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Santa Fe Trail Day

April 11 @ 1:00 pm - 7:00 pm

As part of Mizzou’s annual Show-Me-Research Week, Santa Fe Trail Day will shine a spotlight on a yearlong public history project undertaken by a team of Kinder Institute undergrads through the Honors College and Office of Undergraduate Research’s ASH Scholars program.

Led by Kinder Institute Predoctoral Fellow and UC-Berkeley History Ph.D. Candidate Kyle Jackson, our ASH Scholars team explored Missouri’s central role as the jumping off point of the Santa Fe Trail, a vital overland trade route to New Mexico beginning in 1821, and on Thursday, April 11, we’ll host a pair of events to showcase their findings.

The day will kick off with a living history exhibit from 1:00-3:00pm on Francis Quadrangle, featuring one of the most important products of that commercial corridor: the Missouri mule. Visitors can learn about the history of the Trail, take pictures with the mule, and get information about the ASH Scholars team’s student-produced, ten-episode podcast, which will debut here on April 11, thanks to our partners at the Missouri Humanities Council.

In the evening, historian Elliott West, a prolific scholar of the American West and one of the stars of Ken Burns’ docuseries, The American Buffalo, will deliver a keynote lecture entitled “The Santa Fe Trail: Three Centuries of Western History.” The lecture will take place at 5:30pm in the Bond Life Sciences Center’s Monsanto Auditorium, preceded by a reception beginning at 5:00.

Santa Fe Trail Day Schedule (April 11, 2024)

Santa Fe Trail Living History Exhibit
Francis Quadrangle

“The Santa Fe Trail: Three Centuries of Western History,” Keynote Lecture with Prof. Elliott West
5pm reception, 5:30pm talk
Monsanto Auditorium, Bond Life Sciences CenterRSVP online here:


April 11
1:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


University of Missouri – Columbia
Monsanto Auditorium, Bond Life Sciences Center + Google Map