1. The public voted to give the Saint Louis Zoo one of the STL 250 birthday cakes as part of the city’s 250th anniversary celebration, but the Flight Cage probably deserves one of its own

    Along with the St. Louis Art Museum, the aviary is a a relic of the 1904 World’s Fair — the exposition that sprawled across Forest Park in grand style to mark the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase.

    The Smithsonian Institution constructed the cage to house its bird exhibit at the fair. It was believed to be the world’s largest aviary at the time — more than twice the length of a basketball court. Its dome reaches 50 feet into the sky. 

    (Photo: the Flight Cage under construction. Image courtesy of the Saint Louis Zoo)

     
  2. To mark the 100th anniversary of St. Louis’ incorporation as a city, an imposing array of “gasbags” assembled at the edge of Forest Park in 1909 for the St. Louis Centennial balloon race.

    (A bunch of politicians were there, too.)

    Among the chroniclers of the nationally publicized aerial event was photographer Oscar C. Kuehn. His striking image (above) of giant balloons being inflated before the race captured the grand scale of the week-long celebration. See more of Kuehn’s photos of early 20th century St. Louis. 

    (Photo: Courtesy Missouri History Museum)

     
  3. Today would have been the 800th birthday of Saint Louis (a.k.a. King Louis IX of France), the city of St. Louis’ namesake. Here’s  10 things to know  about the man, king and later, saint.

    (Photo illustration credit: Flickr user Tim Hamilton)

     
  4. How did a French king born in 1214 become the namesake of a city founded in the heart of the Americas 550 years later? The answer is woven into the fabric of St. Louis’ identity even now, as we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the city’s founding.

    (Photo: Saint Louis, King of France by el Greco. Via Wikimedia Commons)

     
  5. Archeologists from the Missouri Department of Transportation are ecstatic over a discovery beneath the Poplar Street Bridge in St. Louis. They’ve uncovered the first physical evidence dating to when the French founded St. Louis in 1764.

     
  6. The Osage Nation made Pierre Laclede’s fur trading post a success from its start 250 years ago. This week that bi-cultural partnership, tragically rare in this continent’s history, is being celebrated with more than a dozen events.

    (Photo: Wazhazhe (Osage), Shield, hide, feathers, cloth, metal and pigment, 18.5 x 44 inches, collection of Osage Tribal Museum. Credit: Erik Campos Sheldon Art Galleries)

     
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  8. Got cake? These STL250 cakes are popping up all over St. Louis - learn a little bit more about the artistry behind them.

     
  9. The first street of St. Louis wasn’t a street at all

     
  10. Some things change, and some things stay the same. Take a look at historical photos from St. Louis and present-day photos taken to match by photographer Brian Villa. Then try your hand at recreating a historical photo and let us know how it looks.

    Send them to dkorando@stlpublicradio.org.

    Above: Photo illustration of two women crossing the street at 6th and Locust, on the right, in 1940 and on the left in 2014.

    Credit Left photo: Brian Villa | for St. Louis Public Radio; right photo: Richard Moore | provided by the Missouri History Museum