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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.]




Postal Service in Territorial Missouri, 1804 to 1821

Thursday, May 16, 2019, 7 p.m.

Postal Service in Territorial Missouri, 1804 to 1821

As Americans moved west into new lands opened to settlement following the Louisiana Purchase, establishing communication channels with the rest of the country became increasingly important. Postal service was crucial to linking new settlers on the frontier to their family, friends and business interests back east, as well as emerging markets along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. In his book, Postal Service in Territorial Missouri, 1804–1821, author Robert G. Schultz examines the growth and development of such service operating across the intervening miles of wilderness in the area that was to become the state of Missouri. In addition to the innumerable service problems these services faced, he offers an in depth look at their postal routes, post offices and postmasters. Join us as Schultz, for the first time, shares his research on this fascinating and little-examined subject.




The Making of an Icon: The Dreamers, the Schemers, and the Hard Hats Who Built the Gateway Arch

Thursday, June 16, 2019, 7 p.m.


The Gateway Arch is one of America’s most distinctive and beloved national monuments, receiving more than two million visitors each year to revere its symbolic meaning and physical beauty. In his book, The Making of an Icon: The Dreamers, the Schemers, and the Hard Hats Who Built the Gateway Arch, Jim Merkel captures the legend, lore and spirit behind its conception and construction. Using interviews with the visionaries, finaglers, protesters and the intrepid workers who built the arch while one misstep away from peril, Merkel brings to light the stories that shaped the planning and the construction of one of the world’s most iconic structures. Merkel will share new information about the Arch grounds and museum and give insight to the relentless pursuit, innovation and toil that raised the Arch to the sky.