This Week in Kansas City History

All Library locations will be closed on Monday, September 1, in observance of Labor Day.

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.


Kidnapped!

Mary McElroy. Photo courtesy The Kansas City Star

May 27, 1933: Mary McElroy, daughter of city manager and member of the Pendergast political machine Henry McElroy, is kidnapped from her Kansas City home, only to be released after 34 hours and a $30,000 ransom is paid.


Take One

Laugh-O-Gram Studio where Walt Disney worked

May 23, 1922: The Missouri secretary of state issues a certificate of incorporation for Walt Disney’s new animation studio, Laugh-O-gram Films, Inc., founded with $15,000 of other investors' money.


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.