April 23, 1967

On this date in Missouri history, James Earl Ray escapes from the Missouri State Penitentiary. He was doing 20 years for a robbery when he escaped in a bread truck.

February 21, 1915

The only crematorium west of the Mississippi was located in St. Louis. On this day the body of Frank James was cremated there so it could be kept in a bank vault until the eventual burial with his wife in Independence.  

Belle starr Fort Smith on a horse with a pistol. Public domain

February 3, 1846

This date in Missouri history: The “Bandit Queen,” Belle Starr, was born in Carthage, Missouri. She was probably the most infamous of all the pistol-packin’ mamas of those days.

Life on the Run: Riding With the Younger Brothers

In the stories told about them during their careers the Youngers were often cast in the classic Robin Hood mold. It was an image they worked hard to cultivate, but it was only half true. They did steal from the rich but, as biographer T.J. Stiles wrote, “There is no evidence that they did anything with their loot except spend it on themselves.”