St. Louis Mercantile Library

The show at the Mercantile Library has so many elements, some are on the floor.
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To celebrate a major birthday — say, 50 or older — many hosts serve cake and display photos of the celebrant: baby photos, first steps, awkward adolescence, coming of age and major landmarks of adulthood.

For St. Louis’ 250th birthday celebration, John Neal Hoover has done just that. At the Mercantile Library’s new exhibition, Hoover hung several century-old photos, older paintings and drawings, but mostly he tells the city history in maps.

(Courtesy St. Louis Mercantile Library)

This Sunday an exhibition called “Presidents and Politics” opens at the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri St. Louis.

The campaign buttons, posters and cartoons on display seem quaint compared to this year’s high-tech presidential race, but they also show American politics has always been spirited.

The memorabilia is part of the Dr. Allen B. and Helen S. Shopmaker Political Collection, a gift to the Mercantile Library.