History on Elm

History on Elm begins its fall season of free programs at noon on the second Tuesday of each month at the State Historical Society of Missouri. Programs are held September through June. Mark your calendar for our fall line-up!

Sept. 12 – Exploring Missouri’s German Heritage

The Missouri Life team and Evoke Group of Columbia, with funding from Missouri Humanities, recently produced a feature documentary about Missouri’s German heritage. The film delves into the reasons why German immigrants found Missouri River country so appealing and settled along the rivers in an area now known as the “German Heritage Corridor.” The film also explores the rich German customs, crafts, and music, as well as its ethnic cuisine, wine and beer. Join us as we watch part 1 of the documentary, and hear from the film’s producers, as well as W. Arthur Mehrhoff, whose book published by Missouri Life magazine became the basis for the documentary.

Oct. 10 – KOPN 89.5 FM Celebrating 50 Years of Mid-Missouri’s Independent Community Media

2023 marks the 50th anniversary of community directed KOPN. The station’s roots began with a few hours of daily programming that barely covered Columbia's downtown to what is now an international audience with programming 24/7 on the radio and web. Most of KOPN's programming is hosted by mid-Missouri folks offering a variety of music and talk. This year, the station moved from its original downtown space to 401 Bernadette Drive, which included hauling 99 boxes of reel-to-reel tapes. In this presentation, KOPN volunteers Christine Gardener and Margot McMillen will talk about the history of KOPN and a new commemorative book, Voice of the Community, which was funded by a grant from Missouri Humanities Council. 

Nov. 14 – Following the Paper Trail of Dewey and Danforth

Join us for an election day exploration of two Missouri politicians, Dewey Short from Galena, Missouri, and John C. Danforth from St. Louis. Both ordained ministers, Short was both a preacher and professor in Kansas before entering political life in 1929, while Danforth worked as an attorney in New York and St. Louis before his run for Missouri Attorney General in 1968. Both were Republicans in a largely Democratic state. Learn how the daily records produced in their congressional offices reveal important contemporary issues, as well as differences in their priorities for both Missouri citizens and the nation.

Dec. 12 This Place of Promise: A Historian’s Perspective on 200 Years of Missouri History

SHSMO executive director Gary Kremer connects the past to the present in his latest book as he ponders why history played out as it did over the course of two centuries since Missouri’s admittance to the Union. In the writing of what is much more than a survey history, Kremer, himself a fifth-generation Missourian, infuses the narrative with his vast knowledge and personal experiences, even as he considers what being a Missourian has meant—across the many years and to this day—to all of the state’s people, and how the forces of history—time, place, race, gender, religion, and class—shaped the people of Missouri.

To celebrate the 125th anniversary of the founding of the State Historical Society of Missouri in 1897, the History on Elm series explores a variety of topics each month, ranging from Missouri art and authors to unique SHSMO collections. The public is invited to attend and may bring their own lunch during the noon hour. Registration is not required. The programs begin promptly at 12 p.m. and lasts one hour.

History on Elm series is held inside Cook Hall at the State Historical Society of Missouri Center for Missouri Studies, 605 Elm St., Columbia.