St. Louis History

Using Visual Primary Sources

By Miranda Rectenwald on October 29, 2014

A close visual “reading” of photographs and other visual materials is an excellent activity for students of all levels, from K-12 to higher education.  This focuses students on seeing what is there (and not there) and then considering critically what it means — this could be  do...

Some Sidelights on the Steedman Fellowship, its Benefactors and its Beneficiaries

By Esley Hamilton, architectural historian on September 3, 2014

An entertaining article about Victor Gilbertson appeared in the Fall/Winter 2013 issue of The Confluence, the regional studies journal of Lindenwood University.  ” ‘Everything May Yet Turn Out All Right’: An Architect’s Adventures in 1939-40 Europe,” by Miranda Rectenwald, tells how G...

A Fair 4th of July

By Miranda Rectenwald on July 4, 2014

St. Louis & a Fair 4th of July Fireworks, parades, and fair festivities have a long history in St. Louis, although for much of the 19th century the largest events were held in the Fall, rather than the height of summer.   And while today’s Fair St. Louis parade and events are held ...

Washington University Alumni Day at the World’s Fair: 100 Years Ago

By Lillian Blotkamp, Graduate Student worker on June 16, 2014

June 16th, 1904, Commencement Day, was designated by the World’s Fair authorities as Washington University Alumni Day. The Alumni Bulletin of 1904 called for “a general rallying of all friends of the University in Festival Hall” and noted that “this hall seats 3,500, and it is desired that it be ...

Happy Birthday St. Louis

By MGHL Staff on February 20, 2014

The City of St. Louis turns 250 years old during 2014.  Since historians do not know the official date of the city’s founding, it was decided to start the year-long celebration this February.  In honor of this celebration, Modern Graphic History Library, a part of Washington University in S...

WU and the Beginning of Educational TV in St. Louis

By Lillian Blotkamp, Graduate Student Assistant on September 20, 2013

St. Louis’ educational television station, KETC Channel 9, made its first broadcast on  September 20th, 1954 — fifty-nine years ago today.   It operated from a small, temporary studio in the women’s gymnasium at  McMillan Hall.  The beginning of regular broadcasts marked the completion of a...

Travel Grant Recipient’s Research in the St. Louis Mayors’ collections

By Sonya Rooney, University Archivist & Mo Speller, WU Department of Special Collections Travel Grant Recipient on July 10, 2013

Mo Speller is a PhD candidate in History at Johns Hopkins University whose research is focused on 19th and 20th century U.S. History.  Mo is a recipient of one of the Department of Special Collections Travel Grants.  In this post, University Archivist Sonya Rooney interviews Mo regarding his rese...

Public School Reform in Wartime: From the Desk of William Greenleaf Eliot

By Bianca Lopez, PhD candidate in History on June 12, 2013

In 1861, St. Louis’s public school system was threatened by the outbreak of the Civil War. As a member of the school district’s board of directors, William Greenleaf Eliot wrote to its president, Edward Wyman, and asked that he keep the schools open during wartime. As it turns out, the schools ha...

Women’s Education: From the Desk of William Greenleaf Eliot

By Lillian Blotkamp, Graduate student worker on May 24, 2013

In December of 1870, William Greenleaf Eliot penned the following thoughts in his journal, which he jotted down after writing a speech on women’s education at the Missouri State Teachers’ Conference. He wrote, “We cannot now turn back, and having now admitted all the destructive powers of ignoran...

Religion and the Civil War: From the Desk of William Greenleaf Eliot

By Bianca Lopez, PhD candidate in History on April 10, 2013

In the days and months leading up to the Civil War, Missouri was torn by the decision of whether or not to secede from the Union. As a slave-holding border state with a population divided over slavery, it had no easily discernible political alliances. Many of St. Louis’s inhabitants owned slaves ...