This Week in Kansas City History

Whittaker's Chambers

Supreme Court justice Charles Evans Whittaker

February 22, 1901: Charles Evans Whittaker, who will go on to become the first person from Kansas or Missouri to serve on the Supreme Court, is born on a farm near Troy, Kansas.


Last Night at the Opera House

Coates  Opera House

January 31, 1901: Fire spreads through the Coates Opera House, the center of high society life in Kansas City, damaging it so badly that it will not reopen.


The Wight Stuff

Nelson Art Gallery Exterior

January 22, 1882: William D. Wight, who, along with his brother Thomas, will create the architecture firm of Wight & Wight that will leave a neoclassical look on such famous Kansas City landmarks as the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Jackson County Courthouse, and City Hall, is born in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


Ringing in the New

Construction view of Convention Hall, 1900

December 31, 1900: Fifteen thousand of Kansas City's elite brave the cold to usher in the new century at Convention Hall. In just 50 years, the region that is now greater Kansas City had grown from a few small towns into a thriving metropolitan area of 268,000.


Strange Bedfellows

Nell Donnelly

December 16, 1931: Nell Donnelly, a Kansas City dress manufacturer, and her chauffeur, George Blair, are kidnapped and held hostage in a cottage near Bonner Springs, Kansas, only to be released two days later without paying ransom.


Kansas City Public Library Beta