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Distributed for Missouri Historical Society Press


The WPA Guide to the "Show Me" State

Once considered a "foolish boondoggle" of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration, the Federal Writers’ Project was initiated to allow employment opportunity to those associated with the arts during the Great Depression. The American Guide Series became the most successful venture, offering jobs to writers nationwide as each state endeavored to produce a comprehensive guidebook. Under the direction of Charles van Ravenswaay, former director of the Missouri Historical Society, Missouri: A Guide to the "Show Me" State was first published in 1941. Now, in a classic reprint, Missouri Historical Society Press restores this guidebook to its original splendor and returns it to the bookshelves.

With a current road map included with the book, travelers can compare sights and tours described in the antiquated guide and see how they have developed or disappeared. As Walter A. Schroeder and Howard W. Marshall describe in the updated introduction, "The `unmarked, dirt road, impassable when wet,’ that we encounter in reading the WPA guide is no longer a hurdle to be negotiated in order to reach an out-of-the-way site." Due to nearly thirty thousand additional miles of paved roadway and endless gas station and motel chains, every corner of Missouri is now easily accessible. And, as Missouri Historical Society President Robert R. Archibald states in the foreword, "If you are the kind of traveler who has no intention of stirring from a comfortable chair near the reading lamp, this reprint is really all the equipment you require for a fascinating journey through the Missouri of the past."

796 pages | 100 illus | 6 x 9

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Table of Contents

Foreword, by Lloyd C. Stark, Governor of Missouri
General Information
Calendar of Annual Events
Part I. The General Background
People and Character by Irving L Dilliard
Land of Missouri
Archeology and Indians
History and Government
Industry, Commerce, and Labor
Newspapers and Radio
Sports and Recreation
Folklore and Folkways
The Theater
Art and the Crafts
Part II. Principle Cities
Cape Girardeu
Jefferson City
Kansas City
St. Charles
Ste. Genevieve
St. Joseph
St. Louis
Part III. Tours.
Tour 1
Tour 1A
Tour 2
Tour 3
Tour 4
Tour 5
Tour 6
Tour 7
Tour 8
Tour 9
Tour 10
Tour 10A
Tour 11
Tour 12
Tour 13
Tour 14
Tour 15
Tour 15A
Part IV. Appendices
Selective Bibliography


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