The City Where Innovation Toasts Tradition

this started in st louis first

Ever taken a crunchy bite out of a toasted ravioli and wondered where this scrumptious delight came from? Or perhaps you’ve enjoyed a skydive and pondered who the first daring soul to take that leap was? Welcome to St. Louis, Missouri! This isn’t just the city where the West begins; it’s where the world began to see a series of firsts that have shaped our everyday lives.

In St. Louis, you’ll find more than just an impressive arch; it’s a veritable treasure trove of innovation, tradition, and, yes, quite a few unexpected surprises. This city has a knack for turning accidents into delicacies and bold dreams into reality. From foodie firsts that will make your taste buds dance the Charleston, to daring feats that took humanity to new heights (quite literally), St. Louis has been the backdrop for groundbreaking firsts that have made our world a more delightful, adventurous, and entertaining place.

So, fasten your seatbelts, or should we say, tighten your apron strings and prepare your parachutes, as we dive fork-first into the rich, quirky history of St. Louis – a city that has a knack for being at the forefront, even when it’s square in the middle of the map.

Toasted to Perfection: The First Ravioli

If you’re a fan of Italian cuisine with an American twist, then you’ll ‘pasta-lutely’ love this hearty helping of culinary history. You might find it hard to believe, but the first toasted ravioli was not crafted in the rustic kitchens of Italy, but in the vibrant neighborhood of The Hill in St. Louis, Missouri. This unexpected fusion of classic Italian pasta and American ingenuity has resulted in a crunchy, cheesy delight that’s become a signature dish of the city.

The story of toasted ravioli begins in the heart of St. Louis, specifically in the tight-knit Italian-American community of The Hill. This neighborhood is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, and of course, its delectable cuisine. Among the family-owned trattorias and pizzerias, the recipe for the first toasted ravioli was ‘knead’-ingly crafted.

first toasted ravioli

As the legend goes, it all began when a chef accidentally dropped a fresh ravioli into hot oil instead of simmering tomato sauce. Rather than discard the errant pasta, the chef decided to see what would happen if he let it fry. What emerged from the oil was a crispy, golden-brown morsel that was unlike any ravioli ever tasted before.

When this newly invented toasted ravioli was sampled, it was an instant hit. The exterior was perfectly crispy, while the inside remained soft and filled with gooey, melted cheese. It was a surprising and delightful contrast that had everyone asking for seconds.

Recognizing that they had stumbled upon something special, the restaurant started serving this accidental delicacy to their customers. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and soon, other establishments in The Hill started replicating the recipe.

Over the years, this culinary accident has become a beloved local delicacy. Whether served as an appetizer or a main course, toasted ravioli is now a staple on St. Louis menus. Different variations have emerged over time, with fillings ranging from the traditional cheese or meat to more innovative options like spinach and artichoke or pumpkin.

A Scoop of History: The First Ice Cream Cone

Grab your spoons and get ready to dig into a delightful treat of history – the origin of the much-adored ice cream cone. It might seem like a simple creation, but the ice cream cone we all know and lick today has a ‘cone-fectionery’ tale that’s as tantalizing as the creamy scoops it cradles.

Flash back to the sweltering summer of 1904 in St. Louis, the city playing host to the World’s Fair. Imagine the bustling fairgrounds, vibrant with the colors and sounds of various nations, their cultures, and innovations on display. Among the international participants was a Syrian concessionaire named Ernest Hamwi, who was selling zalabia, a traditional Middle Eastern dessert that’s similar to a crispy, sweet waffle.

ice cream cones being made

Close by, an ice cream vendor was facing a daunting predicament. His ice cream was selling like hotcakes, but he had run out of dishes. Seeing his neighbor’s plight, Hamwi leapt into action. He rolled his warm zalabia into a cone shape, creating a makeshift edible dish. The ice cream vendor could then scoop his ice cream directly into these pastry cones. This ‘cone-venient’ solution not only resolved the dish shortage but also offered a delightful and mess-free way for fairgoers to enjoy their frozen treats.

The invention was an instant hit, and the demand for these revolutionary ice cream cones skyrocketed. Visitors were thrilled with this innovative dessert that allowed them to eat everything – the ice cream and the dish too!

Hamwi’s creation didn’t just solve a problem; it also sparked a new trend in the world of desserts. The ice cream cone quickly spread beyond the confines of the World’s Fair and soon became a staple at ice cream parlors across the country. Hamwi himself capitalized on the cone’s success by starting the Cornucopia Waffle Company, and later, the Missouri Cone Company.

Going for Gold: The First American Olympics

Now, let’s take a ‘relay’ back in time to the year 1904. An event of ‘Olympian’ proportions took place that put St. Louis on the global map – the first Olympic Games held on American soil.

The 1904 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the III Olympiad, were a spectacle to behold. Athletes from all corners of the world gathered in St. Louis to compete in events ranging from archery to wrestling, and even tug of war. The city ‘sprinted’ into the history books, setting a ‘benchmark’ for future games.

1904 summer olympics in st louis was the first in America

These Olympics were also the first to feature gold, silver, and bronze medals, a tradition that continues to this day. And for a city that loves its firsts, St. Louis was the first (and to date, the only) city to host the Olympics and the World’s Fair simultaneously. Talk about a ‘marathon’ of events!

A Slice of St. Louis: The First Square Pizza

Now, let’s ‘slice’ into another culinary gem that St. Louis proudly calls its own – the St. Louis-style pizza. When it comes to pizza, this city doesn’t just think outside the box, it thinks outside the circle!

Born in the mid-20th century, the St. Louis-style pizza stands out in the world of traditional pies. This pizza is known for its cracker-thin crust made without yeast, its square (not triangular) slices, and a unique cheese blend called Provel that melts like a dream. Provel is a gooey concoction of cheddar, swiss, and provolone that is as distinctive as the city itself.

st louis-style pizza

The first pizzeria to serve this was most likely Amedeo’s, which opened its doors in the late 1950s. St. Louis-style pizza might not be everyone’s cup of tea (or slice of pizza), but for St. Louisans, it’s a local favorite that’s a cut above the rest.

Cheese, Please: The Invention of Provel Cheese

And mentioning pizza helps us ‘melt’ into another delicious first that originated in St. Louis – the invention of Provel cheese. In a city known for its culinary creativity, it was here that a new kind of cheese came into being, forever changing the local pizza scene.

In the 1950s, Costa Grocery, a St. Louis-based Italian grocery company, wanted to create a cheese that melted better and was less oily than traditional mozzarella. After some experimentation, they came up with Provel, a processed cheese blend of cheddar, Swiss, and provolone.

provel cheese made in st louis first

Unlike many other cheeses, Provel has a low melting point, which means it melts quickly and evenly, creating a gooey, almost creamy texture. This characteristic made Provel perfect for pizza, and it quickly became the cheese of choice for St. Louis-style pizza, a thin-crust, square-cut pizza that is a local favorite.

Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a St. Louis-style pizza without a generous helping of Provel. This cheese has become synonymous with St. Louis pizza and has even made its way into other local dishes, like salads and sandwiches.

Brewed to Perfection: The First Iced Tea

Did you ever enjoy a glass of iced tea on a sweltering summer day and think, “Where did this divine elixir come from?” Well, put up your feet, take a sip, and let’s spill the tea.

Enter the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis – an event that seems to have been a hotbed (or should we say a ‘cool’ bed) for culinary innovation. Englishman Richard Blechynden, looking to promote Indian tea, found himself in a bit of a pickle. With temperatures soaring and fairgoers avoiding hot beverages like the plague, his original plan of serving hot tea was going south.

the first iced tea was made in st louis in 1904 at the worlds fair

But, as they say in St. Louis, when life hands you lemons, make lemon-scented iced tea! Blechynden swiftly switched gears and served the tea cold instead. Little did he know that his improvised solution would create a sensation that would resonate with tea lovers for generations to come.

The ABCs of Innovation: America’s First Public Kindergarten

In the ‘Show-Me State’, education has always been a top priority, and St. Louis certainly showed the nation how it’s done by establishing the first public kindergarten in the U.S. in 1873. Thanks to the visionary educator Susan Blow, the Des Peres School opened its doors to the youngest learners, proving that the city was not just ‘child’s play’ when it came to innovative educational strides.

the first kindergarten

Blow, a staunch believer in early education, was inspired by the principles of Friedrich Froebel, the German educator who invented the concept of kindergarten. Her efforts laid the foundation for a system that is now an integral part of the American education landscape.

Breaking Bread: The Original Panera Bread Company

Have you ever bitten into a crispy, buttery Panera baguette and thought, “Wow, this is bread heaven!” Well, lucky St. Louisans have been enjoying these divine loaves long before the rest of the country even knew they existed.

Before it became the famous Panera Bread Company, a household name across the nation, it was our very own St. Louis Bread Company. Founded in 1987, this hometown bakery-café was serving up delicious pastries, wholesome sandwiches, and, of course, their signature fresh bread, earning the heart-felt affection of the locals.

Panera Bread building

When the company decided to expand beyond the city in 1993, they feared that the name “St. Louis Bread Company” might not resonate with those outside of Missouri. Hence, the birth of the Panera brand – a name inspired by the Italian words for “bread basket” and “time.” Despite the name change, in the heart of St. Louis, it will always be the St. Louis Bread Company.

Fueling Innovation: The First Drive-in Gas Station

When you pull into a gas station to refuel, do you ever wonder where this convenience started? Well, buckle up and adjust your rear-view mirrors, because we’re taking a trip down memory lane to the first drive-in gas station in the U.S. And guess where it was? You got it, St. Louis!

In 1905, the Automobile Gasoline Company opened the first drive-in filling station at 418 South Theresa Avenue. This was a time when there were only about 20,000 cars in the entire country. Motorists in St. Louis didn’t have to go to a general store or a pharmacy to buy gasoline in cans anymore. Instead, they drove right up to this station and had their tanks filled on the spot. Talk about a ‘gas-tronomical’ leap forward in convenience!

the first drive-in gas station black and white photo

This innovation ‘fueled’ a revolution in the automotive world, setting the standard for how motorists would refuel their cars for over a century to come. So the next time you’re at the pump, remember to tip your cap to St. Louis – a city that truly knows how to stay in the ‘fast lane’ of innovation. Now, isn’t that a ‘revved up’ piece of history?

Groovy Tunes: The First Eight-Track Tape

In St. Louis, we don’t just keep track of history; we’ve got a knack for recording it too – on eight-track tapes, that is. In the 1960s, the city played a starring role in a musical revolution that changed the way we listened to tunes on the go.

In 1965, the Ford Motor Company, in collaboration with the Lear Jet Corporation, introduced the eight-track tape as a cutting-edge option for in-car audio. St. Louis, being home to a major Ford manufacturing plant, was one of the first cities where people got to experience this cool new tech. The eight-track tape allowed drivers to listen to a continuous loop of their favorite songs, turning every drive into a personal concert.

eight track tape

These chunky cartridges were a hit and became the soundtrack of the ’60s and ’70s. And though they’ve since been replaced by newer technology, eight-track tapes hold a nostalgic place in our hearts (and classic car dashboards).

Paving the Way: The Birth of the Interstate Highway System

Now, let’s shift gears and hit the road to one of the most significant transportation milestones in U.S. history – the birth of the Interstate Highway System. And, where did it all start? You guessed it, right here in St. Louis!

Back in 1956, President Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act, kickstarting a vast network of highways that would crisscross the nation. The first funding went towards upgrading U.S. Route 66 to interstate standards, and the very first stretch of this future highway to be built under the new act was a section of I-70 in St. Louis, Missouri.

interstate highway system started in missouri

This was not just a road. It was a symbol of progress, a pathway to economic growth, and a testament to the American spirit of adventure. The Interstate Highway System transformed the way people traveled, worked, and lived, connecting cities and states like never before.

Relishing the Past: The First Hotdog on a Bun

Now, let’s roll back the years to another delicious first that was cooked up right here in St. Louis – the hot dog on a bun. Yes, you heard that right. St. Louis doesn’t just have a ‘bun-ch’ of culinary firsts; it’s got the ‘dog’ too!

The hot dog, as we know it today, owes its existence to the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. While hot dogs themselves were not a new invention, serving them nestled in a bun was a novel idea that was born out of necessity. Vendors began to provide gloves to their customers to handle the hot sausages. However, many gloves were not returned, and the costs were adding up.

first hotdog on a bun

Then, enter the baker. A local baker, who saw the predicament, devised a solution – a soft bun that would hold the sausage, allowing people to eat their hot dogs without burning their hands or staining their clothes. And so, the hot dog bun was born!

A Refreshing Revolution: The Birth of 7UP

Now, let’s ‘pop’ over to another fizzy first that was uncapped in St. Louis – the birth of the iconic soda, 7UP. In a city that’s full of flavor, it’s only fitting that one of the world’s most popular soft drinks bubbled up right here.

The year was 1929, and the United States was just entering the Great Depression. Amidst the economic downturn, St. Louis-based Charles Leiper Grigg decided to introduce a little ‘effervescence’ into people’s lives. He concocted a unique blend of lemon and lime flavors and launched the “Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda.” Quite a mouthful, right?

2 liter bottles of 7up soda

Soon after, Grigg smartly shortened the name to 7UP. While the origins of the name remain a mystery, the popularity of the refreshing soda is undeniable. Today, 7UP is enjoyed in more than 200 countries, making it a truly global sensation.

Digesting History: The Inception of TUMS

Now, let’s ‘chew’ on another notable innovation that St. Louis served up – the creation of TUMS, the popular antacid. In a city renowned for its culinary delights, it’s only fitting that it also gave birth to this stomach-soothing tablet.

In the roaring ’20s, pharmacist James Howe was looking for a solution to his wife’s indigestion. Unimpressed with the existing remedies, Howe decided to create his own. In 1928, he mixed together sugar, flavoring, and a little something called calcium carbonate in the basement of his St. Louis home. The result? TUMS.

tums stomach medicine

Originally sold as a direct-to-pharmacist product, TUMS quickly gained popularity due to its effectiveness and pleasant taste. Today, it’s a household name across the globe, providing relief to countless individuals after a bit too much of their favorite foods.

Prestigious Prose: The Origins of the Pulitzer Prize

Now, let’s turn the page to another prominent first that originated in St. Louis – the Pulitzer Prize. In a city known for its many innovations, it’s no surprise that it also played a pivotal role in recognizing excellence in journalism and the arts.

The man behind this prestigious award, Joseph Pulitzer, had a profound influence on American journalism. He moved to St. Louis as a young man and began his illustrious career in the media industry at the Westliche Post, a German-language newspaper. He eventually became the owner of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, turning it into one of the most influential newspapers in the country.

st louis is where the Pulitzer's Prize began

Pulitzer’s will left money to Columbia University to establish a journalism school and annual prizes, which were first awarded in 1917. Today, the Pulitzer Prizes are considered the most esteemed awards in journalism, literature, and musical composition.

Ho Ho Ho, A Merry Coke We Go: The Modern Santa Image

Let’s take a ‘sleigh ride’ back to 1930, when St. Louis served up a fizzy, festive first – the modern image of Santa Claus. In a city that’s no stranger to iconic creations, it was here that Santa swapped his traditional green garb for the now-famous red suit.

The artist responsible for this jolly transformation was Fred Mizen. Commissioned by the Coca-Cola Company to create a holiday ad, Mizen painted a department-store Santa in a bustling crowd, enjoying a bottle of Coke. The backdrop for this festive scene was none other than the world’s largest soda fountain, which was located in the department store Famous Barr Co. in St. Louis, Missouri.

santa claus decoration

This ad, featuring a rosy-cheeked, plump, and jovial Santa, captured the hearts of people nationwide. It marked a shift from the previously thin and somewhat serious portrayals of St. Nick to the merry, gift-bearing figure we know and love today. Mizen’s portrayal was such a hit that Haddon Sundblom, another artist, continued this tradition in subsequent Coca-Cola ads, further solidifying the modern image of Santa Claus.

Leaving a Mark: The First Use of Fingerprinting for Identification

Let’s ‘press on’ to another revolutionary first that unfolded in St. Louis – the use of fingerprinting for identification. In a city known for its pioneering spirit, it was here that law enforcement first got ‘in touch’ with this groundbreaking technique.

In the early 20th century, the St. Louis Police Department was grappling with the challenge of accurately identifying repeat offenders. Traditional methods were unreliable and often led to mistaken identities. Enter Edward Foster, the city’s first fingerprint expert. Foster, inspired by recent developments in the field of dactyloscopy – the study of fingerprints – proposed the idea of using fingerprints as a reliable means of identification.

person getting fingerprint taken

In 1904, the St. Louis Police Department became the first law enforcement agency in the United States to adopt fingerprinting. This new method proved to be remarkably accurate and efficient, leading to its widespread adoption across the country and eventually around the world.

High Kicks and Glittering Glitz: The Birth of the Rockettes

Now, let’s ‘step in time’ to another show-stopping first that took its first bow in St. Louis – the birth of the Rockettes, originally known as the Missouri Rockets.

In the glimmering era of the 1920s, St. Louis impresario Russell Markert had a vision of a precision dance team that would bring glamour and excitement to the stage. He sought to create a spectacular chorus line of identically dressed and meticulously synchronized dancers, forming a riveting human kaleidoscope of high kicks and flawless formations.

The Rockettes performing

In 1925, Markert’s vision came to life with the formation of the Missouri Rockets. Debuting at the Missouri Theatre in St. Louis, these talented dancers quickly captured the hearts of audiences with their precision, athleticism, and sparkling personalities.

The Missouri Rockets were such a sensation that they caught the eye of New York showman S.L. “Roxy” Rothafel. Impressed by their showmanship and synchronicity, Rothafel brought the group to New York in 1932, where they became the Roxyettes, performing at the famed Radio City Music Hall. The name was later changed to the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, or simply the Rockettes, as we know them today.

Banking on Convenience: The First Drive-Thru Bank Teller

Now, let’s ‘cash in’ on another innovative first that originated in St. Louis – the first drive-thru bank teller. In a city known for its trailblazing spirit, it was here that banking took a turn towards convenience.

In June 1930, at the height of the Great Depression, the Grand National Bank, located at the rear of the Continental Life Building at Grand Boulevard and Olive Street in Midtown St. Louis, opened a new kind of window. This wasn’t just any window, but a drive-thru window that allowed customers to conduct their banking business from the comfort of their cars.

building where The First Drive-Thru Bank Teller was located in st louis

This novel idea was a response to the changing societal norms of the time. The increasing affordability of cars meant more people were driving, and the concept of convenience was gaining importance. The drive-thru teller was a perfect solution, merging the need for easy access with the growing car culture.

The concept quickly caught on, and drive-thru banking became a staple across the United States. Today, even in an era of online banking, many still appreciate the convenience of a friendly face at a drive-thru window for their banking needs.

Taking the Plunge: The First Successful Parachute Jump

Now, let’s ‘drop in’ on another daring first that soared to new heights in St. Louis – the first successful parachute jump from an airplane. In a city known for its pioneering achievements, it was here that one man took a leap of faith and changed the course of aviation history.

old photo of pioneer completing the first successful parachute jump

On March 1, 1912, U.S. Army Captain Albert Berry made history when he climbed into an airplane at Kinloch Field in St. Louis. With a custom-designed parachute strapped to his back, Berry took to the skies, preparing to attempt something that had never been done before. As the plane soared over Jefferson Barracks Army Base, Berry took a deep breath and jumped.

Falling at breakneck speed, Berry deployed his parachute, which quickly filled with air and slowed his descent. He landed safely on the ground, proving that parachutes could be a viable and lifesaving tool for aviators. This groundbreaking feat marked the birth of modern skydiving and set the stage for the development of crucial safety measures in aviation.

Monster Mayhem: The Birth and Roaring Success of the Monster Truck

Now, let’s ‘roll out’ another thrilling first that roared to life in St. Louis – the creation of the monster truck. In a city known for its innovation, it was here that the wheels of a new automotive sensation began to turn, leaving an oversized tire print on popular culture.

In the mid-1970s, Bob Chandler, a former construction contractor, was growing frustrated with the lack of tough parts for his Ford F-250 4×4. So, Chandler took matters into his own hands and started building parts himself. This hobby quickly evolved into a business, and Bigfoot 4×4, Inc. was born in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis.

BIGFOOT Monster Truck

Chandler didn’t stop at creating custom parts, though. He decided to create a promotional vehicle to showcase his products. He began to modify his Ford truck, raising its suspension and adding larger tires. The result was Bigfoot, the original monster truck, a vehicle that stood taller, wider, and more powerful than any other truck around.

Bigfoot made its crushing debut in 1981 when it flattened two cars under its massive wheels at a local fair, marking the first-ever monster truck car crush. This spectacle was a hit, and soon, monster truck rallies became a popular event across the United States.

In the years that followed, Bigfoot 4×4, Inc. moved to Pacific, Missouri, where it remains today, continuing to captivate audiences with its gravity-defying performances. The company’s roots, however, will always be traced back to the inventive energy of St. Louis.

Sweet Success: The Birth of Switzer’s Candy

Now, let’s ‘unwrap’ another delectable first that originated in St. Louis – the creation of Switzer’s Candy. In a city known for its pioneering spirit, it was here that a sweet sensation began to take shape.

In the mid-19th century, two young brothers, Fred and Jesse Switzer, started selling homemade candy from a pushcart in their Irish neighborhood in St. Louis. Their sweets were a hit, and the brothers soon opened a small candy store. From these humble beginnings, Switzer’s Candy was born.

Switzer's Candy was founded in St. Louis in the mid 19th century.

What set Switzer’s Candy apart was its flagship product, Switzer’s Licorice. This black, chewy treat quickly became a favorite among St. Louis residents. With its distinctive flavor and soft, chewy texture, Switzer’s Licorice was a standout in a market dominated by hard candies and chocolates.

By the mid-20th century, Switzer’s Candy had become a household name, not just in St. Louis but across the United States. Even as the company changed hands and faced challenges, the legacy of Switzer’s Licorice endured. Today, it remains a beloved classic, a sweet piece of St. Louis history that continues to delight taste buds everywhere.

A Soaring Symbol: The Gateway Arch of St. Louis

Now, let’s ‘arch’ our way into a stunning first that graces the St. Louis skyline – the Gateway Arch. This iconic monument not only captures the essence of the city’s pioneering spirit but also stands as a testament to human ingenuity and ambition.

The Gateway Arch, completed in 1965, is the world’s tallest arch and the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere. Towering at 630 feet, this stainless steel marvel has become an instantly recognizable symbol of St. Louis and the United States.

gateway arch st louis attraction guide

Designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, the Gateway Arch was conceived as a tribute to the westward expansion of the United States. It commemorates the brave explorers, pioneers, and settlers who ventured into the unknown, pushing the boundaries of the nation. St. Louis, known as the “Gateway to the West,” was the starting point for many of these historic journeys, making it the perfect location for this awe-inspiring monument.

A visit to the Gateway Arch is not complete without a ride to the top. The unique tram system, designed specifically for the Arch, whisks visitors up the curved legs of the monument to an observation deck with breathtaking views of St. Louis and the Mississippi River.

A Sticky Situation: The Birth of Gooey Butter Cake

Finally, let’s ‘sink our teeth’ into another scrumptious first that was whipped up in St. Louis – the birth of the Gooey Butter Cake. In a city known for its culinary delights, it was here that a deliciously gooey mistake turned into a sweet sensation.

The Gooey Butter Cake has its roots in the 1930s, when a St. Louis baker accidentally mixed up the proportions of the ingredients for his cake. Instead of starting over, the baker decided to bake it anyway, curious to see what would happen. The result was a dense, rich, and gooey cake that quickly became a local favorite.

gooey butter cake

The base of a Gooey Butter Cake is a thick layer of buttery, yellow cake. The magic happens when a mixture of cream cheese, powdered sugar, and more butter is poured on top and baked to gooey perfection. The cake is then dusted with a generous layer of powdered sugar, creating a dessert that’s equal parts indulgent and irresistible.

Gooey Butter Cake has since become a St. Louis staple, with many local bakeries and restaurants offering their own unique takes on the classic recipe. From traditional to inventive variations, like chocolate or pumpkin, there’s a Gooey Butter Cake for everyone.

Signing Off: Where the West Begins and Innovation Never Ends!

There you have it – St. Louis, the Gateway City, isn’t just an arch; it’s a city of firsts, a city of innovation, and most definitely, a city that knows how to turn an accident into a delicacy. So next time you take a bite of a toasted ravioli, marvel at the sight of a skydiver, enjoy an ice cream cone, or savor a square slice of pizza, remember to tip your hat to St. Louis. This city not only gave us these wonderful experiences but also continues to inspire us with its innovative spirit.

From the toasted ravioli to the world’s first parachute jump, and from the first ice cream cone to the first successful corneal transplant, St. Louis indeed is the birthplace of many firsts. Each of these achievements, whether big or small, has shaped our world and made it a more delicious, adventurous, sweet, clear-sighted, and entertaining place.

St. Louis, the ‘Show-Me State’s’ shining star, has shown us that it’s not just about being first; it’s about being creative, being resilient, and, above all, being groundbreaking. So here’s to St. Louis, the city that always serves up a slice of innovation with a side of quirkiness. After all, as they say in St. Louis, there’s no place like ‘hOme.’

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