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6, March 2010

The Battle of Pea Ridge

March 6 marks the start of the anniversary of the Civil War battle of Pea Ridge, which took place over three days in 1862 in northwest Arkansas. Among those who participated in the battle was Henry Voelkner, a German-born Union soldier who served in an artillery unit organized in St. Louis. Voelkner wrote several letters (in German) to his family describing his experiences during the war. Here's a translation of his account of the Battle of Pea Ridge. This is one of hundreds of Civil War letters in the Missouri History Museum Archives. Read more »

2, March 2010

Charles Lindbergh's Boulevard and the Drive to Rename It

Recently, Missouri state senator Ryan McKenna proposed to rename a portion of Lindbergh Boulevard in honor of the late Dave Sinclair, a well-known car dealer in St. Louis. A look back through St. Louis history reveals that Lindbergh Boulevard has gone through a number of proposed name changes. Today, the stretch of Lindbergh running through Kirkwood bears the name Kirkwood Road. But residents of this west St. Louis County community may be surprised to learn that their town’s namesake road once bore the name Webster Avenue! Skeptical? Read more »

1, March 2010

A Brief History of…the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners

Every now and then there is a call to abolish the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners and give control of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to the mayor’s office. This system goes back to the “metropolitan police” bill of March 1861, which established four residents of St. Louis as police commissioners with the mayor as the fifth member. Members would be appointed by the governor (at the time, Claiborne Fox Jackson) and paid $1,000 per year of their four-year term, according to Allen E. Wagner’s book Good Order and Safety: A History of the St. Read more »

26, February 2010

MO Education Commissioner Signs Partnership Agreement With Lyon, France

On February 24, 2010, the French Ambassador to the United States, education officials from Lyon, France, and Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro signed a historic agreement intended to build ties between educators and students in France and Missouri. Read more »

24, February 2010

The Civil War Digitization Project

Since the fall of 2008, MHM staff and a fleet of dedicated interns have been hard at work cataloging and digitizing all of our photographs and prints of the Civil War era in preparation for an upcoming exhibit on the history of the war in Missouri. So far we’ve cataloged over 2,000 images, including photographs of soldiers, lithographs of battle scenes, and engravings of St. Louis and Missouri events from national magazines like Harper’s Weekly. Read more »

15, February 2010

“The World Progresses”: The High-Speed Train Foretold

In the news this week is a stimulus plan giving $1.1 billion to Illinois to prepare a 110-mile-per-hour train between St. Louis and Chicago. Currently operating at 79 miles per hour, trains would be able to make the trip in 4 hours, down from 5.5 hours.

This idea has been brought up before. According to an article in the St. Read more »

15, February 2010

Charcoal Drawing of Corp. Elijah Madison, after 1864

Born into slavery in 1841 on a plantation near the present-day site of Babler State Park, Elijah Madison probably earned his freedom at the height of the Civil War when Federal recruiters announced that the U.S. Army would accept any able-bodied man of African descent into its ranks. Read more »

9, February 2010

“Hey, Don’t I Know You from Somewhere?”

Story by Barnes M. Bradshaw

Community Education and Events, Missouri History Museum

It seems no matter where we are in St. Louis City or County there is a good chance that we will run into somebody we know. Read more »

8, February 2010

Charles Deas and 1840s America

by Carol Clark (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, in cooperation with the Denver Art Museum, October 2009)

Reviewed by Jeffrey Smith, Professor of History, Lindenwood University, St. Charles, Missouri

This must have been a difficult book to write. Read more »

8, February 2010

Archives—No Wrong Answers in Love

Long before single people began searching for their love match through online dating services, data research companies existed to help the lovelorn weed through the masses. In particular, in the late 1960s, two companies in St. Louis—Data-Mate, Inc. and Computer Data Research Corporation—developed personality questionnaires to assist in locating "ideal" matches.

For $5, a man or woman would complete the Computer Data Research Group questionnaire, send it in, and then wait anxiously for the postman to deliver the important envelope containing a customized list of matches. Read more »