Kansas History

Creative Commons, Wikimedia

Her children's books shaped ideas about the Midwestern experience for multiple generations worldwide. She's been gone more than sixty years, but her influence remains strong; even now, fans and scholars attend a yearly Laurapalooza festival in her honor. Her autobiography has just recently been published, but good luck finding a copy. The first print run has sold out and the second will not even fill existing orders.

Kansas Historical Society

The Rev. Thomas Johnson was a character in history who had many friends and foes, and his murder 150 years ago remains unsolved to this day.

Johnson established the Shawnee Indian Mission, a now national historic site in modern day Fairway, Kan.

His legacy lives on, even though you have probably never heard of him — he is the namesake of Johnson County, Kansas.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Right in the center of downtown Kansas City, Kan., between the public library and government buildings just off Minnesota Avenue, is a little two-acre cemetery.

The sign reads "Huron Indian Cemetery," but it’s also known as the Wyandot National Burying Ground. Over the years this place has been a gathering spot and a sacred place for members of the Wyandot Nation, but it has also been the site of controversy, confusion and a curse.

Tumblr - SubTropolis / Hunt Midwest

You'd never find it by just looking around, but beneath the grounds of Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun is one of the largest systems of underground businesses in the country. 

City of Lenexa / Facebook

As the summer winds down, area festivals ramp up. Celebrating everything from the Spanish and French influence to the pioneers to Popeye’s favorite vegetable, you can go to a different event every weekend now through October.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we look at the origins of fairs and festivals in our region. We learn about the earliest one in Kansas City then turn our attention to current ones, such as the Lenexa Spinach Festival, Santa-Cali-Gon and the Grand Fete du Chez le Canses.

City of Lenexa / Facebook

Fall festival season is upon us, and the Kansas City area is gearing up for a busy couple of months. We've gathered up a few of the many celebrations that focus on local history and harvest time.

Lenexa Spinach Festival, Sept. 6 at Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park in Lenexa, Kan.
History exhibits, craft fair, massive spinach salad, cooking demos

A Kansas agency is urging black families talk to sit down and interview their family members on Friday. The Kansas African American Affairs Commission is calling the oral history project called “New Black Friday.”

Pioneers' Hardship In Eastern Kansas

Sep 5, 2013
R-Cleland / Flickr - CC

Traveling to a new land, a place one has never been before can be nerve-wracking. More so when that land is uninhabited, undiscovered, and there is no support system other than your family and those traveling with you. In the case of settlers moving west, sometimes the only place for them to express themselves--their thoughts, their emotions--was their journals.

Beth Lipoff/KCUR

Go to enough Kansas and Missouri historical spots, and you'll find many of them are steeped in the history of the Civil War.

Susan B. Wilson / KCUR

Blacks and Jews have historically had a complicated relationship in the United States.  And it’s perhaps the most evident when they claim the same religion, or historical ancestry. The development of Black Israelite or Black Jewish faith has its roots in Kansas, according to the book The Chosen People: The Rise of American Black Israelite Religions by University of Kansas history and American studies professor, Jacob Dorman.


Truman Capote's book, "In Cold Blood" showcased a quadruple murder case in southwestern Kansas, becoming one of the most famous true crime books ever.

A family of serial killers who were never caught...a fortune left buried along the banks of a creek by the Dalton gang...and orphans shipped from New York for a “good” life on the prairie.

Sitting on the Old Santa Fe Trail, the town of Shawnee Mission was originally that: a mission for members of the Shawnee tribe who were transplanted from their native territory.