Courtesy Missouri History Museum

Holiday encore broadcast.

On Friday, February 14, 2014, The Missouri History Museum hosted “A Great City from the Start,” a one-day symposium commemorating the founding of St. Louis. The foremost experts on early St. Louis history spoke before an audience that included representatives from Quebec, France, Spain and the Osage Nation.

Oscar C. Kuehn / Missouri History Museum

To mark the 100th anniversary of St. Louis’ incorporation as a city, an imposing array of “gasbags” assembled at the edge of Forest Park in 1909 for the St. Louis Centennial balloon race.

(A bunch of politicians were there, too.)

How would Theodore Roosevelt govern if he were president today? Who better to ask than Doris Kearns Goodwin - a Pulitzer-Prize winning historian who has studied and written about Lyndon Johnson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and now Theodore Roosevelt.

In The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism she documents the friendship between Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft, as well as their relationship with the journalists who covered them.  

via Wikimedia Commons

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark are most famous for leading the expedition that began in St. Louis in 1804, took them up the Missouri River, over the Rocky Mountains to the west coast and back.

But their connection with St. Louis didn’t end there. In 1807, Thomas Jefferson appointed Lewis and Clark to leadership positions in the Louisiana Territory, with a home base in the St. Louis region.


Beginning this fall, St. Louisans will be able to see the actual document that made what is now Missouri part of the United States.

In 1803, the United States bought more 828,000 square miles of land from France for $15 million – roughly four cents an acre – in a deal known as the Louisiana Purchase.

The parcel immediately doubled the size of the country and eventually became part or all of 14 states from Louisiana to Montana, including Missouri, Iowa and Arkansas.

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis is unusual among American cities in having so many streets and places with French names.  Over centuries, its residents have also adopted some unusual ways of pronouncing them.

While these interpretations could make many modern French speakers cringe, some echo the original dialect of the city when it was still a part of New France. In other words – maybe we shouldn’t feel so bad about how we pronounce “Chouteau” these days.



(via Flickr/digitizedchaos)

So, you think you know St. Louis?

Take our highly unscientific quiz to see just how deep your St. Louis Soul is.  Be sure to share your results with your friends.  We highly recommend listening to Maria Altman's radio Valentine celebrating St. Louis' contributions to society, and read her web story about some particularly prominent St. Louisians.  

It just might help your test score.

Reflection: What Is The Allure Of Richard III?

Feb 4, 2014
The earliest surviving portrait of Richard III

It was one of those rare occasions where the careful, dry, scholarly, world of academic inquiry and the more raucous world of instant global celebrity came together.

From "The Second Decommissioning," a history provided by Tim Raines.

On January 29, 1944, the USS Missouri (BB-63) launched into the sea for the first time, the last battleship of her kind ever built. Harry S. Truman was a senator at the time, and his daughter Margaret christened the ship.

To mark the 70th anniversary of the Missouri, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh spoke with Michael Carr, president and COO of the USS Missouri Memorial Association and two St. Louis area residents who served aboard the ship. He also spoke with former U.S. Senator and First Lady of Missouri Jean Carnahan about the historic ship's silver.

(Courtesy History Press)

William Stage first noticed faded ads painted on brick walls back in the 1970s, when he pounded the St. Louis pavement as a public health officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Once you do begin to notice them, it’s contagious, you find more and more,” Stage said.

He began carrying around a camera to document the ads, and in 1989 published a book on the topic, “Ghost Signs: Brick Wall Signs in America.”