Nature’s River - Featured

Nature’s River

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Before humans lived in this area, the Mississippi River Valley was a great wide wetland teaming with plant and animal life.  The hawthorne plant, with its brilliant blossoms and bright red berries, became the Missouri state flower.  The Carolina parakeet, once prevalent in the river valley, had generally vanished by 1900.  The last known member of the species died on February 21, 1918, in the Cincinnati Zoo.

1861-1863 The Civil War - Featured

1861-1863 The Civil War

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An exciting incident occurred at the Battle of Cape Girardeau on April 23, 1863, when Confederate forces attacked from the west and south of town.  During the battled several Confederate cannon balls pierced the roof of the residence of Alfred Lacey on Caruthers Street.  Ike, a family slave, extinguished the resulting flames in the midst of the battle, saving the house from destruction.

At work on “1909 President Taft’s Visit” - Featured

At work on “1909 President Taft’s Visit”

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The first sitting President to visit Cape Girardeau was William Howard Taft, who arrived on the riverfront in the early morning of October 26, 1909.  He was part of a 16-boat flotilla carrying cabinet members, Congressmen, governors, river commissioners and a large number of dignitaries who came down the river to publicize the developing effort to stabilize and deepen the river channel.  A large welcome arch was constructed over the Themis Street entrance to the city.  A crowd estimated at 25,000 gathered to hear the President speak from the steps of the new Academic Hall on the college campus.  It was a day of great celebration in Cape, for years remembered as “Taft Day”.