National Geographic : 1965 Nov
always been the lifeblood of St. Louis. Just over a quarter century ago, this onetime Ar kansas farm boy founded his company in rented 40-by-40-foot quarters at Lambert Field. There were two employees. Now the firm is Missouri's largest employer, with near ly 35,000 on its payroll. "St. Louis can use some new images," he observed. "I see it as a great center of space science for man's creative evolution into the universe. St. Louis can become the gateway to the galaxy." If it does, "Mr. Mac"-as his teammates at McDonnell call him-will have made a large contribution. One of the city's outstanding educational assets is the new McDonnell Planetarium in Forest Park. In this striking hyperbola of a building you can take a three 630 year-long lecture course on the mysteries of the universe (pages 626-7). Education will lead man to the stars, believes Mr. McDonnell, who is chairman of Washington University's Board of Trustees. "We need many outlets for man's creative, adventurous spirit-outlets that will develop his best characteristics," he declared. "In space science, education is basic. We need all the known sciences and all the known technologies." I took my leave of Mr. McDonnell and motored back into the city, speeding along the busy, limited-access Mark Twain Ex pressway. Somehow, the name didn't seem incongruous. Miles distant, I could see the Gateway Arch rising on the waterfront; it didn't strike me as strange either. Like the Mark Twain Expressway, it was very much a part of modern-day St. Louis.