Latest News & Announcements

Columbia, divided: A history of surviving, thriving through segregation

Columbia Missourian–Sehon Williams spent his childhood on the near north side of Columbia, running back and forth between unlocked homes where parents helped raise each other’s kids.

The kids played games on the neighborhood streets, walked to school every day and hung out at the local black churches.

“There was a camaraderie that has been lost,” said Williams, 97, a World War II veteran and former postal clerk in Columbia.

He shared stories about...

State Historical Society to host conversation about Sharp End, segregation in Columbia

Columbia Missourian–The State Historical Society of Missouri will host a conversation about life in segregated Columbia as a part of its African American Experience in Missouri lecture series.

A reception and talk will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Center for Missouri Studies, 605 Elm St. The reception will end at 6:30 p.m. It will be followed by the talk and a meet-and-greet.

Bill Thompson, local historian and former Columbia Parks and Recreation employee, will interview longtime resident Sehon Williams. They will talk about...

Last Call for 2020 Center for Missouri Studies Fellowship Applications

Essays must be completed by the end of calendar year 2020 and must reflect significant scholarship in primary sources, evidence familiarity with appropriate secondary sources, and contain endnotes that comply with The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition. The finished product will be considered for publication in a state bicentennial–themed issue of the Missouri Historical Review, although successful completion of the project is no guarantee of publication.

Volunteer Spotlight: Patrick Atkinson

Patrick Atkinson finds there’s no better way to quench his thirst for knowledge than by keeping an active mind—at any age. The retired University of Missouri theater professor leads a busy schedule, volunteering with a number of organizations in Columbia. Several times a week he helps build mobility carts for people without access to wheelchairs in developing countries. During tax season, you can find him at the public library assisting others as they complete their tax forms. He also has been a steady volunteer for SHSMO, coming in twice a week since 2013.

Missouri Conference on History Call for Papers

The sixty-second annual Missouri Conference on History, hosted by Lindenwood University and sponsored by the State Historical Society of Missouri, will be held March 11-13, 2020, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel St. Louis-Chesterfield.

Paper, panel, and student poster proposals in all fields of history, including public history and historic preservation, are invited. The conference is particularly interested in proposals for complete sessions, including panelists, chair, and commentator.

Springfield’s Summer of Terror Captured in Robert Lipscomb Collection

For three months in 1953, the residents of Springfield, Missouri, lived in fear as deadly snakes roamed the Queen City of the Ozarks. Town residents armed with hoes, pitchforks, and long poles patrolled the streets, and children were not allowed to play outside. The Great Cobra Scare of 1953 is legendary in Springfield history. Life and Time magazines sent reporters to cover the story. Eleven cobras were eventually apprehended, but no one knew where they came from until 35 years later. 

Student and Teacher from Liberty Honor Fallen Hero from War in the Pacific

Twelve pairs of students and teachers—six from the mainland, and six from Hawaii—stood solemnly on July 28 for a ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Oahu. They were there for the culmination of the Sacrifice for Freedom: World War II in the Pacific Student and Teacher Institute, in which each student spends six months researching an American whose life was sacrificed during the war.