Missouri State Historical Society, News Roundup, University of Missouri

News: Highlights of Historical Society building and marking ROTC 150th year

May 13, 2019 — New Historical Society building will connect Missourians to a rich past. Source: Columbia Missourian. Summary: The new headquarters for the State Historical Society of Missouri on Elm Street will open this summer. It will be 76,000 feet, double its old home in Ellis Library at MU. The $35 million building includes exterior limestone quarried in Missouri. It was designed by Gould Evans, a Kansas City architectural firm.

May 10, 2019 — With expanded veterans center, MU celebrates campus ROTC. Source: Columbia Missourian. Summary: The review of members of the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force, an annual event, this year marked the 150th year of ROTC at MU.

Columbia Historic Preservation Commission, Events, Get involved, Historic Preservation Commission, Missouri Preservation, Missouri State Historical Society

Events: African American newspapers, National Register changes, State preservation conference

Mark your calendar:

  • 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 30 — The African American Press in Missouri, a lecture about African American newspapers in Missouri. The presentation will be given by Debra Foster Greene, Lincoln University professor emerita of history. From 1875 to 1970, Missouri had more than 60 black-owned newspapers. The event is free and will be held in the Stotler Lounge in the Memorial Student Union. It will start with light refreshment at 6 p.m., with the lecture at 6:30 p.m. and an opportunity to meet Greene at 7:30 p.m. This event is sponsored by the State Historical Society of Missouri.
  • 11:59 p.m. (E.T.) Tuesday, April 30 — Deadline to comment on changes to the National Register of Historic Places. According to this April 26, 2019 article in Forbes magazine, new rules are to be put in place that will make it more difficult to have places placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Being on the Register does not protect a property fro demolition, but it can make it eligible for tax incentives. The two changes call for making it possible for one landowner within an area to “override the consensus of the population of an entire district.” It would also change the rules for nominating properties that are controlled by Federal agencies, making it impossible for local agencies to “advocate for sites within their own communities.”
  • 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, 2019 — The Historic Preservation Commission of the city of Columbia will hold its regular monthly meeting in Conference Room 1B in City Hall at 701 E. Broadway. The HPC is designed to educate and inform the community about the city’s “historical, archeological and architectural heritage,” according to the city’s website. The HPC also “investigates and recommends to the Council the adoption of ordinances…” Meetings of the HPC are open to the public.
  • June 19-21, 2019 — Registration for the Missouri Preservation’s annual conference is open. The event will be held in St. Joseph, Missouri and work sessions range from saving brick buildings to tax credits to window restoration and repair. The event is $75 for one day, $150 for two days and $230 for the entire event. Missouri Preservation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to education, advocation and assistance. Transparency note: I attended this event last year and found it education and valuable.
Black History, Get involved, Missouri State Historical Society

Political name calling circa 1862

Sometimes it’s interesting to know whatever is going on today has happened before including the namecalling of today’s politics.

Here’s an image of a Sept. 15, 1862 document, General Order No. 1, signed by Odon Guitar of Columbia.

Government Document General Order dated Sept. 15, 1862, requiring people to report for military duty.
Government Document General Order dated Sept. 15, 1862, requiring people to report for military duty.

In this document, Guitar states that anyone who does not report to military duty “will be regarded and treated as in active rebellion against the Government and in sympathy with the marauders and robbers who now infest the country.”

Marauder and robbers? Strong words for strong times.

Sometimes the Civil War seems so long ago how could it have anything to do with today.

But if you’ve ever noticed the inequity of graduation rates, unemployment, health outcomes, you’ve seen the results of the cause of the Civil War. And just as our country acknowledges the losses in battles with memorials so we never forget, we need to know our history in order to understand what’s going on today in our society.

Want to learn more about the Civil War in Missouri?

The State Historical Society of Missouri recent publicized a new resource on its website, American Civil War in Missouri: It offers links and a search engine to resources about Missouri during the Civil War. For example, here is a link to Regions in Missouri, then the Central counties, including Boone County. Under Boone County, you can learn when the county was founded, Nov. 16, 1820, and how many slaves were part of our population in 1850 and 1860. (About a third of the population.)

I know I can’t imagine what it would be like to have a history of ownership or being owned in my history. All of my family immigrated to the U.S. in the 1910s, yet I know this history of my country affects me every day

If you want to explore local history in the Civil War, this online resource includes a list of manuscript collections, including those of Odon Guitar of Columbia. By the end of the war, he was a colonel.

Yet, most of those who served were more like James L. Matthews, a name most of us don’t know. You can read a letter James L. Matthews wrote to his wife Fannie on Dec. 1, 1862, here in another manuscript collection, the Matthews Family Papers. In the letter, he writes about how much he misses her and how he’s sure she is anxious for him. He seems like an ordinary person, yet he’s living in extraordinary times.

Perhaps that’s how we’ll look back on the politics of today.