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1887 World Cycling Championship Road Race, Clarksville

In the late nineteenth century, cycling became a popular American pastime. The League of American Wheelmen, a prominent club for cyclists, claimed forty-four members at its founding in Rhode Island in 1880, but within seven years its membership had increased to ten thousand members nationwide. Hundreds of other cycling clubs also were formed as both recreational riding and competitive racing flourished across the country. In St.

Battle of Wilson’s Creek

The Battle of Wilson’s Creek or Oak Hills in southwestern Greene County on August 10, 1861, is Missouri’s best-known Civil War engagement. Southern forces, consisting of an independent Missouri State Guard army allied with Arkansas state troops and Confederate units, prevailed over a smaller Union force of US Regular troops, midwestern volunteers, native whites, and ethnic German Missourians.

Lafayette’s Visit to St. Louis in 1825

In 1824–1825, the Marquis de Lafayette, famous veteran of the Revolutionary War, returned to America to make a grand tour of the country he fought to create. The fifteen-month tour sparked nationwide festivities: parades, balls, and banquets. Everywhere Lafayette stopped he was hailed a hero. The western part of his journey across the United States ended in St. Louis, where city leaders threw a grand celebration in his honor.

Louisiana Purchase and Missouri

The Louisiana Purchase, an 1803 land deal between the United States and France, doubled the size of the United States and made the future state of Missouri a part of the American nation. The momentous acquisition, which encompassed the vast territorial expanses between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains, altered the youthful republic’s future course and transformed the lives of Louisiana’s culturally diverse populace. At the time of its transfer to the United States, the Louisiana Territory was not an empty space.

New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811–1812

During the early hours of December 16, 1811, a series of violent shakes roused inhabitants of the mid-Mississippi valley from their nighttime slumbers. Those initial tremors and the sporadic ones that followed for nearly two months reshaped the landscape, altered regional settlement patterns, and prompted unnerved residents to contemplate the mysterious forces of nature capable of wreaking so much havoc. The most seriously affected areas were in southeastern Missouri, northeastern Arkansas, southwestern Kentucky, and northwestern Tennessee.

1944 World Series

The 1944 World Series was the first played entirely west of the Mississippi River. St. Louis, then the westernmost outpost of Major League Baseball, hosted the series between the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals and the American League champion St. Louis Browns. All games were played at Sportsman’s Park, home to both teams. The Browns had won their first-ever league pennant on the final day of the regular season, finishing with a record of 89–65, one game better than the Detroit Tigers.

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