Frank Nickell

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Frank Nickell is a history professor at Southeast Missouri  State University. 

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Southeast Missouri State University

It seems like Almost Yesterday that hundreds of comic books and magazines, judged as indecent and unfit for children, were ceremonially burned in Cape Girardeau.  The date was February 24, 1949, and the location was St. Mary’s High School on the corner of Sprigg and William Streets.

This large burning was one of many that emerged across the nation in 1948-49, seeking to eliminate the perceived dangers of the “new” graphic comic books.  In the Depression years of the 1930’s, comic books gained widespread popularity, and began to attract criticism for the vivid use of violence.

Almost Yesterday
Southeast Missouri State University

It seems like Almost Yesterday that the legendary origin of the four rivers of St. Francois County was recorded by the writer and historian Allan Hinchey.

The four rivers – the Whitewater, Castor, Saline, and Little St. Francois – emerge close together, northeast of Fredericktown, Missouri, near the junction of Perry, Bollinger, Ste. Genevieve, Madison, and St. Francois Counties. Although they emerge close together, the four rivers flow in different directions.

Southeast Missouri State University

It seems like Almost Yesterday that the transcontinental railroad was completed at Promontory Point in Utah. The year was 1869. Within a few months, Hiram Morgan Hill and his sister Sarah Althea Hill were on the new “Pacific Train” heading to California in search of fame and fortune.

At the time, “Morgan” Hill was 22 years of age; Sarah was 20. They were the orphaned children of Samuel Allen Hill, an attorney and Missouri legislator, and Julia Sloan, daughter of Hiram Sloan, who had operated a mill on Sloan’s Creek at the northern edge of Cape Girardeau.

The Day the Streetcars Stopped
Southeast Missouri State University

It seems like almost yesterday that streetcars in Cape Girardeau stopped rolling through the city. On August 10, 1934, the last car was driven into the north Main Street barns at 9:30 p.m., signaling the end of a community service that had been available for 29 years.

A Confederate General planned to attack St. Louis in an effort to draw Union forces away from Atlanta. The two sides met at the small mining town of Pilot Knob for a brief but bloody battle.
Southeast Missouri State University

It seems like Almost Yesterday that Union troops under General William Tecumseh Sherman were moving south against Atlanta. General Kirby Smith, Commander of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi Department, saw Missouri as a place to strike a blow at the Union by making a direct threat upon St. Louis. This, he believed, would force the transfer of Union troops from Atlanta, thus saving that vital supply center.

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