Historians uncover Missouri’s past by studying post office murals of the 1930s, urban and rural environmental conflicts of the 1960s, and divisive concepts of the Cold War.
The State Historical Society announced on December 21 that it will award three fellowships to historians in 2023. Each fellowship award includes a $5,000 scholarship, publication in the Missouri Historical His Review, and the opportunity to make a public presentation on your research.
Sarah Jones, an interpreter and educator at the Missouri State Museum in Jefferson City, received a fellowship for her proposal titled “Missouri Post Office Mural: Artistic Expression, Community Collaboration.”
Jones examines a post office mural from the 1930s as part of a US Treasury Department program under the New Deal. According to the State Historical Society, about 30 murals are still standing, but not all are in their original locations.
“I am honored and excited to be selected as a 2023 Missouri Research Center Fellow,” Jones said in a news release. It is physically linked to a past that represents a pivotal moment in the history of American arts and culture, where local and national interests are united to inspire, educate, and comfort the viewer. By documenting the history of Missouri’s Post Office murals, we are able to understand this extraordinary artistic resource that may be lost to the passage of time.”
The State Historical Society has awarded two fellowships primarily focused on the urban-rural divide in Missouri history.
Brooks Blevins, Professor of Ozarks Studies at Missouri State University, was awarded a fellowship for a proposal titled “Missouri’s Landscape River Act and Rise of Rural Rights.”
Beginning in 2023, Blevins will study the environmental and property rights conflicts that divided Missouri’s urban and rural populations in the 1960s. After the creation of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, this was promoted by state legislators seeking to pass legislation aimed at bringing over 800 miles (800 miles) of Ozark waterways under state control. The split accelerated.
Jenny Barker Devine, a professor of history at the University of Illinois in Jacksonville, Illinois, won the final fellowship spot with a proposal titled “Protecting All Citizens.” .”
This study examines the conflict that has surfaced between rural and urban Missouri as the state prepares to protect its population from nuclear war. State and federal legislators planned to send city dwellers to rural mines and caves for protection, but rural residents resisted demands that would be imposed on those areas of the state.
Barker-Devine says he learned about Missouri’s civil defense plan in 2009 after noticing signs for a fallout shelter while visiting Bluff Dwellers Cave near Noel.
“As a historian of the Midwest, I have found Missouri’s unique geography and geology to present an exceptional case study unlike any other state in the region,” she said in a news release. “Thanks to the Missouri Historical Society, I now have the resources and support to delve into archival records and learn more about how the people of Missouri coped with the unimaginable.” I did.”