St. Louis is the largest metropolis in the state of Missouri. The city was founded in 1764 just south of the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers by French colonists who named the settlement after 13th-century King Louis IX of France. The city, as well as the future state of Missouri, became part of the Spanish Empire in 1763 after the French were defeated in the Seven Years' War. In 1800, the land was secretly transferred back to France, whose leader, Napoleon Bonaparte, sold it, along with Louisiana and several other regions, to the United States in 1803. The city was nicknamed the "Gateway to the West" for its role in the westward expansion of the United States. It has home to famous baseball teams including the St. Louis Browns and the St. Louis Cardinals.
In May 1952, St. Louis hosted a lawyers' conclave, which was attended by seven of the nine justices of the United States Supreme Court, including Chief Justice Fred Vinson. At this time, Washington, DC was hit by a Sovietatomic bomb. Thus the Judicial Branch survived the disaster, and this branch was the one with the least to do with setting or enforcing policy.