Special Collections

ACLU-MO History Spotlight: Privacy

By Miranda Rectenwald on June 25, 2020

Privacy Project Technology concerns began in the 1950s, over government officials listening to phone calls or surveilling private conversations. By the 1970s, more and more personal information was stored on new computer systems, both corporate and governmental. The ACLU of Eastern Missouri (as i...

ACLU-MO History Spotlight: Reproductive Freedom

By Miranda Rectenwald on June 23, 2020

Access to Abortions at City Hospital On August 16, 1974, when a St. Louis City resident (“Jane Doe”) had complicated health problems, doctors at the public City Hospital No. 1 told her to obtain a medical abortion elsewhere before returning for a needed hysterectomy. This required her to undergo ...

many colored hands raised

History Happening Now: St. Louis 2020

By Miranda Rectenwald on June 19, 2020

Do you have photographs, digital art, video, or other documentation of the protests and marches occurring in our communities? This is history happening now—and you can help save it for future generations. When we are part of important events—such as the incredible movement of humans standing up a...

4 small photos

ACLU-MO History Spotlight: Mrs. Dorothy King

By Miranda Rectenwald on June 19, 2020

War on Drugs? In 1972, 15 federal Drug Abuse Law Enforcement (D.A.L.E.) officers arrived with a search warrant for Dorothy and Gene King’s home on Emerson Avenue in St. Louis City. A few grams of heroin were found hidden in the basement drain and behind an air conditioner. Gene King and three oth...

newspaper clipping "Warning shots allowed in some municipalities"

ACLU-MO History Spotlight: Police Use of Deadly Force

By Miranda Rectenwald on June 17, 2020

Mattis Case In 1971, two teenagers—Michael Mattis (age 17) and Tomas Rolf (age 18)—were found in a golf course shed in St. Louis County. Police responded to a burglary call. In the dark, police officer Richard Schnarr ordered Mattis to stop, then fired a shot, which struck his head and killed him...

Anniversaries of Independence Virtual Celebration Takes Place July 2

By Washington University Libraries on June 10, 2020

Each year on July 4, we commemorate the founding of the United States of America and celebrate one of our most important documents: the Declaration of Independence. Washington University in St. Louis is fortunate to have a rare copy of the document on display in a special exhibition space in John...

court documents and newspaper clipping

ACLU-MO History Spotlight: LGBTQ+ Equity

By Miranda Rectenwald on June 8, 2020

LGBTQ+ Equity In 1972, the ACLU of Eastern Missouri’s new executive director, Joyce Armstrong, prioritized building relationships with local gay and lesbian groups. She spoke to the Mandrake Society, St. Louis’ first gay rights or “homophile” organization, and coordinated with leaders at the gay-...

Portrait of Dr. Venable. Caption: H.P. Venable, M.D. F.A.C.S. Asst. Instructor in Clinical Opthalmology Washington University School of Medicine; Head and Director, Department of Ophthalmology Homer G. Phillips Hospital

ACLU-MO History Spotlight: New Home for the Venable Family

By Miranda Rectenwald on June 5, 2020

Segregation in Missouri typically occurred (and occurs) by custom, rather than law. Proving that discrimination occurred, and then eliminating it, required diligent efforts by many activists. New Home for the Venable Family, 1956–1960 Dr. Howard Phillip Venable and his wife, Katie, purchased land...

Washington University Libraries Virtual Book Club

By University Libraries on June 4, 2020

      WashU Libraries Book Club goes virtual! Get comfy and join us from home as we explore titles focusing on history, medicine, travel, adventure, rare books, and literature. Virtual book clubs will be held via Zoom. Please note: Registration is required for access to the Zoom vi...

Newspaper articles about police brutality in St. Louis, from the Post-Dispatch 1990s

ACLU-MO History Spotlight: Reforms to End Police Violence

By Miranda Rectenwald on June 3, 2020

Once again, as I write about the ACLU of Missouri’s history of trying to stop police violence, I do so as I listen to news stories of protesters met with tear gas and rubber bullets. As updates scroll by on my newsfeed about a black man, already in handcuffs, murdered by a while police offi...