On Oct. 11, 1992, about 600 people filled the Washington University fieldhouse for the first presidential debate of the campaign season. Students not fortunate enough to be invited to the momentous event watched a live broadcast at the nearby Edison Theatre. Hundreds more observed the contest on a large-screen TV set up in the university's quadrangle. Off campus, more than 100 million television viewers tuned in nationwide. By all counts, the hosting of the spectacle brought honor and prestige to St. Louis and prompted the university to laud itself for being a bastion of American democracy. The claim bore merit, if for no other reason than the... More >>>
Green Party nominee Ralph Nader (right) is challenging corporate funding of presidential debates, including one scheduled in St. Louis on Oct. 17. He wants to square off with major-party candidates Al Gore (left) and George W. Bush (center).