Did you know Missouri has three publicly accessible U.S. Civil Rights Trail sites?
Included on the national list are the Old Courthouse in St. Louis, where the Dred Scott freedom trials took place; the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence, which recognizes Truman’s Executive Order to desegregate the Armed Services; and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, which tells stories of the players like Jackie Robinson who played pivotal roles in integrating major league baseball.
As part of Missouri’s inclusion on the Trail, staff from the Division of Tourism recently had the opportunity to learn more about what’s available in other states.
The educational sessions and tours took place in Montgomery and Selma, Alabama, both of which are rich with museums, churches and other sites connected to people and events critical to the Civil Rights movement. Visitors also have the opportunity to hear first-hand accounts from people who lived through and were a part of events like the 1965 voting rights march that began in Selma and ended at the Capitol steps in Montgomery.
Returning to Missouri energized by what we learned, our team realized we need your help to add more Missouri locations to the U.S. Civil Rights Trail.
If your community has a location that should be considered for inclusion on the trail (there are criteria and a review process) please contact MDT’s Deputy Director Lori Simms at Lori.Simms@ded.mo.gov. She serves as vice chair of the trail’s Marketing Alliance and can discuss the process.
Additionally, if you know of anyone in your community who was present at a major Civil Rights events in Missouri or elsewhere, please share that information as well. The stories of “foot soldiers” deserve to be told and documented for posterity.