St. Louis author aims to honor German heritage

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A St. Louis author wants to honor the German heritage of a city where much of those roots were wiped away a century ago amid war's backlash.

Local historian Jim Merkel initially pitched a proposal to add honorary street signs on Pershing Avenue that recognize its former name of Berlin Avenue.

The prominent thoroughfare was one of a half-dozen streets with German names changed in St. Louis during a wave of anti-German sentiment in the early 20th century. Pershing Avenue honors the Missouri-born general who led U.S. forces in World War I.

Local neighborhood associations approached by Merkel say the new signs could cause confusion. So he now hopes to add a historical marker elsewhere in St. Louis that would remind residents of the city's strong German influences.

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