Upcoming Speaker Series Presentations
The Thursday Evening Speaker Series is free of charge and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Unless otherwise noted, programs will be held at the Missouri State Archives, located at 600 W. Main Street in Jefferson City. The series is underwritten by the Friends of the Missouri State Archives.
[ Presentation Videos from past events are available at the following location:
Missouri State Archives Presentation Videos.]
River Ridge String Band
January 15, 2015, 7 p.m.
To kick off the 2015 season of the Missouri State Archives' Thursday Evening Speakers Series, the River Ridge String Band will once again take center stage. This musically versatile group, consisting of John Cunning, Charlie Nelson and the husband and wife duo of Cliff and Molly White, combine the hammered dulcimer, mandolin, guitar, banjo, accordion, vocals and folk percussion instruments to produce an eclectic mix of traditional Celtic music and old-time fiddle tunes, as well as traditional and modern folk songs. Many of the jigs, reels and hornpipes they perform were part of country-dances in the British Isles and the old-time barn dances of Appalachia and the Ozarks. Today, these "fiddle tunes" are still played at traditional square dances and are the mainstay for a modern form of American folk dance known as contra dancing. Dipping into, and sometimes stirring up, all of these traditions, the River Ridge String Band puts on an enjoyable show for all ages!
Race and Meaning: The African American Experience in Missouri
February 26, 2015, 7 p.m.
In Recognition of African American History Month
Over the past four decades, State Historical Society of Missouri Executive Director Gary Kremer has written extensively about the African American experience in Missouri. Fourteen of his articles on the subject are now available in one place with the publication of Race and Meaning: The African American Experience in Missouri. Kremer combines the articles into one detailed, chronological account that addresses issues such as the transition from slavery to freedom for African Americans in Missouri, all-black rural communities and the lives of African Americans seeking new opportunities in Missouri's cities. His talk will focus primarily on stories set in central Missouri, including that of Lake Placid, a recreational area for African Americans in Morgan County; the Missouri Industrial Home for Negro Girls in Tipton; and a number of people and events connected to Lincoln University in both the 19th and 20th centuries. Join us, as Kremer shares just a portion of his prolific research spanning much of African American history in Missouri.
Civic Housekeepers and More: Kansas City Women v. Pendergast
March 26, 2015, 7p.m.
In the 1920s and '30s, "Boss Tom" Pendergast's political machine controlled Kansas City, giving the Paris of the Plains an infamous reputation for supporting illegal liquor, gambling and vice. Former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes will share stories of women who worked to stop the corruption, eventually ending years of machine rule in the city. Women were an essential part of the campaign to recall the Pendergast-backed mayor and city council, even after the boss went to prison in 1939. Using the campaign slogan "ballots and brooms versus bosses and bullets," women's groups wore a pin shaped like a broom to show their support for non-Pendergast candidates. Under the leadership of Ms. Claude Gorton, these groups became increasingly organized prior to the 1940 election, when their get-out-to-vote effort resulted in a defeat of the machine. Join us as former Mayor Kay Barnes discusses these "civic housekeepers" and their quest to sweep corruption from the city.