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  • Museum of Westward ExpansionMuseum of Westward Expansion St. Louis, Missouri
    Just below the famous arch of St. Louis, Missouri, there is a visitor center, that is entered by either side going down an outdoor ramp and inside the center sits the Museum of Westward Expansion showcasing exhibits of the history of the city's riverfront, as well as tram loading and unloading areas. Tucker Theater, that was completed in 1968 and then restored, 30 years later, contains 285 seats and shows a documentary, Monument to the Dream, about the arch's construction. The Odyssey Theater was finished in 1993 and contains 255 seats and the first 70 mm film theater to be put on National Park Service land and run by the service. It shows films that come from a rotating play list and located in the center as well are retail shops run by the Jefferson National Parks Association. The Museum of Westward Expansion contains some of the rarest relics from the Lewis and Clark era and by exploring the magnificent exhibits here, you can learn about the world of the American Indian and the 19th century pioneers that helped shape the history of our American west. Inside the museum is a fantastic timeline that allows you to travel back in time and revisit the exciting and thrilling moments in our 19th century history of the opening of the west that starts with the Louisiana Purchase and continues to the final closing of the western lands in 1890. The timeline is divided into decade periods to make it easier for you to view and keep in mind. The first decade begins with 1800-1810, naturally and explores the virtues and dangers that met Meriwether Lewis and William Clark that led the famous expedition into the western territories of this great nation during the period from 1804 to 1806; since this decade time was called most appropriately, the decade of exploration. Some of the important events that occurred before this included the moving of the US capitol from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. and by secret treaty Spain cedes the Louisiana Territory to France; and the second census is taken and there are 5,309,000 Americans living in the country, as it was then in 1800.  Then in 1801, Thomas Jefferson became the third President of the United States, and the first to be held in the new capitol and John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed came to Licking County, Ohio with his famous bag of apple seeds. And we can jump to 1803, when the country of France sells the entire Louisiana Purchase to the United States for $15 million which contains 828,000 square miles of the most wonderful land in the world and Jefferson sends the famous pair of army officers, Lewis and Clark on an expedition starting out in St. Louis and going all the way to the Pacific Ocean. It was a remarkable and most memorable occasion, although at the time, no one could or would imagine the tremendous impact that purchase would have on the nation or the world for that matter, as it would eventually realize.  The rest is readable in history books, or online, but either way, it is an exciting and fantastic time. And it is constantly changing, whether for the better or the worse, only history will decide that, as we head into the future with high hopes, prayers and faith in our God, who still continues to bless us, even though many have turned away, He never will.

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  • City MuseumCity Museum St. Louis, Missouri
    The City Museum in St. Louis, Missouri contains mostly repurposed industrial and architectural items that have been preserved in the former International Shoe building in the Washington Avenue Loft District of the city. It is very popular with the city's residents and visitors that comes here since it is an eclectic blend of children's playgrounds, surrealistic pavilion, architectural marvels and funhouse. Those coming here are invited to play, climb on, touch and feel the numerous displays that continue to attract around half a million people each year. Named as one of the great public spaces by the Project for Public Spaces, the museum has won many local and international awards as a must-see attraction. It was started by Gail and Bob Cassilly, local artist, with Bob still retained as the museum's artistic director. The building that houses the museum was originally a shoe factory and warehouse, although vacant when the Cassilly's purchased it in 1933, with construction starting in 1995 and opened in 1997. Since that opening, it has continued to grow with new exhibits being added, like the MonstroCity in 2002, Enchanted Caves and Shoe Shaft in 2003, then finally in 2004, the World Aquarium. There is a circus ring located on the third floor that provides live acts every day, with a working factory that makes colored shoelaces on antique braiding machines called appropriately enough the Shoelace Factory. . 

January 11, 2011