As destructive as the Civil War was (and it was hugely destructive), its resolution in 1865 at least brought some benefits aside from the most obvious ones like the end of slavery and the preservation of the republic. St. Louis, always a pivotal center during the hostilities between the states, became even more prominent once peace reigned: The postwar years here saw the founding of local institutions like Anheuser-Busch brewery, Forest Park and Washington University. Historian Adam Arenson, in his book The Great Heart of the Republic: St. Louis and the Cultural Civil War, has studied the vital role our city played during the war and after it. You can hear him discuss his book in person today as a guest of the Monday Noon Series at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (1 University Drive at Natural Bridge Road; 314-516-5961). The lecture begins at 12:15 p.m. in the J.C. Penney Conference Center, and it's free and open to the public. Visit umslce.org/index.php/monday-noon-series for further information.
Mon., Jan. 24, 2011