Forest Park officially opened on this date in 1876. Covering 1,371 acres of St. Louis countryside, Forest Park was bigger than New York’s Central Park by more than 500 acres. A crowd of 50,000 people joined the celebration.

At that time, urban areas suffered from the lasting impact of the industrial revolution, which caused environmental issues from heavy smog to acid rain. St. Louis was one of the cities affected the most. Many health professionals viewed the clean air of less developed countryside (which the Park was then considered) beneficial to city-dwellers.

With that in mind, Forest  Park was built to match the grand public parks of Europe and other U.S. cities (namely Central Park).

Based upon content from and Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has dalso written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.

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