St. Louisans generally regard the 1904 World’s Fair as a high-water mark in our history. More than 20 million people visited the “Greatest of Expositions” when we were the fourth-largest city in the country. But remembering its glory shouldn’t mean whitewashing its dark side.

In addition to the innovation, magnificent buildings and entertainment, there was virulent racism, dozens of dead babies and American Imperialism on display at the fair. Scholars who study the world’s fairs shared some of the controversies, scandals and lesser-known stories about the city’s beloved cultural touchstone.