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23, June 2010

Pass the History, Please

Handed down from grandmother to daughter to granddaughter, our china cabinet at home contains odds and ends from different generations of Rebacheks and Kochs. Among these oddities is a set of salt and pepper shakers, small black china kittens with bows and sparkles, probably made in the 1950s. Read more »

21, June 2010

Pocket Treasures

One of the side benefits of rehousing our special collections material is that we find wonderful little treasures. We have a three-volume set of books, The expeditions of Zebulon Montgomery Pike, to headwaters of the Mississippi River, through Louisiana Territory, and in New Spain, during the years 1805–6–7. The volumes were published in 1895. We were making phase boxes (protective two-piece boxes or enclosures, made out of heavy stock paper) for them when a volunteer started pulling out maps from a pocket in the third volume. Each map was folded down into 4" x 7" dimensions. Read more »

17, June 2010

Gallaudet School for the Deaf Closes

Gallaudet School for the Deaf has closed as St. Louis Public Schools shutters six schools in an effort to save money. For the first time in 131 years, St. Louis will be without a public school for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. The 69 students will be integrated into traditional schools, which many, including special education chief Chip Jones, believe serves them better. Read more »

16, June 2010

A Prince Among Slaves

Mark your calendars for a fascinating documentary about the story of an African prince enslaved in Mississippi in the 18th century. At 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 24, The Missouri History Museum will screen Prince Among Slaves in its Lee Auditorium. Read more »

15, June 2010

Whirlwind: The Air War Against Japan, 1942–1945

By Barrett Tillman (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010)

Reviewed by Earl K. Dille

Whirlwind: The Air War Against Japan tells the story of the end of World War II, and it is brilliantly researched and told by Mr. Read more »

10, June 2010

Discovering St. Louis—Rites of Culture

Throughout the year the Missouri History Museum offers Discovery Tours, a series of themed and customized tours of sites in and around St. Louis and Missouri. These programs can be half-day or full-day experiences and are a great way to immerse yourself in our region's rich history. The next Discovery Tour is "Rites of Culture: A World of Catholicism," on Saturday, July 10. Inspired by the current Vatican Splendorsexhibit, the program will focus on the Catholic religion in St. Read more »

8, June 2010

A Brief History of…Beer in St. Louis

St. Louis has been in the brewing business for 200 years. Neighborhood breweries sprung up across the city throughout the 19th century. Before refrigeration, ice from the Mississippi River was placed in the caves to provide the constant cool temperatures needed to brew and store beer. Since beer was most often distributed by horse-drawn wagons, the early breweries tended to serve a neighborhood clientele via the local saloons and taverns.

In 1848, St. Louis city directories named 16 breweries throughout the city. Two years later there were 24 breweries. Read more »

7, June 2010

Zoo Conversations—Looking to the Future

The Missouri History Museum will host the final installment of the Zoo Conversations series this Thursday. The free event will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Museum’s Lee Auditorium. Dr. Robert Archibald, president of the Missouri History Museum, will sit down with Dr. Jeffrey Bonner, Dana Brown President and CEO of the Saint Louis Zoo, to ask him about the future of the Saint Louis Zoo and zoos in general. Dr. Bonner became president of the Saint Louis Zoo in 2002 and has been instrumental in focusing the Zoo’s conservation efforts around the globe. Read more »

4, June 2010

A. E. Hotchner Recounts Friendship with Paul Newman

St. Louis native and Missouri History Museum author A. E. Hotchner (The Boyhood Memoirs of A. E. Hotchner: King of the Hill and Looking for Miracles) is receiving wonderful reviews for his latest book, Paul and Me: 53 Years of Adventures and Misadventures with My Pal Paul Newman. Read more »

26, May 2010

The Facebook of the 1860s

I was recently researching cartes de visite, because there are so many in the History Museum’s collections. I learned that people in the 1860s voraciously collected and traded these photographs (descendants of the calling card) and displayed them in albums in their parlors. The trend began in the 1850s and lasted into the 1920s, becoming very popular during the Civil War. Read more »