Day 2: East St. Louis, Illinois


East St. Louis, once a center of rail shipping and meat-packing, began to decline into today's extreme poverty in the 1960s. The 1980s saw poverty and civic mismanagement on a dramatic scale; at one point the city was so bankrupt that it had to give away City Hall as a settlement in a legal suit. East St. Louis has been making progress in recent years, largely due to a gambling riverboat that has been based in the city since 1993. Presently, a new shopping center, the first new retail construction in the city in more than ten years, is being opened. Private investment projects of almost $75 million and public projects of $365 million are planned.


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