February 15, 1764
The city of St. Louis, Missouri is established.
Seal of St. Louis
The area that would become St. Louis was a center of Native American Mississippian culture, which built numerous temple and residential earthwork mounds in the region, giving the city its nickname, the "Mound City". European exploration of the area began in 1673, when French explorers Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette traveled through the Mississippi River valley. Five years later, La Salle claimed the region for France, and the earliest settlements in the area were built in Illinois during the 1690s and early 1700s at Cahokia, Kaskaskia, and Fort de Chartres. Migrants from the eastern French villages founded Ste. Genevieve, Missouri across the Mississippi River from Kaskaskia, and in early 1764, Pierre Laclède and his stepson Auguste Chouteau founded the city of St. Louis.
May 17, 1849A large fire nearly burns St. Louis, Missouri to the ground.
The St. Louis Fire of 1849 was a devastating fire that occurred on May 17, 1849 and destroyed a significant part of St. Louis, Missouri and many of the steamboats using the Mississippi River and Missouri River. This was the first fire in United States history in which it is known that a firefighter was killed in the line of duty. Captain Thomas B. Targee was killed while trying to blast a fire break.