KC history

Patrick Quick / KCUR

If you lived in Kansas City when the 20th century began, you knew the name of Thomas Swope. If for no other reason, you had heard of the massive park he gave to the city. Probably, you had picnicked and played in its 1,300 acres. If you kept up with the city’s moneyed elite, you knew that the multimillionaire Swope stood in the top rank.

When Swope died in 1909 at age 81, Kansas Citians by the thousands paid their respects as his body lay in state in the rotunda of the public library. They lined the streets to watch the funeral procession to Grace Cathedral.

Wichita State University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives

As we continue our long-term exploration of lines that unite and divide our metro, a project we call Beyond our Borders, we’re turning an eye to the border between Wyandotte and Johnson Counties in Kansas.

Long noted for their differences (and rivalry), Wyandotte was at one time, at least in part, Johnson County.

The making of a state

Ecjmartin1 / Wikimedia Commons

For nearly 200 years, Jackson County has been home to followers of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. Today, thousands of members visit the Community of Christ Temple in Independence, Mo., which is a sacred destination for the faithful.

But if you take a look back at the early days of Mormonism, peace and joy weren't in abundance, as militia forces, settlers and the state fought against the church for nearly a decade.

The beginnings of Mormonism

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Ernesto and Lupe Arvizu didn't know they were living next door to a sacred burial ground when they first moved to the Argentine neighborhood in Kansas City, Kan., 20 years ago.

White Feather Spring is a national historic site that memorializes the lesser known Shawnee Prophet, Tenskwatawa, who spent the last years of his life in KCK.

Between 1890 and 1915,  Kansas City's parks and boulevards rescued the city from the title of "filthiest city in America."  On this Up To Date, we talk about the city's transformation.


  • Dona Boley, co-author, Kansas City’s Parks and Boulevards.
  • Mark McHenry, Director of Parks and Recreation for Kansas City, Mo.

Heeere Comes Woody!

Aug 14, 2012

On this Tuesday's Central Standard, a look at the history of greyhound racing in Kansas City, with the familiar voice behind “HEEERE COMES WOODY!”