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A letter from International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) Kansas City Joint Board Manager Wave Tobin to Fred L. Smith of Gayfers Dept. Store, Mobile, Alabama. Tobin urges Smith to inform the Donnelly Garment Company that Gayfers Dept. Store will no longer carry Donnelly garments. Tobin also outlines her grievances with the Donnelly Garment Company and presents her case to Smith.

Date: 
February 6th 1939

In this legal complaint, Paul F. Broderick, Acting Regional Director of the Seventeenth Region of the National Labor Relations Board, details the charges made against the Donnelly Garment Company by the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Broderick lists thirteen points in which the Donnelly Garment Company violates the National Labor Relations Board Rules and Regulations.

Date: 
April 6th 1939

Letter from John T. Harding to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, discussing corruption in the city and county government, as well as the local police department. He tells Stark that until he enacts new laws, "Kansas City will be at the mercy of the Organization. The Police Department is their gun; as long as they have it, they will make us step around." Harding also suggests that the Pendergast Machine has control over nearly every aspect of the city, "except the sewer system," and indicates that he believes most policemen are good and only acting on orders from above.

Date: 
May 5th 1939

Letter from George E. Kimball to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, discussing corruption in public service. Kimball identifies himself as "a former judge of the Jackson County Court, a former City Comtroller of Kansas City, and a Republican candidate for Mayor of Kansas in 1930." He writes to recommend Fred H. Carlson as trustworthy, "clean in his private life as well as his public service," and "highly in favor of taking the police department out of the hands of the corrupt political machine here in Kansas City."

Date: 
June 8th 1939

Letter from M. E. Hartman to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, unenforce rape and other crimes occurring in Kansas City.

Date: 
August 10th 1939

Letter from Grover Childers to Governor Lloyd C. Stark reporting on current activities of the Pendergast machine, and opinions about Stark's efforts to clean up the police department. Childers also reports that President Roosevelt "is not in sympathy with political machines that defeat the public in elections."

Date: 
March 30th 1939

Letter from E. A. Brambwell to Governor Lloyd C. Stark, describing Jackson County political happenings, including the ouster of Sheriff Williams.

Date: 
May 9th 1939

Letter from Grover Childers to Governor Lloyd C. Stark regarding the Circuit Court in Jackson County, "and the fact that it is the seat of power behind the Pendergast machine."

Date: 
May 27th 1939

An update to the Kansas City Anti-Vice Society about improvements in Kansas City vice conditions, from Nat Spencer, secretary. He reports that "a great many shacks of houses formerly used for disreputable purposes are torn down," "indecent shows are receiving the attention of the vice squad," and "public gambling houses are closed."

Date: 
September 28th 1939

Letter from Louis DeYoung to Tax Commissioner Jack Statpleton, asking if Governor Lloyd Stark would be able to speak at an upcoming meeting of the Reserve officer's Association.

Date: 
November 9th 1939

Letter from I. N. Watson to Jesse Barrett describing his attempts to counteract and prosecute voting fraud during the 1936 election in Kansas City.

Date: 
November 29th 1939

Transcript of testimony given by Thomas J. Pendergast Jr. in the office of the Intelligence Unit of the Internal Revenue Service at 1301 Oak Street, Kansas City, Missouri. Internal Revenue Agent P. J. McGrath asks various questions related to Thomas J. Pendergast Jr.'s finances starting in 1932.

Date: 
April 18th 1939

Letter from Harry S. Truman at the Pickwick Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri to his wife Bess in Buena Vista, Colorado. In this letter, Truman updates Bess on his return to Kansas City and his speech there. Of his associates, he noted that "Mr. [Bennett C.] Clark accepted but failed to appear as usual. Told Jim P. [Pendergast] he'd be in this afternoon but didn't come."

Date: 
August 23rd 1939

Letter from William A. Kitchen to Senator Harry S. Truman in which Kitchen discusses the matter of a new Judge for the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Kitchen asserts that the court needs a judge from Missouri as it does not currently have a Missouri judge that can devote their time to hearing cases. Kitchen then recommends Charlie Carr for the position and asks Truman to pass this recommendation on to Bennett C. Clark and President Roosevelt.

Date: 
January 26th 1939

Letter from William A. Kitchen to Senator Harry S. Truman in which Kitchen warns that Democrats might have a difficult election in 1940 because of recent events in Congress. Kitchen suggests that Truman address some of these issues ahead of the 1940 campaign. Included is a reproduction of an article from the Armstrong Herald on February 16, 1939.

Date: 
February 18th 1939

Letter from William A. Kitchen to Senator Harry S. Truman in which Kitchen informs Truman that he spoke with Col. Bob Walton of Armstrong, Missouri. After explaining Truman's side of the story concerning the WPA issue, Kitchen reports that Walton agrees with Truman, but is still worried about the Democratic party in the 1940 campaign.

Date: 
March 25th 1939

A letter from The Forward Kansas City Committee to Kansas City mayor Bryce B. Smith. Committee chairman J. W. Perry urges Smith to dismiss Fred Bellemere, City Counsellor; Jerry J. Ryan, Director of Welfare Department; Preble Hall, Director of the Personnel Department; W. J. Teefey, Commissioner of Purchases and Supplies; and Matthew S. Murray, Director of Public Works. Perry outlines how the aforementioned staff is affiliated with the Pendergast machine and states that they must be dismissed to gain public confidence.

Date: 
May 31st 1939

Letter from Dr. A. Sophian to James V. Bennett, director of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, regarding Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295. Sophian writes that he has been Pendergast's doctor, and writes that he has advised Pendergast to smoke "denicotinized cigarettes in moderation" to avoid aggravating his heart disease, and asks that he be permitted these special cigarettes in the penitentiary where otherwise only ordinary cigarettes are available.

Date: 
May 24th 1939

Letter from Lewis J. Grout, Chief U.S. Probation Officer, to Myrl E. Alexander, Acting Parole Executive with the Bureau of Prisons, regarding Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295. Grout summarizes Pendergast's case, noting he plead guilty to multiple charges of income tax evasion, and notes that there are special conditions of probation, including paying a fine and back taxes. Grout also draws attention to editorials from the May 22, 1939 edition of the Kansas City Star and the May 23, 1939 edition of the Kansas City Times.

Date: 
May 24th 1939

Document assessing information about Tom Pendergast, Inmate #55295, as relates to his potential parole. The document includes statements that the Pendergast family "has lived in luxury," that Pendergast has no financially dependent family members, and notes that his reputation is divided - friends are "fanatical in their devotion and enemies are equally fanatical in their prejudices." Pendergast, known for his powerful Kansas City political machine and ties to organized crime, was found guilty of income tax evasion in 1939 and sentenced to 15 months in the U.S.

Date: 
June 28th 1939

Pages

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.