Registration is now open for the Tuesday, February 2, 11 a.m., live program on Zoom: Missouri 2021 Presents, which will feature the art projects happening for the bicentennial. The series if free, but you need to register here.
Professional and amateur artists of all ages are expressing their work in creative ways to commemorate Missouri’s 200 years of statehood. Join us for a live presentation on collaborative projects across the state, including Missouri Art Now traveling exhibition featuring works of 60 Missouri artists; an update on the Missouri Bicentennial mural that invites Missourians of any age or ability to paint on a 30-foot canvas; and learn about the Missouri Remembers project, a free, online resource documenting artists who lived in or spent part of their career within Missouri. We’ll also share information on the finalist drawings of the Bicentennial Poster contest that are being shaped into the official poster by Hallmark Creative Marketing Studio. And, more!
Panelists include: Amelia Nelson, head of Library and Archives, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City; John Knuteson with the Missouri Remembers Project at the St. Louis Public Library; Jill Sullivan, executive director of Post Art Library in Joplin; and artists Barb Bailey and Aaron Horrell of the Painted Wren Art Gallery in Cape Girardeau, who came up with the idea and have been reaching out to all Missourians who want to participate in the painting of the bicentennial mural.
By Gary R. Kremer, Executive Director, State Historical Society of Missouri, Dec. 8, 2020
The year 2021 marks the 200th anniversary of statehood for Missouri—Aug. 10, to be exact. Almost seven years ago, the 97th Missouri General Assembly put the State Historical Society of Missouri in charge of planning statewide commemorations of the bicentennial. Since that time, we have visited Missourians in each county in the state, listening to how their communities would like to celebrate this milestone in Missouri’s history. Now, this momentous year is almost upon us.
The year, 2020, leading up to our 200th year has certainly been a memorable one, as our world fights a deadly pandemic. One hundred years ago, Missouri celebrated its centennial that came a few short years after another lethal virus, the 1918 Flu Pandemic, infected about 500 million people. The world was also recovering from a war that took the lives of 40 million soldiers and civilians.
Resiliency is a word that quickly comes to mind as we look back in history while trying to chart a course for tomorrow. And, we find this inner strength by looking no further than the place we call home.
In his book, Following the Equator, published in 1897, one of Missouri’s most famous sons, the inestimable Mark Twain, wrote: “All that goes to make the me in me began in a Missouri village . . .” I feel the same way. Missouri is a place that I have always called home, as have four generations of my family who preceded me here. It is a place that has alternately confounded and comforted me, which has both excited and exasperated me. Most of all, it is a place that has endlessly intrigued me.
One of the things that intrigues me most about Missouri is its diversity. To understand this point, one need look no farther than the multiple landscapes our state offers: the delta of southeast Missouri, the Ozarks hills of the southwest, the prairie lands of the state’s western border, and the rich farmland of the rolling hills north of the Missouri River. These regions are as different as the people who occupy them, as different as the people they have produced. St. Louis and Kansas City may both be major Midwestern urban centers, but they are as different as night and day. We, Missourians, embody and exemplify the complexity and diversity of this great nation; our diversity is an attribute meant to be celebrated.
There is much to celebrate and to commemorate in calling to mind our rich collective history over the span of two centuries. The bicentennial offers an opportunity for exploring and promoting the rich history and multiple cultures of Missouri’s local communities, counties and regions, while simultaneously preparing a dynamic economic, social, and cultural future for the people of this state. It is our intent that the bicentennial commemoration become a path to a “usable past,” one which guides our citizens’ decision-making in the present and into the future.
There is a basic question that we hope Missourians will address over the course of the upcoming bicentennial year: what does it mean to be a Missourian, AND, how has that meaning changed over time?
The simple answer to that question, of course, is, “It depends!” It depends on where you lived, and when, and how you made your living. It depends on whether you were male or female, and what your race, ethnicity, religion and level of education was. It depends on whether you lived on a farm, in a mining camp or a village, or in a city.
That is why our state’s bicentennial commemoration is a truly statewide, grassroots series of events that involve Missourians from all 114 counties and the independent City of St. Louis. We must somehow capture all of these different “Missourees” and “Missourahs” as we move to celebrate. So far, more than 100 local, regional, and statewide projects are underway to commemorate our 200th birthday. We continue to encourage and invite individuals, communities, and organizations to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Please visit our website Missouri2021.org to learn about the variety of activities, up-to-date calendar of events, and how you can be involved.
Missouri is our home, a place that has shaped who we are, a place that has, in return, given us the means to shape its future, and our own. The year 2021 will be an important time to be a Missourian and if we see an end to the COVID-19 Flu pandemic, which we hope with the distribution of vaccines, it will give Missourians a chance to come together in celebration.
Gary R. Kremer is the Executive Director of the State Historical Society of Missouri, which is in charge of coordinating Missouri’s bicentennial in 2021. Visit Missouri2021.org to learn more about the projects and events to commemorate Missouri’s 200th anniversary of statehood.
Contact info: Beth Pike, Sr. Strategic Communications Associate, Missouri 2021, State Historical Society of Missouri, firstname.lastname@example.org; 573-881-4464 cell.
COLUMBIA, MO, Nov. 19, 2020 – Missouri 2021 is rolling out a new virtual program series that focuses on the programs and events happening in Missouri to commemorate the state’s 200th anniversary of statehood. Leading up to the Aug. 10, 2021, anniversary day of statehood, Missouri 2021 invites the public to take part in live programming on Zoom the first Tuesdays at 11 a.m. beginning December 2020, through July 2021. Each month will feature a different subject with guests from the more than 100 local, regional and statewide projects and events.
The first program Dec. 1, 11, a.m., will feature a preview of activities planned for Missouri’s bicentennial year. At this time, events are being planned in person, as well as virtual and hybrid formats depending upon the public’s safety during the pandemic. Michael Sweeney, coordinator of Missouri 2021 will give an overview of the projects and events across the state to commemorate Missouri’s 200th birthday.
“There are many exciting projects and events already being planned next year, along with new projects that will soon be announced,” said Sweeney. “It’s a wonderful way for Missourians to come together to showcase the vast geographic and cultural diversity of the state while celebrating the similarities that bring us together.”
A special prize give-away of Missouri bicentennial promotional items will be given out to persons who register for the free, virtual program. To register for Missouri 2021 Presents: First Tuesdays at 11 a.m. visit https://shsmo.org/events/2020/mo2021-presents-dec Registration is required.
The mission of Missouri 2021 is to promote a better understanding of Missouri and its regions, communities and people, both past and present. The Missouri Bicentennial provides opportunities for citizens to celebrate, explore, and share perspectives on the state’s rich history and culture. For more information on Missouri’s bicentennial, visit missouri2021.org.
Editors Note: The U.S. Postal Service circulated this post on November 17. Our particular focus is on the Missouri Statehood stamp, however, a link to the full press release can be found below.
WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Postal Service today revealed several new stamps to be issued in 2021.
“A handwritten letter shows the recipient how much you care. The stamp you choose to adorn your envelope adds an extra important touch,” said U.S. Postal Service Stamp Services Director William Gicker. “The new 2021 stamps are designed to look beautiful on your envelopes, to be educational and to appeal to collectors and pen pals around the world. As always, the program offers a variety of subjects celebrating American culture and history, and this year, we made a special effort to include a little fun.”
The 2021 stamp program commemorates Missouri statehood, Japanese Americans who fought in World War II and Chien-Shiung Wu, one of the most influential American nuclear physicists of the 20th century. Fun issuances include Western Wear, Backyard Games, Espresso Drinks, a stamp showcasing a visual riddle, and four Message Monster stamps with self-adhesive accessories. The program also includes Mid-Atlantic Lighthouses, the last of the popular Lighthouse stamp series.
This stamp celebrates the bicentennial of Missouri statehood. Missouri became the 24th state in the Union on Aug. 10, 1821. The stamp art is an existing photograph of Bollinger Mill State Historic Site by noted landscape photographer Charles Gurche. Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp.
This is a partial list of the 2021 stamp program. All stamp designs are preliminary and subject to change. Full release HERE.
COLUMBIA, MISSOURI, Sept. 29, 2020 – Missouri students in grades 3-12 have until Oct. 31. 2020 to submit their poster design to commemorate Missouri’s bicentennial in 2021. Judges representing the Missouri Bicentennial Commission will select four posters to commemorate Missouri’s bicentennial of statehood. Selected posters will best interpret the theme: Sharing Missouri’s stories: past, present and future.
Each student entry must be sponsored by an eligible institution, which includes public and private schools, home-school networks, nonprofit arts agencies, cultural heritage institutions and public libraries. The commission welcomes sponsoring organizations to help facilitate the contest while some students are learning remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Complete guidelines and the online submission form can be found at missouri2021.org/bicentennial-poster.
Judges will select four final designs including two from grades 3-6 and two from grades 7-12. Each winner will receive $200 and will be recognized at the poster unveiling ceremony. The Bicentennial Commission is partnering with Hallmark Creative Marketing Studio to develop the selected posters into their final format.
Vinnorma Shaw’s 1921 poster for the Missouri Centennial Exposition at the Missouri State Fair is an iconic reminder of the Missouri Centennial commemoration. Likewise, the final designs chosen by the Missouri Bicentennial Commission will serve as a lasting reminder of the bicentennial. Students, teachers, and parents can find educational materials related to the centennial poster at the website for the Bicentennial Poster page.
Missouri 2021 is a statewide initiative of the State Historical Society of Missouri to promote a better understanding of Missouri and its regions, communities and people, both past and present. Keep updated on all Missouri 2021 happenings at missouri2021.org and by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @missouri2021.
COLUMBIA, MO, Oct. 6, 2020 - Amateur and professional photographers from mid Missouri and across the state are represented in the current exhibition My Missouri 2021 now on display at the State Historical Society of Missouri. The 16, 8-foot long panels feature a selection of the images chosen for the bicentennial photo contest and capture Missouri in all four seasons: fall, winter, spring and summer. More than 1000 entries were received in the photo contest with 200 images chosen for the My Missouri 2021 project that is also available online in a digital exhibition at https://missouri2021.org/my-missouri-2021-digital-exhibition/. “All photographs on display for the My Missouri 2021 exhibition were carefully selected to represent the unique aspects of Missouri’s physical and cultural landscape. The selected photographs are a wonderful representation of the unique geographical and cultural diversity of the state,” said Michael Sweeney, bicentennial coordinator for the State Historical Society of Missouri. The photo display is traveling around the state for the public to safely view during the pandemic. Mid-Missouri residents can stop by to see the free exhibit during regular visiting hours in the main lobby of the State Historical Society of Missouri, 605 Elm St., Tuesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Facial masks are required while visiting the State Historical Society during the pandemic. Free parking is available on-site. The exhibit runs through Oct. 31 in Columbia before it travels to Kirksville where it will be on display at the Sue Ross Art Center from Nov. 4 – 23. Shelter Insurance is the platinum sponsor of the traveling exhibition designed by PRO Expo Exhibits of St. Louis, the gold sponsor for the show. The exhibit is also supported by contributors to the State Historical Society of Missouri. The State Historical Society of Missouri is the premier research center for the study of Missouri state and local history. Under the Missouri 2021 banner, SHSMO is coordinating a bicentennial commemoration in collaboration with local and statewide entities. The mission of Missouri 2021 is to promote a better understanding of Missouri and its regions, communities and people, both past and present. Learn more about Missouri’s bicentennial activities at missour2021.org
My Missouri 2021 Photo Exhibition at State Historical Society of Missouri through Oct. 31
COLUMBIA, MO, Sept. 16, 2020 – The Public Television Association of Missouri (PTAM) has joined the Missouri Bicentennial Alliance with plans to produce programming to commemorate the 200 years of statehood. The four PBS stations in Missouri provide high-quality, informative and engaging programs for citizens of all ages, and for this project, the stations will add local voices from their respective communities to tell the wider story of Missouri in the next year.
PTAM is composed of Ozarks Public TV, based in Springfield, Kansas City PBS, Nine Network of St. Louis and KMOS-TV, located in Warrensburg. Each station serves Missouri citizens with non-commercial programming, community engagement, educational and other services in accordance with the needs of their respective communities.
PTAM is working collaboratively on a historical documentary about Missouri, and each station will also produce local elements for the others to broadcast and share online. The Bicentennial Alliance welcomes PTAM’s efforts to produce special programs related to our state’s unique history and culture that will entertain, educate, and inform Missourians during the 2021 year.
COLUMBIA, MO, Sept. 9, 2020 – The State Historical Society of Missouri and the Saint Louis Ambassadors are teaming up to develop a bicentennial time capsule with a goal to collect items that document Missouri’s past, present and future. The two organizations are asking for public participation in this project.
“Missouri’s bicentennial is an important time for Missourians to look back on our past and use this moment to come together for a better future,” said Richard T. Pisani, President of the Saint Louis Ambassadors, an all-volunteer organization that began when the Gateway Arch neared completion. The organization’s co-founder and chairman, Cicardi A. Bruce, added, “The time capsule will preserve the memories and moments 200 years later when the westward expansion of our nation ushered in the 24th state of Missouri into the union.”
Organizations, institutions, businesses, as well as local and state government agencies in Missouri are invited to participate by contributing three items: one to represent their past, one to represent their present, and a note to future Missourians. Items should measure no larger than 8.5 x 14 inches – i.e., no larger than legal size paper – and combined be no more than a quarter-inch thick. All submissions need to be in printed form and not electronic.
An online registration form is required for all submissions and items should be mailed to the following address:
The State Historical Society of Missouri
Attn: Time Capsule
605 Elm Street
Columbia, MO 65201
All participants will be notified of their successful submission and receive a certificate for participating in the time capsule. Contributions will be accepted through Aug. 10, 2021, and an event to commemorate the time capsule will be held August 27, 2021 in St. Louis. Once sealed, the time capsule will be housed at the State Historical Society of Missouri until Aug. 10, 2046, when it will be reopened and shared with the public 25 years later.
The State Historical Society of Missouri is the premier research center for the study of Missouri state and local history. Under the Missouri 2021 banner, SHSMO is coordinating a bicentennial commemoration in collaboration with local and statewide entities. The mission of Missouri 2021 is to promote a better understanding of Missouri and its regions, communities and people, both past and present.
Missouri State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (MSSDAR) Named Newest Member of Bicentennial Alliance
Missouri 2021 is excited to announce that the Missouri State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (MSSDAR) as the newest member of the Bicentennial Alliance. MSSDAR will offer a new and diverse audience who are passionate about sharing Missouri’s history and eager to make a difference for the future of the state. MSSDAR will play an important role in assisting the State Historical Society of Missouri and other Alliance members with Missouri Bicentennial celebrations.
“MSSDAR is thrilled to partner with Missouri 2021,” said Joan Magee, State Regent of MSSDAR. “ Since its founding in 1894, MSSDAR has had a long commitment in service to our great state. Arrow Rock State Historical Site (the Old Tavern) resulted from the DAR’s efforts to preserve the old tavern. Today, Missouri DAR owns and maintains Cold Water Cemetery, the oldest Protestant cemetery west of the Mississippi, located in Florissant, MO. Patriots who fought in our wars have been buried in Cold Water Cemetery—among them are heroes from not only the American Revolutionary War but every American War, including the War of 1812, WWI and WWII.”
MSSDAR participation in the Bicentennial will include identifying and documenting quality activities throughout the state such as events at the Madonna of the Trail, Cold Water Cemetery, Arrow Rock, and Rosyln Heights.
“Missouri Daughters have been marking historical trails and sites since the early 1900s as a way of preserving our rich Missouri history,” said Caroline Greene, MSSDAR State Historian. “The Madonna of the Trail monument, located in Lexington, MO, is one of twelve identical statues dedicated to pioneer women in the United States, marking the historic National Old Trails Road from Cumberland, Maryland, to Upland, California.”
Additionally, the organization provides annual education scholarships, recognizes outstanding Missouri teachers and local high school ROTC chapters, supports local veterans’ homes, as well as cleans and marks historic trails.
“DAR’s commitment to preserving and celebrating history makes them an exceptional partner for this commemoration,” said Bicentennial Coordinator, Michael Sweeney.
The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism. Its members are descended from the patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War. With more than 185,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations. DAR members are committed to volunteer service having served more than 12.5 million hours in communities throughout the world during the past three years. To learn more about the work of MSSDAR, visit www.MSSDAR.org or connect with DAR on social media on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – @TodaysDAR.
The Bicentennial Alliance is a coalition of statewide non-profit organizations and government agencies working together to develop and promote statewide projects commemorating the Missouri Bicentennial. Learn more about the Bicentennial Alliance and the bicentennial at https://missouri2021.org/bicentennial-alliance
Missouri 2021 is excited to announce Missouri State University as the newest member of the Bicentennial Alliance. MSU brings new supporters for Missouri’s Bicentennial, including higher education faculty, staff, and students from across Missouri and the United States.
“Missouri State University is honored to partner with the Bicentennial Alliance to celebrate our past, present and future,” said Lori Fan, Executive Director of Alumni Relations
Founded in 1905 as the Fourth District Normal School, Missouri State University (MSU) has played a significant role in the state’s progress, innovation, and creativity. To commemorate the Missouri Bicentennial, MSU will host a series of publicly available webinars beginning January 2021 to explore and contemplate what’s next for our state. Missouri and MSU: A shared past. A vision for the future. will examine topics important to the growth of Missouri – including agriculture, diversity and inclusion, education trends, health care, Missouri caves, and technology – and explore how MSU and its partners will have an effect on the state today, tomorrow and for decades to come.
Missouri State University is a public, comprehensive metropolitan system with a statewide mission in public affairs, whose purpose is to develop educated persons. The university’s identity is distinguished by its public affairs mission, which entails a campus-wide commitment to foster expertise and responsibility in ethical leadership, cultural competence, and community engagement.
The Bicentennial Alliance is a coalition of statewide non-profit organizations and government agencies working together to develop and promote statewide projects commemorating the Missouri Bicentennial.