The Gateway to the South: Understanding Missouri as a Southern State

Join us at 1pm on August, 28, 2021 at the Jefferson County Library-Windsor Branch for The Gateway to the South: Understanding Missouri as a Southern State. Sitting near the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, St. Louis proudly wears the title “Gateway to the West,” a status displayed in the Gateway Arch, the city’s iconic landmark. Another landmark, The Old Courthouse (the Dred Scott case) speaks to St. Louis’s and Missouri’s history of slavery. Thus, we are reminded that a north-south axis along the Mississippi River, not just the relationship between east and west, also shaped Missouri’s history and identity. The area of “Little Dixie” along the Missouri River, the border conflict with Kansas during the Civil War, a history of codified racial segregation, and even Mizzou’s inclusion in the Southeastern Conference all speak to Missouri’s identity as “the northernmost southern state.” Using examples from history and popular culture, Jack explores Missouri’s Southern identity. The goal is not to convince anyone that Missouri is “Southern,” but to help people understand Missouri’s unique place in American culture.