MONMOUTH — Madeline Poole, of Monmouth, learned of the increased odds of meeting in St. Louis when people were gathering when she researched the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.
From April 6-9 at Wells Theater, the college staged the musical “Meet Me in St. Louis” in partnership with the Buchanan Center for the Arts. Based on the 1944 MGM musical, the play is set amid anticipation for the opening of the fair.
Poole said that visitors to St. Louis poured in at the rate of 100,000 per day during the seven-month fair, totaling nearly 20 million people. Some of them might have been on hand for the 1904 Olympic Games.
A business major and a history minor at Monmouth, Poole studied the milestone St. Louis event while taking World’s Fairs, a class taught in 2014 by Christine Myers. An assistant professor of history, Myers spoke about the fair during a pre-show lecture at April 7 in the theater.
For Myers’ class, Poole wrote a paper titled “Agriculture at World’s Fairs Between 1851 and 1958,” which she presented at the national Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association conference held in New Orleans.
The World’s Fair was supposed to be held in 1903 in observance of the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase. The international exposition — which was called the Louisiana Purchase Exposition — was delayed to allow more countries to participate.
Poole said the fair marked the invention or introduction of cotton candy, Cracker Jacks, ice tea and waffle cones.
Poole said one of the attractions at the fair was the Ferris wheel, which could carry about 60 people per car in its 36…
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