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19, April 2017

Curator Faves: Clothing Edition

The Missouri History Museum has a wonderful clothing and textile collection, and I've had the honor of being responsible for it for almost 17 years. Because the collection is made of up more than 18,000 pieces, it’s hard to know every single thing within it, but by working on exhibits, writing articles, giving tours, and meeting with researchers, I learn more every day. To me the collection is like a treasure trove of two of my favorite things: history and fashion. I find something I’ve never seen before almost every time I go into storage, which keeps my job interesting. Read more »

13, April 2017

Jordan Chambers: The Negro Mayor of St. Louis

In 1931 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch referred to Jordan Chambers, who held no official political office, as the Negro Mayor of St. Louis. Chambers was larger than life, a political power broker whose influence was far reaching. It was said that little happened in St. Louis politics—or in the black community in general—that Chambers didn’t somehow have a hand in. Read more »

10, April 2017

66 Through St. Louis: Crestwood Bowl

Let’s be honest: For most people, bowling falls into the just-for-kicks category, which makes it feel right at home on Route 66. These days bowling is a hobby at best, something to break up a long family road trip, an activity to do when family visits from out of town, or a relaxing way to spend a weekend night. If you were to ask most people about bowling’s place in the professional-sports world, they might laugh or shrug before readily admitting that bowling is no baseball or football, games with widely accepted greats and unmatched naturals. Read more »

6, April 2017

World War I: Missouri and the Great War

Today marks the centennial of America’s entry into World War I. Within months of the April 6, 1917, declaration of war, U.S. troops began arriving in France, factories across the nation started producing war material, and support began pouring in from the home front. Our newest exhibit, World War I: Missouri and the Great War, commemorates this significant portion of our collective history by exploring the wartime roles of Missourians and St. Louisans at home and overseas.  Read more »

4, April 2017

The Most Disgraceful Election in American Politics

One of the beautiful things about the Missouri History Museum’s Library (aside from the setting, of course), is that sometimes you can come across some pretty cool stuff by accident. While working on a long-term project of inventorying and rehousing single-issue newspapers from our collections, we recently stumbled onto some amazing headlines from the front page of The St. Louis Chronicle concerning St. Louis’s mayoral race in 1901. Read more »

30, March 2017

A Fate of Flames

St. Louis was once home to one of the largest hotels in all the world—until the unthinkable happened. Read more »

24, March 2017

Meet the Potters

St. Louis has a long tradition of cultivating both artists and avenues for delivering their work to receptive audiences. River Styx magazine, for one, has been a vessel for poetry, art, fiction, and nonfiction since 1975, presenting work from Pulitzer Prize winners, poets laureate, and novices alike. Read more »

22, March 2017

Rock 'n' Roll's Founding Father: Chuck Berry

Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry was born in a three-room cottage at 2520 Goode Avenue (now Annie Malone Drive) in the Ville, the heart of St. Louis’s black community during an era of deep-seated segregation and intense racism. In the all-black, self-contained neighborhood, Berry attended Sumner High School and sang at Antioch Baptist Church. Read more »

21, March 2017

Mighty Military Women

Women have participated in nearly every major war in this country starting as far back as the Civil War, when hundreds of women disguised themselves as men to serve as secret soldiers, and others nursed the wounded. Read more »

17, March 2017

How the Irish Found Gold in St. Louis

Unlike the experiences of Irish immigrants in nearly every other major U.S. city, the Irish who settled in St. Louis in the mid-1800s were embraced—and they thrived. The following is adapted from Rev. William Barnaby Faherty’s 2001 book The St. Louis Irish: An Unmatched Celtic Community, published by the Missouri Historical Society Press. Read more »