St. Louis July 25, 2017
Some People Don’t Know That St. Louis Was The First To Do These 11 Things
Every city in the country is responsible for doing something for the first time. St. Louis is a city that brings many interesting firsts to the table, contributing to the history of our nation. Here is a list of 11 things St. Louis and its people were first to do:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. The first successful parachute jump.
The first successful parachute jump was made in St. Louis County on Kinloch Field at Jefferson Barracks on March 1, 1912.
2. Prior to the adoption of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, slavery was abolished for the first time.
On Jan 11, 1865, Thomas C. Fletcher, the Governor of Missouri, followed a state convention approved ordinance abolishing slavery with his own "Proclamation of Freedom" ending slavery in St. Louis and the entire state of Missouri. Missouri was the first slave state remaining loyal to the union to abolish slavery prior to the 13th Amendment.
3. The first kindergarten was opened in September of 1873 by Susan Blow.
Susan Blow opened the kindergarten in Des Peres School in Carondelet. Not only was this an amazing moment in St. Louis history, but it also speaks volumes about the type of woman Susan Blow was. She did not receive a paycheck for 11 years and worked for free.
4. In 1904 St. Louis hosted the first Olympics on U.S.A. soil.
St. Louis hosted the 1904 Olympics for the first time in our country. The Olympics of 1904 included many rich and unusual tales from St. Louis history, but that is for another article.
5. The first Build-A-Bear was born.
In 1997 Maxine Clark founded Build-A-Bear Workshop with its first store in the St. Louis Galleria. The store sold over 50 million bears and opened 400 stores worldwide by 2010.
6. Peanut butter wasn't invented in St. Louis but...
In 1894 George Bayle, a St. Louis businessman, became the first to produce and sell it as a snack. A Canadian named Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Montreal, Canada was the first to patent it in 1884.
7. The world's first purpose-built gas station.
In 1905 the world's first purpose-built gas station was built in St. Louis, meaning a store solely for selling gas. The station was at 420 South Theresa Avenue.
8. The world's largest Arch.
The St. Louis Gateway Arch is 630 feet tall and the world's largest arch. It's also the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere.
9. St. Louis was the first home rule city in the nation.
In 1876 St. Louis established its boundaries separating it from St. Louis County -- making it the first home rule city in the nation.
10. The first African American woman to serve in the Missouri Senate lived in St. Louis.
Gwen B. Giles was an amazing figure in St. Louis African American history. She was the first African-American woman to serve in the Missouri Senate and the first to be appointed St. Louis city assessor. She worked hard to improve the quality of life for African Americans in St. Louis and was active in Democratic politics and the civil rights movement.
11. The grand slam home run record.
On April 23, 1999 in Los Angeles, Cardinal Fernando Tatis hit two grand slam home runs in the same inning. Both home runs were against Shan Ho Park of the Dodgers. He simultaneously broke a record for most RBI in an inning. That's just crazy! The odds that someone will ever be able to break that record are slim to none.
What a great list of firsts for St. Louis! What else is St. Louis known for being the first at doing?
Click here for some more firsts for the state of Missouri!