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Past St. Louis Cardinals baseball players
Pageant and Masque crew and assorted costumed cast members with Art Hill in the distance, 1914.
11, November 2016

MIA But Not Forgotten

For those of us working at the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, Veterans Day is incredibly important to recognize, because we’re constantly surrounded by artifacts that represent the stories of St. Louisans who served in the military, as well as their families. One of the St. Read more »

9, November 2016

The Aerial Crossroads of America Is Full of Surprises

While researching and writing The Aerial Crossroads of America: St. Louis’s Lambert Airport, I encountered many surprising facets of the airport’s history. Read more »

4, November 2016

About That 1926 Willys

The day began like so many others for Mr. and Mrs. Willys. They were out on a drive through the rolling countryside when they came across a man standing in the middle of the road, motioning for them to stop. When they did, the man told them he needed to detain them for just a few minutes while a tow truck backed into the lot ahead. It was preparing to move an old vehicle buried beneath the brush in the field. Read more »

1, November 2016

No Trivial Pursuit: St. Louis's Obsession with Trivia Nights

QUESTION 1: In 1999, which Cardinal became the only player in Major League Baseball history to hit two grand slams in the same inning? (Answer at the end of this post.)

Americans have played trivia games for decades. The popularity of TV’s Jeopardy! and the board game Trivial Pursuit are testaments to our collective fascination with facts and love of a good-old-fashioned competition. Pub trivia over a couple pitchers of beer is arguably more popular than darts these days—perhaps because there's no physical mastery required! Read more »

31, October 2016

Memorial Photography in St. Louis

Today is Halloween, a day when thoughts naturally turn to the occult, the supernatural, and the otherworldly. Photos of the dead fall squarely in this category, right? Not to previous generations of Americans!

 
28, October 2016

Images in Reverse: A Look at Photographic Negatives

The photographs of the St. Louis Public Schools Collection provide a new look at St. Louis history from the viewpoint of one of the region’s oldest public school systems. The negatives alone offer over a century’s worth of memories, dating from the early 1900s into the 2000s. As one of the archivists for this collection, I’m responsible for carefully identifying the types of negatives I’m working with to ensure their proper preservation and storage. Here’s a crash course on identifying and storing photographic negatives—it may even help you with negatives you have at home! Read more »

27, October 2016

Who Stayed at 2316 Pine Street?

As a cataloger of urban architecture photos, I spend my days looking at pictures of old buildings—lots of them. That may sound boring, but when you consider the intriguing stories tucked away inside St. Louis’s historic structures, you realize it’s anything but. Read more »

26, October 2016

A Soldier’s Story

When I joined the U.S. Air Force in September 1980 via the Delayed Entry Program, I immediately discovered that being homosexual in the military wasn’t allowed. The section of my enlistment form asking me to check whether I was homosexual made that pretty clear. In spite of this, I wanted to serve my country and travel the world. I also knew this would be the best experience for me to grow, to become something on my own. Read more »

26, October 2016

Finding Aids: The Keys to Unlocking MHM's Archives

Imagine you have a great-grandmother named Ethel, and she told stories about a love affair with a World War I soldier who died on the fields of the Meuse-Argonne. They exchanged letters that remained in your family until after her death. You’d like to read them, but they’ve been donated to the Missouri History Museum, along with genealogy research, newspaper clippings, and business records. The entire donation fills 28 boxes, but you’re interested solely in great-grandma’s love letters. Read more »

26, October 2016

A Rare Baseball Find: Stars Park

Walloping bats and roaring fans were commonplace at the intersection of Compton and Market back in the 1920s thanks to Stars Park, home of the Negro National League (NNL) franchise the St. Louis Stars. Originally called the St. Louis Giants, the team got new owners, a new name, and a brand-new ballpark in 1922. At the time, Stars Park was one of few facilities in the country built especially for a Negro League team, and the Stars played there until the NNL went out of business in 1931, a casualty of the Great Depression. Read more »