Looking back 100 years one week at a time

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Southeast Missourian

As part of its yearlong centennial celebration, the Southeast Missourian will debut a new weekly feature on Tuesday that will look back at unique events and people in the community's 100-year history. The newspaper will reprint stories and photos that appeared originally during the same week sometime within the past century.

"In many ways, the Southeast Missourian is the first draft of history for our community," said Southeast Missourian publisher Jon K. Rust. "This new feature will take us back in time to how our world looked in a different era. Some stories reprinted may be 100 years old. Others may come from the '20s or the '50s or another decade. Sharon Sanders, our company librarian, is looking for interesting articles that will fascinate and inform us today."

The feature is meant to illustrate the pride the Southeast Missourian holds in its long history of commitment to the community while offering context on how the community developed as it did, Rust said.

"If the interest is there, we will look at publishing a book with some of the top stories from the past 100 years," Rust said. "So, if folks like the new history feature, they need to let us know."

Businesses interested in advertising with the feature should contact Carol Robert at 335-6611.

The feature is only one of many special items the newspaper is producing for its 100th anniversary. The celebration kicked off early on Oct. 1 at the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce's First Friday Coffee with a special preview of a new video charting the development of the area alongside the newspaper. If you are involved with a civic club or other organization and would like to have a special presentation of this video at a meeting, Rust encourages you to contact Judi Naeter at 335-6611.

"The video is an entertaining and informative look at our area through the lens of the newspaper," said Rust.

On Oct. 3, the newspaper produced a three-part, 40-page retrospective about the history of the community. And last Tuesday -- delayed until Wednesday because of a power outage -- the newspaper sponsored an opera performance at Southeast Missouri State University featuring nationally-renowned singer and Cape Girardeau native Judith Farris.

The next big event in the newspaper's centennial celebration will be on Oct. 23 as the River Heritage Museum debuts a yearlong exhibition about the history of the newspaper. Several historic Cape Girardeau buildings will be part of a special tour on the same day.

On Nov. 17 at the Show Me Center, the newspaper and KFVS12 will co-sponsor a hard-rock opera, "The Lost Christmas Eve," featuring one of the country's hottest groups, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The show is a high-energy, concert extravaganza aimed to please audiences young to old.

In addition to public events, the Southeast Missourian will be holding private focus groups for readers to give feedback about how to improve the newspaper and its Web sites. If you're interested in participating in such a focus group, Rust invites you to phone Judi Naeter at 335-6611 or e-mail her at jnaeter@semissourian.com.

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