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Personal Enrichment

Offered through Continuing Education

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History is the most inclusive and wide-ranging of intellectual pursuits. No other discipline offers more to those who take seriously one of the central purposes of humanistic studies: to educate an informed, thinking, and aware society capable of meeting the challenges of the new century. Gain an understanding of the present and training for the future by building a foundation through knowledge of the past with our history classes.

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Class schedules provided below may change.

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Classes offered in-person may be rescheduled, canceled or transitioned to an online format based on COVID-19 guidelines. Students are required to follow COVID-19 guidelines for classroom participation, which includes, but is not limited to, use of masks and social distancing requirements.

Unless otherwise specified in the course description, registration for online classes closes three business days prior to the class start date.


American Musical Theater: From “Show Boat” to “Hamilton”

From “Show Boat” and “West Side Story” to “Company” and “Dear Evan Hansen,” enjoy a fast-paced and entertaining look at the history of American musical theater through video clips of musical numbers from stage, concert and film versions of musicals and in-class commentary by the instructor. Discover the importance of significant shows through a look at the history of musical theater by a professional.
HIST-765 | 4 sessions | $29.50 AGE 60+ | $49 REG
P02 Tu 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Ken Ross
Jan. 26-Feb. 16 | Online

Protecting Our Nation’s Secrets

A St. Louis native and local tour guide will discuss the past and current issues affecting our country’s national security. He will share his personal narrative of thirty years experience as a federal agent in counterintelligence and his role in protecting our nation’s secrets.
HIST-703 | 1 session | $19 AGE 60+ | $25 REG
P04 Tu 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Joseph DeGregorio
Jan. 26 | Online

Great Love Stories of St. Louis

Join us for a fun, in-depth study of several important true love stories in St. Louis history. You’ll hear the stories of Dred and Harriet Scott, Frankie and Johnny, Ulysses S. Grant and Julia Dentand, and a few more which examine the power of love in changing history.
HIST-708 | 1 session. | $19 AGE 60+ | $25 REG
P05 F 9:30-11:30 a.m. | Joan Huisinga
Feb. 12 | Online

Ulysses S. Grant: From St. Louis to Glory

Ulysses S. Grant married a St. Louis native and is the only president to have lived in the St. Louis area. How do we assess this man who was both praised and vilified in his time and ours? Discover more about this Army Officer, farmer, general, president and world traveler with ties to St. Louis.
HIST-705 | 1 session | $19 AGE 60+ | $25 REG
P01 Th 7-9 p.m. | James Gallen
Feb. 18 | Online

James Eads: The Engineering Genius

James Buchanan Eads was a self-educated, world-renowned civil engineering genius, who did so much for St. Louis and its rivers. Discover the many creative designs and creations that he is known for in St. Louis such as the world’s first steel bridge.
HIST-708 | 1 session | $19 AGE 60+ | $25 REG
P02 Tu 7-8:30 p.m. | Douglas Schneider
Feb. 23 | Online

A Biographical Look at the Wright Brothers

Embark on a journey into the lives of two of the most famous brothers in history, the Wright Brothers. The brothers lived in a city that was a hotbed of innovation during a time ripe for aviation experimentation. Discover how they succeeded in creating the airplane and tried to promote and protect their invention after Kitty Hawk.
HIST-703 | 1 session | $19 AGE 60+ | $25 REG
P01 Th 7-8:30 p.m. | Douglas Schneider
Feb. 25 | Online

Napoleon Bonaparte

2021 is the bicentennial of the death of Napoleon Bonaparte who was one of the most consequential figures of the nineteenth century. Spend an evening reflecting on the life of the man whose sale of the Louisiana Territory made our own soil American.
HIST-703 | 1 session | $19 AGE 60+ | $25 REG
P03 Th 7-8:30 p.m. | James Gallen
Feb. 25 | Online

Utopias in Missouri

A “utopia” is an intentional community, an ideal place or society. Missouri has seen a number of intentional communities in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. So many exist, in fact, that UMSL publishes an academic journal called “Utopian Studies.” Discover the philosophical, ecological, urbanistic, religious and educational movements that have created utopian communities in St. Louis, St. Louis County, and in Missouri.
HIST-708 | 1 session | $19 AGE 60+ | $25 REG
P01 Th 7-8:30 p.m. | Douglas Schneider
March 11 | Online

Missouri Folktales

How does your garden grow? Weather signs, courting advice, river lore and curious tales waiting to be heard. Don’t let the bedbugs bite; listen to your Granny and everything will be all right.
HIST-708 | 1 session | $19 AGE 60+ | $25 REG
P06 F 9:30-11:30 a.m. | Joan Huisinga
March 19 | Online

History of Clowns: From Jesters to Krusty

Clowns have appeared in most cultures throughout history, dating as far back as Ancient Egypt in 2400 BC. These clowns would eventually evolve into the court jesters of medieval Europe, who “would openly mock food, drink, and the monarchy, all while behaving maniacally for a laugh.” Today, the clown seems to have two opposite roles in America: to amuse us or to scare us.
HIST-765 | 1 session | $19 AGE 60+ | $25 REG
P01 W 7-8:30 p.m. | Douglas Schneider
March 31 | Online

The Bloody Border War: 1854-1865

The “Border War” began almost immediately when Kansas was opened for settlement in 1854, seven years before the Civil War officially began. Although the Civil War was over, some of the men of the Border War decided not to lay down their arms. Hear about events on the border before and during the Civil War, including the actions of Federal troops who burned more than 2,200 square miles of Missouri, including homes, farms and towns.
HIST-703 | 1 session | $19 AGE 60+ | $25 REG
P02 Tu 7-8:30 p.m. | Douglas Schneider
April 13 | Online

The 1904 World’s Fair: Man’s Greatest Achievement

Billboards all around the country proclaimed: “MAN’S GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT-St. Louis World’s Fair.” More than 20,000,000 visitors came to see the Fair, also known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Join us for a visual tour of the Fairgrounds as they stood in 1904, and learn where you can find remnants of the Fair in 2020. Discover the story of the 1904 Olympics held in conjunction with the World’s Fair — the first Olympics on American soil.
HIST-708 | 1 session | $19 AGE 60+ | $25 REG
P03 M 7-8:30 p.m. | Douglas Schneider
May 10 | Online

The 1904 World’s Fair: Innovations and Inventions

Many inventions made their debut at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. The World’s Fair exposed people to things that they had never seen before, including cotton candy, the fax machine, ice cream cones, Dr Pepper™, puffed rice and clear drinking water. Join us as we learn about the innovations and inventions of the Fair.
HIST-708 | 1 session | $19 AGE 60+ | $25 REG
P04 W 7-8:30 p.m. | Douglas Schneider
May 12 | Online


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