FAMOUS FAIRGOERS & PERFORMERS   (page one)
Will Rogers:  was a Cherokee-American cowboy, comedian, humorist, social commentator, vaudeville performer, and actor. He traveled around the world three times, made 71 movies (50
silent films and 21 "talkies"), and  wrote more than 4,000 nationally-syndicated newspaper columns. Rogers died when his small airplane crashed near Barrow, Alaska Territory in 1935.

Rogers performed lariat feats in the "Early St. Louis" village and at a western show. His  first date with  Betty Blake at the 1904 Fair launched their marriage. Rogers began his  vaudeville career in St. Louis. He later became the highest-paid actor in Hollywood in the 1930s.





















Helen Keller:  became the first  deaf/blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Keller went on to become a world-famous speaker and author, as well as an  advocate for people with disabilities. She was a suffragist, a pacifist,  a radical socialist, and a birth control supporter. Ms. Keller visited the Fair on October 18, 1904; a “Helen Keller Day” was held to promote education of the deaf.  Please check out more information on her in the Woman at the Fair section of this web site.






















William Jennings Bryant:  was a three-time Democratic Party nominee for President of the United States and one of the  most popular speakers in American history.  Bryant  delivered a speech at the Fair’s Fourth of July celebration.





















Guglielmo Marconi:  Italian-Irish  inventor best known for his development of a radio telegraph system.  He shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand Braun. he later became an  active Italian Fascist, but later apologized for their  ideology. He is considered  the father of radio. Marconi  visited the Fair to demonstrate the wireless transmitter and receiver.






















Tom Mix:    was born into a poor logging family and rose to become  Hollywood’s first Western megastar. He starred in 336 films between 1910 and 1935, all but 9 of which were silent features.   Tom and the Oklahoma Calvary Band performed at the St. Louis World's Fair. Mix was friends with Will Rogers.  


























Thomas Edison: was an American inventor  and is considered one of the most prolific inventors in history, holding 1,093 U.S. patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France and Germany.  Some of his inventions included:  the phonograph and a long lasting light bulb. he was nicknamed- "The Wizard of Menlo Park."  (Menlo Park, New Jersey). Edison was the  first inventor to apply the principles of mass production to the process of invention

Edison attended the 1904 World's Fair quite often. He  made sure all the electrical exhibits and those of his own inventions were set up properly as well as well-handled and presented by his staff.





















Dr. William Key:  was born a slave  in Murfreesboro, Tennessee (1833);  opened a hospital for horses, though he received no formal training.  Finding a ill-fit colt, Key nursed him back to health and named him Beautiful Jim Key. Along with Albert Rogers, he  toured the nation for nine years setting record attendance records everywhere, showcasing the horse's ability to   read, write, spell, do mathematics, tell time, sort mail, cite biblical passages, and debate politics.  See the Jim Key page on  this sites' Pike attractions for more information on this remarkable man (and horse).





















Lucille Mulhall:   Born on October 21, 1885, Lucille  was a famous   trick rider and made her the first  cowgirl.   On November 12, a Wild  West show was held on the fairgrounds in the large Livestock Forum.  Lucille was one of nine featured  acts (which did include Will Rogers).
She  gave  exhibitions of riding and would exhibit her famous high  school horse, "Governor." 




















Scott Joplin:  `the King of Ragtime,' was born in East Texas was  classical trained at the piano. Traveling around the country,   he settled in St. Louis, and engaged to compose  write ragtime.   At this point in history, the officials at the 1904 Fair  decided that Ragtime was a bit `lowbrow.'  So the style-  which combined some classical, with the 2/4 time of the marching bands  and the African-American experience; though purely American, it was deemed only worthy of the Pike  (even though it was extremely popular around the country). 

Joplin composed “ The Cascades - A Rag” in honor of the Fair. Joplin played his famous ragtime music often on the Pike.  It seems that he at the very least visited the Fair  to get  his  inspiration.  His most well-known song even today- is  `The Entertainer.' The Fair also inspired other ragtime composers, such as : Tom Turpin’s “St. Louis Rag” and James Scott’s “On the Pike.”




















President Theodore Roosevelt:   a vice-president, ascended to the   presidency after McKinley was shot on the steps of the Music Hall at the Buffalo Exposition in 1901.  Roosevelt spoke at the dedication ceremonies on April 30, 1903 and returned for a two-day visit in November 1904. Elected to the presidency in his own right in 1904, he avoided appearing at the the Fair for fearing exploitation of  political purposes.  Roosevelt had avoided the Fair prior to election day.

David Francis urged the President to visit and on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, (which was called (President’s Day at the Fair), Roosevelt, his wife and young daughter Alice visited the Fair. Because of McKinley's assassination, security for the President's visit was tight.




















Main
Misc.
Lee  Gaskins'   AT THE FAIR  The 1904 St. Louis World's   Fair 
                   Web  Design and Art/Illustration   copyrighted  2008
Many foreign dignitaries and celebrities (or future celebrities),  visited the 1904 World's Fair. here are a few famous people that  either performers or visited the Fair. This list is by no means a  complete  list. if anyone would like to  add some other known  fairgoers, please send me some information  and I will add and credit you. The people  are listed in order  that  I  either  discovered them  or found  a picture of  them.
Will Rogers

Lucille Mulhall and `Governor'
Helen  Keller
William Jennings Bryant
Guglielmo Marconi
Tom  Mix
Thomas Alva  Edison
Dr.  William  Key
Scott Joplin
President Theodore Roosevelt
President Theodore Roosevelt at the Fair
FAMOUS FAIRGOERS & PERFORMERS  (page two)
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