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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Benny Moten Band

When people think of Kansas City jazz in the 1920s and ‘30s, certain images come to mind: political corruption, gangster activity, and music that catered to and benefited from this type of environment. But vice and corruption were not the only elements that made the city a center of innovative music. The black middle and upper classes also supported the music and the musicians, especially at dance halls such as the Paseo Hall. And there were black organizations such as the NAACP, men’s groups like the Elks Lodge, and ladies’ groups like the 12 Charity Girls, who organized formal dances to raise funds for various institutions in the community.

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.