Thursday, July 30, 2009

St. Louis' Little Known Facts and Firsts

St. Louis has many little-known facts and firsts including:
The 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair was where the soft drink Dr. Pepper was introduced, the ice cream cone and iced tea were invented and hot dogs and hamburgers were made popular with a large audience.

St. Louisans consume more barbeque sauce per capita than any other city in America.

Pork steaks and 7-Up were invented in St. Louis.

The largest collection of mosaic art in the world graces the walls and ceilings at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis on Lindell Blvd. in the Central West End.

St. Louis University, founded in 1818, is the oldest college/university west of the Mississippi River.

The cocktails, Planters Punch, Martini, Bloody Mary and Tom Collins all were invented at the Planter’s House Hotel in St. Louis.

St. Louis offers more FREE, major visitor attractions than any city outside of Washington D.C.—St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Zoo, Museum of Westward Expansion, St. Louis Science Center, Missouri History Museum, Anheuser-Busch Brewery, Grant’s Farm, Cahokia Mounds, and more.

The first kindergarten in the US was founded in St. Louis by Susan Blow.

The world’s first skyscraper—Louis Sullivan’s Wainwright Building—was built in St. Louis in 1897.

The Gateway Arch is 630 feet tall and the tallest man-made monument in the US.

The first library west of the Mississippi was founded in St. Louis.

In 1904 St. Louis hosted the first US Olympic Games .

The second professional fire department in the US was started in St. Louis in 1850.

The bread slicer was invented in St. Louis at the beginning of the 20th century.

Dr. George Washington Carver invented peanut butter during a visit to St. Louis.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is one of the top three botanical gardens in the world.

The first ironclad boat was built in St. Louis by James Buchanan Eads, who also invented the diving bell to salvage steamboat wrecks in the Mississippi River. Eads Bridge, built by him in 1874, was the first bridge using steel truss construction.

Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis County is the second largest military cemetery in the US and was the site of a Civil War battle in which 25,000 people were killed.

U.S. 40, now I 70- the Mark Twain Expressway, was the first interstate project to start construction in the United States and was begun here.

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