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A Look At St. Louis' Timeline

'St. Louis: An Illustrated Timeline' by Carol Ferring Shepley

As St. Louis celebrates 250 years, several books have explored the city’s history. Add one more to the list, but this one tells the tales through timelines.

“St. Louis: An Illustrated Timeline” offers a tour through St. Louis’ past (and future, as the book ends in 2016) with vignettes for noteworthy years. It also has what author Carol Ferring Shepley calls a “wide-angle view” of the city.

“The conventional histories I read mostly had to do with the expansion of business and government and (territory),” she told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Thursday. “They didn’t give a real sense of what St. Louis is. What makes a city live and breathe are the artists and the authors and the sports figures and the criminals.”

While Shepley did emphasize growth and the separation of the city and the county, she also stressed civil rights, women’s rights and sports.

“St. Louis is a real crucible for the civil rights movement because we’re such a blend of north and south,” she said. “There’s been a real narrative with our sports as well. For instance, the 1964 World Series. We were playing against the Yankee dynasty with (Roger) Maris and (Mickey) Mantle and Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford, but their owner was really a racist — I mean, he wanted no negro players on his team, whereas the 1964 Cardinals were successfully integrated. Some of our biggest stars — Lou Brock, of course Bob Gibson. And also we had Julian Javier, so we had Hispanics as well. And everyone pulled together. They were friends.”  

Shepley traces women’s rights back to Marie-Therese Bourgeois Chouteau.

“She called herself a widow, but her husband was still alive. She lived with her lover,” Shepley said. “This woman had a lot of political power in her own way, so she kind of set the way.”

And of course Shepley included the 1904 World’s Fair.

“It was huge. It was the first major thing to be electrified — to have electric lights,” she said. “The whole world came here.”

Related Events

"St. Louis: An Illustrated Timeline" lecture and book signing

  • When: 7 p.m. Jan. 15, 2015
  • Where: St. Louis County Library Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis
  • More information

Lecture and book signing

  • When: 7 p.m. Jan. 22, 2015
  • Where: St. Louis Central Library

Lecture and book signing

  • When: 7 p.m. Jan. 27, 2015
  • Where: AT&T Foundation Multipurpose Room, Missouri History Museum, Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park, St. Louis
  • More information

Lecture and book signing

  • When: 2 p.m. Feb. 17, 2015
  • Where: St. Louis County Library's Grand Glaize Branch, 1010 Meramec Station Road, Manchester
  • More information

Lecture and book signing

  • When: 7 p.m. Feb. 24, 2015
  • When: St. Charles Library's Kisker Branch, 1000 Kisker Road, St. Charles

“St. Louis on the Air” discusses issues and concerns facing the St. Louis area. The show is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and hosted by veteran journalist Don Marsh. Follow us on Twitter: @STLonAir.

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