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St. Louis is known for the Gateway Arch and... well, actually, that's pretty much what it's known for. The Louisiana Purchase Exposition (more widely known as the "St. Louis World's Fair") was held there a little over a century ago. Also headquarters of one of the world's largest brewing conglomerations, before they were bought by another of the world's largest brewing conglomerations. (St. Louis is still the North American headquarters, though.) St. Louis sits just south of the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, which helped it grow into a huge city and made it a big deal back when riverboats were considered a speedy form of transportation, but the city has been gradually declining in importance (and population) for quite a while now. It's lost population in every census since 1950 and is no longer even the largest city in Missouri, though some of those people just moved to the suburbs and the metropolitan area still has a larger population than Kansas City's. The suburbs across the river in Illinois go by the description "Metro East" for obvious reasons. Its nickname is "the Gateway to the West" (cf the Gateway Arch), presumably because a gateway is a place you go through to get to where you were actually interested in going. Missourians who live more than a couple of dozen miles from the Arch may instead call it "the Exit from the East." Politically, St. Louis is a fairly deep blue stronghold in an otherwise mostly pink-to-red state, a trait it shares with Jackson County (Kansas City) and Boone County (the University of Missouri - Columbia). Speaking of counties ... Missouri has 114 counties, plus the City of St. Louis, which is not in any county. It used to be part of St. Louis County but voted to secede in 1876. St. Louis is home to: