National Affairs: Death of the Blues

St. Louis had the Cardinals and Budweiser and the zoo. And it also had the blues. Once (1870) the third largest city in the U.S., it had slipped down to eighth. The city was one-quarter slum, another quarter near-slum, and no new office building had been put up in 25 years. The municipal budget was deep ($4,200,000) in the red. Downtown traffic was chaotic, industry was pulling out, property values and business activity were dropping; e.g., city retail sales, up almost everywhere else, were down 10% from 1948. Said a St. Louis cabbie of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!