THE PENDERGAST YEARS

Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression

19th Amendment Centennial

Ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment recognized women's constitutional right to vote. After achieving longtime goals of suffrage and Prohibition, politically active women in Kansas City pivoted to other issues and frequently found themselves in contention with the Pendergast organization. The women's suffrage movement and ensuing reform efforts are explored on the Pendergast Years website and in other resources from the Kansas City Public Library and regional partners.

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Donnelly Garment Company interior

The history of the Donnelly Garment Company and its battle with the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) is one that defies conventional understandings of American life in the Great Depression. It is a story of a female entrepreneur succeeding in an era of economic paralysis, and one of a union failing to organize a factory in a period when workers won substantive rights. ILGWU president David Dubinsky, Nell Donnelly Reed, and Senator James A. Reed were the principal figures in a contest to organize a single garment factory, a legal battle that came to represent much larger questions.

KANSAS CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY | DIGITAL HISTORY
Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict,1855-1865.
The Pendergast Years, Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression.
KC History, Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Kansas City Public Library.