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21, September 2017

Exercising the Mind, Body, and Spirit

In 1848 revolutions demanding national unity, democracy, and freedom from censorship engulfed the German Confederation (a collection of 39 loosely linked states that eventually birthed modern Germany). The revolutions failed, and thousands of working-class and intellectual Germans fled to the United States. New German faces arrived on the St. Louis riverfront daily as a result. Most had little with them except the desire to carry on a familiar social tradition, one that became a cornerstone of German St. Louis. Read more »

1, August 2017

6 More Memorable STL Sports Moments

St. Louis is a sports town, no doubt. Local teams and hometown heroes have provided countless action-packed, exhilarating, frustrating, and heartrending moments for fans near and far over the years, but some of those moments stand out even more than others. Here's just a handful of 'em, in no particular order. (Check out our first list here.) Read more »

14, February 2013

Ending What Started in St. Louis

The International Olympic Committee’s decision to eliminate wrestling from the 2020 Olympics has left many athletes and fans of that sport worried about its future. At the Missouri History Museum, it left us thinking about the past and the unique role that St. Louis has played in both Olympic and wrestling history.

The 1904 Summer Olympics marked not only the first time the Games were hosted by an American city, but also the first time that freestyle wrestling made an appearance in the Olympics. Read more »

20, September 2012

A Legacy in Dispute

Olympic Games are judged just as much as their events and athletes, and few Games have been as harshly criticized as those held in St. Louis in 1904.

The most accurate assessment of the St. Louis Games is likely that they were neither the overwhelming success that the organizers and local press made them out to be at the time nor the embarrassing failure that is most often portrayed today.

Left: American Martin Sheridan set a new Olympic record in discus. Photograph by Jessie Tarbox Beals, 1904. Missouri History Museum.

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10, August 2012

Running Through History

No event better represents both the similarities and differences between the 1904 Olymic Games and those currently being held in London than the marathon.

In St. Louis, the race began at what is now known as Francis Field on the Washington University campus and was then run over county roads. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote that “the course resembles the road from Marathon to Athens in that the hills are about the same height as those in Greece.” Read more »

2, August 2012

Not So Far from London

Looking at photos from the 1904 Olympics it’s not difficult to spot the differences from the Games currently being held in London. Many of the competitors are wearing jerseys promoting their city’s athletic club rather than the United States of America. The athletes often appear to be competing in front of only a handful of spectators. And some of them are running in street clothes.

But look closer and you can see what connects these two Olympic Games spread so many miles and years apart. Read more »

27, July 2012

A Long Way from London

The 2012 Olympics opens today with a ceremony featuring thousands of performers, created by the director of Slumdog Millionaire, and expected to draw a worldwide television audience of 1 billion. It will be the first and maybe biggest example of how different the 2012 Games will be from those held in St. Louis in 1904. Read more »

29, June 2012

St. Louis vs. Chicago: An Olympic Rivalry

St. Louis holds a unique and important place in Olympic history as the first American city to host the modern games. Earning the title, however, was not a victory easily won. Read more »

7, June 2012

“The road to London goes through St. Louis”

The Visa National Gymnastics Championships are kicking off today in St. Louis. Top qualifiers will head to the Olympic trials in San Jose on June 28. Those who make the cut will go for the gold at the London Games, due to start on July 27. Read more »