250th Anniversary Coverage
5:00 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Pard' My French: St. Louis' Peculiar Way Of Saying Local Street Names

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.



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St. Louis
8:58 am
Sun February 16, 2014

Downtown Streets Add Old French Names to Street Signs

Officials at a 250th anniversary ceremony unveil a historical marker describing St. Louis' early history.

Visitors to downtown St. Louis will soon see different names - very old names - identifying downtown streets. Eight streets will receive new street signs featuring the roads' original French names in addition to their current English names.  

The signs were unveiled at a city hall event Saturday marking the 250th anniversary of the founding of St. Louis. 

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2:49 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

What's Happening On St. Louis' Birthday Weekend

Jill McGuire, Regional Arts Commission executive director (left), and communications specialist Kelly McMahon examine some of the 55 inch tall, plastic birthday cakes that will become public art as St. Louis celebrates its 250th birthday.
Credit Bill Greenbaltt | UPI

Cakes – lots of cakes – will be distributed throughout the area. Finding the pieces of public art can be a fun family project.

NOTE: Because of the unloving weather on Valentine's Day, the Burning Love Festival will be held from 6-9 p.m. Feb. 18. The event will still include vendors, entertainment and the Burnin’ Love 25 foot Heart of Fire.

Burning Love | Feb. 14 | Art Hill

(Yes, there will be tents and warming stations)

4:30 – Family friendly crafts & activities

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Stl 250
11:02 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Happy 250th Birthday St. Louis! Let's Take A Walk Down Memory Lane (And A Quiz)

Jill McGuire, Regional Arts Commission Executive Director (L) and communications specialist Kelly McMahon examine some of the plastic birthday cakes made as part of the City of St. Louis' celebration of its 250th birthday.
Credit (UPI, Bill Greenblatt)

On the 250th anniversary of the founding of St. Louis, we thought it appropriate to celebrate the people and events St. Louis has contributed to the country and the world.  

Maria Altman created this sound-rich Valentine for St. Louis and we invite you to take a listen, and then read on! 

As you can imagine,  it was impossible to include everything and everyone in our radio story, so we included profiles of a few more St. Louisans who had a profound impact on our history.

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Stl 250
11:01 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

QUIZ! St. Louis At 250 What's What And Who's Who In St. Louis

(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.

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10:57 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Editor's Weekly: Our New Rundowns Are Your New Shortcuts To Good Content

Rundown will highlight some items from the chaos of information available.
Credit Wikipedia | Radagast3

In the digital world, finding information is easy. Open your email, Twitter or Facebook account, and it will find you. Search and you'll be flooded with content algorithmically judged important to your life – much of it sponsored by those who want to sell you something.

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2:34 am
Wed February 12, 2014

St. Louis At 250: How They Lived

Image of the first church built in St. Louis. Published in Commercial and Architectural St. Louis by George Washington Orear (1888).
Credit Wikipedia

In St. Louis’ first few years, more longtime residents of Cahokia, Prairie du Rocher, Mine La Motte, Old Mines, Mo., Ste. Genevieve and the area moved to Laclede’s fur trading post. Land-owning small farmers, fur traders, miners, merchants from the region’s French settlements all came to Laclede’s settlement.

“Religion was a very strong reason. They just didn’t want to live under the English,” said Margaret Kimball Brown, author “History as They Lived It: A Social History of Prairie du Rocher.”

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St. Louis on the Air
5:09 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Historians Elaborate On Significance Of French Colonial St. Louis

A map of St. Louis in 1796, currently on display at the Sheldon.
Credit Courtesy Missouri History Museum

On Friday The Missouri History Museum is hosting “A Great City from the Start,” a one-day symposium commemorating the founding of St. Louis. The foremost experts on early St. Louis history will be speaking before an audience that will include representatives from Quebec, France, Spain and the Osage Nation.

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9:33 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

St. Louis At 250: Why This Place

The Sheldon Art Gallery is hosting the exhibit, “Imagining the Founding of St. Louis,” which includes Oscar Edward Berninghaus, (American, 1874–1952), Laclede Landing at Present Site of St. Louis, c. 1914, watercolor, 10 x 14 inches, Private Collection, St. Louis
Credit Private Collection / courtesy Kodner Gallery

As all in the area should know by now, 14-year-old Auguste Chouteau and his band of 30 “mechanics” unloaded their boat a bit south of the legs of today’s Gateway Arch 250 years ago on Feb. 15*. People may not know that this middle stretch of the upper Mississippi Valley was already rich with French settlements on both sides of the river. Residents, especially the younger generation, of those settlements would help St. Louis grow quickly.

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6:22 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Art Exhibit 'Imagining the Founding of St. Louis' Opens At The Sheldon

Oscar Edmund Berninghaus, (American, 1874–1952), Laclede Landing at Present Site of St. Louis, c. 1914, watercolor, 10 x 14 inches
Private Collection courtesy Kodner Gallery

To celebrate the 250th anniversary of St. Louis, the Sheldon Art Galleries has organized a major exhibition depicting the founding of the city and the people involved. Imagining the Founding of St. Louis includes paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture by a variety of noted artists.

Sheldon Art Galleries Director and co-curator of the exhibit Olivia Lahs-Gonzales commented, “Obviously this all happened before the advent of photography so there was no photographer on the boat with the explorers, so it’s really left up to artists to kind of imagine what it was like.”

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