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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.]



Finding the Trail of Tears in Missouri (Facebook Live Event)

Thursday, September 24, 2020, 7 p.m. on Facebook Live (


Following the passage of the 1830 Indian Removal Act, federal authorities forcibly removed approximately 60,000 Native Americans from their ancestral homelands in the Southeastern United States to the Indian Territory in what is today Oklahoma and western Arkansas. Among those compelled to relocate were the Cherokee, many of whom began the long, perilous trek in the winter of 1837. After departing from northern Georgia and southeastern Tennessee with inadequate food and clothing, they traveled northwest overland through Kentucky and Illinois before crossing the Mississippi River into Missouri. The Missouri State Archives’ early State Road Surveys contain contemporaneous maps of the routes the Cherokee traveled through the state, also identifying the homes of Missourians that supplied them, aiding their survival during the epic tragedy. Join us on Facebook Live for a program from Bill Ambrose, member and board secretary of the Trail of Tears Association’s Missouri Chapter, in which he will detail his research using these previously overlooked records.



Shoes Older than the Pyramids (Facebook Live Event)

Thursday, November 12, 2020, 7 p.m. on Facebook Live (


The Arnold Research Cave, overlooking the Missouri River in southeast Callaway County, has been dry for thousands of years, making it the perfect potential location for evidence of prehistoric habitation. With these conditions, archaeological excavators in the 1950s, and later the 1980s, found remaining artifacts made of perishable materials, such as netting, twined bags and clothing, including—perhaps of the greatest popular interest—the world’s oldest open-toed sandal. In Shoes Older than the Pyramids, Dr. Candace Sall, Associate Curator of the University of Missouri’s Museum of Anthropology, will provide details on many of the artifacts found in the cave, including 35 individual shoes made of rattlesnake master, a plant native to the Show-Me State. The items unearthed at the site range in age from 800 to 9,000 years, with the earliest shoes dating back eight millennia, making them some of the oldest articles of clothing ever found in North America. Join us as Dr. Sall discusses these artifacts, providing a fascinating glimpse into the lives of Missouri’s prehistoric peoples.