This Week in Kansas City History

All Library locations will be closed on Sunday, April 20, in observance of the Easter holiday.

Starry, Starry Nights

Starlight Theatre

June 25, 1951: Kansas City’s Starlight Theatre kicks off its first season with a performance of The Desert Song.


Mothers of Mercy

Children’s Mercy Hospital

June 1, 1897: Dr. Alice Berry Graham rescues a crippled child whose mother is trying to give her away, inspiring Graham and sister Dr. Katharine Berry Richardson to found Children’s Mercy Hospital.


Dr. Hyde and Mr. Swope

Thomas Swope

May 16, 1910: Doctor Bennett Clark Hyde is found guilty of murder after philanthropist Thomas H. Swope and several of his family members die following Hyde’s purchase of cyanide capsules and test tubes of typhoid cultures.


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.


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.