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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.]



"We Gave Them Thunder": Marmaduke's Raid and the Civil War in Missouri and Arkansas 

Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023 @ 7 p.m.




Dr. William Garrett Piston offers a program on, “We Gave Them Thunder”: Marmaduke’s Raid and the Civil War in Missouri and Arkansas, the 2021 book he co-authored with John C. Rutherford. Defeat at the Battle of Prairie Grove in Arkansas on Dec. 7, 1862, left Confederate fortunes in the Trans-Mississippi in dire straits. To counter the Federal victory, Gen. Thomas C. Hindman sent Gen. John Sappington Marmaduke raiding deep into Missouri. After traversing rugged terrain in severe winter, Marmaduke’s cavalrymen struck the vulnerable Union line of communications, fighting engagements at Springfield and Hartville in early January 1863 before returning to Arkansas. Marmaduke claimed success, with some justification, but Piston will demonstrate how his campaign also demonstrated the limitations of a raiding strategy to counter Federal force’s superior resources.

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Keep it Old-Time: Fiddle Music in Missouri from the 1960s Folk Revival to the Present 

Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023 @ 7 p.m.




Join us for a performance and presentation from musician and author Howard Marshall on his latest book, Keep it Old-Time: Fiddle Music in Missouri from the 1960s Folk Music Revival to the Present, the third volume in his history of Missouri fiddle music. As in the previous volumes, Marshall seeks out the people, stories and communities that make informal, traditional music for their own enjoyment, particularly folk-singing, bluegrass, old-time fiddling and jazz. Keep It Old-Time picks up the saga in the complicated 1960s and winds down in the early 21st century. Along the way, Marshall presents historical and documentary discussions of music interwoven with ample quotes from musicians and his own personal reflections and music scene experiences. Some topics featured in this volume include the emergence of folk and bluegrass festivals, the evolving education of musicians and profiles of musicians, famous both locally and nationally.

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Native Ground: The First People of Missouri Before Statehood 

Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023 @ 7 p.m.




Dr. Brad Lookingbill, Distinguished Professor of History at Columbia College of Missouri, offers a program on the state’s earliest people. Long before Europeans arrived and claimed dominion over an imagined wilderness, the original inhabitants developed diverse cultures in relation to the rivers, prairies, plains, plateaus and woodlands. Missouri was native ground to multiple tribal groups; the Osage, Quapaw, Otoe, Missouria, Ioway, Sauk, Fox, Omaha, Peoria, Piankeshaw, Ponca, Kaw and Chickasaw all resided in parts of the state before its boundaries appeared on any map. Then, after the formation of the United States, migrating communities of the Shawnee, Delaware, Pottawatomi, Miami, Kickapoo and Cherokee relocated to the western side of the Mississippi, leaving their trace on the Missouri landscape. Join us as Dr. Lookingbill discusses Missouri’s first people, as well as how Native stories of origin now illuminate worlds of wonder in mid-America.


This program is funded through the MO Humanities Speakers Bureau Program.

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