Visiting the Gateway Arch: Enter the monument through the Gateway Arch Visitor Center, which faces Fourth Street and the Old Courthouse. The Gateway Arch legs are exits only. Please allow at least 30 minutes to go through security. Tickets sell out early and often, advance reservations are strongly recommended. Pending availability, additional tickets may be available for same-day purchase beginning at 9am each day through our website, call center, and ticket center at the Gateway Arch. Same-day ticket availability is not guaranteed and sells out early and often.
Sunday, August 25, 2019, marks the 400th anniversary of the 1619 landing of enslaved Africans at Virginia’s Point Comfort, now part of Fort Monroe National Monument. That day, Gateway Arch National Park hosts a public program in the rotunda of the Old Courthouse to commemorate this significant event in American history.
“This anniversary is a catalyst in recognizing the impact and legacy of the 1619 landing and in honoring the significance of 400 years of African-American history and culture,” said Bob Moore, historian, Gateway Arch National Park. “The Old Courthouse is forever connected to this anniversary, as it is the site of over 300 freedom suits filed by enslaved African Americans, including Dred and Harriet Scott, whose case hastened the start of the Civil War.”
At 2 p.m. CT, the anniversary will be commemorated across the country by the 419 units of the National Park Service, which will come together in solidarity to ring bells simultaneously for four minutes – one minute for each century of African enslavement and oppression.
What: Commemoration of 400th Anniversary of Enslaved Africans in America
When: Sunday, August 25; 1:30-4 p.m.
Where: Old Courthouse, 11 North Fourth Street, St. Louis, MO 63102
RSVP: Free and open to all ages
Schedule of Events
1:45 p.m.: Premiere of two short videos on important decision points in mid-1800’s St. Louis history: Dred and Harriet Scott’s fight for freedom, and Caroline and Neptune Williams’ fight for the desegregation of St. Louis public transportation. (These videos are available to view online at nps.gov/jeff).
2 p.m.: National ceremonial ringing of the bells of the Old Cathedral.