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At a special preview Thursday of a new Missouri History Museum exhibit, Jody Sowell lauded Post-Dispatch photographers for documenting decades of local history.

"All of our Stanley Cup losses — and our Stanley Cup win," said Sowell, the museum's exhibitions and research director.

The reception Thursday was a sneak peek of a two-part display that opens Saturday — "Pulitzer Prize Photos" and "In Focus: St. Louis Post-Dispatch Photographs."

As part of the program, museum theater coordinator Erica Roberts presented a short solo play inspired by a 1970 P-D photo taken at a protest march.

The Pulitzer display is part of a traveling exhibit from the Newseum in Washington, featuring photos that have been honored with Pulitzers since they began in 1942.

The P-D portion is a locally focused exhibit designed by the history museum, in conjunction with the newspaper, that features about 75 photos of life in St. Louis from the 1920s to the present.

The main Pulitzer exhibit features two P-D photos:

• Freelance photographer Ron Olschwanger's 1988 winner showing St. Louis firefighter Adam Long trying to resuscitate a child at a fire.

Adam Long - Pulitzer photo

St. Louis firefighter Adam Long attempts to resuscitate 2-year-old Patricia Pettus after rescuing her from a burning apartment Dec. 30, 1988. The girl later died at St. Louis Children's Hospital. The photo, published in the Post-Dispatch the day after the fire, won the Pulitzer Prize for spot news photography in 1989.

Photo by Ron Olshwanger

"I'm amazed at the impact that photo has had over 30 years," said Long, who attended the soiree with his wife, Felecia Long. "People still come up to me and say 'You're that fireman, aren't you?'"

• One from 2014 of a Ferguson protester throwing a tear gas canister back at police.

2015, for breaking news photography

2015, breaking news photography • For powerful images of the despair and anger in Ferguson, Missouri, stunning photojournalism that served the community while informing the country. The prize went to the photography staff. See their photos from Ferguson

That photo was taken by Robert Cohen, who was part of the staff that won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography.

Along with Cohen, the staff included photographers David Carson, Cristina Fletes, J.B. Forbes, Christian Gooden, Chris LeeHillary Levin, Richard Huy Mach and Laurie Skrivan; and editors Gary Hairlson and Lynden Steele.

Members of that staff will take part in a panel discussion, "Behind the Lens: The News in an Image," at 2 p.m. Saturday at the museum.

The free exhibit opens to the public Saturday and will run through Jan. 20 at the museum, 5700 Lindell Boulevard in Forest Park.

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