If you see a late model, econo-sized, modified bread truck rolling down St. Louis' streets, bearing the distinctive Capitol Dome logo that is most familiar to civics nerds and insomniacs, you will have visual confirmation of the arrival of a C-SPAN Local Content Vehicle as it descends on St. Louis as part of the celebrated public affairs television networks' superb C-SPAN Cities Tour.
C-SPAN has teamed up with Charter Communications to include St. Louis as one of 14 cities in the 2014 tour. Each is made the focus of a characteristically high-quality exploration of historical events and literary sites.
The production team made earlier visits in places such Chattanooga, Tenn., Tallahassee, Fla., while Salt Lake City, Utah, Casper, Wyoming and Des Moines, Iowa lie ahead. There are many stories to tell.
We predict that none will be more satisfying than those offered during C-SPAN's St. Louis stop - especially on the occasion of the city's 250th Birthday.
Mayor Francis G. Slay explained the celebration earlier this year:
"The brilliance of St. Louis' celebration ... is that only the barest attention is being paid to the actual details of our foundation as a fur trading post established by Pierre Laclede and August Chouteau. Instead, our civic focus will be on other things: the river itself; the immigrants who found their way here; the buildings and neighborhoods in which they settled; the churches and civic cathedrals in which they congregated; the sports they adored; the great public spaces they built; the foods they popularized; the strength with which they struggled with the injustices of slavery and segregation and the ravages of the Depression."
And Mayor Slay made it personal:
"Like most St. Louisans, I am the descendent of immigrants. I was raised on a block in which I knew everyone. The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis is my idea of a church and the Eads is my idea of a bridge. I never have lived further than a half mile from a park. I bleed red and blue for the Cardinals, Blues, and Rams. I have a taste for provel, in quantity. The year in which we celebrate our foundation is our most recent best opportunity to reflect on the courage and ingenuity of St. Louisans who faced flood, fire, discrimination and violence; kept faith in their home; and built - if not yet a Shining City Upon a Hill, at least a vibrant and diverse city perched on the bank of a great river, where all are welcome."
We love history in St. Louis, because history has given us so much.
We live history, we celebrate history, we learn from history in St. Louis.
C-SPAN will show that in real time.
AIR DATES: Programming recorded in St. Louis will air on Book TV (on C-SPAN2, Charter channel 997) and history channel American History TV (on C-SPAN3, Charter channel 996) on June 21 and 22, 2014. C-SPAN is available in St. Louis on Charter channel 17 and HD on channels 794 and 998.
(Photo: C-SPAN Local Content Vehicle)