ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The 1970s is remembered as a time when there was rising inflation, high gas prices, a war in Vietnam, bellbottoms, political upheaval, and many changes to society. Still, there are a lot of rosy memories of this tumultuous time. FOX 2 asked Facebook fans what they remember. Many responded with the carefree memories of their youth with places to hang out, listen to music, and shop.
The population of St. Louis in 1970 was over 622,000 and has dramatically dropped over the next five decades. There are now fewer than 300,000 people living in the city.
A Rand Corporation report on urban policy from 1973 evaluated the situation in St. Louis. It notes that the decline in St. Louis is the same as in many other US cities. People abandoned neighborhoods in the urban core for the suburbs.
The city saw a peak number of crimes and homicides in 1970. Crimes declined through the 1990s but remained unusually high compared to other cities of similar size. The homicide rate spiked to that rate again in 2020.
So, there are some interesting echoes between the 1970s and the 2020s. Still, many people remember the good times. Not, all of them remember it accurately. There are several memories of Ozzy Smith who was not traded to the Cardinals until 1982. Here are some of the best memories, ranked by Facebook, from FOX 2 fans:
FOX 2 fans share memories of growing up in 1970s St. Louis:
Music, entertainment, and amusement parks
- “If you went to St. Louis on the weekends you went to Mississippi Nights, Muddy Waters, Pops, and danced to Bob Kuban’s band on the Admiral,” writes Barbara.
- “Great Neighborhoods, Playing outside in a safe environment, Classic Rock Music, 99 cent beer and wine,” writes
- “Chain of Rocks and Holiday Hills amusement parks. Flaming Pit restaurant. Mississippi River Festival Concerts and the Ambassador. Northland and River Roads. Walgreens had restaurants. So many things to remember,” writes Sandy.
- “Jack or Better in Ellisville, Magic Market, Trails West Bowl, Wheels Of Fun , Wet Willys Water Slide, Toms Twister and Mo Mo The Monster thrill rides at Six Flags, Haunted House at Manchester Road at Barret Station then The Magic Castle Pizza Buffet and Entertainment center at Woodsmill and 141,” writes Robert.
- “Holiday Hills. That was an awesome amusement park for its time, as a kid growing up,” writes Will.
- “Noah’s Ark, Golden Rod Show Boat, Concerts, the Circus and hockey at the Arena, Wrestling at the Chase,” writes Julie.
- “On the weekends driving with your boyfriend around the circle Steak ‘n Shake, the 367 drive-in, watching Ozzie Smith do his backflips in the old stadium, velvet freeze ice cream, the hot July nights w/o ac- using our attic fan to sleep. Famous Barr, Dillard, Venture off 270 and riding downtown on the bus and streetcar to Woolworths to drink a milkshake at the counter. I miss those days living and growing up in STL in the 60’s and 70”s,” writes Carolyn.
- “Drive in movies. Admiral dates highlands park. Classic cars gas 18 cents a gallon. Piling as many friends as you could in a car and cruising around all night. Stores closed on Sundays. Soulard Market. Cardinals games. Bowling at the Arena. Arch being built. Roller skates with a key to tighten them. Westerns on TV. Going barefoot most of the summer. Riding bikes anytime and anywhere we wanted plastic bubbles and penny candy. No seat belts station wagons. Trips to grandparents. Parents playing cards with friends. Playing games in alleys.playing with toy guns. Window wishing when passing displays. I could go on and on. Best memories a kid could possibly have,” writes Lynnda.
Cardinals Baseball & Football:
- “Cardinal baseball was not at its peak in the 70’s,” writes Kevin.
- “The Cardinals traded Garry Templeton to get an unknown shortstop from San Diego by the name of Ozzie Smith. At the time, the Cardinals were thought to have been ripped off,” writes Joshua.
- “The football Cardinals were better than the Baseball Cardinals in the 70’s,” writes Jerry.
- “1974, the St. Louis Cardinals football team started the season 7-0. The team won the NFC East in ’74 and ’75. If you went to a game at Busch Memorial Stadium during this time you may have seen names like Dan Dierdorf, Roger Wehrli, Terry Metcalf, and Tom Banks,” writes David.
- “Famous Barr Department Store, downtown St. Louis at Christmas Time. The window displays and the waiting line to talk to Santa and get your picture taken,” writes CoAnn.
- “The glassed-in walk over from the parking garage on one side of the street to the Famous Bar side, it had booths and a small cafe, I got engaged there in 1972, we will be married 50 years in August,” writes Susan.
- “West Roads shopping center where the Galleria is now, with Stix Baer and Fuller and Newberrys Drive-in movies at 66 Park In. Cruising the Mississippi on the Admiral dancing to a live band,” writes Paula.
- “I was very fond of the drive-in movies, the Admiral, McDonald’s boat on the Mississippi, Jamestown Mall, Northwest Plaza and cheap gas,” writes Sharon.
- “Three Stooges every Saturday night and Wrestling at the Chase on Sunday morning on Channel 11,” writes Richard.