Sonny Gibson likes to let history speak for itself. He spent 25 years visiting flea markets, poring over old newspapers, digging through archives and even knocking on people's doors, all to gather information about the daily lives of African-Americans in Kansas City in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Union Cemetery in Kansas City, MO is the city’s oldest public cemetery. It serves as the final resting place for some of the area’s early pioneers, civic leaders and veterans. On this broadcast of Up to Date, we look at this "hidden gem in the middle of a busy city" and the new book that tells the story of Union Cemetery.
Since winning the American League wild-card game against the Oakland A's and sweeping the Los Angeles Angels in the Division Series, the Kansas City Royals have brought a big shot of hope back into the metro area.
When historians hope to uncover a new wrinkle in the past, they usually head to an archive. They dig through boxes and folders containing photographs, letters and other artifacts, looking for something that sheds new light on the past. Here are a few little-known gems, selected by Kansas City archivists.
Kansas City is full of beautiful old homes, albeit in need of a little TLC. Investing in a home that's listed on a historic register or located in a historic neighborhood brings a closer connection to the city and its history, as well as a unique set of challenges.
Eds note: This look at the Missouri-Kansas state line is part of KCUR's months-long examination of how geographic borders affect our daily lives in Kansas City. KCUR will go Beyond Our Bordersand spark a community conversation through social outreach and innovative journalism.
We will share the history of these lines, how the borders affect the current Kansas City experience and what’s being done to bridge or dissolve them.
One of the names most closely associated with Kansas City is J.C. Nichols-- for good or bad.
On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk about this creator of the Country Club Plaza and what his critics say about him. We also examine what the city gained – and some say lost – due to the efforts of this one man.
The social unrest in Ferguson, Mo., following the police shooting of Michael Brown has sparked national conversations about issues stemming from racial and socioeconomic tension. But this isn't the first time these issues have reached a fever pitch.
About four and a half decades ago, in a stunningly brief period of years, Kansas City built major public structures for air travelers, conventioneers and sports fans. All survive today, but one of them, sitting in the West Bottoms, is underutilized compared to the others.
If you've ever noticed plaques in Kansas City's Westport district describing Civil War-era events, then you have at least a little background on the Battle of Westport, a series of battles that ended in a decisive Union victory and emancipation for slaves in Missouri.
Over forty years ago, Horace Peterson III started collecting relics of Kansas City-area history in the trunk of his car.
That collection grew into the Black Archives of Mid-America, a research facility, museum and community gathering space now located at 1722 E. 17th Terrace in the historic 18th and Vine Jazz District in Kansas City, Mo.
A bumper sticker advertising the first documented Juneteenth celebration in Kansas City is a part of the collection honoring the 40th anniversary of the Black Archives of Mid-America. Juneteenth celebrations remember June 19, 1865, the day the last slaves heard about the Emancipation Proclamation.
The Black Archives of Mid-America has provided a place to learn about African-American history in Kansas City, Mo., for the past four decades.
And during that time, it has amassed a vast collection of papers, photographs and even physical structures to show what life was like as a black Kansas Citian.
As the organization celebrates its 40th anniversary this week, we wanted to know more about the types of materials in the collection that started in 1974, when Horace Peterson III founded the Black Archives.
For decades, Troost Avenue has symbolized racial separation, income disparity and vast differences in home value as well as frequency of crime. But it's only a street. And at one time, it happened to be quite a prosperous street.
Hosted by Monroe Dodd, this discussion explores the specific decisions, both national and local, that laid the groundwork for Troost's transformation into a major metropolitan divide. Personal stories from a longtime resident contribute to this conversation.
1940 was a pivotal year for Kansas City. Tom Pendergast’s rule through corruption and debauchery had crumbled, leaving the new local government to reform a city hungry for jazz and liquor.
On Thursday's Up to Date, we examine how Kansas City was different in the World War II era. On the way, we take a look at how the “Paris of the Plains” changed from a den of iniquity to the city we know today.
There’s a community of more than 4,000 people that sits barely two miles away from Kansas City’s Downtown. It has its own mayor and city agencies and a major hospital, and it’s more than a century old. We're talking about North Kansas City, all 4.4 square miles of it.
On Friday's Central Standard, Monroe Dodd chats with two longtime residents of the city about the history of this town-within-a-town.
Do the ghosts of Jesse James, Cole Younger, and Annie Chambers still haunt us? What about the apparitions of Carrie Nation and Tom Pendergast?
These folks all have one thing in common — they're all buried right here in Kansas City. So, for a brief moment, let's resurrect these long-slumbering souls and explore the fascinating lives of some of Kansas City's famous dead:
One hundred fifty years ago the country was midway through the Civil War, and back then, Second Baptist Church was a mission known as a "Stragglers Camp" located on the south banks of the Missouri River.
These days, the church at 3620 E. 39th Street is reaching out to deal with crime and a high unemployment rate, and it's about to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s March on Washington.
The senior pastors of Second Baptist have enjoyed long tenures.Over the last 150 years, the church has been led by just eight head preachers.
Imagine a Kansas City covered by ice sheets, oceans that ebb and flow, or lush rain forests with soaring ferns and palm trees.
These were some of the different landscapes that covered this area millions of years ago. UMKC geosciences professor emeritus Richard Gentile says we learn all this by “reading the rocks” beneath our feet.
Three years ago, Kansas City police re-opened one of the most vexing cold cases in local history. It was the 1970 murder of politician and civil rights leader Leon Jordan. The case was re-opened after an investigation by Kansas City Star reporters Mike McGraw and Glenn Rice. McGraw told us what one of the original detectives told him about the 40-year-old case.
“'I can’t remember a case with less info, more blind alleys, more possible motives, and more possible suspects than the Leon Jordan murder,'” said McGraw, quoting detective Lloyd DeGraffenreid.
Walt Bodine has been a ubiquitous voice for Kansas City over the years, but he's also been a face as well. In these human-interest shorts that he did for KMBC starting in 1982, Walt reaches out to Kansas City by doing what he does best: telling stories and sharing information.