This Week in Kansas City History

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.


Tripping the Light Fantastic, and Then Some

Postcard view of the second Electric  Park

May 19, 1907: More than 53,000 people attend the opening day of the newly relocated Electric Park at 46th and The Paseo, which features a bowling alley, Living Statuary, bandstand, alligator farm, swimming pool, dance pavilion, and a roller coaster.


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.


Heeding the Call

Chester Arthur Franklin

May 6, 1919: Chester Franklin publishes the first edition of the Kansas City Call, a weekly newspaper and will go on to advocate for Kansas City’s African American community.


Kansas City Public Library Beta