Jerome Grollman shared the story of his meeting with Dr. King. Read more »

14, June 2012

An Unusual Find: Stories from the Library and Archives

Over the years, I have heard people speak of the Home Defender newspaper in a derogatory way. I had never looked at it myself until one day when a copy of it happened to turn up in front of me. It was the Dec. 11, 1915, edition, and I thought I would take a look. The Home Defender defended restrictive covenants in housing. A vote on the issue was coming up on Feb. 29, 1916, and the paper was encouraging people to vote for the restrictive covenants. Read more »