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29, April 2010

After the Final Curtain

How do you safely store a fragile, 60-year-old historic backdrop that measures 22 feet high by 39 feet long? That was the challenge for the staff at the Missouri History Museum when they prepared to take down the Katherine Dunham: Beyond the Dance exhibit that closed its run in March. The backdrop, made of canvas, netting, and appliquéd materials, is from Dunham’s show Rites de Passage and depicts a jungle scene. Prior to MHM receiving the backdrop in 1991, it had been stored, tightly folded, in a wicker basket for many years. Read more »

23, April 2010

Dorothy I. Height, Civil Rights Leader, 1912–2010

Civil rights pioneer Dorothy I. Height died on April 20, 2010, at the age of 98. Height was best known as the president of the National Council of Negro Women for 40 years. For a lifetime of working for the rights of African Americans, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, in 1994. Read more »

21, April 2010

Sibling Revelry: St. Louis Celebrates 50 Years with Sister City of Stuttgart, Germany

St. Louis is celebrating its oldest sister this year, and the Missouri History Museum has been honored to be part of the festivities. In 1960, St. Louis entered into its first sister city relationship. The 50-year bond between St. Louis and Stuttgart, Germany, is being celebrated this year with a number of events and cultural exchanges.

The biggest event took place this weekend as St. Louisans welcomed Lord Mayor Wolfgang Schuster, mayor of Stuttgart since 1997. Read more »

21, April 2010

Here Art Thou Romeo and Juliet

The curtain recently opened on the New Jewish Theatre’s production of Romeo and Juliet, currently playing in the Lee Auditorium at the Missouri History Museum until May 2, 2010. Robin Weatherall has adapted William Shakespeare’s tale of star-crossed lovers, setting the story in the British Mandate of Palestine in 1947, during the war for Israeli independence. Instead of families feuding in Verona, Italy, Arabs and Jews are warring in Jerusalem, with the British mediating. Read more »

20, April 2010

Of Canaries and Coal Mines

Almost 165 years ago, my great-great-great-grandfather's home was located precisely where the Flight Cage (aviary) in the Saint Louis Zoo is today. Read more »

20, April 2010

Army Life

Army Life: From a Soldier’s Journal—Incidents, Sketches and Record of a Union Soldier’s Army Life, in Camp and Field, 1861–1864, by Albert O. Marshall. Edited and annotated by Robert G. Schultz (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2009).

Reviewed by William C. Winter

Albert O. Read more »

16, April 2010

Strong German Influence on Display in St. Louis

St. Louis is a multicultural city, and the Missouri History Museum likes to celebrate that diversity by highlighting the stories of each culture that comprises our city. In May and June, the display cases at the Museum’s Library will center on German immigration to Missouri, including some of the social customs that were introduced to the region as a result.

The Niedringhaus family arrived in St. Louis in the 1850s and soon after found a niche in business with the manufacture of granite ironware. Read more »

14, April 2010

A Brief History of...Bagnell Dam

Most St. Louisans probably don’t know that Lake of the Ozarks, where they head for summertime fun, is the source of their electricity. Bagnell Dam was constructed to impound water from the Osage River to produce electric power for St. Louis and other parts of Missouri. The resulting lake is now a major tourist attraction in the middle of the state. Its shoreline is even longer than the Pacific coastline of California, measuring 1,100 miles. In the article “Seeing the Lake from End to End” in the November 1932 issue of Union Electric Magazine , G. V. Read more »

14, April 2010

A Village Called Versailles

As part of its Community Cinema series, the Missouri History Museum is pleased to announce the upcoming screening of A Village Called Versailles at 7 p.m. on April 19, 2010, in the Lee Auditorium. Click here for more details. "Versailles" refers to Versailles Arms Apartment, a New Orleans East housing project that is home to the most ethnically dense Vietnamese population outside Vietnam. Read more »

9, April 2010

Feel Inspired?

As an intern in the Exhibitions and Research department, one of the many tasks I enjoy is collecting, reading, and cataloging visitors' comments within the exhibits. The Katherine Dunham: Beyond the Dance exhibit opened on November 2, 2008, and throughout its run at the Missouri History Museum I read the responses found in the Living Memory section of the exhibit. I was surprised at the variety of ways visitors found to express themselves in response to the prompt: "Feel inspired? Read more »