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Sunday, May 3, 2015
History stories

Many eighth-graders score poorly on U.S. history, civics exam (04/30/15)
WASHINGTON -- Time for another history lesson. Only about a quarter of eighth-graders showed solid performance or better in U.S. history, civics and geography on tests known as the Nation's Report Card. The 2014 results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress released Wednesday were similar to those four years ago when the assessments were last administered...
Japan premier offers condolences for WWII dead in historic speech (04/30/15)
WASHINGTON -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe offered condolences Wednesday for Americans killed in World War II in the first address by a Japanese leader to a joint meeting of Congress, but stopped short of apologizing for wartime atrocities. Abe came to Capitol Hill after a morning visit to a Washington memorial to more than 400,000 American service members who died in the conflict. His remarks to a packed chamber a day after meeting President Barack Obama were received warmly by lawmakers...
Out of the Past: April 30 (04/29/15)
1990 Larry Dowdy, an official of the Little River Drainage District, tells the Lower Mississippi River Commission changes in federal wetlands regulations last year will have a devastating impact on farming and the economy. At a public hearing aboard the Corps of Engineers vessel Mississippi, Dowdy tells the commission, "The wetlands issue becomes more and more asinine each day."...
Area town adds history to its hill (04/27/15)
MARBLE HILL, Mo. -- Marble Hill is about two weeks away from opening a cultural center so enveloped in history, a newer building can't compare. Sharing an address, the Mayfield Cultural Center and Bollinger County Museum of Natural History are undergoing updates to provide the town with new history...
Missouri soldier killed in 1970 buried after memorial (04/27/15)
CENTRALIA, Mo. -- A Vietnam War soldier has been buried next to his parents in Missouri more than four decades after he died in an Army helicopter crash. The remains of Rodney Griffin, a Centralia man who was 21 in 1970 when his helicopter was shot down in Cambodia, were taken Saturday to a cemetery in Mexico in a flag-draped casket...
Cape Girardeau Conservation Center soon will mark 10th anniversary (04/26/15)
Sara Turner began working at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center 10 days before it opened in 2005. Now, celebrating its 10th anniversary, she's surrounded by changes that show the center's progress. The Missouri Department of Conservation will celebrate the 10th year of the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center on Friday and Saturday with a variety of free events...
History professor: U.S. still 'breathing the legacies of the Civil War' (04/17/15)
The North won the Civil War, the South lost, and Missouri was somewhere in the middle. Southeast Missouri State University's annual Harold Holmes Dugger lecture, presented by Christopher Phillips on Thursday night, examined the complex and sometimes contradictory cultural and political tides that emerged in the wake of the Civil War...
Walking tour, 'I Spy' contest mark Historic Preservation Month (04/17/15)
Cape Girardeau's Historic Preservation Commission is gearing up for Historic Preservation Month in May with a familiar event and a new competition. The commission's annual walking tour will begin at 5:30 p.m. May 1 at the southwest corner of Broadway and Frederick Street. This year, the tour will focus on historic structures along Frederick and conclude at the Cape River Heritage Museum, 538 Independence St., which will offer refreshments and historic displays...
Cape Girardeau endangered buildings list grows (04/17/15)
The number of properties added to the Endangered Buildings list this year nearly doubled from last year's numbers, largely thanks to the number of first-time submissions for several buildings. From former storefronts to personal homes, the buildings on the list vary in history, purpose and level of deterioration...
As death of Lincoln marked, caretakers of tomb face setbacks (04/16/15)
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Caretakers of Abraham Lincoln's tomb are on the defensive over an unflattering critique in National Geographic magazine and looming budget cuts that could threaten management of the historic site, even as they commemorate the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War president's assassination...
Percy Sledge, who sang 'When A Man Loves a Woman,' dies (04/15/15)
MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. -- Percy Sledge, who soared from part-time singer and hospital orderly to lasting fame with his aching, forlorn performance on the classic "When a Man Loves a Woman," died Tuesday in Louisiana. He was 74. His family said in a statement released through his manager, Mark Lyman, that he died "peacefully" at his home in Baton Rouge after a yearlong struggle with cancer. The cause of death was liver failure, Lyman said...
Southern California hospital to open psychiatric museum (04/14/15)
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- A Southern California psychiatric hospital in operation since 1893 plans to open a museum that will showcase the changing nature of treatment over more than a century. The Sun newspaper reported Sunday that the Patton State Hospital Museum will feature more than 140 artifacts, including original machines used in electroconvulsive -- or shock -- treatments...
Turkey recalls ambassador over pope's genocide words (04/13/15)
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis on Sunday marked the 100th anniversary of the slaughter of Armenians by calling the massacre by Ottoman Turks "the first genocide of the 20th century" and urging the international community to recognize it as such. Turkey immediately responded by recalling its ambassador and accusing Francis of spreading hatred and "unfounded claims."...
Video: Islamic group destroys ancient ruins (04/13/15)
BAGHDAD -- Islamic State militants hammered, bulldozed and ultimately blew up parts of the ancient Iraqi Assyrian city of Nimrud, destroying a site dating back to the 13th century B.C., an online militant video purportedly shows. The destruction at Nimrud, located near the militant-held city of Mosul, came amid other attacks on antiquity carried out by the group now holding a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in its self-declared caliphate. ...
Events, exhibits mark 150 years since Lincoln assassination (04/12/15)
Wednesday marks 150 years since the death of President Abraham Lincoln. Historic sites, museums and communities around the country are hosting exhibits, performances and events to mark the anniversary. Here are details on a few. Lincoln was shot April 14, 1865, while attending a play at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. ...
Chair in which Lincoln was shot center stage on anniversary (04/08/15)
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -- Jeff Buczkiewicz stood before the chair Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated 150 years ago. He peered silently into the glass-enclosed case at the rocking chair, then snapped pictures for posterity. "You just get drawn into these things," said Buczkiewicz, 47, who came from suburban Chicago with his family to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. "It is a tragic part of our history and our country. I think it's important to take it all in."...
Actor who played 'Dukes of Hazzard' sheriff dies at age 88 (04/08/15)
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Prolific character actor James Best, best known for playing the giggling and inept Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on "The Dukes of Hazzard," has died. He was 88. His wife of 29 years, Dorothy Best, said that Best died Monday night in hospice care in Hickory from complications of pneumonia...
Cape recycling program marks 25 years, looks to future (04/05/15)
Saturday marked 25 years since the city of Cape Girardeau began its recycling program. The city and the League of Women Voters sponsored the original pilot program. They began with about 60 households and picked up recycling the first Wednesday of every month...
Southeast Missouri State's 24 years of Division I men's basketball have been marked mostly by NCAA violations, firings and mediocrity (04/05/15)
Five former coaches, three NCAA investigations and just one NCAA tournament appearance are all the Southeast Missouri State men's basketball team has to show for its move to Division I athletics.
Way of the cross: Old St. Vincent parishioners will celebrate Easter amid 190 years of history (04/05/15)
Stations of the Cross -- a series of 14 images that delineate that last day of the life of Jesus Christ -- are arrayed at intervals along the walls of the nave of Old St. Vincent Church in downtown Cape Girardeau. Each compact three-dimensional tableau is captioned to describe the scene -- "Jesus is taken down from the cross," says the penultimate sculpture, and the final view explains, "Jesus is laid in the sepulcher." Together, the stations, sometimes referred to as Way of the Cross, present a prayer and a pilgrimage to remind the faithful of Jesus' suffering and death.. ...
Professor to lecture about Missouri in Civil War (04/03/15)
"Southern Cross, North Star: The Cultural Politics of Civil War Memory in Missouri and the Middle Border, 1865-1915" will be the topic when the Harold Holmes Dugger Lecture is presented April 16 at Southeast Missouri State University. The lecture, sponsored by the Southeast Department of History, will be delivered by Christopher Phillips, professor of history at the University of Cincinnati...
Library of Congress acquires rare Civil War images (03/30/15)
WASHINGTON -- A Houston housewife who quietly collected rare Civil War images for 50 years has sold more than 500 early photographs to the Library of Congress. The library announced the acquisition Sunday and is placing the first 77 images online. On Friday, 87-year-old Robin Stanford delivered the historic stereograph images from her collection to the library...
Royals, Cumberbatch help bury comeback King Richard III (03/27/15)
LEICESTER, England (AP) -- A maligned monarch found under a parking lot was buried in pomp Thursday, as Britain embraced comeback King Richard III, a long-reviled ruler who is experiencing a remarkable posthumous renaissance. Royalty, religious leaders and actor Benedict Cumberbatch joined archaeologists, Richard's distant relatives and curious Britons for a service in Leicester Cathedral that saw the king's bones buried with dignity, 530 years after his violent death...
Record-breaking show 'The Fantasticks' to close in May (03/26/15)
NEW YORK -- The off-Broadway phenomenon "The Fantasticks" will pack away its confetti and cardboard moon this summer, ending a record-breaking run that started when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president. Producers of the stalwart, low-tech show said Wednesday the musical will close May 3, the 55th anniversary of the show's opening in 1960. It will have run 20,672 performances in two city venues, with a gap of four years when it went silent...
Lorimier statue taken down for repairs (03/24/15)
The wooden statue of Louis Lorimier may be finding a new home by the end of the summer. The statue of Cape Girardeau's founder was carved into a tree stump at Cape Rock Park in September 1997. Since then, it's continued to be worn and damaged by weather, and city workers have taken the statue to its maintenance shed to be dried and be repaired...
Greece fights German bailout demands with Nazi-era claims (03/23/15)
BERLIN -- It was 1943, and the Nazis were deporting Greece's Jews to death camps in Poland. Hitler's genocidal accountants reserved a twist: The Jews had to pay their train fare. The bill for 58,585 Jews sent to Auschwitz and other camps exceeded 2 million Reichsmark -- more than 25 million euros ($27 million) in today's money...
U.S. veterans return to Iwo Jima for 70th anniversary (03/22/15)
IOTO, Japan -- Dozens of aging U.S. veterans, many in their early 90s and some in wheelchairs, gathered on the tiny, barren island of Iwo Jima on Saturday to mark the 70th anniversary of one of the bloodiest and most iconic battles of World War II. More than 30 veterans flown in from the U.S. island territory of Guam toured the black-sand beaches where they invaded dug-in forces of the island's Japanese defenders in early 1945...
6 gold coins from 1860 stolen from Pony Express museum (03/22/15)
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- Six gold coins from the time of the Pony Express have been stolen from a northwest Missouri museum that tells the story of the short-lived mail delivery service. The 1860 coins, five of which have been appraised to be in fine or extremely fine condition, are worth an estimated $6,000, said Cindy Daffron, the executive director of the Pony Express National Museum in St. ...
Civil War veteran to be buried in southwest Missouri (03/22/15)
CARTHAGE, Mo. -- A Civil War veteran whose remains went unclaimed for more than a century will be buried next month with his family in southwest Missouri. Major Raphael Guido Rombauer, who was on Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's staff for a time, was cremated after his 1912 death in Kirksville. For more than a century, the former Union soldier and Carthage businessman's ashes had remained on a shelf at the Valhalla Funeral Chapel, Cemetery and Crematory in St. Louis, The Carthage Press reported...
Delta Queen heads to New Orleans for restoration (03/22/15)
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- A historic paddle wheel riverboat that has been docked in Tennessee for the last seven years is headed to New Orleans for a complete restoration. The Delta Queen will depart from Chattanooga today for the trip, which is expected to last from nine to 14 days...
River Heritage Museum opens Saturday (03/20/15)
The Cape River Heritage Museum will open for its 2015 season Saturday. Guests are invited to visit the museum from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the old police and fire station at 538 Independence St. in Cape Girardeau. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for children. The museum's regular hours will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday...
Plans for Greek housing proceed despite preservationists' objections (03/19/15)
Southeast Missouri State University staff, as well as representatives from Greek organizations, will meet with an architect this week to discuss the design and financial details of a Greek housing project that has drawn criticism from historic preservationists...
British DNA gives window into ancient past, Vikings and all (03/19/15)
NEW YORK -- Genetic samples collected from across the United Kingdom are shedding light on the ancient past, including Viking invasions and a mystery about the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons, researchers report. The DNA also suggests that, genetically speaking, people in Wales are the closest matches to early settlers of Britain after the last ice age, people who began showing up some 10,000 to 11,000 years ago...
The worst storm of all: Tri-State Tornado holds records 90 years later (03/18/15)
Wednesday, March 18, 1925, was a comparatively slow news day in Cape Girardeau. Among the headlines on the front page of the Southeast Missourian's evening edition: "College not likely to get new building." "Girl, 18, makes second trip to the altar." "Left-hand turn into driveways now prohibited."...
Fashion museum exhibit documents Lauren Bacall: 'The Look' (03/18/15)
NEW YORK -- On stage, screen and magazine covers, Lauren Bacall was known as "The Look," but in her regular life, the late icon described her style as "studied carelessness." Now, more than six months after her death, student curators at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology have managed to capture both sides of Bacall in an intimate new exhibit that runs through April 4...
Greystone Estate comes down (03/18/15)
The Shivelbine House is seen in the background as an excavator removes rubble Tuesday from where Greystone Estate stood off Sprigg Street. The estate, built in 1921, was used for years by Southeast Missouri State University fraternities but was closed last year when problems were found with the roof, water infiltration and ductwork. Repairing the house was not considered economically feasible by the university...
New County History Center brings back old memories (03/16/15)
Walking into the Cape Girardeau County History Center in Jackson, a huge patchwork quilt hangs along the left wall with a note at the side table reading "do not touch." This quilt is the work of Idell Brown Dockins, called "The Brown Family Quilt." It's the Brown family tree, with photos emblazoned onto pieces of fabric patched throughout the quilt. ...
Adaptive reuse: Downtown Cape Girardeau sees flurry of business activity (03/11/15)
A lot more business activity can be seen these days in downtown Cape Girardeau. Driving east toward the riverfront from near Southeast Missouri State University, many renovation projects are in the works. Once-numerous "for sale" and "for rent" signs are starting to disappear...
Thousands in Selma pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of civil-rights clash (03/09/15)
SELMA, Ala. -- Selma paid tribute Sunday to the late President Lyndon Johnson for the 1965 Voting Rights Act, recalling the clashes between police and marchers 50 years ago in this Alabama city that helped secure those equal voting protections. Police beat and tear-gassed marchers at the foot of the bridge in Selma on March 7, 1965, in a spasm of violence that shocked the nation. ...
IS destroying another ancient archaeological site in Iraq (03/08/15)
BAGHDAD -- Islamic State militants continued their campaign targeting cultural heritage sites in territories they control in northern Iraq, looting and damaging the ancient city of Hatra just one day after bulldozing the historic city of Nimrud, according to Iraqi government officials and local residents...
Microsoft co-founder says he found sunken Japan WWII warship (03/05/15)
TOKYO -- Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen and his research team have found the wreckage of a massive Japanese World War II battleship off the Philippines near where it sank more than 70 years ago, he said Wednesday. The apparent discovery of the Musashi, one of the largest battleships in history, comes as the world marks the 70th anniversary of the war's end...
Fossil jaw sheds light on turning point in human evolution (03/05/15)
NEW YORK -- A fragment of jawbone found in Ethiopia is the oldest known fossil from an evolutionary tree branch that eventually led to modern humans, scientists reported Wednesday. The fossil comes from close to the time our branch split away from more apelike ancestors best known for the fossil skeleton Lucy, so it gives a rare glimpse of what early members of our branch looked like...
Plan for Greek housing advances, but draws fire from preservationists (03/01/15)
An idea to create a housing option specifically for Greek students at Southeast Missouri State University was advanced by the board of regents Saturday but is drawing fire from residents who worry Greystone Estate and the Shivelbine House will be demolished...
The beauty and brawn of the classic cast-iron skillet, from past to future (03/01/15)
Just a week ago, I had an opportunity to spend time with a family in Brownwood, Missouri. As we were visiting, I noticed a number of cast iron skillets hanging from a rack in the kitchen. I remarked to the owner that I thought they were neat. The owner, well over 65 years old, remarked that she "just loves her cast-iron cookware."...
Leonard Nimoy, famous as Mr. Spock on 'Star Trek,' dies (03/01/15)
LOS ANGELES -- In 1975, Leonard Nimoy published an autobiography with the defiant title, "I Am Not Spock" -- an attempt to show the world he had many more facets than the pointy-eared character that had come to define him. Two decades later, after proving that with a career that became a blend of roles beyond "Star Trek" along with directing, writing and photography, he bowed to fate with "I Am Spock," a revisionist sequel...
Adaptive reuse: Cape County's administrative building began as a Coke bottling plant (02/27/15)
A look back on the history of the building at 1 Barton Square in Jackson reveals its many faces, from Coca-Cola bottling plant to administrative office space. For a time, until the late 1980s, the entire block featured two buildings used by Coca-Cola for offices and production, a garage to repair company vehicles and a house. ...
Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts (02/27/15)
BEIRUT -- Islamic State militants seized more Christians from their homes in northeastern Syria in the past three days, bringing the total number abducted by the extremist group to over 220, activists said Thursday. At the same time, the extremists also released a video showing the continued destruction of the heritage of the lands under their control. It depicted men using sledgehammers to smash ancient Mesopotamian statues and other artifacts in Iraq's northern city of Mosul...
Legendary jazz trumpeter Clark Terry dies at 94 (02/23/15)
NEW YORK -- Clark Terry, a Grammy Award-winning jazz trumpeter who played in the orchestras of both Count Basie and Duke Ellington and on "The Tonight Show" and collaborated with jazz greats including Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, has died. He was 94...
Jackson courthouse is crammed with history (02/22/15)
If Cape Girardeau County moves forward with plans for a new courthouse in Jackson, it wouldn't be the first time its offices and courts moved from an old facility to occupy the new. It wouldn't even be the second time. Courts in Jackson were housed in many buildings over the years until the historic courthouse standing today was completed in 1908. ...
Surveyors find new height for Washington Monument (02/17/15)
WASHINGTON -- Government surveyors have determined a new height for the Washington Monument nearly 10 inches shorter than what has been recorded for more than 130 years, officials said Monday. The new measurement puts the monument at 554 feet, 7 11/30 inches, as measured from the floor of the main entrance to the top. ...
Scott City works to establish a history museum (02/16/15)
The Scott City community experienced a huge loss when the Illmo Head School House caught fire in late April 2008 and destroyed historical artifacts in it. Members of the Scott City Historical Commission remember it well and the impact it left on the community...
Tradition blocks the renaming of two Perry County towns (02/15/15)
Out on Route C is a crossroads that still matters. If you head north into Perry County, up into the winding hills and scattered woods, past sun-bleached barns, grain bins and sensible farm houses, past where the ribbon of highway curls unhurried around corn fields, dry-stalked and dormant this time of year, you'll find it...
'Iconic' Common Pleas Courthouse faces uncertain future (02/13/15)
Common Pleas Courthouse is considered by many to be the most iconic building in Cape Girardeau, and for good reason. The building sits on a hill at 44 N. Lorimier St., one of the highest points in the city, with an enviable view of downtown. In its 160 years, the courthouse has seen slave auctions, the eruption of the Civil War and countless civil and criminal trials. ...
'SNL' celebrates 4 decades of 'Live, from New York!' (02/12/15)
NEW YORK -- "Saturday Night Live," which has never shied from self-congratulation with countless best-of, holiday and anniversary shindigs, is doing it again, big-time. "The SNL 40th Anniversary Special," three hours of it, will air live at 7 p.m. Sunday on NBC...
Two Cape Girardeau men added to Wall of Valor (02/12/15)
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- The newest people inducted Monday into the Wall of Valor at John J. Pershing VA Medical Center span three generations of combat veterans. The wars in which the six men fought were separated by decades and continents, yet many of the honorees share a humility when talking about the actions that earned each a Medal of Valor...
Mark Twain plaque stolen from New York gravesite recovered (02/09/15)
ELMIRA, N.Y. -- Police say a bronze plaque stolen from Mark Twain's gravesite in upstate New York has been recovered in good condition. In a statement to media, the Elmira Police Department said the 12-by-12-inch likeness of the American writer was recovered Saturday. The statement said details on how it was recovered and whether there will be any arrests won't be available until today...
Historic Preservation Commission seeks nominations for endangered buildings list (02/09/15)
The Cape Girardeau Historic Preservation Commission is now accepting nominations for its 2015 Endangered Buildings List. Created in 2012, the list helps the commission promote awareness of historic "at risk" buildings in the community. Vacancy, deterioration and likely demolition are threats typically facing buildings on the list. Last year's list featured more than a dozen buildings, including the Broadway Theater and Esquire Theater on Broadway and the Fort D Blockhouse, 920 Fort St...
Sikeston man's World War II life-raft ordeal told in a new film (02/06/15)
An area man's true story of being stranded on a life raft with two other men in the South Pacific during World War II finally has been made into a film -- 73 years later. "Against the Sun," officially released last month in most of the U.S., is based on a 1942 book by Robert Trumbull titled "The Raft."...
Rosa Parks' archive opening at Library of Congress (02/04/15)
WASHINGTON -- Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus, reflected later on how it felt to be treated less than equal and once wrote of how tired she was of being "pushed around" -- parts of her history long hidden away. Beginning today at the Library of Congress, researchers and the public will have full access to Parks' archive of letters, writings, personal notes and photographs for the first time. ...
4 surviving Magna Cartas brought together for first time (02/03/15)
LONDON (AP) -- You can't exactly call it a reunion -- the four surviving original Magna Cartas had never before been in the same place. So the British Library called it a "unification event" Monday when the priceless documents were put on display together for the first time...
Courthouses' shortcomings cited in county's consolidation plan (01/30/15)
Plans to consolidate court services in Cape Girardeau County have given court employees like Patti Wibbenmeyer a chance to talk about the issues they see every day at the historic Common Pleas Courthouse in Cape Girardeau and courthouse in Jackson. County commissioners have discussed the consolidation of services into a new courthouse for more than a year and have turned to court employees to help them explain why they believe this is necessary for the county...
Auschwitz ceremony sends warning of anti-Semitism (01/28/15)
BRZEZINKA, Poland -- A Jewish leader stood before 300 survivors of the Nazis' most notorious death camp Tuesday and asked world leaders to prevent another Auschwitz, warning of a rise of anti-Semitism that has made many Jews fearful of walking the streets, and is causing many to flee Europe...
Poplar Bluff UFO sighting in 1950 included in online database (01/28/15)
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- A Poplar Bluff UFO report was among previously classified documents released online recently, but the report does not dispel the mysteries of a bizarre 24-hour period in the fall of 1950. More than 130,000 files from U.S. Air Force "Project Blue Book" were added to the The Black Vault online database last week. The database is the work of UFO enthusiast John Greenewald, who spent years requesting the files through the Freedom of Information Act...
New historical marker added to U.S. Grant Trail (01/28/15)
Most people don't know about Ulysses S. Grant's brief stay in Cape Girardeau and the role his time here played in the outcome of the Civil War. But the spot where two downtown streets meet is well known by those familiar with Grant's journey, and how it influenced his transition as the Union Army's commanding general and later president of the United States...
Famed civil rights protesters to have arrest records erased (01/28/15)
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Nine black men arrested for integrating a whites-only South Carolina lunch counter 54 years ago may be heroes in the historical record, but in the record of the law they still are convicted trespassers. That criminal record will soon be erased...
County commission approves plan to move courts to Jackson (01/27/15)
A citizen advisory committee formed to assess plans for the future of Cape Girardeau County facilities delivered its final report to county commissioners Monday, recommending a plan that would move all court operations to a new courthouse, tear down the administration building and build a parking garage near the courthouse...
Weekend service in Fulton honors Winston Churchill (01/26/15)
FULTON, Mo. -- Relatives of Winston Churchill have marked the 50th anniversary of the death of Britain's World War II leader at the Missouri college where he delivered his historic "Iron Curtain" speech. The Columbia Missourian reported that the National Churchill Museum at Westminster College organized a remembrance event Saturday. It included Churchill's granddaughter, Edwina Sandys, and his great-grandson, Duncan Sandys...
King Abdullah dead at age 90 (01/23/15)
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, the powerful U.S. ally who joined Washington's fight against al-Qaida and sought to modernize the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom with incremental but significant reforms, including nudging open greater opportunities for women, has died, according to Saudi state TV. He was 90...
For fans of Jackson Skating Center, time rolls on (01/21/15)
For children of the 1970s, '80s and '90s, the death of Jackson Skating Center is a solemn occasion. "I felt like I was watching my childhood crumble," said 36-year-old Kia Abernathy, who once circled the floor there regularly and happened to drive in recent days, only to realize the cherished old venue was being torn down...
Former St. Louis police officer reunited with baby he rescued in 1963 (01/19/15)
ST. LOUIS -- Toni DiPina has been trying to solve the mystery of her unknown family since she was abandoned as a baby. The reality is DiPina, at 51, still has no clue where she came from. She does not know why one or both of her parents abandoned her at 9 months on May 26, 1963, on a vacant lot in St. Louis. No one has ever come forward. Not then and not in 2008 when the Post-Dispatch first wrote extensively about her...
Great Southern Bank buys Marquette buildings at foreclosure auction (01/18/15)
The Springfield, Missouri, bank foreclosing on the Marquette properties in downtown Cape Girardeau now owns the two buildings after it was the sole bidder in a public auction held Friday at the local Common Pleas courthouse. Great Southern Bank attempted to unload the Marquette Tower and Centre properties in the auction...
Researchers puzzled by discovery of 1882 Winchester rifle (01/18/15)
RENO, Nev. -- Researchers are trying to crack the mystery surrounding the discovery of a weathered, rusted Winchester rifle in the mountains of remote eastern Nevada. The gun, manufactured in 1882, was found leaning against a juniper tree on a rocky outcrop in Great Basin National Park during an archaeological survey in November...
Cape Girardeau County History Center soon will open in Jackson (01/16/15)
Carla Jordan is looking forward to the March opening of the Cape Girardeau County History Center. The center will be at 102 S. High St. in Jackson, in the former location of The Andrew Jackson Bridal Co., which moved to Cape Girardeau in August. Jordan, a preservationist who also works with the Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum in Altenburg, Missouri, has been working with the Cape Girardeau Historical Society to help develop the location and get the ball rolling on its operations...
Marquette foreclosure auction still set for Friday (01/15/15)
The Marquette properties in downtown Cape Girardeau remain scheduled to be sold in a public foreclosure auction Friday. Nancy Browne, an attorney at The Limbaugh Firm that is representing Great Southern Bank in foreclosure proceedings on the Marquette Tower and Centre buildings, said late Wednesday she hadn't been instructed to call off the sale after it was postponed for one week last Friday...
Auction of Marquette Tower halted -- for now (01/11/15)
A planned public foreclosure auction of the Marquette Tower and Centre buildings was postponed Friday. The two downtown Cape Girardeau properties were set to be offered to cash bidders on the steps of the Common Pleas Courthouse. But an attorney for the Springfield, Missouri, bank that holds the note on the properties announced a one-week continuance instead while a potential sale is evaluated...
Home as historic adventure In restoring their spacious house, Robert and Kaye Hamblin discover Cape Girardeau's past and bring it into the present (01/11/15)
When it comes to uncovering the history of a home, married duo Robert "Bob" and Kaye Hamblin have dug up their home's roots down to the foundation. The Hamblins have lived at 313 Themis St. for the past 12 years, and still they're finding odds and ends to fix up on their Victorian style home...
Fate of Common Pleas remains a worry in county consolidation plans (01/09/15)
Removal of court services from Cape Girardeau and county security concerns were among the top issues discussed at an open-house meeting Thursday night at the Osage Centre about the future of Cape Girardeau County facilities. The Cape Girardeau County Commission formed an advisory board about a year ago to review three options proposed by Treanor Architects. ...
Marquette buildings' owners try to stop foreclosure auction (01/08/15)
The future of one of downtown Cape Girardeau's largest and most recognizable buildings is uncertain, as the Marquette Tower and Centre are planned to be offered Friday in a public foreclosure auction. The buildings are included in a successor trustees sale set for Friday at the Common Pleas Courthouse, although the owner, G&S Holdings LLC, has filed an injunction request to try to stop the sale...
Mark Twain plaque stolen from monument at New York gravesite (01/06/15)
ELMIRA, N.Y. -- Police are investigating the theft of a bronze plaque from a monument at Mark Twain's gravesite in upstate New York. The superintendent of Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira said Monday that the 12-by-12-inch likeness of the American writer was likely stolen between Christmas and New Year's Day...
Jim Crow-era shooting revisited in new documentary (01/02/15)
LIVE OAK, Fla. -- On a sticky hot Sunday in August 1952, a wealthy black woman named Ruby McCollum walked through the "colored entrance" of a doctor's office in the small north Florida town of Live Oak and fatally shot a white doctor, state Sen.-elect Clifford Leroy Adams...
Ex-New Yor governor Mario Cuomo, famed for oratory, dies at 82 (01/02/15)
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Mario Cuomo, a son of Italian immigrants who became an eloquent spokesman for a generation of liberal Democrats during his three terms as governor of New York but couldn't quite bring himself to run for president, has died. He was 82...
Group of musicians exposes Missouri organs' hidden history (12/29/14)
JOPLIN, Mo. -- A group of Missouri organ musicians and enthusiasts are traveling the area to revive the history and sound of the instrument. Members of the Joplin Area Organist's Association organize "organ crawls" to visit some of the state's best instruments, the Joplin Globe reported...
10th anniversary of tsunami marked with tears (12/28/14)
PERELIYA, Sri Lanka -- A packed train in Sri Lanka that was swept off its tracks by waves as big as elephants. A boat patrolling off Thailand's shore hurled more than a mile inland. Streets in Indonesia turned into roaring rivers that carried people to their deaths...
'Sons of Liberty' tells tale of America's founders (12/26/14)
BOSTON -- Don't let the powdered wigs and oil paintings fool you: Samuel Adams, John Hancock and the other eventual Americans who changed the course of history were a ragtag band of secretive and sometimes mischievous young radicals. Just ask Paul Revere, aka actor Michael Raymond-James, who's part of the cast of "Sons of Liberty," a new miniseries premiering in January on the History Channel...
Panama's Noriega still in prison 25 years after invasion (12/21/14)
PANAMA CITY -- Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega is nearly forgotten, languishing in a steamy jungle prison near the interoceanic canal while the country enjoys democracy and economic prosperity a quarter-century after the strongman was toppled by a U.S. military invasion...
Soviet threat to Santa? No way, said JFK in 1961 (12/21/14)
BOSTON -- The Kennedy Presidential Library wants to remind the world not even the threat of thermonuclear conflict can stop Santa Claus from making his rounds. The library republished a 1961 letter from President John F. Kennedy reassuring a girl who was worried about possible Soviet nuclear tests at the North Pole...
Christmas 1914: The day WWI showed humanity (12/21/14)
PLOEGSTEERT, Belgium -- With British and German forces separated only by a no man's land littered with fallen comrades, sounds of a German Christmas carol suddenly drifted across the frigid air: "Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht" ("Silent Night, Holy Night")...
University advances plan to develop Greek Village site (12/19/14)
An idea that's floated around Southeast Missouri State University for years -- to create a housing option specifically for Greek students -- came much closer to reality with a vote of the board of regents Thursday. The board approved seeking design services for the long-talked-about Greek Village, which could begin to take form, at least in terms of planning, as early as March...
Scientists: Alcatraz escapees could have survived (12/18/14)
SAN FRANCISCO -- The three prisoners who escaped from Alcatraz in one of the most famous and elaborate prison breaks in U.S. history could have survived and made it to land, scientists concluded in a recent study. The three Dutch scientists, using the latest hydraulic software and information about tides on the night of the 1962 escape, said the three men could have made it to land north of the Golden Gate Bridge if they left between 11 p.m. ...
Governor cites need for Missouri Capitol repairs (12/16/14)
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Gov. Jay Nixon stepped through mud and used his fingers to snap off one of the many skinny stalactites that have formed from water leaks under the Missouri Capitol on Monday as he sought to draw attention to the need for repairs to the century-old building...
Century later, Jewish soldier may get top medal (12/16/14)
ST. LOUIS -- Nearly a century ago, Sgt. William Shemin raced across a World War I battlefield three times to pull wounded comrades to safety. With all the senior leaders of the platoon wounded or killed, the 19-year-old survived a bullet to the head and led his unit to safety...
Bill upping status of World War I museum advances (12/15/14)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Missouri's Liberty Memorial in Kansas City is one step closer to gaining ramped up national status. The U.S. Senate last week passed legislation that would designate the landmark as the nation's World War I Museum and Memorial. Both Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee and pushed for the provision in this year's annual defense bill...
German court throws out Nazi massacre case (12/10/14)
BERLIN -- A German court on Tuesday threw out the case against a former SS man accused of involvement in the largest civilian massacre in Nazi-occupied France, saying there was not enough evidence to bring the 89-year-old to trial. Cologne, Germany, resident Werner C., whose last name has not been revealed in accordance with German privacy laws, was charged with murder and accessory to murder in connection with the 1944 slaughter of 642 civilians in Oradour-sur-Glane in southwestern France...
Attacks on Pearl Harbor commemorated during observance at Mississippi River (12/08/14)
About 10 people gathered Sunday at the Cape Girardeau riverfront to remember those who died at Pearl Harbor, marking the United States' entry into World War II. On Dec. 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy conducted a surprise military strike at the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. It was supposed to be a time of discussing peace, but the attack killed approximately 2,500 people and injured another 1,000...
Survivors mark Pearl Harbor anniversary (12/08/14)
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii -- Veterans who survived the Pearl Harbor attack that launched the United States into World War II attended Sunday's 73rd anniversary ceremony with the help of canes, wheelchairs and motorized scooters. Wearing purple orchid lei, about 100 Pearl Harbor and World War II survivors attended the ceremony overlooking a memorial that sits atop sunken battleship USS Arizona. Many of them arrived well before the sun came up...
Mismanagement alleged at Pearl Harbor memorial (12/07/14)
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii -- The USS Arizona is one of the nation's most hallowed sites, an underwater grave for more than 900 sailors and Marines killed when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and sank their ship in 1941. Now, it's the scene of alleged mismanagement...
Closing statements: Circuit judge set to retire after 22 years (12/07/14)
The Honorable William L. Syler stood in the middle of his office in jeans and Converse sneakers, fiddling with a tape measure as he surveyed his surroundings. "It's amazing how much stuff you can accumulate in 22 years," he said. The longtime Cape Girardeau County circuit judge pulled a card table from a jumble of boxes and furniture in one corner...
Pearl Harbor observance (12/07/14)
John Yallaly tosses a wreath into the Mississippi River at the annual American Legion Post 63 Pearl Harbor observance Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014 in Cape Girardeau. (Fred Lynch)
Letter that inspired Kerouac found (11/24/14)
LOS ANGELES -- It's been called the letter that launched a literary genre -- 16,000 amphetamine-fueled, stream-of-consciousness words written by Neal Cassady to his friend Jack Kerouac in 1950. Upon reading them, Kerouac scrapped an early draft of "On The Road" and, during a three-week writing binge, revised his novel into a style similar to Cassady's, one that would become known as Beat literature...
Local veterans interviewed for historical recordings (11/23/14)
Volunteers from the Missouri Veterans History Project recorded interviews Friday with two local service members, Homer Schnurbusch and John "Doc" Yallaly. The state organization is part of a national program through the Library of Congress and American Folklife Center. ...
Motown singer Jimmy Ruffin dies at age 78 (11/20/14)
NEW YORK -- Jimmy Ruffin, the Motown singer whose hits include "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" and "Hold on to My Love," died Monday in a Las Vegas hospital. He was 78. Philicia Ruffin and Jimmy Lee Ruffin Jr., the late singer's children, confirmed Wednesday that Ruffin had died. There were no details about the cause of death...
Letters by famous women are auctioned (11/19/14)
PARIS -- An unprecedented collection of 1,500 documents from some of history's greatest women is being auctioned in Paris, including everything from Catherine the Great's letter shunning her lover, to Brigitte Bardot's plea to cancel the release of a song that ended up being banned in several countries owing to its sexual content...
Methodist church in St. Joseph keeps history alive (11/17/14)
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- Inside a cabinet at Ashland United Methodist Church stand dozens of scrapbooks, the years written on the spines in precise handwriting. Inside the books are documents from decades of traditions, people and changes at the church, an important glimpse into a history that dates back to the 1840s...
Jane Byrne, Chicago's 1st female mayor, dies (11/16/14)
CHICAGO (AP) -- Jane Byrne became part of Chicago history when she was elected its first female mayor. She became part of city lore because of how she won: beating an incumbent who voters thought had bungled the reaction to a blizzard that paralyzed the streets...
Catholic Campus Ministry celebrates 100 years (11/16/14)
Although it has existed 100 years, Catholic Campus Ministry on the Southeast Missouri State University campus has changed with the times, becoming more active in its mission of bringing people to a relationship with Jesus Christ through the church. It does this through missionaries, Masses and social gatherings for special occasions...
Sikeston WWII veteran was held six months as POW in Germany (11/11/14)
SIKESTON, Mo. -- In 1943, 18-year-old Judson Willis Jr. wanted to be a pilot in the Army Air Corps, but Uncle Sam had other plans. After a year of training in Texas, Willis graduated as a navigator. And navigate he did -- from Texas across the country to Virginia then across the ocean to southern Italy. His stint in the military would also take him to Germany as a prisoner of war, after liberation onto France before returning to the U.S., where Willis eventually would settle in Sikeston...
Men from different parts of Missouri maintain strong bond after serving in WWII (11/11/14)
Combat experiences often draw men closer together than brothers. The same is true for Ivan Lee and James Mansker, two World War II Army veterans whose friendship has spanned about 70 years...
Ozark cultural archive goes digital (11/11/14)
VAN BUREN, Mo. -- A cultural archive that contains more than 500,000 pieces of Ozark history is getting a digital face-lift. A database created by the Ozark National Scenic Riverways tracks the people, places and times preserved in artifacts and oral histories collected over the last four decades...
Bob Hope's lasting legacy of more than laughs (11/11/14)
NEW YORK -- While today he may be thought of with misgivings, if at all, Bob Hope reigned for much of the last century as America's wisecracking avatar of comedy. By the time he died in 2003 at age 100, Hope had conquered vaudeville, Broadway, recordings, live concerts, radio, films and, from its infancy, TV, where he remained a welcome presence into his 90s...
Zickfield's store soon will mark 75th year (11/10/14)
In today's bustling society, it's rare to find a business owner who remembers your name. Shop owners see so many faces daily, the chance they recognize a repeat customer is slim. But that's not the case at Zickfield's Jeweler and Gifts, owner Kent Zickfield said. There, he connects with his customers on a personal level and ensures his products are more than satisfactory. This is the result of placing 75 years of dedication into a line of work he finds rewarding, he said...
Museum chronicles Cape's cinema history (11/10/14)
It was Dec. 24, 1921, and the biggest opening night ever for a Cape Girardeau theater at that time. The Broadway Theater at 805 Broadway was premiering "The Sheik" -- a silent romantic drama starring Rudolph Valentino, Agnes Ayres and Adolphe Menjou -- for its first film since the theater's remodel, with approximately 6,000 moviegoers attending the silent film...
Balloons symbolize fall of Berlin Wall (11/10/14)
BERLIN -- The citizens of Berlin on Sunday released almost 7,000 balloons into the night sky, many carrying messages of hope to mark the 25th anniversary since the fall of the wall that once divided their city. The symbolic act recalled the giddy night of Nov. 9, 1989, when thousands of people from the communist East streamed through the Berlin Wall to celebrate freedom with their brethren in the West...
Berlin Wall opening remains fresh on minds (11/09/14)
BERLIN -- It's been 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, but Harald Jaeger has no trouble remembering where he was when the first border crossing was opened. He was the East German border guard commander who decided to open Berlin's Bornholmer Strasse checkpoint -- telling his men to stand aside and let the throng of people through...
86-year-old Serb guards over WWI dead in Greece (11/09/14)
THESSALONIKI, Greece -- Stooped and unsteady, Djordje Mihailovic walks among rows of discolored marble crosses of Serb soldiers slain a century ago in the horrors of World War I. For over half a century, the 86-year-old has been a caretaker at Thessaloniki's Allied War Cemetery in northern Greece. In the centenary year of the start of World War I, Mihailovic is more the embodiment of remembrance as another Nov. 11 Armistice Day approaches...
Civil War officer receives Medal of Honor (11/07/14)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama on Thursday recognized the heroism of a Union Army officer who was killed during the Battle of Gettysburg, an honor that was more than 150 years in the making. Obama said he was mindful that he may not be president today if it weren't for the bravery of First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing and his fellow troops as he awarded First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing a posthumous Medal of Honor...
Family getting back missing Purple Heart (11/04/14)
MANLIUS, N.Y. -- Robyn DeCuffa was a toddler when her father was killed in Vietnam, so she was devastated when his Purple Heart medal disappeared from her Syracuse-area home. Today DeCuffa will be reunited with Army Pfc. Thomas McGraw's Purple Heart, awarded after his death in an ambush in 1966...
Byrd House of Jackson will host holiday dinners in November, December (11/03/14)
The historic Byrd House in Jackson will present a new dinner series this year titled "Christmas in 1820." Every Friday and Saturday between Nov. 28 and Dec. 20, Rebecca and James Beil will host holiday-themed dinners that will take their guests back in time...
TV show to focus on 1977 Parsh murders (11/02/14)
Brenda Parsh, 27, was working as a fashion designer in Wisconsin when she came home to spend time with her father -- who was undergoing heart surgery -- and attend a family reunion with her mother, 58-year-old Mary Parsh. Brenda Parsh's longtime friend, Vicki Abernathy, said the former beauty queen came home on a hot Friday evening in August 1977 and planned to attend a family reunion the next day with her mother...
Southeast Missourian 110-year timeline (10/30/14)
1904 The Naeter brothers resurrected a failed newspaper, The Daily Republican Voters approved a plan to install sewers in the city. Passenger service began on the new Houck railroad from Cape Girardeau to Oak Ridge. Louis Houck donated a wealth of items from the Missouri Building of the St. Louis World's Fair to the Normal School, now Southeast Missouri State University. Included in the purchase were 58 reproductions of ancient and medieval statuary by August Gerber of Cologne, Germany...
Ford Groves marks 100th anniversary (10/27/14)
Two world wars, economic depressions and recessions that produced double-digit sales dips, government sales-tax disagreements and high gas prices haven't stopped Ford Groves. A century after founding owner Fred A. Groves began selling cars in Cape Girardeau in 1914, his dealership is celebrating its biggest milestone yet this month...
Auditor revels in Hollywood, history (10/27/14)
CLAYTON, Mo. -- Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich says he's excited about a big success that's been years in the making. He's not talking about his likely re-election Nov. 4. Schweich is hyped up about his recent purchase of a rare autograph and photograph of old-time Hollywood actress Greta Garbo. The hard-to-find items are the latest additions to Schweich's extensive collections, which include old movie memorabilia, coins and historical documents...
David Greenglass of Rosenberg spying case dies at age 92 (10/15/14)
NEW YORK -- David Greenglass, who served 10 years in prison for his role in the most explosive atomic spying case of the Cold War and gave testimony that sent his brother-in-law and sister, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, to the electric chair in 1953, has died at 92...
Mummies getting a closer look (10/15/14)
ST. LOUIS -- A team of experts in St. Louis is examining an Egyptian mummy to determine what killed him 3,000 years ago. The mummy of Egyptian priest Amen-Nestawy-Nakht is getting another CT scan, and researchers hope to learn not only how he died but more about his health. His last scan was several decades ago, when technology wasn't at the level it is now, the St. Louis-Dispatch reported...
New heritage center planned for Jackson (10/14/14)
A corner of uptown Jackson once home to a formal wear shop is destined for a new use. The Cape Girardeau County Historical Society plans to transform the building at 102 S. High St., which housed The Andrew Jackson since 1973, into a heritage center by next spring...
Documents show how White House defended Clinton (10/12/14)
WASHINGTON -- The White House made a public push to defend President Bill Clinton during a series of investigations related to the Whitewater real estate deal and his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky, according to thousands of pages of documents released by the National Archives...
Event offers sneak peek at library's stained glass (10/09/14)
Although she didn't know it at the time, working at Yale University's Sterling Memorial Library gave Gay Walker inspiration for her master's thesis and two books about artist G. Owen Bonawit. Bonawit created stained-glass windows for Yale and a number of other universities, schools, churches and libraries, including Kent Library at Southeast Missouri State University...
Cave drawings in Asia are as old as European ones, study says (10/09/14)
WASHINGTON -- Ancient cave drawings in Indonesia are as old as famous prehistoric art in Europe, according to a new study that shows our ancestors were drawing all over the world 40,000 years ago. And it hints at an even earlier dawn of creativity in modern humans, going back to Africa, than scientists had thought...
Auction of ancient Egyptian relics averted (10/06/14)
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York purchased a collection of 4,000-year-old Egyptian artifacts found a century ago by a British explorer, averting a plan to auction the antiquities that had drawn criticism from historians...
Baptist Student Center marks 75 years (10/05/14)
Baptist student Center marks 75 years on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University
Historian donates notes on Lincoln photo (10/05/14)
CHICAGO -- It's one of the most famous Abraham Lincoln photographs, largely because no one knew the picture of the dead president lying in an open coffin existed for nearly a century until a 14-year-old boy found it. On Tuesday, Ronald Rietveld -- the boy who made the discovery and now is a retired historian -- will donate his original notes about the picture to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois...
Ousted Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier dies (10/05/14)
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Jean-Claude Duvalier, who presided over what was widely acknowledged as a corrupt and brutal regime as the self-proclaimed "president for life" of Haiti until a popular uprising sent him into a 25-year exile, has died. He was 63...
Kent Library guest to discuss historic stained-glass panels (10/03/14)
Kent Library at Southeast Missouri State University will host guest speaker Gay Walker for two events Wednesday to mark the facility's 75th anniversary. Walker, special collections librarian at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and author of "Bonawit, Stained Glass & Yale: G. Owen Bonawit's Work at Yale University & Elsewhere," will discuss the history and relevance of the artist's stained glass panels...
Nazi hunter pushes for new probe (10/02/14)
BERLIN -- The Simon Wiesenthal Center has identified dozens of former members of Nazi mobile death squads who might still be alive, and is pushing the German government for an investigation, The Associated Press has learned. The Wiesenthal Center's top Nazi hunter, Efraim Zuroff, said Wednesday that in September he sent the German justice and interior ministries a list of 76 men and four women who served in the so-called Einsatzgruppen...
First bullet train marks 50 years (10/02/14)
TOKYO -- It was, retired Japanese railway engineer Fumihiro Araki recalls, "like flying in the sky." Zipping cross-country in a super-high-speed train has become commonplace in many countries these days, but it was unheard of when Japan launched its bullet train between Tokyo and Osaka 50 years ago Wednesday...
Missouri artist recalls career (09/29/14)
MILAN, Mo. -- Joe McCarty couldn't wait to blow town after high school graduation. He wanted to get out in the world and make his mark with his pencils and brushes. So that very May night in 1932, he jumped on a train to Chicago to go to cartoon illustration school...
'Gone With the Wind' film marks 75th year (09/28/14)
LOS ANGELES -- As its 75th anniversary approaches, "Gone With the Wind" is again being celebrated as a timeless movie classic. But the film's distributor acknowledges the Civil War epic's portrayal of slavery is dated and inaccurate. "Gone With the Wind" is being screened in 650 theaters nationwide, broadcast Monday by Turner Classic Movies and reissued Tuesday in a lavish home-video box set, including a music box, an embroidered handkerchief and more than eight hours of bonus features...
James Traficant, convicted former-congressman, dies (09/28/14)
CLEVELAND -- James Traficant, the colorful Ohio politician whose conviction for taking bribes and kickbacks made him only the second person to be expelled from Congress since the Civil War, died Saturday. He was 73. Traficant was seriously injured Tuesday after a vintage tractor flipped over on him as he tried to park it inside a barn on the family farm near Youngstown. He died four days later in a Youngstown hospital, said Dave Betras, chairman of the Mahoning County Democratic Party...
Time capsule believed found in lion statue (09/25/14)
BOSTON -- What appears to be a window to Boston's past has turned up in a rather unusual place: the head of a lion's statue on the building that once served as the seat of Massachusetts government. The Bostonian Society, which operates a museum at the Old State House, said Tuesday it had confirmed the presence of what had long been rumored to be a time capsule from 1901 tucked away inside the copper statue. The statue was recently taken down from the roof as part of a restoration effort...
End-of-World War II smooch sculpture lands in Normandy (09/24/14)
CAEN, France -- A sculpture honoring a photograph of a kiss in Times Square that captured New York's celebration as World War II ended has gone up in Normandy for a one-year visit. Cranes and construction crews in the French city of Caen on Tuesday hoisted and locked together pieces of "Unconditional Surrender," a 25-foot cast-bronze sculpture in color of a sailor and a nurse in a lip-locked embrace...
Journal aims to stoke interest in Midwest history (09/22/14)
OMAHA, Neb. -- When T.V. Golden set out to bring a modern irrigation system to parched northwestern Nebraska in the late 19th century, some of the more established settlers objected, fearing that acknowledging the problem would stanch the flow of immigrants who had turned the area into a "young Ireland."...
John F. Kennedy's WWII letters sell at auction (09/21/14)
BOSTON -- A collection of letters John F. Kennedy sent to the family of a lost PT-109 crewmate sold for $200,000 at an auction. RR Auction, a Boston-based auction house, said the sale happened Thursday during a two-day auction at the Omni Parker House that saw the sale of a collection of letters that Kennedy's younger brother, Robert F. Kennedy, wrote to a classmate at what now is the Portsmouth Abbey School in Rhode Island...
Fruitland church to mark 50 years (09/17/14)
Fruitland Wesley United Methodist Church on Sunday will celebrate its 50th anniversary in ministry to the community. The church was formed in 1964 from the merger of the Fairview Methodist and McClain's Chapel Methodist churches and has continued to provide ministries to people in the area...
Scotland took long road to vote for independence (09/17/14)
EDINBURGH, Scotland -- On Calton Hill, overlooking Edinburgh, stands Scotland's National Monument. A colonnade of classical stone pillars modeled on the Parthenon in Athens, it's grand, inspiring -- and unfinished, since the money to build it ran out two centuries ago...
Teams explore 'graveyard of ships' near San Francisco (09/17/14)
GULF OF THE FARALLONES NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY -- Federal researchers are exploring several underwater sites where ships sank while navigating in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. Over the past week, a team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration used a remote-controlled underwater vehicle, equipped with sonar and video cameras, to examine and record the historic shipwrecks...
Central Institute for the Deaf turns 100 (09/15/14)
ST. LOUIS -- When the normally bright Nolan Howard began to struggle academically last year, his parents quit their jobs and moved from Seattle to St. Louis. The reason was simple, according to his mother, Mairead Iverson. "St. Louis has the Central Institute for the Deaf," she told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch...
New Ken Burns series 'The Roosevelts' spans a century of history (09/12/14)
NEW YORK -- Behold this saga of bygone titans, a trio on an epic scale who share the same name. The latest magnum opus from Ken Burns, "The Roosevelts: An Intimate History," premieres on PBS as a seven-night, 14-hour series airing Sunday through Sept. 20 at 7 p.m...
Jaws actor from Bond films Richard Kiel dies at 74 (09/12/14)
FRESNO, Calif. -- Richard Kiel, the towering actor best known for portraying steel-toothed villain Jaws in a pair of James Bond films, has died. He was 74. Kelley Sanchez, director of communications at Saint Agnes Medical Center, confirmed Wednesday that Kiel was a patient at the hospital and died. Kiel's agent, Steven Stevens, also confirmed his death. Both declined to provide further details...
Alienlike giant water-living dinosaur unveiled (09/12/14)
WASHINGTON -- Picture the fearsome creatures of "Jurassic Park" crossed with the shark from "Jaws." Then super-size to the biggest predator ever to roam Earth. Now add a crocodile snout as big as a person and feet like a duck's. The result gives you an idea of a dinosaur scientists unveiled Thursday...
9/11 museum sees influx of new artifacts (09/11/14)
NEW YORK -- After seeing the new National September 11 Memorial Museum, one victim's widow decided to donate one of her husband's FDNY paramedic shirts, karate uniforms and baseball jersey. A retired police detective gave the sole-scorched boots she wore while working amid the smoking wreckage of the twin towers...
Patrick Henry's firsts highlighted at Crader Lecture (09/10/14)
Attorney and politician Patrick Henry, best known for his declaration "give me liberty or give me death," seemed to be first in a lot of things, Dr. Thomas Kidd, professor of history and senior fellow in the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University, said in this year's Crader Lecture...
Canada finds 1840s ship lost in Arctic (09/10/14)
TORONTO -- One of two British explorer ships that vanished in the Arctic nearly 170 years ago during a search for the fabled Northwest Passage has been found, Canada's prime minister announced Tuesday in a discovery that could unlock one of history's biggest mysteries and swell Canadian pride...
9/11 museum shows SEAL's shirt from bin Laden raid (09/08/14)
NEW YORK -- The shirt a Navy SEAL wore in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and a special coin given to a CIA officer who played a key role in finding him are being displayed at the Sept. 11 museum, adding potent symbols of the terrorist attacks' aftermath days before their anniversary...
Joan Rivers remembered at star-studded funeral (09/08/14)
NEW YORK -- Howard Stern delivered the eulogy, Broadway singer-actress Audra McDonald sang "Smile" and bagpipers played "New York, New York" at Joan Rivers' funeral Sunday, a star-studded send-off that -- like the late comedian herself -- brought together the worlds of Hollywood, theater, fashion and media...
For Joan Rivers, victory from loss in late night (09/07/14)
NEW YORK -- Joan Rivers bombed in late night for the world to see, on an upstart network no one thought would last. In the process, she infuriated Johnny Carson, the titanic TV star who had long supported her and, 20 years before, made her an overnight star...
Comedian Joan Rivers dead at age 81 (09/05/14)
Joan Rivers, the raucous, acid-tongued comedian who crashed the male-dominated realm of late-night talk shows and turned Hollywood red carpets into danger zones for badly dressed celebrities, died Thursday. She was 81. Rivers died at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, surrounded by family and close friends, daughter Melissa Rivers said. ...
Argentine dinosaur may shed light on big beasts (09/05/14)
NEW YORK -- Researchers studying the remains of an enormous dinosaur -- a creature that was bigger than seven bull elephants -- have given it an equally colossal name: Dreadnoughtus, or "fearing nothing." Scientists hope its unusually well-preserved bones will help reveal secrets about some of the largest animals to walk the Earth...
Speaker to discuss Revolutionary War figure Patrick Henry (09/05/14)
Dr. Thomas Kidd, professor of history and senior fellow in the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University, will deliver this year's Crader Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Rose Theatre in Grauel Building at Southeast Missouri State University...
Mark Twain expert to headline Kent anniversary events (09/03/14)
Henry Sweets, a Mark Twain expert and executive director of the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal, Missouri, will kick off a series of celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of Kent Library at Southeast Missouri State University. "Is Mark Twain Relevant Today?" is Sweets' topic for a 7 p.m. presentation Thursday at Sadie's Place in Kent Library. Open to the public, it is sponsored by the library in partnership with the Missouri Humanities Council. Refreshments will be served...
Amtrak street work leads to historic finds in Jefferson City (09/02/14)
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Long before Jefferson City's Amtrak station was in the basement of the Union Hotel and the state museum converted the Lohman Building into an 1800s-style general store, Water Street was a destination and a happening place...
Civil War re-enactors close out summer at Fort D (09/02/14)
Re-enactors at the Fort D Historic Site in Cape Girardeau celebrated the end of summer with a bang. Children and adults alike stood at the site Monday morning, some with hands clasped over their ears, as a cannon was loaded and fired just a few yards away...
Business Notebook: Buchheit Enterprises marks 80th anniversary (08/25/14)
Last weekend, Buchheit Enterprises thanked customers with storewide sales at all eight retail locations on its 80th anniversary. In 1934, Rudy Buchheit began what was the original Buchheits by hauling an array of items from Perry County to St. Louis...
Historic home's status as bed-and-breakfast uncertain (08/21/14)
Whether her house becomes a bed-and-breakfast or home to a new family, Sherry Persinger said she hopes the next owner of the building she spent years renovating and restoring truly appreciates its history. Persinger bought the Ponder House, named after railroad executive A.R. ...
Old bullet holes found in columns on Sikeston house (08/21/14)
SIKESTON, Mo. -- The stately home that sits at the corner of Gladys Street and Kingshighway is revealing some of its rowdy past -- a past that could be linked to the community's founder, Joseph Sikes, some are theorizing...
Cup 'n' Cork gets ready for its move to new location one block over (08/20/14)
Change is brewing at downtown hangout Cup 'n' Cork. The coffee house-slash-bistro is moving a few blocks over into the building at the corner of Independence and Spanish streets, right across from The Library bar. Owners Patrick and Tina Abbott said the move is an exciting step up for Cup 'n' Cork, and are looking forward to moving in at the end of the month...
Wilder memoir to give gritty view of prairie life (08/20/14)
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) -- Laura Ingalls Wilder penned one of the most beloved children's series of the 20th century, but her forthcoming autobiography will show devoted "Little House on the Prairie" fans a more realistic, grittier view of frontier living...
Ponder house could become area's latest bed-and-breakfast (08/18/14)
Many have seen the neoclassical revival-style house off William Street with the large Abraham Lincoln statue in the front yard. However, the statue isn't connected with the history of the two-story brick home. Charlotte Cannon, co-owner of a business called Ponder House B&B LLC, said a previous owner had wanted to turn the structure into a bed-and-breakfast called The Lincoln House...
Cape Girardeau's Downtown Strategic Plan has included new residential spaces (08/18/14)
Cape Girardeau, especially downtown Cape, is nothing if not quaint. The murals, the buildings, even the street lamps ooze river-town charm. For some, it's the shopping. For others, it's the night life. Some people just appreciate the bike-to-work convenience and simplicity of downtown living...
Historic cabin on Fountain Street to be torn down (08/15/14)
Cape Girardeau city officials say no more extensions will be granted for a Fountain Street log cabin and demolition will take place in the next few weeks. On July 7, city leaders set a deadline of Aug. 8 for supporters to raise money and submit plans for restoring the home at 818 N. ...
Marquette Tower to be vacant by end of September as last tenants leave (08/15/14)
By the end of September, The Marquette Tower in downtown Cape Girardeau will sit empty once again. At one point, the restored hotel was filled to nearly 80 percent capacity, but since then its occupancy has been in a steady decline. Ryan Burns, a public information officer for the Missouri Office of Administration, said the state agencies occupying space in the building all will be vacating it by Sept. 30...
Actress Bacall dead at 89 (08/13/14)
NEW YORK -- Lauren Bacall, the slinky, sultry-voiced actress who created on-screen magic with Humphrey Bogart in "To Have and Have Not" and "The Big Sleep" and off-screen magic in one of Hollywood's most storied marriages, died Tuesday at age 89...
Katy O'Ferrell's undergoes facelift (08/12/14)
It's been a few months since Katy O'Ferrell's Publick House moved to town, but owner Mark Dirnberger said feedback has been positive for the only Irish pub in Cape Girardeau. "[People] like the Irish fare, because no one around here has that kind of stuff ... it's kind of uplifting," Dirnberger said. "It's not fine dining anymore, it's an Irish pub with nice food."...
Log cabin's fate rests with city (08/12/14)
The paperwork is finished for the moment, and now historic preservationists must wait for the city to determine the fate of a 150-year-old log cabin on Fountain Street. On July 7, city leaders set a deadline of Aug. 8 for supporters to raise money and submit plans for restoring the home at 818 N. Fountain St., said Annie Criddle, executive director for the Kellerman Foundation for Historic Preservation...
Robin Williams, boisterous comedy star, dead at 63 (08/12/14)
SAN FRANCISCO -- Robin Williams, a brilliant shape-shifter who could channel his frenetic energy into delightful comic characters like "Mrs. Doubtfire" or harness it into richly nuanced work like his Oscar-winning turn in "Good Will Hunting," died Monday in an apparent suicide. He was 63...
Mo. privy digger collects artifacts left behind (08/11/14)
HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Deep in the abyss of the earth, lost remnants remain from a previous society, representing the human joy and strife, wants and needs, pain and healing of a population long faded from memory. The remnants, when assembled together like scrambled pieces of a puzzle, tell a story of the people who built the foundation on which we stand...
Plans underway to repair partially collapsed building (08/11/14)
Plans are in place for the future of the building at 633 Good Hope St. in Cape Girardeau whose streetside face collapsed last month. The building was condemned and July 23, the city issued a 30-day notice to owner Jeremy Ford, informing him that within a month, the building needed to be repaired or demolished...
Residents pay tribute to 1914 fatal train crash (08/10/14)
TIPTON FORD, Mo. -- A group of southwest Missouri residents has dedicated a stone marker commemorating the spot where a 1914 train crash killed 43 people. The accident occurred when Missouri and North Arkansas Train No. 209, which was actually a gasoline-powered vehicle similar to a street car, collided with a freight train on a Kansas City Southern line near Tipton Ford, an incorporated area in Newton County...
Remains of U.S. airmen missing since World War II accounted for (08/08/14)
BILLINGS, Mont. -- The remains of two missing airmen have been accounted for 70 years after they disappeared when their plane went down over Papua New Guinea during World War II, U.S. military officials said. The remains of 1st Lts. William Bernier and Bryant Poulsen were identified through DNA and other evidence collected from the crash site in a forest on the Pacific island nation, said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Melinda Morgan with the Defense Prisoner of War-Missing Personnel Office...
Recordings reveal final days of Nixon White House (08/06/14)
YORBA LINDA, Calif. -- Almost a decade after Richard Nixon resigned, the disgraced former president sat down with his one-time aide and told the tale of his fall from grace in his own words. For three decades, that version of one of the nation's largest and most-dissected political scandals largely gathered dust -- until this week...
Trove of African art found at Missouri Southern (08/04/14)
JOPLIN, Mo. -- Officials at Missouri Southern State University are assessing a recent trove of African art found in a small room under a stairwell. Christine Bentley said after she was named to head the art department at Missouri Southern, she wanted to assess the university's African art holdings and found a 320-piece collection tucked away in the small room that had been enclosed below a basement stairwell...
Batman creator's personal copies to be auctioned (08/04/14)
NEW YORK -- Batman creator Bob Kane's own copies of the Caped Crusader's earliest appearances are going up for auction. ComicConnect is selling Kane's file copies of Detective Comics Nos. 27 through 45 and Batman Nos. 1 through 3. The auction house declined to put an estimate on their value, saying such items rarely come up for sale...
Church's bond to community goes back 90 years (08/03/14)
The First Church of God at 500 Emerald St. has historically been closely tied to the community east of the Show Me Center, and the Rev. Robert Hendrix wants to re-establish that identity now that the church has celebrated its 90th anniversary. Cape Girardeau Mayor Harry Rediger attended that July 19 observance to commend the membership for its "commitment and endurance" as numerous former members returned to increase attendance to 93, Hendrix said...
Trial opening over video of 1995 Oklahoma City bombing (07/29/14)
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A Salt Lake City attorney is arguing in a lawsuit that the FBI has video of the Oklahoma City bombing that shows a second person was involved. The case is at the heart of Jesse Trentadue's quest to explain his brother's mysterious jail cell death 19 years ago, which has rekindled long-dormant questions about whether others were involved in the deadly 1995 blast...
Corinthian Hall on the rebound (07/28/14)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Several dozen Kansas Citians got a close-up look this month at the status of the area's ultimate rehab project: Corinthian Hall, the once and future location of the Kansas City Museum. It's a messy process, as any weekend do-it-yourselfer knows. Many of the rooms in the century-old home on Gladstone Boulevard have been whittled to exposed brick and crumbling plaster, with temporary lights strung across ceilings and old woodwork stacked in corners...
Historic status sought for all-metal home (07/28/14)
JOPLIN, Mo. -- Billed as "the house America has been waiting for," it turned out that the Lustron home was one America quickly forgot. A few hundred of the prefabricated, enamel-clad metal houses were erected in the Midwest after World War II, and there is one in Joplin. Its owner, Janet Garvin, wants to make sure Joplin doesn't forget the history of the little tan bungalow and the other houses like it. She is seeking local historic status for the city's sole Lustron...
Hundreds gather to visit, reminisce about Smelterville community (07/28/14)
More than 200 people gathered this weekend to celebrate and remember a place that no longer exists. But the small community on Vine Street will not forget where they came from. Smelterville was a small area in south Cape Girardeau that was mostly bought out by the federal government because of flooding in 1993. But Smelterville's history extends much further than that. The area was founded in 1790 and since then generations have grown up in the community...
Nazi war crimes suspect, 89, dies in U.S. custody as extradition approved (07/24/14)
PHILADELPHIA -- An 89-year-old Nazi war crimes suspect died in custody hours before a U.S. ruling Wednesday that he should be extradited to Germany to face trial. Johann Breyer died Tuesday night at a Philadelphia hospital, where he had been transferred Saturday after a month in jail, his lawyer and the U.S. ...
University press gets grant to print updated Civil War history (07/23/14)
The Missouri Humanities Council has awarded a $2,500 grant to Southeast Missouri State University Press to support the printing of "Thunder in Arcadia Valley: The Battle of Pilot Knob," available at the end of September...
Agency's move in St. Louis leaves history behind (07/22/14)
ST. LOUIS -- In the front parlor of a century-old mansion south of downtown sits a scale model of Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The model was used to brief U.S. generals before military forces raided the compound and killed the terrorist mastermind...
Movie, TV legend James Garner dies (07/21/14)
LOS ANGELES -- Actor James Garner, whose whimsical style in the 1950s TV Western "Maverick" led to a stellar career in TV and films such as "The Rockford Files" and his Oscar-nominated "Murphy's Romance," has died, police said. He was 86. He was found dead of natural causes at his home in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles on Saturday evening, Los Angeles police officer Alonzo Iniquez said early Sunday...
Brash stage legend Elaine Stritch dies at 89 (07/18/14)
NEW YORK -- Elaine Stritch, the brash theater performer whose gravelly, gin-laced voice and impeccable comic timing made her a Broadway legend, has died. She was 89. Joseph Rosenthal, Stritch's longtime attorney, said the actress died Thursday of natural causes at her home in Birmingham, Michigan...
17th-century shipwreck on the move in Texas (07/18/14)
BRYAN, Texas -- The recovered remains of a ship belonging to the famed French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier Sieur de la Salle, which sank off the Texas coast more than three centuries ago, were launched on their final journey Thursday. The keel and other large structural pieces of La Belle, which have been preserved in a gigantic freeze-dryer at Texas A&M since 2012, were gingerly loaded onto a flatbed truck for the 85-mile trip to the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, the last stop in a voyage that began in 1685 with La Salle's ill-fated expedition to find the mouth of the Mississippi River.. ...
Aldrin asks for moon walk memories (07/17/14)
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- On July 20, 1969, Buzz Aldrin was "out of town" when the world united and rejoiced in a way never seen before or since. He and Neil Armstrong were on the moon. They missed the whole celebration 45 years ago Sunday. So did Michael Collins, orbiting solo around the moon in the mother ship...
Author to discuss new book on Elizabeth Seton (07/13/14)
An author and her new book will be appearing on Wednesday in Perryville, Missouri.
1956 Grand Canyon crash game-changer in air travel (07/09/14)
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- In the mid-1950s, air travel was a shadow of the highly advanced operation of checks and rules seen today. The skies were largely uncontrolled, and pilots outside major U.S. cities relied on sight to avoid catastrophes. Then, two commercial airplanes crashed over the Grand Canyon in June 1956, killing all 128 people aboard in the deadliest aviation disaster of the time and helping spur an overhaul to flight safety. ...
US survivors of WWII battle recall Saipan attack (07/08/14)
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) -- Even after seven decades, Wilfred "Spike" Mailloux won't talk about surviving a bloody World War II battle unless longtime friend John Sidur is by his side. It was Sidur who found the severely wounded Mailloux hours after both survived Japan's largest mass suicide attack in the Pacific. ...
Shevardnadze, ex-Georgian president, dies at 86 (07/08/14)
TBILISI, Georgia -- Eduard Shevardnadze was a key figure in revolutions abroad and the victim of one at home. As the Soviet Union's foreign minister, he helped topple the Berlin Wall and end the Cold War, but as the leader of post-Soviet Georgia his career in the public eye ended in humiliation when he was chased out of his parliament and forced into retirement...
Downtown building falls apart Thursday (07/06/14)
The front of the building at 633 Good Hope St. collapsed just after 1 P.M. Thursday as workers were repairing the brick exterior. The property was unoccupied, but the police and fire departments evacuated several occupants of the adjacent buildings and cordoned off the road between South Sprigg and South Frederick streets...
'Someone got away with murder': Six decades later, identity of Bonnie Huffman's killer remains unknown (07/03/14)
The note -- written on torn, now-yellowed paper in a traditional, slightly shaky cursive -- arrived in a postage-paid business reply envelope marked, "Please give to man who wrote articles on Huffman case." It implored a reporter to visit its author at her home north of Benton, Missouri, "and please keep plans quiet."...
War hero, Olympian Zamperini dies at 97 (07/03/14)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Louis Zamperini, an Olympic distance runner and World War II veteran who survived 47 days on a raft in the Pacific after his bomber crashed, then endured two years in Japanese prison camps, has died. He was 97. Zamperini's death was confirmed by Universal Pictures studio spokesman Michael Moses. A family statement released early Thursday said Zamperini had been suffering from pneumonia...
The Fourth and the founding of Jackson (07/01/14)
Happy Independence Day! As we celebrate the occasion, take a moment to remember our forefathers who sacrificed so much to make us an independent nation some 238 years ago. Also remember those people who through the years have made sacrifices to keep us free...
Historic preservation expert has roots in Southeast Missouri (06/30/14)
For having the right to boast about her part in the transformation of the A.C. Vasterling building, a previously abandoned and foreclosed structure built in 1903 on the corner of Broadway and Fountain Street in Cape Girardeau, architect Rebecca Ward is humble and not a fan of the attention...
Ste. Genevieve entrepreneurs make careers out of creativity (06/27/14)
STE. GENEVIEVE, Mo. -- Sam Conlon is battling an addiction. OK, "battling" might be a generous description. "Perpetuating" might be a more accurate word to describe what she's doing as she and her friend Shannon McBride ease a display rack across the hardwood floor of the third historic building Conlon has bought since she came to this town about 60 miles north of Cape Girardeau 13 years ago...
History buffs race to preserve dialect in Missouri (06/27/14)
OLD MINES, Mo. (AP) -- A small circle of history researchers is racing to capture the last remnants of a little-known French dialect that endures in some old Missouri mining towns before the few remaining native speakers succumb to old age. So-called Missouri French is spoken by fewer than 30 people in Old Mines, southwest of St. Louis, although dozens of others can still rattle off phrases from childhood songs or overheard conversations involving their parents and grandparents...
Jackson readies for 2-day bicentennial bash (06/27/14)
The centerpiece of Jackson's yearlong bicentennial celebration will take place July 4 and 5, with activities ranging from pageants and parades to races for people and rubber ducks -- and helicopter rides and fun in the mud. Jackson's Independence Day celebrations are known to be fun, and this year's two-day event promises even more events and activities. ...
Veteran actor Eli Wallach dies at 98 (06/26/14)
NEW YORK -- As a masterful character actor and early product of postwar, Method-style theater, Eli Wallach wore countless faces, disappearing into them all. But he was always propelled -- in acting and in life -- by a mischievousness and an abiding playfulness that made him a tireless performer, an enduring family man and, of course, one immortal scoundrel...
Extinct pigeon subject of new Smithsonian exhibit (06/19/14)
WASHINGTON -- It was the moment that humanity learned we had the awesome power to erase an entire species off the face of the Earth in the scientific equivalent of a blink of an eye: The passenger pigeon went from billions of birds to extinct before our very eyes...
Mother Jones monument to be restored (06/19/14)
ST. LOUIS -- Union workers are chipping in to give a makeover to a monument for firebrand labor activist Mother Jones, more than 80 years after their predecessors and school kids scrimped pennies during the Great Depression to build the towering structure at her Illinois grave site...
Picasso painting reveals hidden man under surface (06/18/14)
WASHINGTON -- For artist Pablo Picasso, 1901 was a pivotal time to experiment and find his unique style. At 19, he was living in Paris, painting furiously and dirt poor, so it wasn't unusual for him to take one canvas and reuse it to paint a fresh idea...
Padre great, MLB Hall of Famer Gwynn dies at 54 (06/17/14)
He died from oral cancer he attributed to chewing tobacco use
Vietnam memorial to pass through Southern Illinois in September (06/17/14)
A traveling Vietnam memorial wall that last made an appearance in Cape Girardeau decades ago will visit the region once more in September. The American Veterans Traveling Tribute Vietnam Wall will be in Carbondale, Illinois, Sept. 11 through 14 at the practice football field on the Southern Illinois University campus, in conjunction with Southeast Missouri State University and other entities...
Casey Kasem, king of the Top 40 countdown, dead at 82 (06/16/14)
LOS ANGELES -- Casey Kasem, the internationally famous radio host with the cheerful manner and gentle voice who became the king of the Top 40 countdown with a syndicated show that ran for decades, has died. He was 82. Danny Deraney, publicist for Kasem's daughter, Kerri, said Kasem died Sunday morning. A statement issued by the family says he died at 3:23 a.m. surrounded by family and friends at a Washington state hospital...
State of Missouri office to vacate Marquette Tower (06/15/14)
The State of Missouri will be leaving the Marquette Tower in downtown Cape Girardeau, according to a news release from the building's ownership group. The move was rumored to occur after the state Department of Mental Health announced in early June that it would be moving to another location...
'Freedom Summer' changed South 50 years ago (06/15/14)
HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. -- As a teenager growing up in a Jim Crow society, Roy DeBerry wasn't waiting for white folks to come down to Mississippi and "save" him. But in the summer of 1964, the factory worker's son was glad to see people like Aviva Futorian...
Church tour part of Jackson bicentennial fete (06/15/14)
As with farmers tilling fields and riverboats steaming their way down the Mississippi River, 19th Century Southeast Missouri was characterized by the ringing of church bells to welcome parishioners to Sunday morning services...
Actress, activist Ruby Dee's legacy recalled by fans (06/13/14)
NEW YORK -- For Ruby Dee, acting and activism were not contradictory things. They were inseparable and they were intertwined. The African-American actress who earned lead roles in movies and on Broadway also spent her entire life fighting against injustice, even emceeing the 1963 March on Washington and protesting apartheid in South Africa...
Federal funding helps keep 50-year-old floodwall whole (06/12/14)
Today is the 50th anniversary of the closing of the final gap in the Cape Girardeau floodwall. Adorned with a mural honoring notable residents of the city and state, the concrete structure serves as a tourist attraction as well as the city's protector from Mississippi River floodwaters...
Oil boom produces jobs bonanza for archaeologists (06/12/14)
TIOGA, N.D. -- Drilling crews are eager to plunge their equipment into the ground. Road builders are ready to start highway projects, and construction workers need to dig. But across the hyperactive oil fields of North Dakota, these and other groups have to wait for another team of specialists known for slow, meticulous study: archaeologists...
Missouri temple gets reprieve from wrecking ball (06/10/14)
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Preservationists have won a one-month reprieve for moving an 80-year-old rock-walled temple in Springfield that is slated for demolition. The preservationists are working to raise money to move the Timmons Temple building in Springfield because of its historical significance for the city's black community. ...
Philanthropy's makeover nearly complete (06/10/14)
For the past six weeks, Philanthropy Fashion owner Bridgett Kielhofner has worried that people entering her Cape Girardeau store would get pelted with fallen stucco the minute they stepped inside. The A.C. Vasterling building, home to Philanthropy, is being restored to its original facade to qualify for a historic tax credit...
St. Louis police to auction gangland-era weapons (06/09/14)
ST. LOUIS -- Thompson submachine guns are as much a legend as the bad -- and good -- guys who fired them. With as many colorful nicknames as the gangsters whose rat-a-tat-tats roared through the 1920s, the weapon remains an icon of American criminal, military and pop culture history...
Mo. man last survivor of military family (06/09/14)
BISMARCK, Mo. -- Don King of the Southeast Missouri town of Bismarck is the last survivor of a family of war heroes. King's father, Thomas King, served in World War I in Europe as a muleskinner in the quartermaster corps. He and his wife, Rosa, settled in Minimum, Missouri, and raised seven sons...
Historians seek missing Missouri gas chamber keys (06/09/14)
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- During a private tour not long after the Missouri State Penitentiary closed its doors a decade ago, the original keys to the prison's gas chamber mysteriously disappeared. Prison historians hope that by taking their search for the keys public -- along with details about why they are important -- someone will come forward with them...
State agencies' move from Marquette could violate executive order (06/09/14)
More than a decade ago, the Marquette Tower sat at the corner of Broadway and Fountain Street in downtown Cape Girardeau, crumbling and empty -- an eyesore on the verge of being demolished. The historic hotel was essentially saved by an executive order from then-Missouri Gov. ...
Simpson case at 20: Views in black and white (06/08/14)
The O.J. Simpson murder trial exposed many painful truths. None hit harder than the idea that white and black people often look at the same facts and see different realities. Today, 20 years after the case divided the nation, few opinions have changed. Despite two decades' worth of increasing racial acceptance, the saga still reflects deep-rooted obstacles to a truly united America...
Victim's family helped jail O.J., but not for murder (06/08/14)
LOS ANGELES -- For years, Fred Goldman was adamant he would never rest until he had held O.J. Simpson accountable for the killings of his son and Simpson's ex-wife 20 years ago -- even if a jury had acquitted the former football star. After the trial, Goldman joined with the family of Simpson's ex-wife in winning a $33.5 million wrongful death judgment in civil court. ...
Poet Maya Angelou remembered at memorial service (06/08/14)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Maya Angelou liked to say that people will forget what you said or did in your life, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Former President Bill Clinton, first lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey said Saturday they were among the millions touched by Angelou's wisdom when they needed help to rise...
World honors D-Day's fallen (06/08/14)
COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France -- It was a day of pride, remembrance and honors for those who waded through blood-tinged waves, climbed razor-sharp cliffs or fell from the skies, staring down death or dying in an invasion that portended the fall of the Third Reich and the end of World War II...
Ranking D-Day survivor recalls day of invasion (06/06/14)
The commanders at the Royal Air Force base in Andover, in the south of England, gathered for a briefing on the evening of June 5, 1944. They heard the plan: At first light the next day, troops would land on the beaches at Normandy.
Living Memories: Veterans remember D-Day invasion (06/06/14)
After joining the U.S. Navy in 1943, Tom Elfrink was a radio man on the ship LST 281 when he found himself in the thick of the historic D-Day invasion. His ship towed landing craft to Utah Beach, one of the offensive's major landing places on June 6, 1944...
Veterans, visitors flock to Normandy to mark 70th anniversary of D-Day (06/06/14)
COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France -- Ceremonies to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day are drawing thousands of visitors to the cemeteries, beaches and stone-walled villages of Normandy this week, including some of the few remaining survivors of the largest seaborne invasion ever mounted...
Security tight on Tiananmen Square anniversary (06/05/14)
BEIJING -- Yin Min held the ashes of her son and wept, she said, as she marked 25 years since he was killed in the crackdown by Chinese tanks and troops on protests at Tiananmen Square. Outside, guards kept a close eye on her home while police blanketed central Beijing to block any public commemoration of one of the darkest chapters in recent Chinese history...
Last of original group of Navajo Code Talkers dies (06/05/14)
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- The language he once was punished for speaking in school became Chester Nez's primary weapon in World War II. Before hundreds of men from the Navajo Nation became Code Talkers, Nez and 28 others were recruited to develop a code based on the then-unwritten Navajo language. Locked in a room for 13 weeks, they came up with an initial glossary of more than 200 terms using Navajo words for red soil, war chief, braided hair and hummingbird, for example, and an alphabet...
More tenants move from Marquette Tower on Broadway (06/02/14)
What was big news about a decade ago has become another almost-empty building on Broadway in downtown Cape Girardeau. The Marquette Tower at 338 Broadway still sits in its restored glory, but fewer and fewer tenants are calling its offices home. The Spanish-style hotel opened in 1928 and consists of two properties: Marquette Tower, the 59,000-square-foot former hotel along Broadway, and the 25,000-square-foot Marquette Centre at 221 N. Fountain St...
All in the family: Whitaker's Hardware has been a family business since 1905 (06/02/14)
You might say Ron Whitaker has the hardware store business in his blood. "My grandfather, Reece Whitaker, opened Whitaker's Hardware Store in Rector, Arkansas, in 1905," he says. The store stayed open in Rector until 1934 when the family relocated to Portageville, Missouri...
Once upon a family history: Siblings compile, publish family history for patriarch Wilbert Welker (06/02/14)
Ask Wilbert Welker about his life and he'll grin and say that, "A lot of the time, I don't know how I got from where I was to where I'm at." Which isn't exactly true. He remembers. He likes to tell stories, too, but with 94 years to pick from, where do you start?...
'Brady Bunch' actress Ann B. Davis dies (06/02/14)
Emmy-winning actress Ann B. Davis, who became the country's favorite and most famous housekeeper as the devoted Alice Nelson of "The Brady Bunch," died Sunday at a San Antonio hospital. She was 88. Bexar County, Texas, medical examiner's investigator Sara Horne said Davis died Sunday morning at University Hospital. Horne said no cause of death was available and that an autopsy was planned today...
Years of history in McLain's Chapel (06/01/14)
"There's a church in the valley by the wildwood -- No lovelier place in the dale. No spot is so dear to my childhood As the little brown church in the vale." The color is different, but the feeling is the same as that expressed in the song "Church in the Wildwood" for the generations who attended McLain's Chapel from its mid-19th Century origin until it was closed in 1973...
At D-Day's 70th, an overdue talk with a vet uncle (06/01/14)
AMBLER, Pa. -- My mother is the second-youngest of 14 children, and her five eldest siblings served overseas in World War II. They were our version of the famed Sullivan brothers, but with a happy ending: All made it home. Though one brother died in a 1948 car crash, I grew up around the other four, seeing them almost every Sunday after church while my grandmother was still living, and at family picnics that inevitably featured volleyball, Aunty Betty's decadent cakes, and the low roar of two dozen simultaneous conversations.. ...
Decades-old photos emerge of Apollo training (06/01/14)
HONOLULU -- Before Apollo astronauts went to the moon, they went to Hawaii to train on the Big Island's lunar volcanic landscapes. Now, decades-old photos are surfacing of astronauts scooping up Hawaii's soil and riding across volcanic fields in a "moon buggy" vehicle...
19th-century English-Spanish newspaper given to St. Louis library (05/30/14)
ST. LOUIS -- Nine copies of a little-remembered local business newspaper that was published in Spanish and English during the late 1800s have been donated to a growing media-history collection at the Central Library in downtown St. Louis. The eight-page bilingual monthly newspaper called itself El Comercio del Valle (Commerce of the Valley), with a drawing of the Eads Bridge on the masthead. ...
Buried gold coins go up for sale (05/29/14)
SAN FRANCISCO -- A treasure trove of rare gold coins discovered by a California couple out walking their dog has gone on sale, with one coin selling for $15,000 on Tuesday. The coins date from 1847 to 1894 and have been valued at $11 million. Several coins were auctioned at the Old San Francisco Mint at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, and one of them -- an 1874 $20 double eagle that is usually worth $4,250 -- sold for $15,000...
Poet Maya Angelou dies at 86 (05/29/14)
NEW YORK -- Maya Angelou, a modern Renaissance woman who survived the harshest of childhoods to become a force on stage, screen, the printed page and the inaugural dais, died Wednesday, her son said. She was 86. Angelou's son, Guy B. Johnson, said the writer died at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where she had been a professor of American studies at Wake Forest University since 1982...
Former slaves who fought in Civil War remembered (05/27/14)
ST. LOUIS -- They fought for a country that refused to recognize them as citizens and died in virtual anonymity, their remains lumped together in a single burial plot. For nearly 150 years, the freed slaves of the 56th United States Colored Infantry who fought for the Union Army in the Civil War were a historical footnote, buried in a mass grave after cholera killed the troops as they prepared to go home. ...
Missouri man chronicles losses on WWII subs (05/25/14)
ST. LOUIS -- Serving aboard an American submarine was one of the most dangerous assignments in World War II, with nearly 1 in five crew members losing their lives somewhere in the ocean depths. Paul Wittmer of suburban St. Louis has spent years working to ensure those men -- more than 3,600 sailors -- are remembered, including writing a book that has been years in the making...
Fountain Street cabin makes most endangered places list (05/21/14)
Missouri Preservation announced its 2014 List of Most Endangered Places on Tuesday, including the The Franz Schmidt Cabin at 818 N. Fountain St. in Cape Girardeau. The endangered sites were identified at a Missouri Preservation news conference at the Henry Blosser House in Malta Bend, Missouri, which also is included on the list, a news release said...
Executions, methods still divisive (05/18/14)
Editor's note: This is the first in a series of stories covering the pending execution of Russell Bucklew at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. Look for the next installment in Monday's newspaper. A painting adorns the wall in the Cape Girardeau County prosecuting attorney's office in Jackson. At first glance, the artwork appears to tell the story of a simpler time when horse-drawn buggies were the common mode of travel, but closer inspection reveals a much more serious tale...
Death penalty in Southeast Missouri timeline (05/18/14)
(Before executions began in Missouri's gas chamber in the 1930s, legal hangings were held in the state's counties. A comprehensive list of these executions could not be found. A few instances of legal hangings in Southeast Missouri were found from a variety of sources.)...
Group seeks to fly Confederate flag at memorial cemetery (05/13/14)
HIGGINSVILLE, Mo. -- A decade after Missouri's governor ordered the Confederate battle flag removed from two state historic sites, a group whose ancestors were Confederate soldiers wants the banner to fly full time again. The Sons of Confederate Veterans is boosting its efforts to fly the rebel flag over the cemetery at the Confederate Memorial Historic Site in Higginsville by reaching out to state lawmakers from the area, The Columbia Daily Tribune reported...
New findings from Callaway County battlefield (05/12/14)
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- A drive down Route JJ from Calwood to Fulton in Callaway County passes quiet meadows and woods that last year gave up ample evidence of a violent, noisy past. Nearly 200 artifacts of battle, ranging from unfired bullets to coat buttons, were uncovered in a comprehensive archaeological survey that employed metal detectors, GPS equipment and dozens of volunteers. ...
Jo Ann Bock recalls details about life in Cape Girardeau back to the Great Depression in her book (05/09/14)
You learn a lot from living a long life in a small city, and former Cape Girardeau Central High School teacher Jo Ann Bock's book, "Around the Town of Cape Girardeau in 80 Years," is proof. Published last year by the Center for Regional History at Southeast Missouri State University, the 203-page work melds Bock's recollections with details about life in Cape Girardeau back to the Great Depression...