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St. Louis Celebrations in 2014 & 2015

St. Louis Founder: Pierre Laclede

St. Louis Co-Founder: Auguste Chouteau

King Louie IX: St. Louis' Namesake

King Louis IX: Art Hill Statue

1904 World's Fair: Ferris Wheel

Six Flags: Ferris Wheel

Charles Lindbergh: 'Spirit of St. Louis'

Blue Angels: F/A 18 Hornet

CityArchRiver 2015: St. Louis Gateway Project

Eero Saarinen's Arch: 1957

Eero Saarinen's Arch: 2014

Saint Louis Ambassadors: 1965 Blue Logo

Saint Louis Ambassadors: 2015 Gold Logo 

N E W S S T O R Y !

Get Ready…Get Set…Go Celebrate!


By John Parker:

~ PART 1 ~

2014 Major Celebratory Events:

2014 CELEBRATIONS…STILL HAPPENING SO JOIN US!: St. Louis, which is located in the Great State of Missouri on the west bank of the Mighty Mississippi River near the center-point of the United States referred to as the Midwest, is still celebrating three milestone anniversaries through the end of 2014. They are the following and we hope you enjoyed some of the events with your family and friends.

  • February 14, 1764 - 2014: The ‘250th Anniversary’ of the founding of St. Louis by Pierre Laclede and his 14 year old stepson, Auguste Chouteau (1764 to 2014).

  • April 30, 1904 - 2014: The ‘110th Anniversary’ of the opening of the 1904 World’s Fair & III Olympics by David R. Francis and his ‘Committee of 200’ for a period of seven months (1904 to 2014).

  • November 6, 1964 - 2014: The ‘50th Anniversary’ of the opening of the Spirit of St. Louis Airport in St. Louis (Chesterfield), Missouri by Paul Haglin -Spirit Airport founder and first pilot landing - and Dick Hrabko - Spirit Airports first director (1964 to 2014).

Below is a brief summary of the significant birthdays, anniversaries and events for your review…we hope you will join us before the year ends!

CELEBRTATION # 1 - 2014!

250th Birthday of St. Louis:

Co-Founders of St. Louis

St. Louis: Co-Founder St. Louis: Co-Founder

Pierre Laclede Auguste Chouteau

St. Louis named after French King Louie IX in 1764

King Louie IX St. Louis

1260 in Reims, France 2014 in St. Louis, MO

St. Louis: King Louie IX of France


First, we are still celebrating the ‘250th Anniversary’ of St. Louis throughout the entire year of 2014. St. Louis was founded in 1764 by Frenchmen Pierre Laclede and his 14 year old stepson, August Chouteau, as a fur trading center with 30 settlers. These two fur-trappers and pioneers named their settlement after their French leader who was canonized a saint in 1297 by Pope Boniface VIII…King Louie IX of France (St. Louis). An equestrian statue of St. Louis (top right photo) on his trusted steed stands steadfast in Forest Park directly in front of the magnificent St. Louis Art Museum and overlooks Art Hill, the Grand Basin and its beautiful ‘Fountains in the Lake.’ Cicardi A. Bruce, the Chairman of the stl250 ‘St. Louis Ambassadors Speakers Bureau’ organized by the Missouri History Museum leadership, said at his MOHIS training meeting “the first ten months of 2014 have been an extremely exciting year with a variety of celebratory events throughout the entire St. Louis Bi-State Region sponsored by civic, charity and business groups and we will continue celebrating our 250th Anniversary until the year 2014 ends, so please join us.” For more details you can visit http://www.stl250.org.

CELEBRATION # 2 - 2014:

110 Year Anniversary

1904 World’s Fair & III Olympics:

1904 in Forest Park 2014 at Six Flags

Louisiana Purchase Exposition ‘Observation’ Wheel


Secondly, the St. Louis Region is celebrating the ‘110 Year Anniversary’ of the 1904 World’s Fair & III Olympics between April 30 (opening day in 1904) and December 1 (closing day in 1904) of 2014. In Forest Park the leadership of the ‘Louisiana Purchase Exposition (1904 World’s Fair) hosted a ‘Class One World’s Fair’ and the officials of Washington University presented the ‘Games of the III Olympiad’ (Olympics). Both happenings were truly spectacular and placed our region in the ‘eyes of the world’ when St. Louis was the fourth largest city in the U.S. circa 1900…ranked #4 in population (575K) behind Philadelphia #3 (1.3M), Chicago #2 (1.7M) and New York #1 (3.4M). Dignitaries and over 20M tourists visited St. Louis from the U.S., North America and 71 foreign countries from around the world to participate in the festivities of the seven month long 1904 World’s Fair, plus eighteen weeks of the III Olympics hosted in Forest Park…the third-ever on the planet and the first-ever in the U.S. An Observation Wheel (top left photo) invented by George Ferris, which held seven times more riders than the current Ferris Wheel (top right photo) named ‘Colossus’ at Six Flags in St. Louis, was the centerpiece attraction for entertainment on the fairgrounds and allowed 2,160 sightseers – compared to 320 at Six Flags on Colossus – the ability to have a breathtaking view of the entire bi-state region with a one hour ‘Eye from the Sky’ tour of the St. Louis Region. Richard T. Pisani is quoted at the last 1904 World’s Fair Charitable Foundation board meeting as saying that “the City of St. Louis was founded in 1764 by Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau with only 30 settlers and has grown slowly but surely into a great St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA) that now covers over 8,500 square miles of land and water in the bi-state Missouri and Illinois region and is the 19th largest economic engine in the United States. Our bi-state region is made up of 15 neighboring counties that surround the City of St. Louis in our region that is home to 2.8M residents and 193K businesses that offer volunteer support and funding to over one thousand local civic and charity organizations…thank you Pierre Laclede and Auguste’ Chouteau!” The VP of Events for the foundation, Joan Bengston, said at the same board meeting that “when both the 1904 World’s Fair & III Olympic events ended on December 1, 1904 the 1,500 buildings, structures and statues were demolished, but left our region with priceless legacies. These gifts from the past include Forest Park, St. Louis Zoo, Art Museum, World’s Fair Pavilion, Jefferson Memorial and more, which continues to support jobs, boost tourism and enhances economic growth and development for our entire St. Louis Bi-State Region.” For details please go to http://www.1904stl.com.

CELEBRATION # 3 - 2014!

50th Anniversary of ‘Spirit of St. Louis’ Airport

5-21-1927 Ryan NYP Monoplane 5-4-2014 Boeing F/A 18 Hornet

Charles Lindbergh: Spirit of St. Louis Airport


And third, St. Louisans’ celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Spirit of St. Louis Airport on May 3 & 4 with a magnificent air show. Susan Bruce, the Entertainment Chairman of the Saint Louis Ambassadors, stated at the celebratory event for 333 at the Bruce’s home that “Cicardi (Bruce) and I hosted this party because our home overlooks the Spirit of St. Louis Airport and we wanted to say ‘Happy 50th Birthday’ as the Blue Angels (top right photo) put on a spellbinding airshow. Our special guests at this event were Shep Shepherd who was the very first jet airplane ‘test pilot’ at McDonnell-Douglas (now Boeing) and Randy McDonnell. We also made the event a ‘Salute to Charles Lindbergh’ and his ‘Spirit of St. Louis’ monoplane (top left photo) that became the first successful non-stop 3,610 mile flight over the Atlantic Ocean from New York, NY to Paris, France on May 21, 1927. Since I am a pilot I wanted to say…thank you Charles Lindbergh and Shep Shepherd!” Cicardi Bruce stated that “a portion of this events proceeds will be donated to the Forest Park ‘beautification program’, the St. Louis Zoo ‘special projects’ and other local charities, which is what our public charity 501 (c)(3) has been doing since its inception on March 14, 2002.”

~ PART 2 ~

2015 Celebratory Events:


The St. Louis Bi-State Region had hundreds of events going by year-end of 2014, but “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet”…as the old Bachman-Turner Overdrive hit song was titled in 1974.

Throughout 2015 St. Louisans are already planning to celebrate three worthy ’50 Year Birthdays’ that simultaneously occurred on October 28, 1965. On that day and addressing over ten thousand local onlookers and announcing to the world at the microphone was then St. Louis City Mayor, A.J. Cervantes, standing with a diverse group of teammates at the base of the new St. Louis Gateway Arch wrote a new chapter in the History of St. Louis book. The Mayor announced three history-making milestones all at the same time: 1) the completion of construction of the outer stainless steel flattened catenary-style shell of the new St. Louis Gateway Arch 2) he ordained our area with a new nickname coined the “Gateway to the West” and 3) he launched a brand new all-volunteer group he named the Saint Louis Ambassadors…and all three will be celebrated throughout 2015!

CELEBRATION # 1 - 2015:

‘50th Anniversary of the St. Louis Arch’

2014 St. Louis 2017 St. Louis

CityArchRiver 2015 $380M+ Arch Grounds Remodel!


First, we will be celebrating the ‘50th Anniversary’ of the completion of construction and ‘topping out’ of the outside stainless steel flattened catenary-style shell of the St. Louis Gateway Arch, which has an official ‘born on’ date of October 28, 1965 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gateway_Arch). To prepare properly for the ‘50th Anniversary’ celebratory events during the week of on 10-28-15 the National Parks Service (NPS) Superintendent of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, Tom Bradley, is working closely with the Executive Director of CityArchRiver 2015 (http://www.cityarchriver.org), Margaret Hales and her CAR 2015 leadership team on a $380M+ remodeling project of the St. Louis Gateway Arch grounds. Cicardi Bruce stated at the last Saint Louis Ambassadors board meeting that “the complete upgrade to the nearly one hundred acres of Federal Government land developed into a park that is named the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_National_Expansion_Memorial) will include a new ‘Park Over the Highway’ that will connect the Old Courthouse and the Luther Ely Smith Park to the St. Louis Arch and the West Bank of the Mighty Mississippi River.” The President of the 1904 World’s Fair Charitable Foundation, Rich Pisani, also added at that same meeting that “a $22M update to Kiener Plaza, which was named in 1962 to honor Harry J. Kiener who is a St. Louisan that is best known as a track team star in the ‘1904 Olympics’, will be part of the Gateway Arch grounds redevelopment as announced by Ryan McClure with CAR 2015 on November 7, 2014.” The Vice-Chairman of the Saint Louis Ambassadors, Ralph Turney, announced at the last board meeting that “one of the goals for the CityArchRiver 2015 enhancement is to give the St. Louis Gateway Arch grounds a beautiful ‘face-lift and complete body makeover’ as a 50 year birthday present that will enrich the 3M+ annual tourist’s experience from around the globe that visit our local - yet international – one-of-a-kind monument, which is equivalent to tourists visiting the Statue of Liberty, the Eifel Tower and the Pyramids…it’s the tallest arch on planet earth!” The Secretary/Treasurer and Legal Counsel for the Saint Louis Ambassadors, Sean Clancy, said in a recent meeting that “people from the U.S. and tourists from around the world will be able to tour our iconic international monument we call the St. Louis Arch, along with its Museum of Westward Expansion, a new West Bank of the Arch on the Mississippi river, the new Park Over the Highway, the Luther Ely Smith Park, the historic Old Courthouse and the remodeled Harry J. Kiener Plaza.” Joan Bengston, who is the Vice President of Events for the Saint Louis Ambassadors stated that “this magnificent upgrade and its $380M+ investment in the St. Louis Gateway Arch grounds will pay itself off quickly due to the tremendous boost to tourism and economic growth and development for our St. Louis Region…it’s going to be a great place to host special events!”

CELEBRATION # 2 - 2015:

St. Louis coined ‘Gateway to the West’

Eero Saarinen’s Arch in 1957 Eero Saarinen’s Arch in 2014

St. Louis Arch: Symbolizes the ‘Gateway to the West!’ 


Second is the ‘St. Louis Gateway Arch’ (top photo) had its outside stainless steel flattened catenary-style construction completed at a ceremony hosted by St. Louis Mayor A.J. Cervantes with over 10K attendees on October 28, 1965 and media coverage that spanned the globe. Cicardi Bruce, who was on top of the new St. Louis Arch on that day at age 23, stated that “I’ve never seen a more magnificent view of the entire St. Louis Bi-State Region. It finally put a different perspective on what this new monument was going to do for jobs, tourism and the economic health for the St. Louis Metro Area.” The current President of the Saint Louis Ambassadors, Rich Pisani, was present at that observance at age 18 and stated in a recent speech at the Missouri History Museum that “over ten thousand of us in the local crowd roared when Mayor Cervantes announced that St. Louis was now adding a second monument to its region as an iconic illustration depicting the westward expansion of the U.S. The Mayor went on to say that this memorial was being added to our existing namesake, which is the ‘King Louie IX’ equestrian statue in Forest Park that represents the founding of St. Louis in 1764.” Ann Morrison, the Producer and Director of the ‘50th Anniversary’ documentary about the history of the St. Louis Arch, stated that “a look at history reveals that Mayor A.J. Cervantes also exclaimed that the new St. Louis Gateway Arch now gave our region the official nickname as the ‘Gateway to the West’ that would become known around the world.” Ralph Turney, who was also present at the Mayor’s ceremony on October 28, 1965 said “Mayor Cervantes also launched the Saint Louis Ambassadors that historic day, which is an all-volunteer group that promotes civic pride, offers volunteerism and promotes the entire St. Louis Bi-State Region as a great place to live, work and raise a family.” Fran Capra, a Sr. Vice President of the Saint Louis Ambassadors, stated that “according to historians Mayor Cervantes went on to tell the crowd that day (10-28-65) that the St. Louis Gateway Arch is an amazing one-of-a-kind local and global monument, the tallest man-made arch on our planet and a truly unique symbol of the entire St. Louis Region, which will continue to support jobs, tourism and economic growth for our metro area…thank you Mr. Mayor!” And, as historians report from that moment forward on 10-28-65, St. Louis will forever be endeared with the ordained nickname coined the ‘Gateway to the West’.” Dick Mueller, who is the Sr. VP of the Saint Louis Ambassadors, stated at the October 6, 2014 board meeting that “we use the descriptive ‘Gateway to the West’ moniker for our St. Louis Region because our St. Louis Bi-State Area was the starting point for the westward movement of settlers and expansion of the United States during the 1800s.” Historians continue to document St. Louis as significant port on the Mighty Mississippi River and a major traveling hub for many settlers, hunters and others who migrated from the eastern part of the United States to explore opportunities in America’s new west.

Saint Louis Ambassadors ‘Executive Board Member’ Judy Bentley was heard saying that “St. Louis will always be acclaimed in history and forever known as ‘the port’ on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi River that gave birth to the westward expansion of the United States since its founding in 1764 by fur trappers Pierre Laclede and his stepson, Auguste Chouteau.” Sam Solomon, who is the Chairman of the Sister Cities Program for the St. Louis Ambassadors, stated that “President Thomas Jefferson had explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark start their expedition to find out exactly what geography was bought with the $15M Louisiana Purchase. Lewis and Clark both visited with Auguste’ Chouteau – the Co-Founder of St. Louis with Pierre Laclede – in 1803 and started their famous ‘Lewis & Clark Expedition’ from St. Louis in 1804 to explore and chart the Louisiana Territory, which started at the west bank of the Mighty Mississippi River and throttled westward to the Rocky Mountains.” The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana_Purchase), which cost $15M for 828K square miles ($ .4 cents per acre) and is considered “the best land deal ever” made by anyone. At our most recent Saint Louis Ambassadors board meeting our Community Affairs Chairman, Dr. James Logan, stated that “the Louisiana Purchase land acquisition doubled the geographic size of the U.S from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains, which occupies 880K square miles of land that President, Thomas Jefferson, bought in 1803 from Napoleon Bonaparte’ of France…thank you Mr. President!”

CELEBRATION # 3 - 2015:

‘50th Anniversary of Saint Louis Ambassadors’

Saint Louis Ambassadors

2014 Logo 2015 Logo

49 Years Old 50 Years Old

Saint Louis Ambassadors ‘50th Golden Anniversary’: 10-28-15


Third is the birth of the Saint Louis Ambassadors on October 28, 1965 by then St. Louis City Mayor A.J. Cervantes. He and his diverse team of civic leaders and promoters of the City of St. Louis launched it as an all-volunteer group and commissioned this new local organization to “promote goodwill, community service and volunteerism in St. Louis.” Starting in 2015 the new leadership includes Barry Cervantes – Honorary Chairman, Cicardi A. Bruce – Chairman, Ralph Turney – Vice Chairman, Richard T. Pisani – President, Sean P. Clancy – Legal Counsel, Joan K. Bengston – Secretary/Treasurer and Richard J. Mueller – Sr. VP, Dr. Jim Logan – Community Affairs Chairman and Judy Bentley – Chairman of the Community Healthcare Committee.

Rich Pisani, the President of the Saint Louis Ambassadors, stated that “our new goal will be to always offer volunteer support civic, business and charity organization in the City of St. Louis, plus deliver that same type of volunteer consulting, coaching and mentoring to groups that need it in the 15 neighboring bi-state counties that surround the City of St. Louis and its spellbinding Gateway Arch. They will always be treated as part of our family because they help make up the entire St. Louis Metropolitan Area.” Please feel free to visit our site at http://www.saintlouisambassadors.com for details.

Barry Cervantes, the new Honorary Chairman of the Saint Louis Ambassadors, stated that “our legacy to my father, St. Louis Mayor A.J. Cervantes who was our group’s founder and first Honorary Chairman, will be to magnify and broaden the scope of his team’s original plan and supply volunteers to the entire St. Louis Bi-State Region, which has 2.8M residents, 193 businesses and over 1K charities that need help…at no charge.” The President of the Young Ambassadors, Rachel Boone, stated at the last board meeting that “our specific team is made up of members in the age group of 21 to 39 and we will continue to work with the senior leaders of the Saint Louis Ambassadors to spread goodwill, civic pride and volunteerism throughout the St. Louis Metro Area. Our goal is to ‘pay it forward’ and keep Mayor A.J. Cervantes and our current volunteer leaders and members legacy moving forward in order to have an on-going positive impact on the future of the St. Louis civic, business and charity arenas.” Wayne Kaufman, the Chairman of Veteran Affairs for the Saint Louis Ambassadors, stated that “when I left Viet Nam in 1969 to head back to the United States I couldn’t wait to place my eyes on the Statue of Liberty to welcome me back to the land of the free. Then, upon the flight into my hometown of St. Louis I knew I was getting close to home because the pilot pointed out the St. Louis Arch…a welcome-mat for every veteran from my home-town.”

Joan Bengston, the VP of Events for the Saint Louis Ambassadors, announced at the most recent board meeting that “the first of six celebratory ‘50th Anniversary’ events in 2015 will launch on January 3, at our 11th Annual ‘Board Member & Guest Holiday Gala at the beautiful home of Cicardi & Susan Bruce. We are also making plans to include an event at the Cabanne’ House on April 30, which is the former headquarters for the Saint Louis Ambassadors.”

Fran Capra, an Executive Board Member for the Saint Louis Ambassadors and ‘50th Anniversary’ Event Planning Co-Chairman, stated at the last board meeting that “our 12 person Event Planning Committee is working on two venues for two major events as a salute to the ‘50th Anniversary’ of the St. Louis Gateway Arch. One event is being planned at the Old Court House on Wednesday, October 28, 2015, which is the ‘50th Anniversary’ of the completion of the construction of the outside stainless steel catenary-style shell of the St. Louis Arch and the launch of our Saint Louis Ambassadors organization. Both venues have a spectacular view of the St. Louis Arch and attendance at these two events will be open to the public for all to enjoy, plus special surprise guests will be attending to shock our history-making audience.”

Dr. Jim Logan, the Community Affairs Chairman of the Saint Louis Ambassadors, stated that “all of the 2015 events will be supported with a combined gathering and the efforts of three all-volunteer groups that include the Saint Louis Ambassadors (SLA / 10-28-1965), the U.S. Small Business Institute (SBI / 11-5-1985) and the 1904 World’s Fair Charitable Foundation (1904 / 3-14-2002). SBI and 1904 were both launched by the Saint Louis Ambassadors leadership and supported by its enormous membership base. Together the three groups have over one thousand local volunteers and can reach 590K e-contacts around the world daily with the Saint Louis Sun (http://www.saintlouissun.press) e-newspaper the organizations operate through the papers memberships in LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Facebook and our columnists e-list followers. Nearly nineteen thousand of those contacts are in the St. Louis Bi-State Metro Area with over six thousand in the St. Louis and St. Charles corridor. So, we can get the word out to the families on all of the events planned by us or others who are celebrating like Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, Optimists, Chambers of Commerce, local municipalities, schools, charitable foundations, local businesses, etc.” They will lead the events that will celebrate the three major milestones that include the ‘50th Anniversary’ of the St. Louis Arch, the coined nickname “Gateway to the West” and the launch of the Saint Louis Ambassadors all simultaneously launched by St. Louis Mayor A.J. Cervantes on October 28, 1965!”

Judy Bentley is the Chairman of the Saint Louis Ambassadors ‘Community Healthcare Committee’ and will celebrate her 25th Anniversary in 2015 of operating the CHIPS Health and Wellness Center, which offers free healthcare and social services (http://www.chipsstl.org) in St. Louis to those individuals who are uninsured or underinsured. She exclaimed at the last meeting that “all of our Saint Louis Ambassadors events will be supported by our volunteers throughout the entirety of 2015 by three goups that could use your help. Please take some time and thouroughly visit the three organizations websites, which includes the Saint Louis Ambassadors (http://www.saintlouisambassadors.com – since 10-28-1965), the U.S. Small Business Institute (http://www.us-smallbusinessinstitute.com – since 11-5-1985) and the St. Louis 1904 World’s Fair Charitable Foundation (http://www.1904stl.com – since 3-14-2002).

Ann Morrison stated at the last Documentary Team Meeting that “as the Producer & Director of this unique one hour documentary of the ‘50th Anniversary’ of the St. Louis Arch, the coined nickname of the ‘Gateway to the West’ and the birth of the Saint Louis Ambassadors our team will try to have a private screening and sneak preview of the promo-trailer for the film at the January 3, 2015 Gala. This film will be a one-of-a-kind documentary that will be safeguarded in the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, the Missouri History Museum Archives and the St. Louis University Archives. This historical movie will be available to be aired on local TV-9, the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, A&E, Cable Networks, Satellite TV and YouTube. Also, DVD’s will be available to the public starting on October 28, 2015 and 50% of the net proceeds will be donated by my firm to the 1904 World’s Fair Charitable Foundation.” The Missouri History Museum and the CitryArchRiver 2015 project are slated to be beneficiaries of a portion of the proceeds for their cooperation in the making of this important historical documentary. For more information on our Historian and Documentarian you can go to her website at http://www.annsfilms.com.

Rich Pisani, the founder and president of American Marketing Group, Inc. (AMG) in 1978, pledged that “our firm will help garner volunteer support and raise the funds needed for the celebratory gatherings for the ‘50th Anniversary’ events throughout 2015.” AMG is a business and franchise brokerage firm located in St. Louis, MO that has been consulting, coaching and mentoring small businesses and charitable foundations since 1978. Go to http://www.americanmarketinggroupinc.com for details on AMG. Cicardi Bruce is the Chairman of AMG and told the group at the last meeting that “to participate in the Saint Louis Ambassadors and the U.S. Small Business Institute as a volunteer affiliate member, committee member or advisory board member you must be a dues-paying member of the 1904 World’s Fair Charitable Foundation http://www.1904stl.com)…the annual dues are $19.04 and includes an affiliate membership in the three all-volunteer groups.” Please feel free to contact our Chairman, Cicardi Bruce, at 314-941-0779 or our President, Rich Pisani, at 314-952-2640 anytime to set up a meeting to see how you can ‘help us help others.’

Released by Communications Director, John Parker: