New and expanded Library hours begin Sunday, July 18. Details

account contact home location search
Search Options

STRUGGLE FOR STATEHOOD

"Missouri's application for statehood in 1818 unleashed boiling tensions that threatened westward expansion and raised difficult issues our Founding Fathers struggled to resolve." — Missouri Humanities Council

Join us for a series of programs centered on the "Struggle for Statehood," a traveling exhibit commemorating the bicentennial of Missouri statehood. It was created by the Missouri Humanities Council in partnership with the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri, partners in the Bicentennial Alliance. Support for programming is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The exhibit chronicles the three years that the controversy over Missouri's admission into the Union was fiercely debated, and reexamines the lasting significance of the conflict on a local and national scale. The exhibit leads visitors through the story of Missouri's admission to the Union through educational content, including historical accounts and stories of people touched by the controversy.

SEE THE EXHIBIT

PROGRAMS

Pioneers and Founding of Springfield Presentation

Friday, June 11, 2021, 10 a.m.
Fox Theater, 157 Park Central Square AND Virtual
For adults

Staff from the History Museum on the Square will examine Springfield's origins and incorporation in this journey through time, including the causes of westward expansion, the lives of Springfield's first settlers, the former city of North Springfield and the significance of the Frisco Railroad to our city's rise in stature. This free presentation will take place in person at the historic Fox Theatre (157 Park Central Square) and virtually; registration is required for either option. Space is limited for the seated event, along with other COVID-19 safety protocols. Visit the History Museum website for registration information by clicking below. A link to the virtual event will be provided to registered participants. Registration starts April 1.

Go to program page

African American Heritage Presentation

Saturday, June 19, 2021, 2 p.m.
Fox Theater, 157 Park Central Square AND Virtual
For adults

Join staff at the History Museum on the Square to explore Springfield's African American heritage through a variety of topics including sports, music, education and the importance of community. This free presentation will take place in person at the historic Fox Theatre (157 Park Central Square) and virtually; registration is required for either option. Space is limited for the seated event, along with other COVID-19 safety protocols. Visit the History Museum website for registration information by clicking below. A Missouri Bicentennial program. Registration starts April 1.

Go to program page

Diplomatic Nationalism, Territorial Expansion and the Missouri Admission Crisis (1818-1821)

Tuesday, June 29, 2021, 7 p.m.
Virtual
For adults

As Missourians pursued entrance into the Union of states, the United States dramatically extended its western and southern borders. During this virtual presentation, Dr. William S. Belko, executive director of the Missouri Humanities Council, will place Missouri's quest for statehood in the larger context of international diplomacy and the consequent and aggressive territorial expansion of the country in the wake of the War of 1812. It was a rapid westward migration that produced a more severe sectional conflict over the expansion of slavery and the forced retreat of the American Indian. Register by clicking below; a link to the virtual event will be shared with registered participants. Registration starts June 15.

Go to program page

Finding Stories from First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site

Tuesday, July 13, 2021, 7 p.m.
Virtual
For adults

On Feb. 5, 2021, the First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site celebrated its 50th anniversary as a historic site. In those 50 years, site staff have spent countless hours researching and refining the site's history and interpretive tours. Historic Site Manager Jamie Henry and Site Interpreter Charles Callier will provide a virtual presentation about the site and showcase all the rooms that make up their interpretive tours. They'll also discuss how staff have collected a breadth of knowledge about the site and what they are researching today. Register by clicking below; a link to the virtual event will be shared with registered participants. Registration starts June 30.

Go to program page

Sketches from Springfield: A Cartoon History

Thursday, July 15, 2021, 7 p.m.
Virtual
For adults

Cartoons have been shaping the conversation around Ozarks culture and Springfield happenings for generations. From well-known newspaper cartoonist Bob Palmer and "hillbilly" cartoonist Art Omans, to photographer Betty Love's years-long stint as newspaper staff artist, Local History Associate Konrad Stump explores in this virtual event how these remarkable cartoonists captured history and shares how the Library's archives are preserving their work. A link to this virtual event will be posted below when available.

Go to program page

Route 66: Conceived, Born and Raised by Ozarkers

Thursday, July 22, 2021, 7 p.m.
Virtual
For adults

Although Route 66 was supported by a very diverse population, four men with strong ties to the Ozarks made Route 66 happen: Cyrus Avery, Coin Harvey, B.H. Piepmeier and John T. Woodruff. In this virtual presentation, Thomas A. Peters, dean of Library Services at Missouri State University, will explore the lives and contributions of this leadership team of four "Ozarkers" who shaped one of the most well-known roads in history. Register by clicking below; a link to the virtual event will be shared with registered participants. Registration starts July 8.

Go to program page

Contesting Slavery: Enslaved Missourians' Enduring Struggle for Freedom

Monday, July 26, 2021, 7 p.m.
Virtual
For adults

During this virtual event, Diane Mutti Burke, author of "On Slavery's Border: Missouri's Small-Slaveholding Households," will examine the lives of the many Missourians who were enslaved on the farms and plantations of Missouri, including how the region's small-scale system of slavery created conditions that undermined the strength of enslaved communities and increased the possibilities for abuse, while also enhancing people's opportunities to effectively resist their enslavement. Register by clicking below; a link to the virtual event will be shared with registered participants. Registration starts July 12.

Go to program page

Milly's Story

Thursday, July 29, 2021, 7 p.m.
Virtual
For adults

In 1836, Milly Sawyers, a former slave who successfully sued for her freedom, and another free woman of color, Calley Easter, were attacked by a mob comprised of some of Springfield’s founders. Subsequent charges against the men included kidnapping and rioting. By April 1837, all charges had been dropped. Join this virtual event with Connie Yen, director of the Greene County Archives, as she discusses the stories of Milly and Calley, how they disappeared from history and how their stories survive. A link to this virtual event will be posted below when available.

Go to program page