Gerald Brooks: Lincoln Band Director

 Gerald Brooks was born on January 6, 1913 in Quincy, Illinois. After his mother passed away at a young age, he moved to Hannibal, Missouri and attended Douglas High School. While at Douglas, he was greatly influenced by his own band teacher, Martin A. Lewis. Gerald Brooks graduated from Lincoln University in Jefferson City in…

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70th Anniversary of the Great Cobra Scare

2023 is already shaping up to be a big year for Springfield!   This year also happens to be the 70th anniversary of the Great Cobra Scare of 1953.  If you haven’t heard the details yet, be prepared to learn your new favorite story from Springfield’s history.  In August of 1953, Rio Mowrer owned a…

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Thanksgiving: A Holiday with History

Thanksgiving is a holiday that has changed a great deal over the course of American history. Its origins are wrapped up in the colonial founding story of our country: that of English Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock and the “First Thanksgiving.” The reality, however, is more complicated. Tracing the history of November’s big holiday backward…

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Bob Barker: Springfield Citizen, Television Legend

Bob Barker was born in Darrington, Washington on December 12th, 1923.  He spent most of his childhood on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in Mission, South Dakota, where he was listed as an enrolled member of the Sioux tribe. His family moved to Springfield, where Barker graduated Central High School and attended Drury University on a…

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Springfield, Missouri: The Birthplace of Route 66

If you’ve spent even a few hours in Springfield, you’re bound to see a sign declaring it “The Birthplace of Route 66”.  This may sound like a bold claim, considering that the route begins and ends in Chicago and Los Angeles.  While our city is not the start of the physical highway, it is where…

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On the Diamond: African American Baseball in Springfield

Baseball in Springfield was segregated either by law or by custom until the 1950s. Information about the early African American teams is largely unavailable. The Hyde Park All Stars, sometimes known as the “Stars” took on all comers. They were an African American, semi-professional, barnstorming baseball team. They traveled to other cities and played teams…

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Notable Women in Agriculture

Around 12,000 years ago our hunter-gatherer ancestors began farming, providing themselves with a larger and more easily accessible food source.  The first tenders to these crops would have been men and women, working together to ensure the availability of their food. Since then, we have learned about famous and influential male farmers such as George…

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Rabbi Karl Richter

Rabbi Karl Richter was born and grew up in Stuttgart, Germany. He received his higher education at the University and Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau. He was ordained in 1935 and served two major congregations in Germany until the destruction of his temple in Mannheim during the infamous “Kristallnacht” in November, 1938.   As the Nazis…

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The Sarah Gorham Graham Case

Springfield, Missouri has a history of sensational true crime cases, but one of the oldest is the tale of Sarah Gorham Graham.  Sarah was born in December of 1851, and little is known about her until her marriage to George Graham in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1871.  George spent most of the first years of…

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