Pendergast Years

Post Date: Thu, November 30, 2017

The Kansas City Public Library is featured in the latest C-SPAN Cities Tour, which highlights the history and literary life of a selected city.  Producers spent time with the Library in examining the history of the Stockyards District and the 1920s and '30s era in which local political boss Tom Pendergast was at the height of power. The segments aired the weekend of December 2-3, 2017, and videos are available to view online.

Post Date: Tue, August 27, 2019

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.

Post Date: Tue, February 27, 2018

The Library recently launched its newest historical website, The Pendergast Years: Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression, a digital trove of photos, letters, documents, and original articles illuminating the wide-open era of the 1920s and ’30s when “Boss Tom” Pendergast ruled city politics, corruption was rampant., and violence, stoked by Prohibition, was commonplace.

Post Date: Wed, October 11, 2017

The Kansas City Public Library, National World War I Museum and Memorial, and Kansas City Museum offered a unique glimpse into our city’s past by organizing a “history crawl” walking tour along a portion of the Main Street corridor downtown. The approximately two-mile tour, led by preservation consultant and architectural historian Cydney Millstein, began at the Central Library near 10th and Main, and wrapped up at the Liberty Memorial at the National World War I Museum.