Meet Me in St. Louis: A Trip to the 1904 World's Fair

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9780060092689: Meet Me in St. Louis: A Trip to the 1904 World's Fair

You are holding a ticket to one of the largest and most magnificent celebrations of all time -- the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair!

For seven months nearly twenty million visitors from around the globe flooded the fairgrounds of Forest Park. Many explored the twelve mammoth palaces (made of plaster and horsehair!), which showcased amazing exhibits. Others enjoyed watching the first Olympic Games in the United States, keeping cool all summer with a new treat that became an instant hit -- the ice-cream cone. And everyone loved viewing all 1275 acres of fairgrounds from atop the 265-foot Ferris wheel.

Robert Jackson describes the planning, building, events, and memory of a fair that enthralled millions with its magic. In fascinating detail, he captures the energy and imagination of turn-of-the-century America, when fairgoers begged friends and family to meet them in St. Louis.

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About the Author:

A native of St. Louis, Robert Jackson is the great-grandson of a carpenter who helped build the palaces in Forest Park for the 1904 World's Fair. He has trained for two marathons on the park's restored grounds.

Although he has since lived in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City, he remains a loyal St. Louisan, especially during baseball season when the Cardinals are playing. Robert Jackson studied American literature and culture at New York University, where he received his Ph.D. This is his first book.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-9-In 1904, St. Louis hosted a fair to commemorate the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase. In the tradition of Chicago's World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, it was a grand affair that promoted the advances of humankind. The event's positive influences included the introduction (actual or legendary) of such delights as cotton candy, ice-cream cones, hot dogs, and Dr. Pepper. However, Jackson makes clear that the fair perpetuated negative messages by allowing incidents of racism and exploiting rather than celebrating several ethnic groups that were forced to appear in "anthropological" exhibits. The book begins with a ride on the Ferris wheel on opening day. After an explanation of how this proud city attracted an international audience, the author provides a tour of the themed palaces (e.g., fine arts, transportation, machinery) and the innovations they contained, the international exhibits, and the midway attractions. The exposition also hosted the young modern Olympics, and the modest games are briefly described. While the fair captured the imagination of many and inspired sentimentality manifested in tons of souvenirs and a Judy Garland movie, its hold over kids in the current century is limited. However, where an interest exists, this balanced title and its many black-and-white photographs of the exposition's marvels will suffice.-Andrew Medlar, Chicago Public Library, IL
Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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