When it comes to learning about Missouri history, third-grade students at Assumption School in O’Fallon know how to bring history to life through the art of storytelling in a very unique setting. The student’s “Famous Missouri Wax Museum,” an annual living history outdoor walk, has been a part of the school’s curriculum for decades. This year’s event consisted of 36 students and took place on Thursday, April 20, on the beautiful campus of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish.
The history assignment: research a famous Missourian of your choice, and on the day of the wax museum event, highlight the celebrity through a short, third-person presentation while dressed in costume and using props.
“This hands-on activity challenges each student to share a piece of Missouri history in creative and entertaining ways,” says Assumption Principal, Dr. Patricia Hensley. “You just press the button on the paper that each student holds, and then step back to watch their performance unfold!”
You never know who you are going to meet! This year’s celebrities consisted of a variety of famous people, including singers, an outlaw, actors, a president and CEO, and even a saint. Stories depicting the late greats, including Army General and Commander of WWI John J. Pershing, and Yankees Major League Baseball legend Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra, to those Missouri celebrities who are still alive. A few of those recognizable names included Assumption’s very own alum and Major League Soccer star Josh Sargent, professional basketball player Jason Tatum, and pop and country singers Cheryl Crow and Sarah Evans.
A few of the most popular Missourians at the event included doubles of the Titanic survivor Margaret “Molly” Brown; actress Elizabeth Ruth “Betty” Grable; sports commentator Jack Buck; entertainer Walt Disney; baseball great Stan Musial; and Sacagawea who accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Other famous Missourians portrayed on the walk were Jessie James, Betty Grable, Becky Sauerbrunn, Daniel Boone, Rose Philippine Duchesne, Charles Lindbergh, George Washington Carver, Vice President Harry S. Truman, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Johnny Morris, Ginger Rogers, Vinnie Ream, Josephine Baker, Lloyd Gaines, Curt Flood, Harry Caray, Jane Froman, and Helen Stephens.
The living history walk was available to visitors for one hour and happens annually. Each third-grade student stood proudly under the covered walkway between the Chapel and the Church as they told the story of their celebrity. The wax museum always draws a huge crowd and gains the interest of many students, family members, and parishioners.
To view more photos of the event, visit the Assumption School Facebook page @assumptionbvmschool or call the school at 636-240-3721.