Recognizing St. Louis’ 250th birthday ​

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Bill greenblatt/UPI

Washington University in St. Louis’ Henry Biggs, PhD, JD (above, right), plays the part of Pierre Laclede during a re-enactment of the founding of St. Louis, held on the city’s 250th anniversary Feb. 15 in St. Louis’ City Hall. As Laclede, a French fur trader who founded St. Louis in 1764, Biggs welcomes Captain Louis Groston de Saint-Ange de Bellerive, played by Don Martin, to St. Louis. France sent the captain to serve as St. Louis’ administrator during its formative years. Biggs, who is associate director of WUSTL’s McDonnell International Scholars Academy, had help from his family during the re-enactment, which was organized by Les Amis and The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. Biggs’ wife, Theresa (above), played Marie Therese Chouteau, Laclede’s common-law wife who was known as the “mother of St. Louis.” Their 16-year-old son, Charlie, played Auguste Chouteau, Laclede’s stepson, who was 14 when Laclede sent him and a crew of 30 men to start clearing land and building the city.


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SID Hastings/WUSTL Photos (2)

(Above, from left) WUSTL alumna Elizabeth Gentry Sayad, chair emeritus and founder of Les Amis (The Friends), the region’s French cultural heritage preservation organization; Peter Kastor, PhD, professor of history in Arts & Sciences; and Chief Scott Bighorse, principal chief of the Osage Nation, chat during a Feb. 14 luncheon for those attending a daylong symposium recognizing St. Louis’ 250th anniversary. Kastor was a featured speaker at the symposium, titled “A Great City From the Start: The Founding and Lasting Significance of St. Louis.” Sayad helped organize the sold-out event held at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park. Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton hosted the luncheon, which was held in Crowder Courtyard in Anheuser-Busch Hall. (Below) Wrighton talks with Graham Paul (center), consul general of France in Chicago, and Leila N. Sadat, JD, the Henry H. Oberschelp Professor of Law and director of WUSTL’s Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute.

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Susan Killenberg McGinn
Executive Director of University News Service
(314) 935-5254; (314) 603-6008 (cell)