St. Louis History

Welcome to our collection of stories related to the history of the St. Louis region. We hope if you're a history buff or just curious you'll find something interesting here.

Have a story to share or question to ask? Email our engagement editor Kelsey Proud at kproud@stlpublicradio.org. 

Pages

St. Louis on the Air
6:41 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Why Is St. Louis Named After A French King Who Was Born 800 Years Ago?

Saint Louis, King of France by el Greco
Credit via Wikimedia Commons

How did a French king born in 1214 become the namesake of a city founded in the heart of the Americas 550 years later? The answer is woven into the fabric of St. Louis’ identity even now, as we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the city’s founding.

Friday marks the 800th anniversary of the birth of the city’s namesake: Louis IX, the only French king to become a saint.

Read more
St. Louis on the Air
12:00 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

St. Louis Agencies Rally To Prevent Child Abuse

Credit via the Child Abuse Prevention Facebook page

Thirty-four children died in the state of Missouri in 2012 due to child abuse and neglect. Seven of them were in St. Louis. All told, more than 13,000 reports of abuse and neglect involving almost 20,000 children were filed in the St. Louis region in 2012. About 900 of those reports were proven to be substantiated, with almost 50 percent of the cases receiving some sort of services.

Read more
Arts & Culture
9:49 pm
Sun April 6, 2014

'Deep And Authentic' Passion Fuels Cardinal Nation

Fans wave their rally towels as St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jason Motte delivers a pitch in the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 3 in the NLCS at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on October 12, 2011. St. Louis won the game 4-3.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

After 161 days, baseball returns to Busch Stadium Monday, with the St. Louis Cardinals hosting the Cincinnati Reds. And that means across the city, thousands of bosses have approved vacation days with a knowing smile. Some may have even said, “I’ll see you there.”

Cardinal baseball is probably the closest thing you can get to a government-sanctioned religion without running afoul of the First Amendment. It is a passion that unites a city from April to September and beyond.

What It Means To Root For the Cardinals

Read more
Commentary
10:58 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Editor's Weekly: St. Louis History Is A Hit With Current Residents

A piece of tin enameled ceramic from the colonial period found in the archeological dig below site below the Poplar Street Bridge. It is likely a Spanish ceramic of polychrome majolica.
Credit Stephanie Zimmerman | St. Louis Public Radio intern

News is usually, well, new. But some of our most interesting stories recently have focused on things that are old – really old.

This week, Alex Heuer reported that construction under the Poplar Street Bridge has unearthed remnants of one of St. Louis’ original French houses – something historians never expected to find. Shards of pottery are a clue that the city’s residents may have been more prosperous than previously thought.

Read more
STL250
7:02 am
Wed April 2, 2014

First Evidence Of French Colonial Homes Discovered Under Poplar Street Bridge

A piece of tin enameled ceramic from the colonial period found in the archeological dig below site below the Poplar Street Bridge. It is likely a Spanish ceramic of polychrome majolica.
Stephanie Zimmerman | St. Louis Public Radio intern

Archeologists from the Missouri Department of Transportation are ecstatic over a discovery beneath the Poplar Street Bridge in St. Louis. They’ve uncovered the first physical evidence dating to when the French founded St. Louis in 1764.

The findings help confirm written documentation of St. Louis’ earliest European settlers and shed new light on the people who live here.

Michael Meyer is an archeologist with MoDOT and the principal investigator of the department’s work in St. Louis.

Read more
Arts & Culture
10:42 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Osage Nation Leaders Help Explain St. Louis' Earliest Days

Wazhazhe (Osage), Shield, hide, feathers, cloth, metal and pigment, 18.5 x 44 inches, collection of Osage Tribal Museum
Erik Campos Sheldon Art Galleries

The Osage Nation made Pierre Laclede’s fur trading post a success from its start 250 years ago. This week that bi-cultural partnership, tragically rare in this continent’s history, is being celebrated with more than a dozen events.

Read more
Missouri History Museum
4:02 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

History Museum’s Celebration Of St. Louis’ 250th May Be Record-Breaker

Dancing in the streets -- 1920s style
Provided by Missouri History Museum

The Missouri History Museum’s “250 in 250” exhibition is on track to make history, itself.

The exhibit promises to break attendance records, with more than 54,000 people having already visited the display highlighting 250 images, people, places, objects and moments in St. Louis history. That’s more than half the number who came through "The Civil War in Missouri” – the most recent exhibit originated by the museum – during its entire 18-month run.

Read more
STL 250
10:37 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Why Do Fish Fries Catch All Kinds Of St. Louis Fans?

Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

The origin of eating fish on Fridays goes back a long way in the Catholic Church, but the origin of the tradition is disputed. Some say it’s a form of personal sacrifice meant to remember the death of Jesus. Others say it was the result of an 8th century papal decree to help the Italian fishermen.

Read more
Regional celebration
9:36 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

STL250 Cakes Are Popping Up All Over

The Annie Malone cake by Theresa Hopkins
Provided by STL250

Got cake?

If your area is slated to get one of the celebratory STL250 cakes, but you haven’t seen it yet, never fear. The sweetness is on its way.

As cake artist (and pastry chef) April Morrison explained, the weather disrupted the cake plans as it did much else this winter. She is finishing her 11th cake and has found the experience to be enlightening.

Read more
St. Louis
9:47 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

This La Rue Bonhomme Predates U City's Old Bonhomme

Streets of Old St. Louis
Credit Brent Jones, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

The first street of St. Louis wasn’t a street at all, just a towpath, according to the St. Louis-French association Les Amis, which provided the information for the duplicate street signs that are appearing downtown. Houses fronted that towpath, and three named streets ran behind the homes:

Read more

Pages