This Week in Kansas City History

Hail to the Chief

H. Roe Bartle, 1938

May 8, 1974: H. Roe Bartle, a charismatic Boy Scout executive, public speaker, lawyer, and two-term mayor of Kansas City, dies in Kansas City.


Shades of Gray

Civil War Flag

April 30, 1861: A Confederate flag is raised in Kansas City, prompting Mayor Robert T. Van Horn to call in Union troops from Fort Leavenworth for support.


Exodusters Mark the Spot

"Negro Exodusters en route to Kansas, fleeing from the yellow fever, " Photomural from engraving. Harpers Weekly, 1870. Historic American Building Survey Field Records, HABS FN-6, #KS -49-11 Prints and Photographs Division (106)

April 25, 1879: The Wyandotte Commercial Gazette reports that more than 1,000 destitute people have arrived in Wyandotte City, most of them freed slaves drawn by Kansas' reputation as a free state.


To Promote the General Welfare

William Volker

April 14, 1910: The City Council passes an ordinance drafted by the shy philanthropist, William Volker, which creates the nation’s first Board of Public Welfare.


And Then It Happened

Swope Park Swimming Pool

April 9, 1968: With tensions high after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., riots break out in Kansas City, leaving seven people dead and nearly 100 buildings damaged.


Kansas City Public Library Beta