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New history museum exhibit celebrates generations of women and their inspiring stories

Image of the wall at the Springfield's Leading Ladies: Creating Legacies exhibit
Courtney Skornia
Image of the wall at the Springfield's Leading Ladies: Creating Legacies exhibit

A temporary exhibit at the History Museum on the Square invites visitors to learn more about the impact of women throughout Springfield's history.

Springfield’s Leading Ladies: Creating Legacies focuses on accomplishments of women who created their own path and inspire many today. From entrepreneurs, political figures, teachers, journalists, nurses and more; the exhibit highlights the achievements of women who were the first to step into leadership positions and pave the way for future generations.

The exhibit showcases a collection of narratives of many inspiring women along with items that go along with the women's stories.

The history museum held a planning meeting with its departments to discuss what would be the best curriculum for special events and the existing education program.

They needed an exhibit that complemented the Missouri Education Department’s curriculum while also connecting with the Meet Missouri field trip experience, a program that teaches third through fifth graders more about local notable Missourians.

"Not only do the kids come in and have the experience of the scavenger hunt and the normal Meet Missouri, but now they have the opportunity to come through this exhibit and meet Missourians," said Executive Director of the History Museum on the Square Sean FitzGibbons.

He explains how the Meet Missouri field trip experience happens and how so many kids can learn through an engaging and interactive approach.

"Half the kids go through the museum to do the scavenger hunt, and the other half goes to Fox Theatre where they have props and profiles laid out on the table," he said. "They split into groups, and one student becomes Pearl White with the props we have for Pearl White or Rose O'Neill, and the other student is the news reporter who has to interview Pearl White, Rose O'Neill, Payne Stewart, Bob Barker. Some of those kids just go crazy; it's a lot of fun."

The exhibit opened to the public on March 9, notably just one day after International Women’s Day. It will be open to viewing through general admission until June 2.