On August 17, 1927, a jubilant crowd of 25,000 gathered at the site of the present-day Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport to listen to speeches given by Charles Lindbergh and city officials in order to dedicate Municipal Airport. Several Kansas City leaders, including a previously-skeptical City Manager Henry F. McElroy, had flown in from old Richards Field in Raytown and landed on the soggy turf known as "Peninsula field," just north of downtown Kansas City.
Lou Holland standing by a seated Ike Morrell at Kansas City's air mail dedication at Richards Field, May 1926. 94-year-old Morrell was a guest of honor, the oldest postmaster in the state, from Notch, MO. Richard's Field was located at the southeast corner of Gregory Boulevard and Blue Ridge Boulevard in Raytown, Missouri. Source: Lou Holland Aviation Collection, courtesy of the Kansas City Museum.
Letter from Harry S. Truman in Independence, Missouri to his wife Bess in Biloxi, Mississippi. In this particularly revealing letter, Truman provides a detailed update on politics in Jackson County and says, "I have talked to T.J. [Tom Pendergast] and to Jim [James Pendergast] over the phone. T.J. is much better and gave me to understand that I could do as I pleased with the county."
Letter from Kansas City realtor Myron A. King to Senator Harry S. Truman. King informs Truman on King's and Lou Holland's involvement in choosing a site for a new Kansas City airport. King discusses the two locations: the Grandview site and the Greenwood site.
Letter from Senator Harry S. Truman to Shannon C. Douglass in which Truman informs Douglass that he has met with Lou Holland. Holland recommends that "Kansas City take over both air plane landing fields - the one at Grandview and also the one at Greenwood."
Letter from Senator Harry S. Truman to Lou Holland in which Truman laments that "our paths cross but never meet." Although in Kansas City while Holland was in Washington, Truman will once again be in Kansas City on Thursday and he hopes to meet with Holland then.
Letter from Lou Holland to Harry S. Truman in which Holland expresses his appreciation for Truman's actions concerning "the WHB Radio Station matter." Holland remains cryptic in his prose and mentions he would like to meet with Truman to "discuss the Nichols matter" after the November 1940 election.
Letter from Lou Holland to Senator Harry S. Truman in which Holland informs Truman that he will not be able to meet with him while in Washington, D.C.. Holland then updates Truman on his meetings with J. C. Nichols concerning the construction of sulphuric, ammonia, TNT, and smokeless powder plants in the Greater Kansas City area.
Letter from Senator Harry S. Truman to Grandview, Missouri Mayor Gared H. Murray in which Truman informs Murray that he has met with Lou Holland. Holland recommends that "Kansas City take over both air plane landing fields - the one at Grandview and also the one at Greenwood."
In the 1920s, air travel was new and uncertain. City booster Lou Holland, one of the first to see its possibilities, became the "Father of Kansas City Aviation" when he helped establish Kansas City's first municipal airport.