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.
Starting August 11, 2021, join us for Ways of Seeing: Maps of Missouri at Jefferson College Library. This exhibit showcases documents, maps, plats and surveys from the mid-19th century, topographical maps of Jefferson County and Missouri, aerial maps of Jefferson County from the 1950’s, and other municipal , county, state, and federal maps that provide a look into the last 200 years of local and state history. Of particular note are the documents related to Survey 2020, the Jefferson County settler Hardy Ware, and William Clark’s claim to the land.
Join us on May 6, 2021, at 6:30pm for the Jefferson County Library Lewis & Clark: a Virtual Event. Meriwether Lewis, a member of the Corps of Discovery Expedition, describes how our country expanded west from the Mississippi River. How was the land of the Louisiana Purchase explored? What were these explorers hoping to find? Included are the stories of the Corps’ travels west from St. Louis to the Pacific. Suitable for all ages. Registration required. The Zoom link will be emailed to participants prior to the event. Visit www.jeffcolib.org for more information.
Join the Jefferson County Library at Fox Service Center in Arnold at 11:00 a.m. on June 16, 2021, for History Through the Novelist’s Eyes. Author and Missouri native, Steve Wiegenstein, presents his short stories and Missouri history to celebrate our state’s bicentennial. Book sales and signing will be available after the program. This is a free, ticketed event. Registration is required. Steve Wiegenstein is a generational Missourian with firsthand knowledge of our state’s history. He was recently nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award and featured in the St. Louis Post/Dispatch.
Join us for a two-part virtual presentation: Murder, Moonshine and King Cotton in the Bootheel (part one will be June 2 at 6pm and part 2 will be June 9 at 6pm). The series covers a murder in Pemiscot County that collided with the New Madrid County Sharecropper’s Strike of 1939. It explores the history of the Missouri Bootheel, the struggles of the Depression, the justice system, and the unintended consequences of the “New Deal.” Register here for this event.
Join us at the Jefferson County Library-Windsor Branch on Saturday, June 19, 2021 at 1pm for Two Hundred Years of Notorious Crimes in the Show-Me State. Historian and author James Erwin looks back over the past two hundred years of crimes in Missouri that excited the public’s interest in this virtual presentation. He describes, among others, an infamous duel on Bloody Island, the origin of the Western gunfight, the real-life story behind the folk songs “Stagger Lee” and “Frankie and Johnnie,” the (alleged) murder of the founder of Swope Park, mysterious unsolved murders in Mexico and St. Joseph, serial killers Bertha Gifford and Ray and Faye Copeland, and the “Missouri Miracle” of the kidnapping and recovery of Shawn Hornbeck.
Join us on May 22, 2021, at 1pm for Killing Quantrill: The Hunt for Missouri’s Most Notorious Civil War Guerrilla. This lecture — which is based on primary research, firsthand exploration of important sites, and interviews with descendants of involved parties — narrates Quantrill’s career as a guerrilla chieftain, his flight into Kentucky, and his eventual death. The Jefferson County Library is sponsoring this free virtual presentation by Matthew Hulbert, of Hampden-Sidney College.
The Jefferson County Library Genealogy Department, together with our local county genealogical and historical societies, will present a virtual video tour showcasing the notable historical landmarks within the county. This joint effort will present the interesting stories associated with the areas served by each group in an interactive video map which will be available at the Jefferson County Library website sometime during the summer of 2021.
Jefferson County, Missouri, was organized in 1818 and celebrated its bicentennial with a series of events, including a Bicentennial Exposition. The one-day event featured life as it was in the County of Jefferson. Civil War encampments, antique tractors, animals, speakers, old dancing, old music will be featured as well as vendors with displays and exhibits.