LOUISIANA PURCHASE SESQUICENTENNIAL
ST. LOUIS, MO
Medal privately issued by O. Oddehon, St. Louis; struck
by Adams Co.
Louisiana Territory officially became property of
United States Oct. 10, 1804, when transfer ceremony of Upper Louisiana took
place in St. Louis. Centennial of historic event, "second in importance only
to American Revolution," was celebrated by Louisiana Purchase Exposition
1904, which see.
Fifty years later, five history-minded private citizens
met on river front, First and Walnut Streets, St. Louis. "There, in solemn
conclave, they raised brimming glasses of champagne and drank a lonely toast
to the westward course of empire." Two congratulatory telegrams were read
aloud and participant delivered brief outline of great events once
sanctifying spot on which celebrants stood. Ceremonies were concluded by
"fireworks display of three bombs and three skyrockets, one of each for each
fifty years of history," three of these misfiring. Thus St. Louis
commemorated sesquicentennial of most important event in its history.
Apparently there was talk at one time of staging
another World's Fair in 1953 but nothing developed. Issuer "decided event
merited at least a privately struck medal of some kind" and unable to secure
"any cooperation…went ahead with it" himself as "patriotic gesture." Issue
limited to 5,000 pieces in pure Copper; sold for 50 cents.
Photos courtesy of Jonathan Brecher
Obv. Knight on horseback; to upper r. 1803
/ 1953; below horse Mfgd. for & Distd. by / Oddehon /
St. Louis, Mo.; border legend Commemorating the Sesquicentennial
of the Louisiana Purchase
HK-509 Copper. 41mm.
Rev. Blank map of North America showing area of
Louisiana Purchase with incuse dot at location of St. Louis; above
Celebrating the 150th Anniversary; below map of the Louisiana