Stars and Stripes Library / Museum

This spring I took Mother down to Advance for a Past Matrons meeting. After it was over, one of her friends insisted that we drive down to Bloomfield to see the new Missouri Veterans Cemetery and the Stoddard County Confederate Memorial, which I’ve already written about. She also said we should see the Stars and Stripes Museum / Library.

To be honest, I wasn’t all that crazy about going to the museum. It’s pretty nondescript looking from the outside. I figured I’d walk in, shoot a few pictures to be polite, then be back in the car in 15 minutes. I was hooked. We spent about an hour and a half in the place and didn’t begin to scratch the surface.

First off, I was vaguely familiar with Stars and Stripes, the military newspaper. I knew that cartoonist Bill Maudlin and bush-eyebrowed Andy Rooney worked for it. I knew that General Patton tried to get it banned and Ike overruled him.

First edition printed in Bloomfield

What I DIDN’T know was that the newspaper started right here in Bloomfield, Mo., when soldiers from the Illinois 8th, 11th, 18th and 29th regiments found the Bloomfield newspaper office empty and decided to publish a newspaper, The Stars and Stripes. It was the first and only newspaper published there, but it started a tradition that continued through both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and our excursions into the Gulf today.

The Stars and Stripes Association, made up of former and present staffers, has a 30-minute video on its website detailing the life of the publication. I was glued to it.

Andy Rooney video

There’s a video at the museum of the late Andy Rooney telling about his stint with the newspaper and how Patton tried to shut it down.

You can touch the newspapers

The thing that struck me more than the exhibits, which are really well done, was that copies of the newspaper were spread out on tables where you could touch them, read them and discover stories that brought history alive. A story on the front page of the Sept. 27, 1945, edition said, “Gen George S. Patton Jr. described his comparison of Nazi power politics with Republican-Democratic party battles at a press conference last week as ‘an unfortunate analogy.'”

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Helpful Librarian Sue Mayo

Librarian Sue Mayo made us feel welcome and pointed out things we would have missed. The site is billed as a “Museum / Library.” I have the feeling you could do some serious research here. I would have written about the museum earlier, but the Stars and Stripes website has been down and I wanted to be able to link to it.

The museum and the Missouri Veterans Cemetery are side-by-side, so the same directions apply:

  • From Highway 60 take Highway 25 north exit toward Bloomfield. Travel approximately 4 miles north and the cemetery and museum will be located on the west side of Highway 25.
  • If arriving from the north on Highway 25, travel through Bloomfield and the cemetery and museum will be located at the southern edge of Bloomfield on the west side of the road.

Photo Galley of the Stars and Stripes Museum

Click on any photo to maker it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to step through the gallery. We’ll have a story on Friday about servicemen from Perry County to commemorate Veterans Day.

They Opened the Time Capsule

When I think of the Common Pleas Courthouse markers and memorials, this 1967 photo of the Civil War memorial is the one that comes to mind. I’m pretty sure it ran, because it won a minor prize somewhere. All I know is that the negative sleeve is marked “Cook kids & Courthouse Statue 6/29/67.” When I wrote about it in 2009, I was hoping that someone would provide details, but I didn’t have the readership I do now, so I’m hoping I’ll have better luck this time.

It wasn’t until I walked across the courthouse grounds on the way to lunch downtown with Missourian reporter Melissa Miller that I realized that the park is peppered with memorials, stones and markers. (Click on any photo to make it larger.)

Monuments to Civil War, Vietman

Bloomfield’s Stars & Stripes Museum has a great quote about the Civil War: “Missourians did not have to await the arrival of an invading army to begin making war – they just chose sides and began fighting each other. Although the First Battle of Bull Run is usually accorded the distinction of being the first land battle of the Civil War, Missourians formed their battle lines at Carthage on July 5, 1861, a full 17 days before the so-called ‘first’ battle was fought.”

Maybe that’s why Cape Girardeau has both a Union and a Confederate memorial within yards of each other. A third memorial honors those “WHO ANSWERED OUR NATIONS CALL” in Vietnam.

Time capsule wasn’t forgotten

I posed the question “Did they open the time capsule” that was buried during Cape’s Sesquicentennial Celebration in 1956 with an inscription “to be opened during Bicentennial YR 2006?”

Shy Reader came up with the answer:

“This is a cringing embarrassment both for me and for my beloved Cape Girardeau. No, the capsule wasn’t opened in 2006, because it had already been opened in 1993. The city wanted a celebration. It was based on Lorimier’s establishment of a trading post here in 1793.

“An observance was held, but it was nothing like the big Sesquicentennial in 1956. The bad thing was, by celebrating early, they spoiled the chance for a really big doin’s in 2006. There were a few things that year, too, but not like 1956.”

Here’s a long story about how most of the stuff in the capsule was water damaged.

There’s a zoom button at the top right of the Google News page to make it large enough to read.

Confederate monument vandalized

The CSA monument, erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1931, has been in the news recently because of vandalism. A high-powered solvent removed most of the paint, but some seeped into the pores of the marble.

A Missourian story by Patrick T. Sullivan said “‘Go south’ was written on the front of the shrine that sits along Lorimier Street near the fountain. That apparently was a request that the marker be moved, not a pro-South message. ‘We are in the union,’ read the words on the back. ‘Obscene. Remove to [illegible] cemetary in the south.'”

Common Pleas history

1806 – 1854
COURTHOUSE AND PARK

IN 1806 LOUIS LORIMIER CEDED THIS PLOT
TO THE CITY FOR A CIVIC CENTER. THE
PRESENT BUILDING DATE FROM 1854. IT
HOUSES CITY OFFICES AND COURT OF
COMMON PLEAS. THE CELLAR WAS A CIVIL
WAR PRISON. THE PARK ACCOMMODATES
A UNION MEMORIAL, BANDSTAND, AND
PUBLIC LIBRARY AND AT ONE TIME A FIRE
STATION AND PRODUCE MART. IT HAS
FOSTERED MANY ACTIVITIES THROUGH THE
YEARS – FROM SLAVE AUCTIONS TO
RELIGIOUS WORSHIP.

William F. D. Batjer sundial

IN MEMORY
OF
WILLIAM F. D. BATJER
1864 – 1937
AND
IN GRATEFUL RECOGNITION OF
HIS FAITHFUL SERVICE AND
HAPPY INSPIRING LEADERSHIP,
THE
PEOPLE OF CAPE GIRARDEAU
DEDICATE THIS SUNDIAL
THIS
MAY 22, 1938

Mr. Batjer was former secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club president, secretary of the Cape County Fair Association and an overall do-gooder and social activist. He first came to Cape as a trouper playing with stock companies which gave performances in the old Opera House. He died at 73 when he was struck by a car near Texarkana while he was adjusting his car’s headlights on the side of the road.

I shot a vertical photo of Outstanding Seniors Russell Doughty and Bill East leaning on that sundial in 1966. What I most remember about the photo is that the vertical was turned into a square because of a reason I wrote about in Why Pictures Don’t Run.

Naeter Cypress from Mexico

MONTEZUMA CYPRESS FROM SANTA MARIA
EL TULE, MEXICO

DONATED BY MR. FRED AND MR. GEORGE
NAETER, FOUNDERS AND PUBLISHERS OF
THE SOUTHEAST MISSOURIAN

“Our Steel Magnolia”

IN MEMORY OF
CAROL UNNERSTALL
“OUR STEEL MAGNOLIA”

AUG. 12, 1937
DEC. 21, 2004

Police Officer Memorials

The stone on the left reads:

IN MEMORY
OF
N. J. HUTSON
CHIEF OF POLICE, A MAN WHO
STOOD FOR LAW AND ORDER
FOR WHICH HE GAVE HIS LIFE
LION’S CLUB ARBOR DAY 1923

The one on the right:

IN MEMORY OF
CAPE GIRARDEAU POLICE OFFICERS
PATROLMAN DONALD H. CRITTENDON
WHO DIED MARCH 21, 1961, AND
AUXILIARYOFFICER HERBERT L. GOSS
WHO DIED MARCH 10, 1961,
BOTH OF WOUNDS RECEIVED
IN THE LINE OF DUTY ON
MARCH 10, 1961, IN DEFENSE
OF LAW AND ORDER
EXCHANGE CLUB OF
CAPE GIRARDEAU 1962

Two memorials for Jeffrey Maguire

This tree is dedicated to the memory of
JEFFREY S. MAGUIRE
May 8, 1955 – June 9, 2004
Outstanding husband, father, attorney, friend and volunteer.
You are Missed.
COOK, BARKETT, MAGUIRE & PONDER, LC.
Attorneys and Staff

[Note: the tree must have died.]

IN MEMORY OF
JEFFREY S. MAGUIRE
MAY 8, 1955
JUNE 9, 2004
A GREAT LAWYER
AND A FRIEND TO ALL

Concrete Street Award

CONCRETE STREET
50 YEAR
SERVICE AWARD – 1962
FIRST CONCRETE STREETS
IN CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO.
BUILT 1912
AWARDED BY
PORTLAND CEMENT ASSOCIATION

Bandstand and Courthouse

Dad spoke often of attending concerts at the old bandstand.

Dr. C.E. Schuchert, Bandmaster

Dedicated TO DR. C.E. SCHUCHERT

1869-1931

BANDMASTER

SCHUCHERT’S CONCERT BAND

1905 TO 1907

1913 TO 1917

SIXTH REGIMENT BAND, N.G. MO.

1908 TO 1912

140TH INFANTRY BAND U.S.A.

1917 AND 1918

CAPE GIRARDEAU MUNICIPAL BAND

1919 TO 1930