Bibliography on the Louisiana Purchase Exposition
The 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair
A Resource for Teachers
Prepared by the Education Division, Missouri History Museum

Introduction and General Readings

Introduction: World’s Fairs Become the Rage!

The First American World’s Fairs
The American World’s Fairs, introduced in Philadelphia in 1876, celebrated America’s transformation from an agrarian, producer-based rural society into an industrial, consumer-driven urban one. The planners of Philadelphia’s Centennial Exposition wanted to “celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the American Independence, by holding an International Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures, and Products of the Soil and mine, in the city of Philadelphia, and the State of Pennsylvania, in the year eighteen hundred and seventy-six.” In other words, the centennial exposition was made to celebrate everything America had come to stand for in the century since her independence.

The 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, and the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis were the largest of the fairs that followed. These fairs commemorated historical moments—Columbus’ discovery of America and the Louisiana Purchase—but mainly served as a means to express America’s pride in her accomplishments.

In Philadelphia, the world saw that America had become an international economic power to be reckoned with. The United States astonished visitors from around the globe with her huge Corliss steam engine, locomotives, mining equipment, telephones, and telegraphs, among many other new and wondrous objects.

The 1893 Exposition in Chicago, celebrating the fourth centennial of Columbus’ discovery of America, furthered the image of the United States as a modern, industrialized nation. In addition to building a fair larger and more elaborate than any previous one, the planners at Chicago built their “White City” to reflect the state of America. The White City was beautiful and clean and contained the world’s most advanced technology. In Chicago, a World’s Fair for the first time contained a purely concessionary area: the Midway Plaisance, designed for people to simply have fun.

Buffalo’s 1901 Fair was designed to celebrate not a historical event, but instead the unity of all the American countries—with the United States, of course, in the lead. To portray Buffalo as a prosperous and technologically advanced city, the planners designed and built a magnificent “Rainbow City” with lights of all colors. The Pan-American Exposition did not have nearly the impact the other fairs did for several reasons, including the failure of its builders to finish it, bad weather, and its lack of foreign exhibitions. The assassination of U.S. President William McKinley on September 6, 1901 has become the epitaph of Buffalo’s fair.

Grand and Great – St. Louis 1904
The grandest of all World’s Fairs, held in St. Louis in 1904, celebrated America’s progress in the century since the Louisiana Purchase. This fair, however, did not focus on the economic or technological aspects of progress as earlier fairs had. It instead focused on the all-around superiority of western and especially Anglo-Saxon civilization, through exhibits, intellectual discourse and the Olympics.

These four fairs serve as a window through which American society between reconstruction and the Great War can be viewed, as they reflected and impacted American society during this period.

This bibliography is organized to assist you in teaching about several themes relevant to the Fairs. These are: racism, imperialism, consumerism, industrialization and technology, urban planning and the Olympics. Each theme has an introduction and annotated bibliography of sources. Included in each bibliography section are subheadings for books, websites and other sources. Within the subheadings, the sources are arranged in alphabetical order by author or, if the source has no credited author, by name.

General Readings


Bennit, Mark and Frank Parker Stockbridge. History of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. St. Louis: Universal Exposition Publishing Company, 1905.
This is a history of the Louisiana Territory and the Fair, going back all the way to the discovery of the Mississippi River.

Birk, Dorothy Daniels. The World Came to St. Louis. St. Louis: The Bethany Press, 1979.
This is a general history of the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition. It starts with a brief discussion of the planning stages, goes through the fair’s construction, and then centers on the actual amusements at the fair itself. This book is especially valuable because it has many stunning pictures of the eight palaces and other amusements and exhibits.

Bolotin, Norm, Christine Laing. The World’s Columbian Exposition: The Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. 2nd Edition, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2002.
This book is a pictorial and descriptive tour of the 1893 Fair in Chicago. Its details will prove interesting to those who want more than a brief overview.

Boyer, Paul S., Clifford E. Clark, Jr., Joseph F. Kett, Thomas L. Purvis, Harvard Sitkoff, Nancy Woloch. The Enduring Vision. U.S.A. and Canada: D.C. Heath and Company, 1990. Ch. 17-21.
These chapters address the historical period leading up to and including the World’s Fairs we are studying. They deal with industrialization, urbanization, society, politics and progressivism. Teachers should choose whichever chapters relate to their class.

Francis, David R. “Benefits of the Exposition.” Official Guide to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. St. Louis: The Official Guide Co., 1904.
This is a very interesting introduction to the 1904 Fair, from the Fair’s president. It very briefly outlines the purpose of the fair.

Francis, David R. The Universal Exposition of 1904. St. Louis: Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company, 1913, “Retrospect,” xiv-xv.
This is part of Francis’s conclusion about what the Fair did and how it ended up actually helping America and the world and what its purpose was.

Hanson, John Wesley. Official History of the Fair. St. Louis, 1904.
This is the fair’s official history, published at the fair itself.
Harris, Neil (Ed.). Grand Illusions: Chicago’s World’s Fair of 1893. Sewall Company, 1993.
This book was published by the Chicago Historical Society in conjunction with a
1993-1994 exhibit of the same name. It contains interesting and relevant sections on: the Fair’s impact on Chicago and America; the planning and designing stages of fair; the photography at the fair; and the social and cultural issues at the fair.

Mattie, Erick. World’s Fairs. Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, October 1998.
This is an interesting illustrated history of the World’s Fairs since the London Fair of 1851. It is the only book that traces the evolution of the idea of a fair while focusing on images of the actual fairs.

Reid, Robert ed. The Greatest of Expositions, Completely Illustrated. St. Louis: Official Photographic Company of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, 1904.
This book contains hundreds of photos and illustrations of the Fair.

Bailey, David and David Halsted. Pluralism and Unity. David Bailey, David Halsted and Michigan State University, 1998.
This site examines the social, cultural, and economic transitions the United States faced in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It has sections on: the idea of pluralism; the idea of internationalism; culture and pluralism; labor and pluralism; race and pluralism; and gender and pluralism. It includes text and multimedia on these issues from many American thinkers.

Center for History and the New Media. George Mason University, 2002.
This site has a large collection of resources on a wide variety of historical topics. The connected site “History Matters,” on American history, may prove particularly helpful for American History teachers.

“Doing the Pan…”
This site has a self-guided tour of the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, along with documents from and about the fair itself. It is a good site for information on the fair itself, but not much discussion of the historical significance or impact of the fair.

The Greatest of Exhibitions., 1998-2003.
This site is a general overview of the different exhibits at the fair. It is good for a brief introduction to the fair itself, but does not really discuss the political or social background at all.

Howe, Jeffrey. 19th Century American Architecture. In A Digital Archive of American Architecture. Boston College, 1996.
This site has photographs of much of the architecture from the 1876, 1893, and 1904 World’s Fairs.

Illuminations: Revisiting the Buffalo Pan-American Exposition of 1901. The Libraries, University at Buffalo, 2001-2003.
This site has stories, documents, images, and essays from and about various aspects of the 1901 Fair.

Making of America. Cornell University Library, 1999.
Making of America. MOA, 1996 and 2001.
These are Cornell University Library and University of Michigan Library websites respectively. They have hundreds of thousands of articles and books from America between 1815 and 1927. A quick search on either website turns up many articles about various topics in the World’s Fairs.

MarcoPolo Internet Content for the Classroom. MarcoPolo, 2003.
This site has a great deal of course content for teachers to use to teach their students.

Mires, Charles. The Centennial Exhibition of 1876: A Material Culture Study. Villanova University, 1998 and 2003.
This site, set up by a material culture class at Villanova University, has a lot of background information about the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876. It is especially valuable for seeing the economic and nationalistic setting of the fair, and has articles about several nations’ exhibits.

National Center for History in the Schools. University of California at Los Angeles, 2002.
This site has standards and other materials for middle and high school teachers. Eras 6 and 7 in Part 2, Chapter 3 in the online standards section should prove particularly useful to teachers of the period in American History we are examining.

Our Documents. National Archives and Records Administration.
This site contains one hundred seminal documents in United States history, as well as teaching plans about how to design courses around them.

Rose, Julie. The World’s Columbian Exposition: Idea, Experience, Aftermath. University of Virgina, 1996.
This website has a great deal of information about Chicago’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. It has separate sections on: the political and social background of the fair, a virtual tour of the actual fair, the immediate public reaction, the fair’s legacy, and extensive bibliography. An excellent site to help the reader gain a better understanding of various aspects of the Columbian Exposition.

Snyder, Iris A. Progress Made Visible: American World’s Fairs and Exhibitions. Iris Snyder, 2000.
This site contains short descriptions of each fair we are studying. These descriptions include descriptions of the actual fairs as well as a little bit about their context in American history.

Teaching Books. LLC., 2001, 2002, 2003.
This site contains many teaching guides and standards, especially for pre-high school students.

Terry’s 1904 World’s Fair Page. 1998.
This site has sections on many different topics at the fair, including buildings, exhibits, newspaper articles, maps, memorabilia, and more.

Zwick, Jim ed. Jim Zwick, 1995-2003.
This is a very interesting site dealing with anti-imperialism in America. It has relevant sections dealing with: Rudyard Kipling’s poem “The White Man’s Burden” and responses to it, the World’s Fairs and how they reflected America’s imperialistic attitudes, and late 19th-early 20th century imperialism in general. This site has especially extensive discussions of all four fairs we are investigating.

Topic: Racism at the Fairs

After American post-Civil War reconstruction ended in 1877, racism pervaded the nation. In the south, blacks were disfranchised through laws that indirectly excluded them from voting, and Jim Crow laws enforced segregation throughout the region. The St. Louis Fair tried to prove to the public the truth in eugenic theories by holding exhibits of “primitive” races. At all the fairs, blacks were blatantly discriminated against. The main question among the black community was whether to follow the lead of Booker T. Washington and gain equality by accommodating segregation and disfranchisement by showing that blacks could provide value to society, or to follow W.E.B. Du Bois and fight directly against discrimination. In the 1890s, Washington organized the Afro-American Council, and in 1905 Du Bois founded the Niagara Movement. In 1909, white reformer Oswald Garrison Villard helped Du Bois form the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which became the voice of the future for the cause of racial equality.

The World’s Fairs we are studying can serve as a case study for students to begin to study not only the racism prevalent in America during the period, but also the impetus for the civil rights movement that would hit full stride later in the century. If students can understand the obstacles blacks and other races faced at the fairs, they can begin to comprehend why the civil rights movement began and what it tried to reform.

Readings on Racism

Books and Articles
Dyreson, Mark. “The Playing Fields of Progress.” Gateway Heritage, Fall 1993.
In addition to describing how the 1904 Fair brought about the feeling that athletics can make a real difference and impact society, this article describes how spectators saw the games. They concluded that, because Americans won most of the medals and “primitive” peoples won very few, the Americans must be more advanced physically than other races. This added to racial theories of the day.

Magnaghi, Russell M. “America Views Her Indians at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.” Gateway Heritage, Winter 1998.
This article shows how even the Indian exhibit in St. Louis, which showed the Indians as relatively bright and civilized, became part of the racist, imperialist propaganda. The exhibit came to show not the competency of Indians, but the miracles Western Civilization can work on even the most primitive of peoples.

Paddon, Anna R. and Sally Turner. “African Americans and the World’s Columbian Exposition.” Illinois Historical Journal, Volume 88 (1995), 19-36.
This piece argues that the experience African Americans had at the Chicago Fair was not quite as negative as most others suggest.

Rydell, Robert W. All the World’s a Fair. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984.
This book describes the imperialist and racist attitudes of the early Fairs’ planners. It describes how the fairs used many different exhibits as imperialistic propaganda.

The Afro-American Almanac. www.toptags/aama/index.html. The Digital Development Group, 2001.
This is an extensive collection of documents and essays relating to blacks and race relations in the United States. It has an interesting essay about the prevalence of Jim Crow laws during the period of the fairs.
This site discusses the “White Man’s Burden” mentality prevalent at all of the fairs. It also has separate sections devoted to race relations at the Chicago and St. Louis Fairs. In addition, it discusses at length how anthropological theories of race contributed to some of the exhibits.

From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection, 1824-1909. Library of Congress, 2002.
This is a collection of many documents from African-American history. Most are by African-American authors, but some are by others writing about important aspects of African-American history or culture.

Sklar, Kathryn Kish and Erin Shaughnessy. How did African-American Women Define their Citizenship at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893? State University of New York at Binghamton, 1997.
This site has a discussion of the racial issues at the Chicago Fair, along with many documents relevant to the discussion.

Zimbalist, Alison. “Tackling Race Issues on the Field.” The New York Times, 2002.
This is a lesson plan for teachers to help their students understand the issue of race and being a minority.

Topic: Imperialism at the Fairs

During the nineteenth century up to the civil war, the United States was expanding her sovereignty west to the Pacific Ocean with the notion that it was her “manifest destiny” to control the continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific. During the decade after the Civil War, attention turned to economic and social issues within the nation. In the last two decades of the century, however, American imperialist expansionist sentiment grew and the U.S. developed an extensive empire. Many factors combined to form this imperialistic ideology. Some claimed that because other powerful nations in the world had begun to secure colonies, the U.S. must do the same to keep its place as a great country; some argued that continued prosperity demanded overseas markets; some followed Alfred T. Mahan in suggesting that the navy needed bases abroad where vessels could dock and refuel; some espoused religious teachings, saying that the U.S. has a duty to spread Christianity throughout the world; and, finally, some agreed with Rudyard Kipling that whites had to take up “The White Man’s Burden” and teach other races how to be civilized. During the early twentieth century, these imperialistic attitudes caused the U.S. to expand and take territories in many regions throughout the world.

The World’s Fairs reflected many of the thoughts underlying the imperialist ideology. The fairs, especially in St. Louis, put on exhibits of “primitive” Filipinos to show that the U.S. needed to teach them how to be civilized, and all the expositions showed the growth of the economy and the wonders of other nations. If students see the subtle and not so subtle ways the Fairs advocated expansionism, they will gain a much better and deeper understanding of imperialism.

Readings on Imperialism

Books and Articles
Laurie, Clayton D. “An Oddity of Empire.” Gateway Heritage, Winter 1994-95.
Laurie gives a brief history of the Philippine uprising and the role the Philippine Scouts played in the revolt. She then describes the Scout part of the Philippine exhibit at the 1904 Fair and its role in the public conscience.

Rydell, Robert W. All the World’s a Fair. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984.
Rydell is the leader of the movement that argues that imperialistic overtones pervaded the fairs. This book describes several fairs and how they reflected imperialism.

Vostral, Sharra. “Imperialism on Display.” Gateway Heritage, Spring 1993.
This article discusses the impetus and background of the Philippines exhibit. It starts with the Spanish-American War, goes through the Philippine-American War, and discusses the role both played in the exhibit itself. It also discusses the media role in covering the exhibit and the public perception of it.

This website is devoted to anti-imperialism, and it has the excellent section on the World’s Fairs primarily as a way to discuss different aspects of imperialism. This site has all sorts of materials, including Kipling’s “White Man’s Burden” and responses to it, and writings from Mark Twain and others. The sections on the various expositions are very interesting and have much material related to imperialism. This is the first place to go to find information about imperialism at the Fairs and possibly the last, depending on how in-depth your information has to be.

Crucible of Empire. At PBS Online. Great Projects Film Company, 1999.
This site has a ton of information about the Spanish American War, including a timeline of events before, during and after the war. It also has newspaper articles, historical resources, and classroom activities for students and teachers.

Sale, Michelle and Tanya Yasmin Chin. Empire State-Building. At Daily Lesson Plan. The New York Times, 2002.
This is a course designed to teach students about imperialism in general and then about how it applies to the United States. It can be used in conjunction with some of the ideas advocated at the World’s Fairs.

Topic: Consumerism at the Fairs

As the American economy became more industrialized and more technologically advanced, companies’ production capacity grew. By the late nineteenth century, companies were capable of producing many more products than could be easily absorbed by the market. So, companies began to advertise their goods to create a larger market. Once consumers became accustomed to constantly acquiring new products, the workings of the market changed. The interplay between demand-driven consumption and supply-driven production tipped to the former during this period and marked the genesis of the modern consumer society.

Today we take for granted the myriad souvenir shops at all types of fairs, museums and other cultural events or centers. Just two hundred years ago, however, souvenir stores and marketing were nowhere to be found. The appearance of souvenirs and marketing mirrors the rise of the consumer society with its brand names, advertising campaigns, and constant introduction of new products—all of which may be traced back to the World’s Fairs. One historian has even suggested that the World’s Fairs “taught us to be modern [consumers].”

Many mementos and memorabilia objects commemorating the fairs were sold, and goods were advertised as never before. When students see some of these objects and advertisements and compare them to earlier ones, they will begin to understand how drastic the economic transformation and corresponding social change in the U.S.A. really was.

Readings on Consumerism

Books and Articles
Hendershott, Robert L. 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair Mementos and Memorabilia. Iola, WI: Kurt R. Kruger Publishing, 1994.
This is a collection of photographs and descriptions of hundreds of objects from the fair. It can be used to show some of the ways in which people began to value mementos at the fairs.

Hinsley, Curtis M. “The World as Marketplace.” Exhibiting Cultures, Ivan Karp and Steven D. Lavine ed. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991, 344-65.
This essay describes the World’s Fairs’ tendency to profit from public curiosity about other cultures. Hinsley’s term is “Commodification of the exotic.”

History of Affluenza. Public Broadcasting System, 1998.
This is a PBS site for a show that aired on PBS in 1998. It discusses the history of consumerism (what PBS calls Affluenza) and has a second section on solutions. It also has a teacher’s site that should be helpful.

Terry’s 1904 World’s Fair Page. 1998.
This site has sections on many different topics at the fair, including buildings, exhibits, newspaper articles, maps, memorabilia, and more.

The World’s Columbian Exposition: Idea, Experience, Aftermath.
This site discusses consumerism in the “Reactions” and “Legacy” sections. It argues that the World’s Fairs, and especially the Chicago exposition, represent a critical point in the industrial, consumer-based economy that has arisen in America in the last century and a half. “The advent of consumer-based society in America received its first major expression and celebration at the World’s Columbian Exposition,” and the marriage of businesses to political and cultural authority became standard there.

Topic: Industrialization and Technology at the Fairs

During the nineteenth century, American technology grew at an extremely rapid pace. Better technology allowed firms to cut costs, which sparked constant competition in a drive to improve efficiency and maintain profits. Price levels correspondingly dropped. In the race for efficiency, corporations began to consolidate into bigger and bigger firms. Railroads, steel, oil, and many other industries saw huge corporations take over most of the production. As production and the subsequent marketing grew, American corporations grew in power and influence. By the end of the nineteenth century, the United States was an international economic power to be reckoned with, producing nearly a third of the world’s manufactured goods.

There was, however, a downside to industrialization— many companies could not keep up in the industrialized economy, and many people thus lost jobs. Jobs became more demanding but lower-paying, weakening the power of the lower classes and strengthening the power of the upper classes. The trend toward industrialization produced the labor movement, which remained vibrant through most of the twentieth century.

Though the World’s Fairs focused only upon the positive aspects of industrializing (and in fact everything else about American society), they can serve as a case study of many aspects of American industrialization. Students can begin to understand the changes that were occurring in American society at the time by viewing the industrial exhibits at the fairs.

Readings on Industrialization and Technology

Books and Articles
Beauchamp, K.G. Exhibiting Electricity. London: Institute of Electrical Engineers, 1997.
This book is a survey of the many electrical exhibits at World’s Fairs.

Horgan, James J. “Aeronautics at the World’s Fair of 1904.” Missouri Historical Society Bulletin, April 1979, 43-69.
Discusses people’s reactions to the Aeronautics display and the impact the display had on St. Louis and American culture.

The Internet 1996 World Exposition. 1996.
This site discusses the use of electricity at the Chicago and Philadelphia Fairs. It says it was the first time electricity was widespread throughout Chicago

King, Martha Williams and Kelly Killen. “Who Really Built America?” at The Learning Page. Library of Congress, 2003.
This is a lesson plan to teach students about American industrialization through the eyes of children.

Topic: Urbanization and Urban Planning at the Fairs

As the U.S. became more industrialized, it also became more urbanized. By 1900, as many people (3.4 million) lived in New York City as had lived in all American cities combined only 50 years earlier. Advances in technology helped bring about this change by reducing the need for agricultural labor and increasing the need for industrial labor in large factories, which were mainly situated in cities. In addition to industrialization, urban growth was facilitated by increased immigration from Europe and improved transportation. By the last decade of the century, our cities were seen as great problems. In his 1890 expose How the Other Half Lives, Jacob Riis graphically described the terrible poverty and diseases faced by the urban poor. In the 1870s, 80s and 90s, groups began to fight the poverty of the inner-city poor. During the 1890s, a movement known as City Beautiful started, with the goal of improving conditions and aesthetics in urban areas. When Boston and Chicago started to rebuild and re-beautify their cities, other cities started to follow suit. At the Columbian Exposition, many were inspired by the beautiful White City to follow Chicago’s lead.

The World’s Fairs, especially in Chicago, have urban planning at their heart. The Buffalo fair was designed to portray Buffalo as an advanced, prosperous city; it failed because of poor planning and bad luck. The Philadelphia, Chicago and St. Louis fairs all played large roles in their respective city’s urban planning, and the Chicago fair provided a boost to nationwide urban redevelopment. Students can begin to grasp the larger notion of urbanization and urban planning by analyzing the role the fairs played in the process.

Readings on Urbanization and Urban Planning

Books and Articles
Harris, Neil. “Great American Fairs and American Cities.” Cultural Excursions. Neil Harris., ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990, 11-31.
This article is an investigation of the relationship between World’s Fairs and the developing American urban society.

Keefer, Karen M. “Dirty Water and Clean Toilets.” Gateway Heritage, Summer 1988, 32-37.
This article is a short discussion of the problems the 1904 Fair had with water and medicine. It talks about St. Louis developing a purified water system to accommodate the Fair.

Loughlon, Caroline and Anderson, Catherine. “The Park and the Fair.” Jr. League of St. Louis, 1986.
This site describes the decision to use Forest Park as the site for the 1904 World’s Fair and the impact the fair had on Forest Park and the St. Louis city.

The Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850-1920. At The Learning Page. Library of Congress, 2003.
This is an interesting website with a timeline of and documents about the movement to save America’s nature and resources from human development.

Planning for a City’s Future. At Xpeditions. National Geographic Society, 2003.
This is a lesson plan to help students understand the necessities and nuances of urban planning.

Something More: The City Beautiful. At A Biography of America. WGBH Educational Foundation, 2002.
This article explains how the Columbian Exposition gave the idea and momentum for the City Beautiful Movement nationwide.

Touring Turn-of-the-Century America: Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company, 1880-1920. At The Learning Page.
These are photos of the U.S. in the period we are studying.

Topic: The 1904 Olympics

In 1904, the modern Olympics were only eight years old. The first modern Olympic competition was held in Athens, Greece, the Olympics’ ancient birthplace, in 1896, and another in 1900 in Paris. The American infatuation with athletics and faith in the virtues of the “strenuous life” provided by sports have their roots in the 1904 Olympics held at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Only 12 countries sent athletes to the St. Louis Olympics, and the U.S. won the vast majority of the medals. The Olympics included “Anthropology Days,” during which the “primitive” peoples competed in “primitive” sports. The competitors in these “Anthropology Days” performed poorly by the standards of the Olympic organizers, and many spectators thus concluded that “primitives” were physically inferior to American whites. Because Americans won so many of the events, the American public began to pride itself in athletic achievement, and the strenuous life took hold throughout the country. Up until 1904, Americans believed in the superiority of their bodies, lifestyles and culture; the 1904 Olympics helped make athletics an integral part of the American way of life.

By examining the attitudes reflected by the 1904 Olympics and understanding the changes that were made before and after the Olympics, students will gain a better grasp of not only of sports’ role in America, but of the nature of American society as a whole. The 1904 Olympics will be the medium in which students will study the changing nature of daily life and the role of athletics in modern society.

Readings for the 1904 Olympics

Books and Articles
Dyreson, Mark. “The Playing Fields of Progress.” Gateway Heritage, Fall 1993.
This article discusses the planning, impact and social context of the 1904 Olympics. It is a very interesting and valuable article, as it discusses the racial and “strenuous life” theories at length.

Silverman, Steve. 1904 Olympics. At Useless Information. Steve Silverman.
This site is devoted to telling funny, useless stories. The article on the Olympics is funny and interesting, and shows some of the themes students will be studying. Students will enjoy this article because it is light-hearted and humorous.

The photograph titled “The Olympic Games—St. Louis, 1904” from the collection in the Missouri Historical Society’s Condie Center shows some of the contestants in the games and has a short discussion of the events.