Join us September 8-11, 2021 for this long-standing tradition in St. James: The Annual Grape & Fall Festival. This festival first began in 1933 as a celebration of the grape harvest, by the Italian families who settled in St. James and grew grapes from their mother-land. We presently celebrate the festival much like a county fair. This year’s focus in honor of the State bicentennial we will be celebrating our Past, Present and Future. Taking a look back in history of where this festival and our town originated, celebrating how far we’ve come today and looking ahead to where future generations will take us. This festival provides an opportunity for 4H and FFA students to participate in the Junior Livestock Show & Sale as well as all students and citizens to participate in displaying works of art, produce, flowers and baked goods in our Exhibit Hall. We host nightly main events, this year’s line-up includes a concert by Maddie & Tae, a Christian concert featuring John Tibbs, a demolition Derby along with a number of other special and daily activities. We also have the traditional midway with carnival rides and games, numerous food vendors. This Grape & Fall Festival would not be complete without the traditional Grape Stomp and the crowning of a Queen. Please join us as we celebrate 2021. More information can be found on our FB page @St James Grape and Fall Festival.
The Rolla Public Library was founded in 1934. It was originally established as a children’s library and expanded significantly during World War II. By the 1960s we became a central feature of downtown Rolla and one of the many significant attractions alongside Route 66. We enhance the quality of life by providing resources for lifelong learning, creating opportunities to connect with others, and fostering a love of reading. Like many other libraries, we recognize 2021 as an opportunity to celebrate the Show Me State and her contributions to the American experience. Here is the schedule of events…
-Fri Jun 18 2021 “Missouri Innovators” with Paul W. Bass
Paul W. Bass is the author of “Missouri Innovators,” “The History of Fort Leonard Wood Missouri,” and “Pioneer Churches of Springfield Missouri.” Join Derek Zboran and the Rolla Public Library for our interview with Bass about Missouri’s rich historical legacy of trailblazers. Watch live and chat questions directly to the author! (A recording will also be available.)
-Fri Jun 25 2021 “Missourians and World War II”
About 450,000 Missourians served in the military during World War II. Each one has their own unique story. Learn about two brothers from Phelps County who experienced combat in Europe, and what we know about them based on the letters they wrote home.
-Mon Jun 28 2021 “Dale Carnegie: From Rural Missourian to Self-Help Icon” with Steven Watts
Before Tony Robbins or Oprah Winfrey, there was Dale Carnegie. Born into poverty in rural Missouri, he transformed the self-help industry with his books “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and “How To Stop Worrying and Start Living.” Join Derek Zboran and the Rolla Public Library for an interview with Steven Watts, who authored the first major biography of this influential Missouri trailblazer. Watch live and chat questions directly to the author! (A recording will also be available.)
-Fri Jul 9 2021 “History & Newspapers”
Newspapers combine pictures, headlines, facts, and stories to create narratives about national events. Old newspapers often contain a wealth of information about local affairs and people. Learn about the pride that Missouri communities took in the Moon Landing of 1969, and listen as retired historian Mark Stauter explains how a historian uses old newspapers to study local history.
-Fri Jul 16 “D-Day and Missouri Generals” with John McManus
John McManus has written extensively about World War II and won the Gilder Lehrman Prize for Military History with his book, “Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943.” Join Derek Zboran and the Rolla Public Library for our virtual interview with him. We will discuss Operation Overlord and two Missouri generals who contributed to the liberation of Europe during WWII. Watch live and chat questions directly to the author! (A recording will also be available.)
-Mon Jul 19 “Missouri Animals and the Overland Trails” with Diana Ahmad
Diana Ahmad has written extensively about the American West, including the unique relationships that developed between frontier settlers and the animal life that surrounded them. Join Derek Zboran and the Rolla Public Library on Monday 5-6PM, July 19th, for a discussion of her book: “Success Depends on the Animals: Emigrants, Livestock, and Wild Animals on the Overland Trails, 1840–1869.” Watch live and chat questions directly to the author! (A recording will also be available.)
-Fri Jul 23 “Exploring History Through Tools and Other Objects”
How would you live if you didn’t have electricity? Not too long ago, many Missourians lived and worked without electric lights, electric powered tools, or even running water! One way to get to know history is to explore objects like tools, which can help us understand how people from the past lived and worked.
-Fri Jul 30 “Dewey Defeats Truman” with A.J. Baime
New York Times best-selling author A.J. Baime joins Derek Zboran and the Rolla Public Library for a discussion of the thrilling presidential election of 1948. Discover how Missouri underdog Harry S. Truman defied the media and members of both major political parties to be elected POTUS. Watch live and chat questions directly to the author! (A recording will also be available.)
A product of the Morrill Act of 1862 and the land-grant movement of the late 19th century, Missouri University of Science and Technology has grown into one of the nation’s top STEM-focused research universities.
S&T observes its 150th anniversary from October 2020 to December 2021, coinciding with the Missouri 2021 Bicentennial Celebration.
The series, “Honoring our past, envisioning the future: Missouri S&T Lecture Series for the Bicentennial,” celebrates the rich cultural history of our region and explores social and economic growth topics relative to Missourians.
All presentations will be available for virtual viewing. Missouri 2021 is an initiative of The State Historical Society of Missouri and its Center for Missouri Studies.
The Phelps County Commemorative Quilt was made a local group of 6 quilters, for the St. James Chamber of Commerce, to help us celebrate Phelps County’s contribution to the State for the past 200 years. The first settlers arrived in the Phelps County area sometime around 1818 and throughout the 200+ years, Phelps County citizens have made some very significant contributions to not only the State, but world-wide. The quilters worked with the County Historical Society to do research about the County, the various points of interest and some of the people who throughout history have made an impact in our area. The group says they have really enjoyed learning more about our County’s history and all the towns that make up the County. They also enjoyed creating the block patterns reflecting the County’s natural resources, beauty and interest. The commemorative quilt will be displayed at the St. James Tourist Information Center Oct 1-5, 2021 and then available to be displayed throughout the county and state. It will end its tour at the 2021 Grape & Fall Festival where it will be displayed in the exhibition hall on Aug. 25-28, 2021. For more information, please contact the Chamber Director at email@example.com.
The Snelson-Brinker Foundation is creating a new website documenting the history of the Snelson-Brinker House. Located in Crawford County, the Snelson-Brinker House was built in 1834 and served as the first Crawford County Courthouse and a way-stop for the Cherokee people on the Trail of Tears. The Snelson-Brinker House was destroyed by arson in 2017. As work continues on the physical site, the website will provide users insight into the unique historic events that unfolded on the property.
The anticipated launch date for the website is fall 2020.
On Feb. 24, 1870, Missouri Governor Joseph W. McClurg signed the act to establish a school of mines and metallurgy in southeast Missouri. That act led to the creation of the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, which later became the University of Missouri-Rolla, known today as Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T). On Feb. 25, 2020, 150 years and one day after Gov. McClurg’s action, Missouri S&T’s accomplishments and impact on the State of Missouri were celebrated with Missouri S&T Day at the State Capitol. The event was open to the public and showcased informational historical banners, hands-on demonstrations, student design teams, and speakers, including Gov. Parson and University of Missouri President Mun Choi.
Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) was chartered on February 24, 1870, as the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, and classes were called to order on Nov. 6, 1871. The first technological institution west of the Mississippi – and one of the first in the nation – the university was a product of the Morrill Act of 1862 and the land-grant movement of the late 19th century. In 2020-2021, Missouri S&T will mark a 150-year legacy of discovery, creativity, and innovation through a series of events, including notable speakers, performances, time capsule creation, and exhibits. The 13-month celebration will kick-off at Homecoming in 2020 and wrap up in November 2021.