This Week in Kansas City History

Cool Operator

Elmer F. Pierson

August 27, 1896:Elmer F. Pierson, who, with brother John, will found the Vendo company, market the first reliable Coca-Cola vending machines, and dominate the vending machine industry, is born in Kansas City.


His Own Man

Harry S.  Truman

February 2, 1940: Despite the downfall of the Pendergast political machine, Senator Harry S. Truman decides to run for the Senate again in Missouri while at a meeting in the Hotel President in Kansas City.


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.


Plane Speaking

Kansas City International Airport

November 21, 1972: Built at a cost of $250 million, Kansas City International Airport opens, featuring an innovative "Drive to Your Gate" design.


The Show Must Go On

George Warder, a lawyer and real estate investor who moved to Kansas City in 1878

October 26, 1887: The unfinished Warder Grand Theater opens with a production of Othello starring Edwin Booth; the determined audience sits in borrowed chairs without a roof or heat.