Show Me The State

Show Me The State

Missouri has had a curious history, with many iterations and incarnations powered by changes in its political, cultural and religious climate. Show Me The State explores Missouri’s strange and misunderstood past as it relates to the present. Each episode focuses on one particular piece of folklore and investigates what really happened, why did it happen and how has that shaped the state today? The Show Me The State team looks at ghost stories, legendary political maneuvers and hometown heroes across the state. Host Kristofor Husted sits down with the people who know the story best to get as close to a first-hand account as we can.... Show More

Episodes

February 22, 2021 25 min
French settlers colonized southeast Missouri over 200 years ago. And with them came the French language and culture. They mined the lead belt region and created an insular community in Old Mines revolving around house parties, music and church. Over time they developed their very own dialect called “Paw Paw” French that was used well into the 20 th century. But then it started to disappear.
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About 150 years ago in the vineyards of southern France, winemakers start to notice their vineyards aren’t looking healthy. They rack their brains but can’t figure out what is devouring the crops. Samples are taken, scientific investigations mounted and letters for help are sent out across the globe. Missourians and Texans tell this story the same way up until that point. But here’s where the versions diverge.
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January 24, 2021 23 min
In 1969, graduate student Barbara Papish hands out an underground newspaper on the University of Missouri Columbia campus. The Free Press Underground issue features a cartoon on the cover depicting police officers raping the Statue of Liberty and Lady Justice. The words “With Liberty and Justice For All” encircle the image.
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January 12, 2021 27 min
On some days in the early 1900s, you could walk out to the railroad tracks near the Iowa border and watch rail cars full of horses moving in and out of Missouri. Occasionally, also in those cars are elephants, lions and monkeys. Missouri businessman William Preston Hall is trading in horses for wars and exotic animals for circuses. He hires his neighbors in Lancaster to care for the animals, supply the feed and more. It’s not uncom...
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December 27, 2020 29 min
Helen Stephens starts high school in Fulton in 1931. She’s a gangly, gravelly-voiced farm girl dressed in homemade clothes. Her classmates tease her with the unfortunate moniker “Popeye.” Helen takes it in stride with humor, attempting to own her identity - a feat for any teenager.
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December 15, 2020 24 min
When the St. Louis Arch was being built in 1964, no Black workers had been hired for the construction crew. That didn’t sit well with Black activist Percy Green, who wanted to let the world know that a federally funded national monument was guilty of racial discrimination. To protest, he climbed the halfway-constructed arch.
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October 28, 2019 28 min
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s journey to becoming a worldwide author is interlaced with pure hardship. On the morning of July 17, 1894, Laura has gathered together her life savings, her belongings, and her husband and daughter. The pioneer woman packs them into a covered wagon - like the one she herself traveled West in as a child.
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October 21, 2019 27 min
Today, on a map, Lake of the Ozarks looks like a sprouting, twisting tree root that covers 86 square miles. The over 1000 miles of shoreline are dotted with resorts and cabins. But that’s not what it originally looked like. It used to be just a river, the Osage River, bending through the middle of Missouri. And legend has it, whole towns still exist on the bottom of the lake. And if you get to just the right spot in the lake, you c...
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In the steamboat’s glory days right before the Civil War, there would be on average, 60 boats traveling through different ports along the Missouri River each day. Cargo of agricultural products, furs and settlers would move up and down the river. From St. Louis to Montana. But, the river was turbulent and unpredictable back then. Many steamboats sank on the trip, yet companies kept putting more boats back on the river.
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October 1, 2019 28 min
In the 1940s and ‘50s, designated police officers and university administrators were on the lookout for gay students and faculty. There are documented cases from the era where officials planted undercover officers in restrooms or set up peep holes and two-way mirrors to spy on men. They were looking for any suggestion of “gay activity.”
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September 22, 2019 28 min
Walt Disney famously spent a good chunk of his youth growing up in Missouri. Just ask the residents of Marceline, Walt’s boyhood town. Walt was born in Chicago in 1901 but moved to a farm in Marceline in 1906. It’s in Marceline that Walt finds his inspiration for many moments in his films (like Peter Pan, Ferdinand the Bull, Lady and the Tramp) and in his plans for Disneyland's Main Street U.S.A. But it’s also the place where W...
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March 25, 2019 25 min
How many tricks can your dog do? Sit? Stay? Rollover? Can your dog pick out a single person in a crowd based off of their clothing? What about predict the World Series winner? Jim the Wonder Dog allegedly could. From his humble beginnings in Marshall, Missouri, to his ultimate test in front of an academic crowd at the University of Missouri, Jim has been a symbol of hope during the trying times of the Great Depression. But what was...
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March 11, 2019 25 min
Did you know Missouri and Iowa almost went to war in the 1800s? Each claimed ownership over a strip of land along the border and believed it had the right to tax the people living there. Several surveyors drew different lines leaving the disputed land in a tug of war between two petty governors for years. Stuck in the middle was “The Hairy Nation” – a community of transplants with varied backgrounds – longing to know where they bel...
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How do you pronounce Missouri? And why do you say it that way? Legend has it former Gov. and Sen. Kit Bond took a poll during his gubernatorial races during the 1970s and '80s to see what Missourians preferred to say and how his pronunciation could help his strategy to win his election. In our latest episode, Show Me The State digs into that legend while examining how politicians, like former Sen. Claire McCaskill and former Go...
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What would the state look like today if the capital wasn't Jefferson City? But Sedalia? That almost happened 120 years ago. Sedalia champion John Bothwell was determined to make Sedalia a state institution and for 30 years he was relentless trying to make the town something more than the location of four railroads and premiere brothels. Ultimately, he makes a play for the biggest state institution in a surreptitious political m...
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If you grew up in 1970s Poplar Bluff, you likely heard of the story of Doc Annie. Legend has it, Doc Annie was a witch-like woman who operated a haunted hospital in the woods. She kept fetuses in jars of formaldehyde there. She also would throw babies into an old well called “the pit.” High school students and young people would drive into the Ozark Foothills looking for Annie’s spooky hospital and tell ghost stories about her.
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