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This installment of “What’s Your KCQ” is a story of gambling, gangsters, and geography. Reader William Renegar wanted to know, “Was there once a gambling establishment on Southwest Boulevard on the state line that was part in Kansas and part in Missouri?” There’s a story in his family about a relative, Fred Renegar, who supposedly ran a saloon on the state line before he was killed by the mob over an unsettled debt. His murder was never solved. William Renegar wondered if there was any truth to it. Our findings indicate: Yes, it’s all true.
This week marks 43 years since Ralph Steadman visited a muggy Kansas City to cover the 1976 Republican National Convention for Rolling Stone magazine. Twelve of Steadman’s inimitable drawings ultimately were published alongside John Dean’s first-person story, “Rituals of the Herd.” Six of them - and six more Steadman illustrations from his time in Kansas City - are part of the traveling exhibit, Ralph Steadman: A Retrospective, on display at the Library’s Central Library through September 8, 2019.
In 2016, the Library marked the 40th anniversary of the ’76 Convention with a special exhibit, Republican Showdown in Kansas City, which included several pieces from the Library’s Missouri Valley Special Collections. The MVSC houses a number of artifacts from the convention and, in conjunction with its 43rd anniversary and the Steadman retrospective, we thought we’d showcase a bit of both.
Is Kansas City the home of baseball's original fans? The almanac On This Day in America credits a local newspaper, presumably The Star or The Times, with making the first-ever reference to the sport's followers as "fans" in March 1889. We investigated the claim.
The Library is currently migrating its large collection of digital historic images to a new software platform. An unfortunate consequence of our data migration is that we need to take the entire collection offline for about two months while the work is completed.