1Paul Simpson McElroy, The Story of the Gateway Arch (St. Louis: Nies Kaiser, n.d.), pp. 4-5. Few records of these early meetings have been found. One that does exist is that of the Historical Data Committee which met on January 31, 1934. McCune Gill headed the meeting, and those present represented St. Louis' most prominent historical authorities. Among those attending were Nettie Beauregard, archivist and curator for the Missouri Historical Society, and various Washington University and St. Louis University history professors. At this early date McCune Gill stated that it was evident "that this memorial must be truly national in scope" and that help would be needed from representatives, senators, and even the president. "Meeting of the Historical Data Committee," Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association, January 31, 1934, JNEMA. Gathering of historical data proved to be crucial to the project's success. For an example of McCune Gill's work emphasizing St. Louis as the "focus" of "National Expansion," see: McCune Gill, The St. Louis Story, 3 vols. (St. Louis: Historical Record Association, 1952), 1:383-386.
2Franklin D. Roosevelt to Bernard F. Dickmann, 19 February 1934, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association Papers, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial National Historic Site Archives, St. Louis, Missouri (hereafter cited as JNEMA).
3St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 31 October 1965; Dickson Terry, "The Story of the Arch - A Monument to Thirty Years of Patience, Perseverance, and Determination," Cherry Diamond Magazine of the Missouri Athletic Club, 57, no. 9 (September 1964), p. 31. The other names on the charter were: William O. Gibbons, Claude Ricketts, Frank Rand, Edna Gellhorn, Max O'Rell Truitt, Gale Johnston, and Isaac Orr. Luther Ely Smith (1873-1951), St. Louis attorney and civic leader for more than fifty years, strove to build Jefferson National Expansion Memorial for eighteen years of his life. Born in Downer's Grove, Illinois, he graduated from Williston Academy, Easthampton, Massachusetts, in 1890, and received his A.B. degree from Amherst College in 1894 (Chief Justice of the United States Harlan F. Stone, President Calvin Coolidge and Ambassador to Mexico Dwight W. Morrow were friends and fellow classmates). Smith received his law degree from Washington University of St. Louis in 1897. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from Amherst in 1942, and from Washington University in 1950. Smith taught English at Smith Academy in St. Louis from 1894-1898 and lectured on contracts at the St. Louis University School of Law from 1908-1913. Off to Cuba in 1898, he served in the Spanish-American War and in 1917 volunteered in World War I, serving as a Captain of field artillery. Smith's involvement in civic affairs was long and fruitful and his interest varied. Some of his projects and organizations: chairman, Citizens City Plan Commission 1916-1922; Council of Civic Needs, 1929-1938; vice chairman, Civil Service Commission 1941-1945, chairman 1945-1950; participant in non-Partisan court plan 1940; organizer of Open-Air Playground Committee; leader in Central Parkway movement; president of City Club; member of St. Louis Audubon Society; member of St. Louis Civil Liberties Committee. Luther Ely Smith served as president of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association from 1934-1949, (excepting one year) and as chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1949 to his death. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2 April 1951; St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 3 April 1951.
5St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 14 July 1888; St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 31 October 1965; John Bryan, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial - Its Origin, Development and Administration, n.d., typed manuscript, National Park Service papers located in Jefferson National Expansion Memorial National Historic Site Archives, St. Louis, Missouri (hereafter cited as JEFF).
8The Association of Citizens for River-Front Improvement to Carl F.G. Meyer, 14 March 1935, JNEMA; Hudson R. Darst to Dickmann, 26 December 1933, JNEMA; St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 25 June 1933. For lists of the numerous riverfront development proposals, see: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 7 July 1968; Daniel Cox Fahey, Jr. listed more plans: a 1903 plan by Louis Levy and Emmanuel Masqueray; a 1907 plan by Wilbur T. Trueblood, recommended by the Civic League of St. Louis; a 1918 waterfront terminal plan by Henry W. Kirchner; a 1926 riverfront plan and rapid transit terminal by E.R. Kinsey, president, Board of Public Service; a 1931 riverfront plan by F. Ray Leimkuehier; a 1933 plan by Norman Howard and George Mearer; and 1934 housing development on the riverfront by Walter J. Knight. Daniel Cox Fahey, Jr, Some Aspects of the Planning of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, 1937, typed report, JEFF. For detailed information on the 1933 Howard plan, the organization of the Riverfront Improvement Association and the activities of other St. Louis organizations toward improving the riverfront, see: Paul Laidley, The Waterfront Improvement and the Jefferson Memorial, 31 October 1938, file: Monuments and Markers, 1926-1946, Missouri Historical Society.
9Louis La Beaume to Jesse McDonald, 20 July 1934, JNEMA. See also "Meeting Minutes of Executive Committee, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association" for the years 1934-1935, JNEMA. Officials of the association were: Bernard F. Dickmann, honorary chairman; Charles Nagel, honorary vice chairman; Rolla Wells, honorary vice chairman; Luther Ely Smith, chairman; Morton May, Carl F.G. Meyer, Frank C. Rand, vice chairmen; John G. Lonsdale, treasurer; Tom Gilmartin, secretary. Members of the executive committee and chairmen of the special committees were Judge Jesse McDonald, Plan and Scope; William C. D'Arcy, Press and Publicity; Sidney Maestre, Finance; Gale F. Johnston, William J. Gibbons, Isaac Orr, Legislation; McCune Gill, Historical Data; Charles P. Williams, Legal; Colonel Albert T. Perkins, Transportation; Edna Gellhorn, Claude B. Ricketts, Max O'Rell Truitt, speakers; Mrs. E.M. Grossman, executive secretary.
21Telegram, Max O'Rell Truitt to Smith, 2 June 1934, JNEMA; telegram, Cochran to Smith, 8 June 1934, JNEMA; U.S. 73rd. Congress, Joint Resolution 48 Stat. 967 (1934); United States Territorial Expansion Memorial Commission members received no salary, but had all their lodging and travel expenses paid by the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association.
22J. Lionberger Davis to Roosevelt, 21 June 1934, JNEMA; Report of the Activities of the Commission, U.S. Territorial Expansion Memorial Commission, Alben W. Barkley, chairman, n.d., pp. 1-2, typed report, JNEMA; "Meeting of United States Territorial Expansion Memorial Commission," 19 December 1934, typed meeting minutes, JNEMA.
25"Meeting of United States Territorial Expansion Memorial Commission," 19 December 1934, typed meeting minutes, JNEMA; "Meeting of United States Territorial Expansion Memorial Commission," 1 February 1935, typed meeting minutes, JNEMA.
26Ickes' first contact with the project came the summer before when he traveled through St. Louis. He was told of the proposed plans and was shown the levee. This marked the beginning of his interest in the project. Smith to Truitt, 2 June 1934, JNEMA.
27A Sketch of the Progress of Thomas Jefferson Territorial Expansion Memorial at St. Louis, n.d., typed report, JNEMA. Luther Ely Smith and association members probably compiled this report. Russell Murphy to William T. Kemper, 7 February 1935, JNEMA.
29"Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association," 21 February 1935, typed meeting minutes, JNEMA; "Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association," 10 April 1935, typed meeting minutes, JNEMA; William C. D'Arcy to Harrison Jones, 18 March 1935, JNEMA.
30"Missouri, Revised Statutes, 1939, 58th General Assembly, 15 April 1935, vol. 2, art. 7, sections 15373-15376, chap. 133, pp. 3894-3895; "Minutes and Proceedings of the Executive Committee of the U.S. Territorial Expansion Memorial Commission," 13 April 1935, typed meeting minutes, JNEMA. Report of the Activities of the Commission, p. 5, JNEMA. All the reports presented to this executive committee by association members are located in the JNEMA papers. Topics covered by the reports: Historical Importance, Plan and Scope, Man Hours Involved, Time Schedule, Tentative Programme for National Architectural Competition, Statistical Zoning Survey, Maps, Parking and Parking Problems, Municipal and State Cooperation, Editorial Articles, Resolutions, and Historical Background. Reports Approved by the Executive Committee of the United States Commission at its Meeting in St. Louis on April 13, 1935, United States Territorial Expansion Memorial Commission, typed manuscript, JNEMA.
50Pamphlets, flyers, endorsement letters, and speeches are all located in the JNEMA papers. Association members delivered short film trailers for showing at theaters before the election, and thirty theaters were listed as cooperating "100%" with the association. William C. D'Arcy's advertising company did much of this work. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch publicized two editorials (one by William Allen White) and two editorial cartoons favorable to the project. See the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for 2 September 1935; 6 September 1935; 8 September 1935.
52Committee Representing Industrial Properties South of Clark Ave. and North of Poplar Street to Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association, 26 August 1935, JNEMA; flyer, Taxpayers Defense Association, 4 September 1935, JNEMA; St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 5 September 1935.
57St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 11 September 1935; D'Arcy to Dickmann, 11 September 1935, JNEMA. Luther Ely Smith's letters to these officials are located in the JNEMA papers. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 11 September 1935. The same editorial declared Luther Ely Smith's work like that of a "Hercules of the Homeric legend." The bond election was not headline news in St. Louis on September 10 because of the shooting of Louisiana "dictator" Senator Huey Long in New Orleans; St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10 September 1935.
58"Meeting Minutes of Executive Committee of U.S. Territorial Expansion Memorial Commission," 19 September 1935, typed meeting minutes, JNEMA; A Sketch of the Progress, JNEMA; St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 12 September 1935.
67Flyer, "Executive Committee of River Front Defense Fund," n.d., JNEMA; Terry, p. 35. In the association's papers notes were found, written by someone who sat in on two of Paul Peters' opposition meetings. When Peters asked all those in favor of the project to leave, the writer stayed, although it is apparent from the notes' language that the author was a memorial sympathizer.
76Smith to Truitt, 13 December 1935, JNEMA; St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 9 June 1968; Dickmann sat in the President's anteroom waiting for his 9:30 appointment when a man "wearing a big black hat" came in, headed straight for FDR's office. This was Homer Cummings, who came out of the office "after what seemed like hours" and told Dickmann that the President could not release the government money. Dickmann never did get in to see FDR. He returned to his hotel room and made the political phone call to Cummings.
77Harold L. Ickes, The Secret Diary of Harold Ickes The First Thousand Days 1933-1936 (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1953), p. 489. Dickmann credited Assistant Attorney General Harry Blair with thinking of the Historic Sites Act as a justification for the memorial. St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 9 June 1968.
78U.S. Statutes at Large, XLIX, Pt. 1 (1969), pp. 666-668. Prior to the Historic Sites Act's passage, the President could protect historic areas by another means. On June 8, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act, authorizing the President to declare by public proclamation, historic landmarks, structures, and other objects of interest to be national monuments. This act made no provision for survey work, and the Department of the Interior often had to rely on other sources for National Monument recommendations. In 1933 President Franklin Roosevelt recognized there was no definite, broad policy for maintaining historic sites and sources. With his support, the Historic Sites Act was conceived, drafted, introduced in Congress, heard in committee, amended, passed, and signed into law within twenty-two months. Besides giving the secretary of the interior authority to designate national historic sites, the act resulted in establishing the National Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings for evaluating historic areas and structures proposed for inclusion in the National Park System. Ronald F. Lee, Family Tree of the National Park System (Philadelphia: Eastern National Park and Monument Association, 1971), pp. 13-14, 47-50.
Last Updated: 15-Jan-2004