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Topics in Chronicling America - St. Louis World’s Fair (The Louisiana Purchase Exposition, 1904)

To commemorate the centennial of the signing of the Louisiana Purchase Treaty, the dedication ceremonies for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, also known as the St. Louis World's Fair, were held April 30, 1903. One year later, the Fair was officially opened by President Theodore Roosevelt. Among other things, the Fair showcased technological innovation as well as some of the first 'ethnographic displays,' in which people from other countries were placed on view for Fair visitors. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.

Jump to: Sample Articles

Important Dates:

  • 1901. Planning and construction for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition begins. President McKinley issues a proclamation inviting the international community to participate.
  • 1902. Although Exposition organizers had planned for a 1903 opening, it is delayed to 1904 to complete the preparations for what would be the largest ever World’s Fair.
  • April 30, 1903. The Dedication ceremonies commemorating the centennial of the signing of the Louisiana Purchase Treaty are held, though the Exposition will not officially open for another year.
  • April 30, 1904. The official opening day of the Fair – both President Roosevelt and Secretary of War William Howard Taft participated in the opening ceremonies.
  • December 1, 1904. Closing night of the Fair.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] St. Louis World’s Fair, 1904 World’s Fair, Louisiana Purchase Exposition, the “Pike”
  • To narrow your results, search between 1899 and 1905.
  • To find articles relating to specific events related to the Fair include additional terms in search. Ex. When searching for articles about the opening of the Fair, including opening or opening day in search terms.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  May 3, 2013
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