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KWMU Commentaries are provided by St. Louis leaders in our community.

KWMU Commentaries are provided by St. Louis leaders in our community.
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St. Louis, MO


KWMU Commentaries are provided by St. Louis leaders in our community.




3651 Olive Street Saint Louis, MO 63108 (314) 516-6735



St. Louis certainly has an abundance of libraries. Some are architecturally significant. Others have quite a history, but most are keeping up with the times technologically and have wonderful educational opportunities and programs.


Adelaide Mahaffey Schlafly - A Rememberance

My mother, Adelaide Mahaffey Schlafly, was an unusual woman. When she was in her late thirties she decided to go to college. As the mother of three young children she most definitely did not match the profile of the typical undergraduate in the 1950s. Nevertheless, she enrolled at St. Louis University and graduated magna cum laude the month before her 41st birthday.


Mary Meachum and the Underground Railroad

There are a very few written records that refer to the underground railroad and its courageous ?conductors.? Yet the Underground Railroad is one of the most persistent stories from our past, demonstrating the strength of memory and an enduring aura that courage maintains. In the early hours of a spring morning in 1855 several slaves made a dash for freedom. Led by Mary Meachum, a free woman of color, they boarded a skiff just above where the Merchants Bridge now spans the Mississippi.


Civil War Diary

We have reams of official information about the Civil War. Perhaps the most revealing are the personal journals of the participants. In these papers we find an intimate picture of a soldier?s experience and gain a perspective not available in official documents. Griffin Frost, a captain in the Confederate Army, was a prisoner of war in the Gratiot Street Prison in St. Louis and in Alton, Illinois. A former newspaperman, he had a good sense of observation and an eye for detail which he...


Scientific Inquiry and the Radical Right

Our region is gaining a great reputation as a first class center of basic scientific research and bio-science. How ironic it would be for us and our nation, if our elected representatives were among those who are terrified by the specter of objective scientific truth and seek out instead, the comfort provided by uncritical faith.


Grand Center - A Sign of St. Louis Progress

I see and feel a lot of spirit and new life in the Grand Center district between these media institutions and the other arts institutions and schools in the area. At one time each arts institution was an isolated being, but now there is a great sense of the whole being a dynamic sum of the parts.


What is Happening with Our Right to Vote?

The U. S. Constitution in its 15th Amendment, adopted in 1871, states; ?The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude.? It was one of the three amendments honoring the pledges of freedom for which the bloody Civil War was fought. And in 1920 the 19th amendment was adopted granting women the right to vote. Thus all American citizens have been given the...


Trollope's St. Louis

When the British writer Anthony Trollope visited St. Louis, we were in the early days of the Civil War. Trollope, like his mother more than twenty years before, was on an extensive tour of America. Unlike his hypercritical mother, he was tolerant of his American cousins?or perhaps we had grown more civilized by 1861?but he cast a critical eye and wrote with a blunt honesty about our faults and failings. Would Anthony Trollope find us a better place today?


Remembering Arnold Grobman

A chapter in Arnold Grobman?s life that was not mentioned in any of these obituaries was his service on the board of directors of the St. Louis Public Library from 1986 to 1988. I had the privilege of serving with him during this time. To say the least, it was ironic that I was the president of the board, while he was a distinguished scholar, more than 30 years my senior, with an international reputation. He was one of the best mentors I?ve ever had.


Technology and Arts Education

I've been involved in the docent program at the St.Louis Art Museum for well over 30 years and have noticed that new technology has made a drastic difference in the teaching methods used to train the docents as well as the methods of giving a tour. One can see on the internet in ten minutes what might take two hours to see at the museum and so educators are challenged with getting the audience to have a fulfilling experience that is more than a slide lecture or internet viewing.


Dr. Terry's Memories

I live in a relatively quiet part of town, but we can hear the noise of the city, especially as we enjoy an hour in the garden. A physician named Robert Terry remembered the sounds of his St. Louis in a memoir he wrote in the 1950s. Dr. Terry was by then an elderly gentleman, but his memories were quite vivid.


Amendment 3 and Judicial Selection

Under proposed Amendment 3, the appointment of judges would be completely under the political control of the governor and most often dominated by lawyers. The ultimate result is that wealthy campaign donors may determine who gets selected as judges, and merit may not matter.


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