Missouri's Famous Firsts
First Television Broadcast
First president to give an address on television from the White House. Missourian President Harry S. Truman delivered the first White House television address on October 5, 1947. Also, On September 4, 1951, President Truman made the “First transcontinental television broadcast.”
First Interstate Highway in the Nation
The First Interstate Highway in the Nation. Construction in St. Charles in 1956 began what became Highway 70 bisecting Missouri from St. Louis to Kansas City. (The highway continues to be very busy.)
First mobile Phone Service
The First mobile phone service. On June 17, 1946 in St. Louis, AT&T and Southwestern Bell introduced the American commercial mobile radio-telephone service to private customers.
The First jet airplane to take off and land on an aircraft carrier
The First jet airplane to take off and land on an aircraft carrier. St. Louis’ based McDonnell Aircraft’s XFD-1 accomplished the feat on July 21, 1946. It was a forerunner of the Banshee and F4 Phantom aircraft produced in St. Louis. During the mid 1960s, McDonnell built about 90 F4s per month, and more than 5000 Phantoms over a period spanning five decades.
Tallest U.S. monument: The 630 ft. tall St. Louis Gateway Arch
The stainless steel arch is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. It all began with a national design competition in 1947 won by architect Eero Saarinen. Construction started in 1961 and was completed in 1965. The lower level of the arch interior includes the museum of westward expansion with artifacts and displays of the pioneers who lived and passed through the city on their way to the west.