Missouri and Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of Missouri, the Ozarks region, and surrounding area.

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Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written sixteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Wicked Women of Missouri, Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri, and Show-Me Atrocities: Infamous Incidents in Missouri History.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sally Rand

Last time I mentioned the idea of famous or semi-famous people who were born in the Ozarks, and I talked specifically about Langston Hughes, a native of Joplin.
Another Ozarkian who, like Hughes, went on to achieve a certain level of notoriety as well as fame was Sally Rand, who was born in the small village of Elkton, in Hickory County, Missouri. While Hughes was already somewhat famous as a poet and author before his uncoventional beliefs (some accused him of being a communist) got him into hot water with traditionalists, the burlesque dancer became famous and infamous at the same time by taking her clothes off.
Actually, Ms. Rand rarely, if ever, appeared completely nude but instead was always partly covered by a fan, a bubble, or a sheer body suit. Her performance at the Chicago World's Fair, though, was enough for her to make a risque name for herself.
Although I've lived in the Missouri Ozarks my whole life and I've traveled to a lot of out-of-the-way places in the region, I've never been to Ms. Rand's hometown of Elkton. From looking at a map, I conclude that there's no good way to get there. I have, however, been to Elkland, in Webster County, numerous times.

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