Brief History of The Worlds Fair Society
In April 1986, a handful of people got together, under the leadership of founder Max Storm, to discuss the formation of a society with a mission dedicated to “preserving the memory and memorabilia of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition”. On April 30, the 82nd anniversary of the opening day of the Fair, we held our first official membership meeting. We started small, but we were a determined bunch … now our membership has grown to over 300. We are a diverse group of people that meet every month in St. Louis, Missouri. Some of us collect memorabilia … some of us are interested in digging up the facts and setting the record straight … some of us are interested in finding the bits and pieces of the fair that still exist … some of us have family connections to the fair … and some of us just find it interesting. The Society has published a video documentary of Fair attendees, printed a book, discovered and purchased the masterworks to the 1904 Fair’s Floral Clock (which is currently on display at the Missouri History Museum), produced several post cards, minted a commemorative silver medal for the Fair’s centennial, and made a large donation to the renovation of the St. Louis Zoo’s Bird Cage, originally built for the 1904 World’s Fair. Members receive the monthly mailing of the newsletter, “The World’s Fair Bulletin”. A sample of several pages of the The World’s Fair Bulletin” bulletin can be seen by clicking on the link “The Worlds Fair Bulletin” . Each issue contains articles of World’s Fair interest and information on upcoming meetings and events. Members are encouraged to send letters, questions, and articles related to the Fair. Please consider joining the Society. Our monthly meetings feature programs covering a wide range of Fair-related topics, such as music, food, fashions, exhibits, memorabilia displays, and even 3-D slide shows. Visitors are always welcome at our monthly meetings. Every December 1st, we have a formal Closing Day Observance Banquet to commemorate the closing day of the Fair. In 1904, St. Louis recognized the importance of the Louisiana Purchase Treaty to the history of the United States by inviting the country and the world to participate in the “greatest of expositions”. The 1904 World’s Fair Society wants to keep the memories alive. We hope you explore the various links provided herein and explore the wonders of the 1904 World’s Fair.
Washington University and the World's Fair (focus on 1900-1905)
May 18, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Candace O'Connor's 2003 book about Washington University is titled Beginning a Great Work: Washington University in St. Louis, 1853-2003, chronicles the events and people that shaped WashU in St. Louis during its first 150 years. For this special presentation, she will focus on WashU's first 60 years, particularly how the downtown university's move from downtown to the new "hilltop campus" was intertwined with the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904.
Author Candace O'Connor has written 13 books about the history of St. Louis and the Midwest. Most of her books have focused on the landmarks, people, neighborhoods and hospitals of St. Louis. In 2001, she won a regional Emmy for a documentary on a 1939 sharecropper protest in the Missouri Bootheel.
A Trip on the Pike
June 16, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Many Society members and St. Louisans know a little about The Pike, but most don’t know a lot. One of the Fair's major features, the Pike was the Fair's entertainment section. Holly Childress and Mike Truax will take attendees on a "A Trip to the Pike", as related through the experiences of a typical 1904 family.
For example: Did you know that the mile-long Pike had over 50 attractions? Plus, there were a few other scattered entertainment concessions on the Fairgrounds. The numerous concessions included: entertainment (with actual and simulated rides), historical and scientific exhibits, a large animal exhibit, a wild west show and arena, a realistic re-enactment of Boer War battles in an arena, many restaurants, concessions from several foreign lands featuring native food, theaters, and stores, and (of course) the giant Observation (Ferris) Wheel.
You will learn about the amazing sights and attractions that Fair visitors experienced.
Holly Childress has worked at the St. Louis Art Museum for over 8 years, and has been the Society Director Exploitation since 2018. Mike Truax is the current President of the Society.