The Pure Missouri Post: February 2023
All that’s well and good (and sometimes a little odd) in the Show Me State
Back and forth, back and forth….
Like many writers / bloggers / individual website maintainers, I have a love-hate relationship with this Pure Missouri platform. I created it out of passion, but when it comes right down to it — it’s hard work done on a volunteer basis. Last month, I enabled monetization knowing this online publication wouldn’t be my bread and butter, but maybe I’d catch a few dollars here and there — and I did. (Thanks, sis.)
But I’ve since disabled monetization, wanting to keep this a volunteer hobby. Many of you know my main focus since 2021 has been a sister publication to this one: The KC Downtown Loop. The Loop has a solid and growing audience, outside funding, advertising potential, and an active online community. It’s where I spend probably 90 percent of my work time.
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So, as I’ve said before with the Pure Missouri Post, I’m not making any promises to keep a regular schedule. I’ll continue to publish issues as time allows and passion strikes, but I''ll be primarily focused on The Loop.
Besides, this is Super Bowl weekend for the Chiefs, and ain’t nobody got time for lengthy email newsletters this week.
Thanks for understanding, and Go CHIEFS!
Feb. 10-14 1899: The Great Blizzard of ’99
Between Feb. 10 and Valentine’s Day of 1899, virtually all of the United States suffered from record-breaking cold temperatures — each of the 45 states at the time had a temperature reading below zero during the period. The Kansas City Star reported 22 degrees below zero on the 13th, and the St. Louis Globe-Democrat on that same day reported, “At Shaw’s Garden it was 22 below and at the Forest Park Police Station 27 below.” In Springfield, the Leader and Press claimed, “For a few hours Sunday morning Springfield was the coldest city in the United States,” with an official low temperature of 29 below zero, although private citizens claimed readings as low as 34 below zero in the early-morning hours of that day.
“Citizens who have lived here 60 years tell of some cold weather,” the Leader and Press reported, “but they are a unit in the declaration that they never before saw Ozark mountain weather like this.”
In Moberly, the Evening Democrat wrote on Monday, Feb. 13, that “At 6 this morning the thermometer registered 25 below and business houses which had stood without heat over Sunday, were veritable ice bergs upon opening up for the day’s business, and required much more than the usual time to be warmed to a comfortable temperature.”
The cold — with wind chills estimated to have reached 40 below in northwest Missouri — caused deaths to humans and livestock in our state and nationwide, ruined Missouri peach and pear crops, and brought transit to a halt in much of the country.
Feb. 15, 1764: St. Louis founded
On this Wednesday’s date 259 years ago, Auguste Chouteau — only 13 years old at the time — and a group of 30 men he led began the work of building a settlement on the west side of the Mississippi River, just south of the Missouri River. Chouteau was the “common-law” stepson of and assistant to Pierre LaClede, a French fur trader who conceived the plans for the community. Together, they are considered the co-founders of St. Louis. LaClede would die 14 years later at the age of 48, but Chouteau would watch the city grow over the next 65 years until his death in 1829 at age 79.
Unseen St. Louis: 2023 brings a brand-new history-speaker series
Unseen STL history talks will take place every third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at Spine Indie Bookstore and Cafe, 1976 Arsenal St., in St. Louis (doors open at 6, so arrive early as seating is limited). Each month will feature some of the most passionate local history buffs and storytellers who will share stories of lesser-known aspects of St. Louis history. The very first history talk will take place on February 16th with Amanda Clark of the Missouri Historical Society and Jackie Dana, author of Unseen St. Louis. The talks are free and open to the public.
LINK: Unseen STL History - Live!
Columbia Daily Tribune: Dog beloved by MU students and staff dies
Nearly everyone, it seems, had an encounter with Harlan the Great Pyrenees dog who was an ever-present celebrity on the Mizzou campus for more than a decade. Whether he was being pet by students between classes or posing for photographs with members of Marching Mizzou, the gentle giant was exuding comfort and love.
LINK: Harlan, the renowned canine who comforted Mizzou students, has died
Instagram: SNL star and KC native Heidi Gardner shops in Brookside
You often see her wearing Chiefs gear on Saturday Night live, and last week Heidi Gardner returned to her hometown and paid a visit to jorjy in the Brookside shops in Kansas City. Missouri had more than one Show Me State member of the cast in recent years: Recently departed SNL co-star Chris Redd is a native of St. Louis.
Springfield News-Leader: Newspaper reveals Missouri’s rejected vanity plate applications
The Springfield News-Leader used a Sunshine Law request to learn what words, phrases, and other stringing together of letters and numbers were rejected as "offensive to good taste or decency" on a license plate application.
LINK: Missouri rejected almost 500 vanity license plates in 2022 (news article)
LINK: Rejected vanity plates in 2023, from the Springfield News-Leader (list)
A single image to represent “Our Missouri”
Art and artists of the Show Me State
Feb. 1, 1901, in Joplin
Innovator of jazz poetry, columnist, dramatist, novelist
Feb. 11, 1962, in Kennett
Grammy Award-winning singer, musician, songwriter, and actress
Charles “Carl” Ferdinand Wimar
Feb. 19, 1828, in Siegburg, Germany
St. Louis-based artist-explorer who painted the Missouri River frontier
Feb. 20, 1925, in Kansas City
Honorary Oscar-winning filmmaker known for M*A*S*H, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Nashville, Short Cuts, Kansas City, and others
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