Jefferson City, MO (STL.News) Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft today announced a Thursday Evening Speaker Series program on the history of Camp Crowder. The program will be held in the Interpretive Center of the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center, the location of the Secretary of State’s State Archives, on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m.
In his latest book, Images of America: Camp Crowder, former National Guardsman and historian Jeremy Amick chronicles the renowned military installation in southwest Missouri. Established in 1941, Camp Crowder was the World War II duty location for Women’s Army Corps contingents, as well as home to Army Signal Corps and Army Service Forces training centers. The 43,000-acre installation was also the site of a prisoner of war camp confining approximately 2,000 enemy combatants, the majority of whom were captured German soldiers. Post-World War II, Camp Crowder was featured prominently in pop culture. The late Mort Walker, creator of the iconic Beetle Bailey comic strip, received inspiration for his fictional Camp Swampy while stationed at the camp in 1943. Several episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show paid homage to Camp Crowder because the show’s creator, Carl Reiner, trained there before overseas deployment. While much of the property became Crowder College in 1963, the Missouri National Guard retains 4,358 acres for use as a training site. Amick will share stories about Camp Crowder’s history and its fascinating legacy.
The State Archives is the official repository for state documents of permanent historic value, and is located at 600 West Main Street in Jefferson City. All Archives programs are free of charge and open to the public, with seating available on a first-come, first-served basis.