About 200,000 people were waiting that day in St. Louis when the president, in Washington, pressed an electric key. When he did, 10,000 flags unfurled, waterfalls began to flow in Forest Park, bands began to play, and machinery began to run. For the next eight months, St. Louis would be the site of the great Louisana Purchase Exposition, the 1904 World’s Fair. It went far beyond the expectations of those who originally planned an event to celebrate the centennial of the Louisana Purchase.

AUDIO: AOWM April 30, 2005 (mp3)