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Published on Oct 17, 2007
From KETC, LIVING ST. LOUIS Producer Ruth Ezell tours Jefferson Barracks. What is now a St. Louis County Park once served as a training center for thousands of area soldiers. From its establishment in 1826 until it was closed in 1946, Jefferson Barracks—the nation's first "Infantry School of Practice"—supplied and prepared troops for battle in six of the United States' major military conflicts. Ezell tours the site with Jefferson Barracks Museum curator Marc Kollbaum and explores the center's role in equipping area servicemen and women for conflict during WWII. "One of the things that surprised me was that during the height of the WWII draft, so many new servicemen were being processed at the facility that Jefferson Barracks became—in terms of population—the third-largest city in Missouri," says Ezell.