75 Years in the Making

September 1945.  A call goes out.  It was from Kansas City radio broadcaster Ted Malone. Malone hosted a nationally-syndicated ABC show “Between the Bookends.” He asked listeners to send in wartime correspondence. The letters would be considered for a book of war letters. The book would be edited by University of Missouri professor W. Francis English. People from all over the U.S. responded. Letters from men and women came flooding in. Almost all states represented.  Although the book was never finished, the letters can now be accessed online. 75 years later.  All are available from the State Historical Society of Missouri.

For three years, volunteers, college students and staff  have scanned, transcribed, and added essential metadata. Their long hours of work ensures the letters are keyword-searchable and easily accessible. Now visitors to the site can group letters by date, location, and hometown of the service member. Besides the letters received, there are a number of other interesting collections. One group provides a glimpse into the day-to-day life of a member of the WAVES during the war.  There is so much more.

State Historical Society of Missouri

The State Historical Society of Missouri was founded in 1898. The society collects, preserves, publishes, and makes available material related to all aspects and periods of Missouri history. The SHSMO also provides educational programs on the cultural heritage of the state through its research centers in Cape Girardeau, Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla, St. Louis, and Springfield.

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Thank you to all of the historical societies across the country. Your work is amazing. You preserve all of our history!