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150 Facts About Kansas City


1. Kansas Citys first televised event was a banquet to honor William M. Boyle, Jr., chairman of the Democratic National Committee. WDAF-TV broadcast the event, live, on September 29, 1949. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, April 14, 1985, p. 22.) 2. The Grove Bathouse, 15th and Agnes, allowed women bathers on Wednesdays and Fridays only; men had the run of the place every other day. Bathers were allowed to remain in the pool for 45 minutes at a time for as many sessions as they pleased. During the Depression, however, bathers were allowed only one swim per day because of the popularity of the pool. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, May 29, 1983, p. 24.) 3. The first locomotive for the Missouri Pacific Railroad (Kansas Citys first railroad) came to Kansas City by boat, with a shipment of four flat cars and 100 tons of iron rails, delivered June 21, 1864. The locomotive was placed onto tracks in September of the same year. (Kansas City Star, July 15, 1914.) 4. Kansas City native Mae Arbaugh, a professional softball player in the first 30 years of the 20th century, surpassed Lou Gehrigs achievement of 2,130 career games playedhers numbered 6,486. (Flynn, Jane Fifield. Kansas City Women of Independent Minds. Kansas City: Fifield Publishing Co., 1992, p. 4.) 5. Many Kansas Citians of the 1870s obtained their drinking water from a well located at what is now 10th and McGee. (Kansas City Journal, February 27, 1909.) 6. The Commonwealth Hotel, located at 1216 Broadway, was the first downtown hotel to carry radio programs to each room. The choice of programming was made from a central master control, however. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, February 2, 1986, p. 20.) 7. The August R. Meyer memorial, located at 10th and the Paseo, was the first memorial to be placed in a Kansas City park. It was dedicated June 2, 1909. (Kansas City, Missouri Board of Parks and Recreation. Historic and Dedicatory Monuments of Kansas City. Kansas City: The Board, 1987, p. 39.) 8. The first telegraph line reached Kansas City from Boonville on December 20, 1858. (Kansas City Star, December 25, 1910.) 9. In 1857 there was a toll-gate near the entrance to Union Cemeterytodays 28th Street Terrace and Mainwhere fees were collected from travelers using the Westport Turnpike. (Kansas City, Missouri Board of Parks and Recreation. Historic and Dedicatory Monuments of Kansas City. Kansas City: The Board, 1987, p. 68.) 10. Kansas Citys first venture in waterworks was a $10.00 appropriation for a town pump, granted by the council on March 31, 1854. (Kansas City Star, May 8, 1938.) 11. Colonel Thomas Swope, donor of the land constituting the city park that bears his name, also gave to the city the property that later became known as Hospital Hill, site of todays Childrens Mercy Hospital and Truman

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Medical Center. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, October 30, 1984, p. 2.) 12. When Kansas Citys first electric lights began operation in 1882, it was thought impossible to measure electrical current, so rates for the electricity used were based on the customers preceding years gas bill. (Kansas City Star, November 8, 1936.) 13. At the time of its annexation by Kansas City in 1899, Westport comprised the area from 31st to 47th Streets, State Line to Troost, except for a small tract between 45th and 47th Streets, State Line to Holly. (Kansas City, Missouri Board of Parks and Recreation. Historic and Dedicatory Monuments of Kansas City. Kansas City: The Board, 1987, p. 76.) 14. At the first Kansas City municipal election in 1853, a crier announced the name and vote of each of the 67 voters. (Kansas City Star, June 19, 1938.) 15. Organized street cleaning began in 1899; by April of that year, 3,000 cartloads of street refuse had been gathered and dumped into the Missouri River. (Kansas City Star, May 7, 1939.) 16. The horse patrolmounted police, essentiallywas used to control traffic, first in downtown beginning in October of 1923, the later expanding in 1926 to the Country Club Plaza. Horses were quartered at a stable at 1509 Campbell, and children and adults regularly gathered there at 9:00 a.m. to watch the inspection of the cavalry. The patrol was abandoned in 1929 because of high costs. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, February 10, 1985, p. 20.) 17. Waiters were shipped in from New York City for the opening of the first Kansas City Club building (12th and Wyandotte) in 1887. (Kansas City Star, February 7, 1937.) 18. The Kansas City Philharmonic made its national debut on WDAF radio during the dedication ceremony for the Nelson Gallery-Atkins Museum of Art, December 11, 1933. (Wolferman, Kristie C. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art: Culture Comes to Kansas City. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1993, p. 119.) 19. Battle Row was the area along the west side of Main from 3rd to 5th, so named because of the numerous fights that spilled out from the taverns and saloons that lined that stretch of the street. (Kansas City Star, July 23, 1905.) 20. Before a performance at Starlight Theater of Annie Get Your Gun in 1953, the star fell ill. Theater Manager Dick Berger, upon learning the understudy did not adequately know the role, played the part of Annie himself. He read the lines and walked through the blocking, and the understudy sang the songs. (Thorne, Kathleen H. The Story of Starlight Theater. Eugene, OR: Generation Organization, 1993, p. 50) 21. The official flower of Kansas City is the iris. (Kansas City, Missouri. City ordinance, passed August 12, 1929. See Vertical File, Kansas City Flower, Special Collections Department, Kansas City Public Library.) 22. In April of 1945, the Park Board received a request to place a prisoner-of-war camp in Penn Valley Park. The request was denied because of adverse public reaction. (Mobley, Jane and Nancy Whitnell Harris. A City Within a Park: 100 Years of Parks and Boulevards in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City: American Society of Landscape Architects and Kansas City Missouri Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners, 1991, p. 48-49.)

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23. Stumptown was a suburb of Kansas City in 1854, located in the district now bounded by Brooklyn and Prospect, 12th to 18th Streets. It was so named because of the large number of stumps left after timber had been cut away. (Kansas City Star, December 15, 1920.) 24. Colesville was an early Mormon settlement (1832-1850) located on the site where Troost Lake now lies (near 27th and the Paseo). (Kansas City JournalPost, March 8, 1925.) 25. The Country Club Plaza bunnies originally debuted in the early 20s at another J.C. Nichols development, the Crestwood Shops on 55th between Oak Street and Brookside Boulevard. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, April 5, 1987, p. 36.) 26. The City Hall Fountain sea horsesinstalled in June, 1938have names: the western horse is named Lug, and the horse on the east is Cut." They got those names from city staffers because the Lugs for the primary and general elections would come first and later be followed by the usual pay Cuts which they had had in the machine days since 1930. (Kansas City, Missouri Board of Parks and Recreation. History and Dedicatory Monuments of Kansas City. Kansas City: The Board, 1987, p. 11.) 27. Francis Parkman wrote of his 1846 visit to this area: Whisky [sic], by the way, circulates more freely in Westport than is altogether safe in a place where every man carries a loaded pistol in his pocket. (Kansas City JournalPost, August 15, 1926.) 28. J.C. Nichols once commented that we have sometimes regretted we chose Spanish architecture for the Plaza, becauseit takes a great deal of money to build the towers and domes and other features so characteristic of good Spanish architecture. (Towner, Herberta. Spanish in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City: s.n., 1953, p. 43.) 29. In 1910, the Humane Society of Kansas City erected, at 40th and Main, the first successful sanitary (i.e., continuously circulating) fountain for horses, dogs, birds, and other lowly creatures. Tally sheets for mid-summer days between daybreak and nightfall showed the fountain served an average of 1,965 creatures. (Human Society of Kansas City, Missouri. Annual Report, 1924, p. 8. Number served, Annual Report, 1913, p. 33.) 30. Kansas City tried to be annexed by the state of Kansas in 1855 (all of Jackson County) and again in 1879. (Kansas City Times, December 8, 1915.) 31. The first money collected by Kansas city was $7.22, which the council received on May 4, 1853, from Samuel Greir, treasurer of the former Town of Kansas. (Kansas City Journal-Post, March 7, 1937.) 32. Among other items, a collection of 15 state sales tax tokens and small coins from the collection of 17-year-old O. W. Price, Junior, was placed in the cornerstone of the Federal Building at 8th and Grand on October 21, 1938. The collection included instructions that it was to be returned to him if known when the box was opened, or, if not, to be given to a museum or public library. (Greater Kansas City Federal Business Association. The Federal Government in Greater Kansas City. Leavenworth, KS: Federal Prison Industries, Inc., 1939, p. XIII.) 33. In 1867, the Kansas City postmaster Frank Foster reported that 936,000 letters passed through Kansas City, 234,000 letters were received, and $43,000 worth of stamps were sold. (Greater Kansas City Federal Business Association. The

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Federal Government in Greater Kansas City. Leavenworth, KS: Federal Prison Industries, Inc., 1939, p. 21.) 34. On the block bounded by Admiral Boulevard, Independence Avenue, Lydia, and Virginia was once a swimming hole known as Ransons pond. It came into being around 1880, during road construction. When drained in 1885, it became a baseball park, where Billy Sunday played. Later, when Sunday was a traveling evangelist, he erected a temporary tabernacle on the site. (Kansas City Times, March 14, 1936.) 35. When it opened in October of 1870, the Coates Opera House had a grocery and feed store on the first floor. The theater was located on the second floor. (DeAngelo, Dory and Jane Fifield Flynn. Kansas City Style: a Social and Cultural History of Kansas City as Seen Through its Lost Architecture. Kansas City: Fifield Publishing Company, 1992, p. 53.) 36. The first official landing of a passenger plane at the Municipal Airport was a plane that arrived from Richards Field, an airfield east of Kansas City, on August 17, 1927. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, August 6, 1989, p. 29.) 37. At one time or another throughout the twentieth century, the following suggestions were made for the development of Signboard Hill, now the site of the Westin Crown Center Hotel: a stadium; a convention hall; a city hall; a courthouse; a museum; and a traffic way. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, August 7, 1983, p. 24.) 38. In 1871 mule- or horse-drawn trolley car trips began from the City Market area to Westport. If the mule behaved, the journey took two hours. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, March 17, 1985, p. 22.) 39. The General Motors Leeds assembly plant manufactured Army trucks and its regular run of Chevrolets for several months until Americas entry into World War II. At that point, all automobile production ceased, and the plant eventually manufactured 75- and 105-millimeter shells. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, December 3, 1989, p. 29.) 40. Kansas Citys first sight-seeing bus began operating around 1908, and included a spin through Penn Valley Park and along the Paseo. The trip lasted about two hours, according to the weather and the condition of the car. (Kansas City Public Service Company. Public Service News, April 15, 1947, p. 1.) 41. Quality Hill was known earlier as "Silk Stocking Ridge", because of the wealthy people who settled there. (DeAngelo, Dory and Jane Fifield Flynn. Kansas City Style: a Social and Cultural History of Kansas City as Seen Through its Lost Architecture. Kansas City: Fifield Publishing Company, 1992, p. 51.) 42. The Vendo Company of Kansas Citymakers of vending machines, primarily was the largest manufacture of airplane radar antennae during the Second World Warsome 300,000 in all. (Fowler, Dick. Leaders in Our Town. Kansas City: Burd and Fletcher, 1952, p. 354.) 43. 387 quarantine placards were posted by employees of the Sanitary Division of the city Health Department in 1929. (Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City, Public Health and Welfare Committee. Health and Hospital Survey. Kansas City: Lechtman Printing Company, 1931, p. 147.)

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44. The 8th Street tunnel was closed to streetcar traffic between 1922 and 1928 for major repair work and cleaning. During this time, the tunnel was used to grow mushrooms. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, November 16, 1986, p. 29.) 45. Admiral Boulevard received its name as a means to honor naval heroes who fought during the Spanish-American war of 1898, the same year in which planning for the boulevard occurred. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, February 26, 1984, p. 20.) 46. The telescope atop Central High School, southeast corner of 11th and Locust, had to be removed because passing streetcars created severe vibrations, rendering the instrument useless. (DeAngelo, Dory and Jane Fifield Flynn. Kansas City Style: a Social and Cultural History of Kansas City as Seen Through its Lost Architecture. Kansas City: Fifield Publishing Company, 1992, p. 35.) 47. Part of the stone foundation of the 1884 Bnai Jehudah Temple is still visible along the west side of Oak between 11th and 12th Streets. (DeAngelo, Dory and Jane Fifield Flynn. Kansas City Style: a Social and Cultural History of Kansas City as Seen Through its Lost Architecture. Kansas City: Fifield Publishing Company, 1992, p. 27.) 48. The KCPT (formerly KCTV) tower at 125 E. 31st Street is taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The KC tower stands 1,067 feet; the Parisian tower is 1,024 feet tall. (KC Tower: Kansas City Star, October 5, 1996.) 49. In 1898, all privy vaults and cesspools were required to be at least eight feet deep, to be emptied only in daylight, and, between the first of May and the first of October, to be deodorized with lime at least once a week. (Kansas City, Missouri. Charter and Revised Ordinances of Kansas City, 1898. Chapter 16, Article 8, Sections 1088, 1094, and 1101.) 50. Saint Teresas Academy was founded in 1866, a year before the public school system was established in Kansas City. The first pupil enrolled at the Academy was Laura Coates, daughter of investor and developer Kersey Coates. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, April 10, 1983, p. 25.) 51. By 1860, there were 4,000 slaves and 80 free blacks in Kansas City. Fifty years later the black community numbered 23, 566. (Schirmer, Sherry. Historical Overview of the Ethnic Communities in Kansas City. Kansas City: Pan-Educational Institute, 1976, part II, p 4.) 52. In 1912 there were 8 penny arcades in Kansas City, with a total of 250 machines. An estimated 47,600 people visited the arcades each week. (Kansas City Board of Public Welfare. Annual Report, 1912, p. 255.) 53. According to the 1909 City Charter, the second Thursday in May of each year was to be observed as Charity Day, on which appropriate measures may be taken for alleviating the condition of the poor and needy. (Kansas City, Missouri. Charter and Revised Ordinances of Kansas City. Kansas City: F.T. Riley Publishing Co., 1909. Article 18, Section 33.) 54. Kansas residents left homeless by the July 1951 flood were relocated to temporary homes in trailers located on the Old Homestead Golf Course near 22nd and Steele Road in Kansas City, Kansas. Trailer City was occupied until Christmas of 1952. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, June 1, 1986, p. 28.)

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55. The city ordinances of 1898 provided that the Market Master of the Public Square Market (4th and Main) be supplied with a bell or gong, and shall announce, by the ringing thereof, the closing of the market, at least ten minutes before the time of closing. (Kansas City, Missouri. Charter and Revised Ordinances of Kansas City, 1898. Chapter 6, Section 489.) 56. For three days in August of 1960, Municipal Airport closed for runway resurfacing. Flights were diverted across the Missouri River to Fairfax Industrial Airport, which was not equipped for substantial passenger traffic. Passengers checked in at Municipal, and were then taken by bus or car to board their plans at Fairfax. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, September 1, 1985, p. 27.) 57. John Philip Sousa attended the dedication of (the first) Convention Hall on February 22, 1899. He directed his band in a rendition of his Stars and Stripes Forever, among other tunes. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, December 4, 1983, p. 24.) 58. The first municipal improvement made in Kansas City was construction of a jail at 4th and Main. $15.00 was expended for this activity. (Kansas City Journal-Post, March 7, 1937.) 59. In 1855 the city Marshall was authorized to shoot on sight any hogs found in the streets. (Kansas City Journal-Post, March 7, 1937.) 60. Between June of 1910 and May of 1911, a survey of 4,993 homes was conducted by the Housing Survey of Kansas City. Eighty-three houses were condemned because not one of them was fit for human habitationAs to character they included unsanitary houseboats, tumbledown one-room shacks and barns where animals were housed on one floor and people on the other. (Kansas City Board of Public Welfare. Annual Report, 1910-11, p. 104.) 61. During World War II high school boys were trained to send messages in Morse code from the rooftops of schools and the Walnuts apartments at 5409 Wornall, as part of the citys civilian defense efforts. (Spletstoser, Fredrick. A City at War: the Impact of the Second World War on Kansas City. Thesis, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 1971, p. 50.) 62. City Bank and Trust Company, located on the southeast corner of 18th and Grand, had a window cut out of one of its back doors to provide drive-up bankingin 1931. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, August 14, 1988, p. 29.) 63. City ordinance prohibited persons naked or insufficiently clothed from bathing, washing, or swimming in the Missouri River or other waterways within the city limits between one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset. (Kansas City, Missouri. Charter and Revised Ordinances of Kansas City. Kansas City: F.T. Riley Publishing Co., 1909. Chapter 7, Section 293.) 64. In the summer of 1914, a grizzly bear (recently relocated from Yellowstone National Park) escaped from the Swope Park Zoo by climbing a 14-foot high stone wall and pushing himself through the iron bars surrounding the zoo. The bear was spotted across the park and as fara as 35 miles away for over two weeks, until he was corralled and killed at Mount Washington Cemetery. (Mobley, Jane and Nancy Whitnell Harris. A City Within a Park: 100 Years of Parks and Boulevards in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City: American Society of Landscape Architects and Kansas City, Missouri Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners, 1991, p. 89.)

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65. In fiscal year 1942-43, the turnover rate for city jobs was 125%: 3,663 employees left, and 3,557 people accepted jobs with the city. (Spletstoser, Fredrick. A City at War: the Impact of the Second World War on Kansas City. Thesis, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 1971, p. 68.) 66. The width of Grand Avenue (now Boulevard) was set by Mayor Milton McGee, who laid out the street wide enough so that he could turn his horse and buggy around without having to back up. (Ray, Mrs. Sam. Postcard from Old Kansas City, Kansas City Times, June 19, 1987.) 67. Peacock Alley was the name given to the Baltimore Hotels block-long lobby, as it was the place to see the wealthy, dressed in evening gowns and tuxedos, parading at the citys most opulent parties. (DeAngelo, Dory and Jane Fifield Flynn. Kansas City Style : a Social and Cultural History of Kansas City as Seen Through its Lost Architecture. Kansas City: Fifield Publishing Company,1992, p. 17.) 68. Grand Avenue was the first road from the Missouri River to the town of Westport. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, October 13, 1985, p. 28.) 69. In 1944, Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus was set up at Municipal Stadium (called Ruppert Stadium at the time). It was held outside, owing to the destruction of the Big Top tent during a fire in Hartford, Connecticut, in which 167 people died. The lack of a ceiling meant that the height of the aerial and acrobatic acts could beand wasincreased. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, March 5, 1989, p. 22.) 70. When the new 6th Street Trafficway was opened on November 27, 1923, city officials did not cut a ceremonial ribbonthey drove golf balls down the new street. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, July 15, 1984, p. 19.) 71. Sale of the following products at the City Market was forbidden by city ordinance: any dry goods or clothing of any description whatever, or any glass, china or earthenware, books and stationery, or Yankee notionsnor any wines, or spirituous or fermented liquors. (Kansas City, Missouri. Charter and Revised Ordinances of Kansas City, 1898. Chapter 6, Section 502.) 72. Early in the 20th century, the poorest of the immigrants from Eastern Europeprimarily meatpacking employeeslived in a shanty town called the Patch, located in the West Bottoms between State Line and the Kaw River. (Schirmer, Sherry. Historical Overview of the Ethnic Communities in Kansas City. Kansas City: Pan-Educational Institute, 1976, part 4, p. 5.) 73. By the beginning of 1943, Kansas City had the second largest percentage of people enrolled in civilian defense programs of all cities and counties in Missouri. (Spletstoser, Frederick Marcel. A City at War: the Impact of the Second World War on Kansas City. Thesis, University of Missouri Kansas City, 1971, p. 35.) 74. From October 1902 through February 1903, the Kansas City Fire Department spent $1,876.00 on the shoeing of department horses. (Kansas City, Missouri. Department of Finance. Semi-Annual Report of the City Comptroller, 1903, p. 41.)

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75. Kansas Citians were prohibited from driving any animal attached to a sleigh unless the animal or sleigh was affixed with an appropriate number of bells sufficient to warn persons of the sleighs approach. (Kansas City, Missouri. Charter and Revised Ordinances of Kansas City. Kansas City: F.T. Riley Publishing Company, 1909. Chapter 9, Section 362.) 76. The scoreboard at Arrowhead stadium was the first to transmit instant replay. (Enich, Pete. Casey, Lawrin, and the Gang: Pete Enichs Kansas City Sports Quiz. Marceline, Missouri: Walsworth Publishing, 1990, p. 97-98.) 77. In 1880, ten years after in opened, Benton Schoollocated in the West Bottomshad an enrollment of more than 1,000 students. (DeAngelo, Dory and Jane Flynn. Kansas City Style. Kansas City: Fifield Publishing Company, 1992, p. 25.) 78. Children with dirty faces or uncombed hair were prohibited from partaking in planned activities at Holmes Square playground during the early part of the 20th century. (Mobley, Jane, and Nancy Whitnell Harris. A City Within a Park 100 Years of Parks and Boulevards in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City: Society of Landscape Architects and Kansas City Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners, 1991, p. 69.) 79. Armour Boulevard was known as Commonwealth Avenue until shortly after Kirkland Armour built his home on the street in 1893, at which point it received its current name. (DeAngelo, Dory and Jane Flynn. Kansas City Style. Kansas City: Fifield Publishing Company, 1992, p. 23.) 80. Lawrin, a horse raised by clothier Herb Woolf, was the 1938 Kentucky Derby winner and is buried at 83rd and Mission Road in Prairie Village, Kansas. (Enich, Pete. Casey, Lawrin, and the Gang: Pete Enichs Kansas City Sports Quiz. Marceline, Missouri: Walsworth Publishing, 1990, p. 89-90.) 81. A tunnel from the lower level of the Main Street (later Empire) Theater southwest corner of 14th and Mainran underneath 14 Street to the President Hotel. (Ray, Mrs. Sam. Postcard from Old Kansas City, Kansas City Times, April 24, 1987.) 82. Tivoli Gardens was Kansas Citys first amusement park, built in 1878 on the bluffs at 24th and Main that later became known as Signboard Hill, and still later became the site of the Westin Crown Center. (DeAngelo, Dory and Jane Flynn. Kansas City Style. Kansas City: Fifield Publishing Company, 1992, p. 3.) 83. Knickerbocker Place (between Amour and 36th, Broadway to Pennsylvania) was a private street until deeded to Kansas City in 1958. (DeAngelo, Dory and Jane Flynn. Kansas City Style. Kansas City: Fifield Publishing Company, 1992, p. 9.) 84. The highest point within the city limits of Kansas City is 155th and Prospect: 1,081 feet above sea level; the lowest point733 feet above sea levelis at Front Street and I-35. (Findlay, Ted and Pat Schudy Q, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, September 22, 1985, p. 28.) 85. In May of 1942, the fountains that line the entrance to City Hall were turned off as a way to support the war effort. This act saved the city $1.50 per day in electricity used to operate the circulating pumps. (Piland, Sherry and Ellen J. Uguccioni. Fountains of Kansas City. Kansas City: City of Fountains Foundation, 1985, p. 201.)

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86. The Studio Building, located on 9th and Locust, was so named because of the large number of artists and art patrons who resided there, including painter George Van Millet (founder of the paint and sketch club that eventually evolved into the Kansas City Art Institute) and composer Sir Carl Busch. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, May 11, 1986, p. 38.) 87. $98,000,000 was spent on new buildings in Kansas City between 1886 and 1889. (DeAngelo, Dory and Jane Flynn. Kansas City Style. Kansas City: Fifield Publishing Company, 1992, p. 9.) 88. By 1909, the Board of Public Works of Kansas City was authorized, by city ordinance, to publish public notices in both the English- and Germanlanguage newspapers of the area. (Kansas City, Missouri. Charter and Revised Ordinances of Kansas City. Kansas City: F.T. Riley Publishing Company, 1909. Chapter 13, Section 528.) 89. In 1964, former mayor H. Roe Bartle was named Cigar Smoker of the Year by the Missouri Association of Tobacco Distributors. Thomas Hart Benton was named Pipe Smoker of the Year for the same year by the same association. Bartle received a humidor filled with his choice of cigars; Benton received a years supply of tobacco and a set of pipes, including a Missouri corncob pipe. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, January 14, 1990, p. 34.) 90. An operating gas light stood at the intersection of Manheim Road and the Paseo until the late 1950s. Kansas City, Kansas, operated 130 gas lights as late as 1954. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, December 7, 1986, p. 10.) 91. In 1920, there were companies located in Kansas City that manufactured, among other things, the following: sheep casing; dynamite; electric suction cleaners; hearse bodies; egg whips; flue cleaning rattlers; artificial oil of mustard; mincemeat; tetanus antitoxin; and parasols. (Chamber of Commerce of Kansas City. What Kansas City Makes and Sells to the World. Kansas City: Chamber of Commerce, Department of Industries, 1920.) 92. The Pomona Fountain and courtyard outside the southwest entrance to what is now the Eddie Bauer store was once a Standard Oil Service Station. Gas pumps were located near where the fountain now stands. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, March 20, 1988, p. 30.) 93. In 1909, railroad trains traveling in the city limits were restricted to a speed of 6 mph; streetcars could travel up to 12 mph. (Kansas City, Missouri. Charter and Revised Ordinances of Kansas City. Kansas City: F.T. Riley Publishing Company, 1909. Rail: Chapter 14, Article 1, Section 654; Streetcars: Chapter 14, Article 2, Section 676.) 94. Queens of the Priests of Pallas festivals (1887-1924) were disguised and their identity never disclosed during the festival events. It was later revealed that the queens were, in fact, men. At the time, it was felt the parade and other activities would be to strenuous for a woman. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, October 30, 1983, p. 24.) 95. Hillcrest Country Club planners chose what was said to be the highest point in Jackson County when they laid out their golf course in 1915. Twenty-three years later, the course was the scene of a lightning storm that killed two

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people during the Kansas City Open. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, September 29, 1985, p. 37.) 96. In 1926, Kansas City had 800 streetcars; 30 years later it had none. (Kansas City Star, October 29, 1956.) 97. The first street to receive any sort of surfacing was Main Street, which was macadamized (covered with broken stone) just prior to the Civil War. (Kansas City Star, March 24, 1940.) 98. Kansas Citys Bowery was located on 18th Street from Flora to Highland. (Kansas City Star, July 23, 1905.) 99. Because pari-mutuel betting was illegal in Missouri, gamblers at the Riverside Racetrack bought tickets at a window labeled Donations and picked up winnings at one marked Refunds. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, August 28, 1983, p. 29.) 100. In 1927, boys attending Paseo High School were reminded of the following: hats off on entering the building; dont put them on before you are at the outer door ready to leave, even though you should see grown men violate this rule. (Student Council of Paseo High School. Handbook of the Paseo High School. Kansas City: s.l., p. 59.) 101. Some of the bands that played in Volker Park (also known as Peoples Park) in the summer of 1968 included: the Amelia Earhart Memorial Flying Band; Marshmellow [sic] Monorail; the Mystic Number National Bank; and the New Action Army. (Giangreco, Dennis. Volker Park, Peoples Park, Westport Trucker, volume 1, number 4, April 25, 1971, p. 3.) 102. In 1929, the following quantities and types of food were condemned (found unfit for human consumption) by the citys Health Department: 13,000 pounds of meat (10,000 pounds of which was sausage); 137 dozen eggs; 776 pounds of candy; 1,235 pounds of nuts; and 491 cans of vegetables. (Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City. Public Health and Welfare Committee. Health and Hospital Survey. Kansas City: Lechtman Printing Company, 1931, p. 141.) 103. The dome of the first Federal Building on Grand between 8th and 9th could be reached by a stairway. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, January 8, 1984, p. 16.) 104. In 1913 there were 554 public prostitutes in Kansas City. Money spent with these individuals totaled almost $1.5 million (over 28,000 transactions at $50 each). (Church Federation of Greater Kansas City. Public Morals Committee. Kansas Citys Shame. Kansas City: The Federation, 1913, p. 1.) 105. The Christmas Spirit was a streetcar that was decorated in holiday attire from December 1 to Christmas Day in the 1930s. The car ran every line, taking a different route each day and night, broadcasting Christmas tunes through loudspeakers. Operators dressed as Santa Claus sat at the controls. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, December 23, 1984, p. 19.) 106. In May of 1901, the only two automobiles in the city crashed into each other near the intersection of 11th and Grand. (DeAngelo, Dory and Jane Flynn. Kansas City Style. Kansas City: Fifield Publishing Company, 1992, p. 15.) 107. Located on the fourth floor of the first Federal Building on Grand between 8th and 9th were quarters for railway mail clerks, who arrived at all hours of

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the day and night and rested there before going home on the next train. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, December 18, 1988, p. 21.) 108. After the 1951 flood, the Heath Department of Kansas City administered 111,711 vaccinations to prevent typhoid fever. (Soward, James L. Hospital Hill: an Illustrated Account of Public Healthcare Institutions in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City: Truman Medical Center Charitable Foundation, 1995, p. 99.) 109. The first organized black athletic team in Kansas City was the Lawn Tennis Club of Kansas City, formed in 1887. (Enich, Pete. Casey, Lawrin, and the Gang: Pete Enichs Kansas City Sports Quiz. Marceline, Missouri: Walsworth Publishing, 1990, p. 93-94.) 110. Skidoo House, at 2nd and Oak, was so named on account of the tendency of its tenants to migrate on or about the time the rent came due. (Kansas City Star, July 23, 1905.) 111. An auction was held the opening night of the Willis Wood Theater (northwest corner of 11th and Baltimore) to determine who would be the first to traverse the theaters tunnel to the Baltimore Hotel. The winning bid by a now-anonymous patron was $35. (DeAngelo, Dory and Jane Flynn. Kansas City Style. Kansas City: Fifield Publishing Company, 1992, p. 213.) 112. The following businesses were once located on the Country Club Plaza: Krogers (groceries); Plaza Bowl (bowling alley); Woolworths; Sears Farm Store; Plaza Bird and Pet Supplies; Cook Paint and Varnish. (Worley, William. The Plaza: First and Always. Lenexa, Kansas: Addax Publishing Group, 1997.) 113. In 1965, the Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Planning departments proposed a major park to be called the Blue River Parkway, a 2,600-acre park extending from Swope Park approximately eleven miles diagonally southwest to State Line. (Kansas City, Missouri Parks Department. Proposed Major Parks, Boulevards, Parkways, and Greenways. Kansas City: Parks Department and City Planning Department, 1965, p. 53.) 114. By 1949, 86 factories were manufacturing garments in Kansas City. It was said that one in seven American women wore clothing made in Kansas City. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, September 16, 1984, p. 37.) 115. In 1939, the Kansas City Fire Department needed a new truck but did not have the $12,000 necessary to buy one. Enterprising departmental mechanics built one, in their spare time, from old parts. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, January 13, 1985, p. 19.) 116. The Standard Theater (now the Folly) was originally built with a large ball covered with lights that was attached to a flagpole at the southeast corner of the buildings roof. The ball was constructed so that it could be raised to indicate a performance was taking place. (Luce, Michael G. A History of the Standard Theater, Kansas City, Missouri: 1900-1929. Thesis, Central Missouri State University, 1981, p. 15.) 117. In November of 1958, the flute-playing angel portion of the Volker Memorial fountain began to sink into the ground. It was later repaired by Parks Department personnel. (Piland, Sherry and Ellen J. Uguccioni.

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Fountains of Kansas City. Kansas City: City of Fountains Foundation, 1985, p. 159.) 118. The Midland Hotel, 705 Walnut, built in 1888, was the first Kansas City hotel equipped with electricity. Gas jets were also on the walls, in case of a power failure. (DeAngelo, Dory and Jane Flynn. Kansas City Style. Kansas City: Fifield Publishing Company, 1992, p. 133.) 119. When Carol Burnett came to Kansas City for her role in Starlight Theaters production of Calamity Jane, she sometimes relieved the switchboard operator after rehearsals and answered incoming calls. If the caller asked about the Jane production, Burnett would give the requisite information, adding Youll love that Carol Burnettshes the greatest. (Thorne, Kathleen H. The Story of Starlight Theater. Euguen, Oregon: Generation Organization, 1993, p. 53.) 120. George C. Hale, Kansas Citys fire chief from 1882-1902, invented the sliding pole for use in fire houses. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, November 20, 1983, p. 30.) 121. The Wayne Miner housing complex was named for a Kansas City soldier who was killed in France, three hours before the end of World War I. He had volunteered to carry ammunition to a unit pinned down by enemy fire, and he died during the mission. The housing complex was demolished in 1987. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, May 3, 1987, p. 52.) 122. The Main Street Theater (later the Empire), at the southwest corner of 14th and Main, was equipped with an elevator offstage so that elephants could be brought up from the animal room, which also had a pool for seals. (Maier, Ray. History of I.A.T.S.E. Local No. 31. Kansas City: International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, 1995, p. 35.) 123. Beginning on October 20, 1961, the Midland Theater opened as an exhibition bowling alley. To create the alley, seats were removed and the alleys cut into the stage. The bowling venture lasted three months. (Maier, Ray. History of I.A.T.S.E. Local No. 31. Kansas City: International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, 1995, p. 68.) 124. Rather than use the traditional basket-on-an-overhead-wire for cash transactions, Ike Katz installed a cash register at every counter in his Katz drugstores. Crowds kept the registers so busy that their wooden drawers wore out in one week. So, Katz ordered registers specially made with steel drawers, which he believed were the first of their kind. (Fowler, Richard. Leaders in Our Town. Kansas City: Burd and Fletcher, 1952, p. 239.) 125. Major Samuel R. Curtis watched the Battle of Westport along Brush Creek on October 23, 1864, from the roof of the Harris House, a hotel located on the northeast corner of Westport Road and Pennsylvania. Other guests who visited the hotel included Senator Thomas Hart Benton, author Washington Irving, and Horace Greeley. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, October 22, 1985, p. 29.) 126. During the heyday of downtown, eleven mammoth crowns spanned major intersections as part of Christmas decorations. The Country Club Plaza lights were turned on the evening of Thanksgiving, while downtown lights were turned on the Friday after. On the following Monday, a parade was held in

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downtown to officially open the holiday season. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, November 18, 1984, p. 36.) 127. The ballroom floor of the Pla-Mor, 3142 Main, was laid atop more than 7,000 hair felt spring cushions with a give of a quarter-inch. (DeAngelo, Dory and Jane Flynn. Kansas City Style. Kansas City: Fifield Publishing Company, 1992, p. 159.) 128. Kansas City had nearly 100 motion picture theaters in 1910; two-thirds of these were in residential neighborhoods. (DeAngelo, Dory and Jane Flynn. Kansas City Style. Kansas City: Fifield Publishing Company, 1992, p. 139.) 129. In 1939, approximately 78,000 passengers passed through Municipal Airport; ten years later that number had ballooned to almost 848,000. (Spletstoser, Frederick Marcel. A City at War: the Impact of the Second World War on Kansas City. Thesis, University of Missouri Kansas City, 1971, p. 98.) 130. During one of the performances of the historical revue Thrills of a Centuryproduced to commemorate Kansas Citys centennial, and the inaugural show of Starlight Theatera team of oxen hitched to a 600-lb cart broke loose, thundered across the stage, and crashed into new cars on loan to the pageant by a local car dealer. (Thorne, Kathleen H. The Story of Starlight Theater. Eugene, Oregon: Generation Organization, 1993, p. 7.) 131. When the new General Hospital #2the citys hospital for the black population-- opened in 1930, there was neither natural nor artificial ventilation for the morgue, located on the ground floor. A second morgue, built in the basement of the adjoining nurses building, required transport of cadavers across the hospital lawn and down a flight of steps. Unpleasant odors, arising during post-mortem examinations, penetrated into the nurses living quarters. (Soward, James L. Hospital Hill: an Illustrated Account of Public Healthcare Institutions in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City: Truman Medical Center Charitable Foundation, 1995, p. 84-85.) 132. In 1915, while waiting for completion of the tuberculosis hospital at Leeds, patients lived in a colony of tents on the hospital grounds. (Soward, James L. Hospital Hill: an Illustrated Account of Public Healthcare Institutions in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City: Truman Medical Center Charitable Foundation, 1995, p. 49.) 133. Kansas Citys Welfare Department, organized in April, 1910, was the first full public department of welfare in the United States. To keep it apolitical, the city government gave the responsibility for running the department to a citizen board, members of which served without compensation. (Haskell, Henry C. and Richard B. Fowler. City of the Future. Kansas City: F. Glenn Publishing Co., 1950, p. 111-13.) 134. On the evening of December 24, 1855, the Missouri River froze over. For the following month, the river was used as a highway for teams of horses, mules, and oxen. (Kansas City Enterprise, January 26, 1856.) 135. Floats in the Priests of Pallas parades were built on streetcars, thus the parades followed streetcar routes. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, October 16, 1988, p. 29.) 136. In 1872, a smallpox epidemic struck Kansas City. A pest house was established on an island in the Missouri River, opposite the East Bottoms. When fire destroyed the quarantine buildings, the pest house was moved to

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another sandbar island in the river opposite Bluff Street, near the West Bottoms. That island washed away in 1877. (Soward, James L. Hospital Hill: an Illustrated Account of Public Healthcare Institutions in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City: Truman Medical Center Charitable Foundation, 1995, p. 16.) 137. Shortly after it began publishing in 1880, the Kansas City Star became known colloquially as The Little Twinkler. (Kansas City Times, August 19, 1941.) 138. Peoples Pop, a canned soft drink, was sold15 cents a canat concerts and other events by the Mother Love Tribe of Westport. Proceeds from sale of the drink went to the organizations bust fund. (Watch the Honkeys Next Door Sweat, Westport Trucker, volume 2, number 5, June, 1971, p. 3.) 139. Mail came to Westport on a weekly basis in 1845, and was often kept in the pocket of postmaster W.W. Clark. (Kansas City Times, August 26, 1895.) 140. The summer of 1936 was a record-setter: on August 14, the temperature hit 113 , the highest temperature ever recorded in Kansas City. Temperatures soared to the 100 mark or higher on 53 days. Virtually no one had air conditioning; people sought relief by driving to Swope or Penn Valley Park and spending the night outdoors. (Kansas City Times, August 14, 1986, p. A1, col. 2.) 141. McClures Flats, at 19th and McGee, was generally known as The Incubator because of the large number of children who resided there. (Kansas City Star, July 23, 1905.) 142. The first telephone operators in Kansas City were boys. (Kansas City Times, January 1, 1924.) 143. A nine-hole golf course was once laid out in the area where Westport High School now stands, with the ninth hole located at 36th and Gillham. It was rather rough, as golfers were often bothered by cows grazing on the greens. (DeAngelo, Dory and Jane Flynn. Kansas City Style. Kansas City: Fifield Publishing Company, 1992, p. 111.) 144. Dr. Isaac M. Ridge, Civil War-era physician in Kansas City, maintained a neutral stance during the conflict. Despite this, soldiers so mistrusted him that they would lead him blindfolded to the locals where there were wounded men. (Soward, James L. Hospital Hill: an Illustrated Account of Public Healthcare Institutions in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City: ruman Medical Center Charitable Foundation, 1995, p. 6.) 145. The Standard (later the Folly) Theater was Kansas Citys first air conditioned theater. In August of 1909, theater owners cooled the house with fans that blew air across huge blocks of ice into pipes, which took the air to all parts of the audience. (Luce, Michael G. A History of the Standard Theater, Kansas City, Missouri: 1900-1929. Thesis, Central Missouri State University, 1981, p. 37.) 146. Troost Avenue, from 26th to 32nd, was known in the 1890s as Millionaires Row, because of the wealthy people living in mansions along the street. (DeAngelo, Dory and Jane Flynn. Kansas City Style. Kansas City: Fifield Publishing Company, 1992, p. 135.) 147. To reshape the hillside that is surrounded by the Westin Crown Center hotel lobby, 400,000 cubic yards of rock and shale were removed. (Piland,

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Sherry and Ellen J. Uguccioni. Fountains of Kansas City. Kansas City: City of Fountains Foundation, 1985, p. 185.) 148. The Kansas City Speedway, located at 95th and Troost, was a 1-mile oval automobile racing track, made of wood. It was only open for two years (19221924), closing because the track was breaking up. (Doohan, John J. Album, Kansas City Star, Star Magazine, May 27, 1984, p. 22.) 149. First reports of Spanish influenza in late 1918 came from the armysponsored Sweeny Motoring School, across the street from Union Station. Within 24 hours, 170 cases developed followed by 500 in the next 48 hours, and 800 by the following week. During the last four months of 1918, a total of 1,865 Kansas Citians died form influenza and pneumonia. (McShane, Kevin C. The 1918 Kansas City Influenza Epidemic, Missouri Historical Review, volume 63, number 1, October 1968.) 150. Architect Louis S. Curtiss lived in an apartment in the building next door to the Empress Theater (northwest corner of 12th and McGee), and had a door cut from his apartment directly into a box at the theater. (DeAngelo, Dory and Jane Flynn. Kansas City Style. Kansas City: Fifield Publishing Company, 1992, p. 79.)

Prepared by former Missouri Valley Special Collections librarian Stuart Hinds for the sesquicentennial in 2000.

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