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Panoramas - Seeking St. Louis

Currents--Civil War

During the Civil War, Missouri was engulfed in the same discord that was tearing the rest of the country apart. Though a slave state, Missouri was bitterly divided internally between those with pro-slavery sentiments and those against slavery who believed in preserving the Union. Soon, Missouri became a battleground for Federal soldiers and its own state troops.

Reflections -- Citizens

The 20th century saw the rise of pride and protest among Americans who refused to endure discrimination and marginalization. African Americans, women, people with disabilities and gays and lesbians are among the newly empowered groups demanding equality in St. Louis.

Reflections -- Workers

Whether they are among thousands toiling in a factory or a lone entrepreneur launching an enterprise, most St. Louisans depend upon jobs to survive. This section puts a face on individual workers who have built St. Louis-including those who erected our most famous landmark, the Gateway Arch.


Many of America's most talented musicians, playwrights and artists have called St. Louis home. Scott Joplin, Josephine Baker, Tina Turner, Miles Davis, Tennessee Williams, Katherine Dunham and T. S. Eliot are among the talented men and women who made their mark on the cultural landscape.


Nearly 2 million people reside in the St. Louis region. The actions of these men and women leave a lasting impact on the area. This sections addresses issues such as the public housing, suburban sprawl and urban renewal.


St. Louis is home to many public parks, including historic Forest Park. These urban green spaces have served as the communal "back yards" for generations of people from across the region.


In the past, St. Louis was described as being "First in Booze, First in Shoes, and Last In The American League." This section explores St. Louis' main industries, as well as the General Strike of 1877 when hundreds of workers protested for better pay and shorter working days.

Currents--Clark Council Room

Visitors will see artifacts related to transatlantic explorer William Clark's tenure (1808-1838) as a federal Indian agent in St. Louis. Clark's presence in St. Louis made the city a key site in the United States government's acquisition of Native American lands in the West.


St. Louis endured its share of danger and catastrophe, including the Great Fire of 1849 and the tornado of 1896. Artifacts explore the horror and heroism of these tragedies.


For the earliest residents of St. Louis, "home" meant many things: work site, shelter, gathering place. This section features artifacts related to the homes of residents from the 1760s, 1770s, 1870s and 1890s, including the city's founding family, the Chouteaus.

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