Cheryl Wambach
Cheryl Wambach

Little Known Facts About

How much do you know about St. Louis?  Many of us know that St. Louis is called the Gateway to the West and that the Gateway Arch is the world's tallest monument. Another well known fact is that St. Louis is also home to the world's largest brewery, Anheuser Busch. But did you know that peanut butter was actually discovered here by a St. Louis doctor?

                                Enjoy these St. Louis fun facts and learn a little more about our great city.  
* St. Louisans consume more barbecue sauce per capita than any other city in

* The first lung cancer operation and first lung transplants were performed in St. Louis.

* The soft drink, Dr Pepper was introduced at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.
7-Up also was invented in St.  Louis.

* St. Louis was the site of the demonic possession treated by a Jesuit priest
from St. Louis University Theological, that inspired the book, and later the movie, "The Exorcist."
* The ice cream cone was invented at the 1904 World's Fair. So was iced tea.
Hot dogs and hamburgers were popularized to a wide audience at the Fair.
* St. Louis was once the largest shoe-manufacturing center in the world
home of Buster Brown and other famous brands.
* The largest collection of mosaic art in the world graces the walls and ceilings
        at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint  Louis in the Central West End neighborhood.
* St. Louis is home to the oldest institution of higher learning west of the
Mississippi River - Saint Louis University.
* Hawken Rifles and Murphy wagons, used by the western pioneers, were made
in St. Louis.
* The cocktails, Planter's Punch, Martini, Bloody Mary, and Tom Collins, were
invented at a St. Louis hotel, the Planter's  House.
* The custom of placing chocolates on hotel pillows begins here when the actor
Cary Grant stayed at the Mayfair and used chocolate to woo a woman friend.
* The first Jewish congregation west of the Mississippi was founded here as was
the first library west of the  Mississippi.
* Famous writers including T.S. Eliot, Maya Angelou, William Gass, Tennessee
Williams, and Eugene Field were from St.  Louis.
* The Missouri Botanical Garden is among the top three botanical gardens in
the world.

* The first ironclad boat was built by James Buchanan Eads in the Port of St.
Louis.  Mr. Eads also invented the diving bell to salvage steamboat wrecks
from the Mississippi  River and built the first bridge using steel truss
construction - the 1874 Eads Bridge.  
* St.  Louis offers more free, major visitor attractions than anyplace outside of
the nation's capital, including the Saint  Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis Zoo,
Cahokia Mounds, Museum of Westward Expansion, St. Louis Science Center,
Missouri History Museum, Anheuser-Busch Brewery, Grant's Farm and more.  
* The first kindergarten in the U.S. was founded in St. Louis by Susan Blow. 
* Peanut Butter was invented here on a visit from George Carver. 

* Famous musicians including Chuck Berry, Tina Turner, Miles Davis, Albert
King, David Sanborn, Michael McDonald (The Doobie Brothers) are from St.
Louis.  Missouri native Sheryl Crowe taught school in St. Louis.
* St. Louis was the first American city to host the Olympic Games (1904).
* Famous contemporary actors including John Goodman, Kevin Kline and
Scott Bakula were born in St. Louis. Other famous actors and entertainers,
including Josephine Baker, Betty Grable, Vincent Price, Buddy Ebsen, Redd
Foxx, Shelly Winters, Virginia Mayo, Marsha Mason, called St. Louis home.
* The Mercury and Gemini space capsules  were built in St. Louis by McDonnell
Douglas, now Boeing.
* The world's first skyscraper - Louis Sullivan's Wainwright Building - was built
In 1897 in St.  Louis.
* Charles Lindbergh flew mail routes into St.  Louis and named his plane "Spirit
of St. Louis" to thank the businessmen who provided financial backing for his
solo Atlantic flight in 1927.
* The nation's first interstate highway was constructed here.

* The Gateway Arch - at 630 feet - is the nation's tallest man-made monument.
* The Mississippi River runs 2,350 miles from Lake Itasca in Minnesota to the
Gulf of Mexico. The word "Mississippi" comes from the Anishinabe people
(Ojibwe Indians). They called the river "Messipi" which means "Big River."
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains a navigation channel nine feet
deep in the center of the river.
* The bread slicer was invented here circa 1900.

* The second professional fire department in USA was started here in 1850
(Cincinnati started the first 2 years prior).

* General Grant &  Robert E. Lee both served as new West point officers at St.
* Jefferson Barracks, still open as reserve base, museum & park, is the second
largest military cemetery in the U.S. and  was the site of one of the bloodiest
battles in the Civil War with 25,000 killed.