|Library of Congress Rear|
I became curious about the origins of the Ethnological Heads on the Library of Congress after my tour guide Tom racially insulted me.
Read Library of Congress Depicts 5 African Faces of 33 Races.
I emailed the Library of Congress on February 23, 2013:
|Library of Congress Front Ethnological Head|
|Library of Congress Interior|
|St. Louis Forest Park Grand Basin|
displayed an Ethnology Exhibition just like the Chicago Columbian Exposition. The buildings of the St. Louis World’s Fair also were designed the Beaux Arts style.
"Historians generally emphasize the prominence of themes of race and empire, and the fair's long-lasting impact on intellectuals in the fields of history, art history, architecture and anthropology." It is stated that "19,694,855 individuals were in attendance at the fair."
People on Exhibit at the St. Louis World Fair
"The American businessman and explorer Samuel Phillips Verner traveled to Africa in 1904 under contract from the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (St. Louis World Fair) to bring back an assortment of pygmies to be part of an exhibition. To demonstrate the fledgling discipline of anthropology, the noted scientist W. J. McGee intended to display "representatives of all the world's peoples, ranging from smallest pygmies to the most gigantic peoples, from the darkest blacks to the dominant whites" to show what was commonly thought then to be a sort of cultural evolution."
The Chicago World's Fair and St. Louis World's Fair had Ethnological Expositions of countries based on scientific racism ("of then popular evolutionary approaches to the study of culture, which say all societies progressing through a set of hierarchic technological and cultural , stages with Western-European Culture at the summit.")
After my tours of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.; the former location of St. Louis World's Fair at Forest Park; and the Museum of Science and Industry in my hometown Chicago, I realized the connection to scientific racism that exists in these places today. Chicago is still one of most segregated cities in America as a result of hosting the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 and St. Louis has similar racial tensions due the hosting of the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904.
It is interesting to note that Thomas Jefferson, U.S. third president who initiated the Louisiana Purchase has been honored with the naming of main building of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building and The Jefferson Memorial Building or The Missouri History Museum in St. Louis.
Travel is a living history experience sometimes good and sometimes bad into cultural thinking of Americans.