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Two separate motions of defendants T. J. Pendergast and R. E. O'Malley to quash petit jury panel for Criminal Case No. 14937: United States vs. Thomas J. Pendergast, Robert Emmet O'Malley, and A. L. McCormack, Defendant. In these documents, attorneys for the two defendants motion to reject the selected jury because of an order that excluded Jackson County residents from being selected. The defendant attorneys' seven reasons to quash said jury are included within.

Date: 
November 18th 1940

Plea in abatement, plea in bar, and motion to dismiss in Criminal Case No. 14912: United States vs. Thomas J. Pendergast, Robert Emmet O'Malley, and A. L. McCormack, Defendant. In this document, attorneys for Pendergast request the above actions be taken for two reasons as outlined within.

Date: 
November 18th 1940

Subpoena duces tecum for John J. Campbell in Criminal Case No. 14937: United States vs. Thomas J. Pendergast, Robert Emmet O'Malley, and A. L. McCormack, Defendant. This document orders John J. Campbell to testify in court on November 18, 1940 and to bring as evidence "records as manager of the custodian's files of the funds impounded in the Missouri Fire Insurance Rate Litigation."

Date: 
November 18th 1940

Demurrer of defendant, T. J. Pendergast for Criminal Case No. 14937: United States vs. Thomas J. Pendergast, Robert Emmet O'Malley, and A. L. McCormack, Defendant. In this document, attorneys for Pendergast outline their objections to the indictment in five separate points.

Date: 
November 18th 1940

Memorandum for the Honorable A. Lee Wyman, United States Judge, upon pleas in abatement interposed by the above-named defendants in Criminal Case No. 14937: United States vs. Thomas J. Pendergast, Robert Emmet O'Malley, and A. L. McCormack, Defendant. In this document, Acting United States Attorney Richard K. Phelps summarizes the pleas of the defendants and then discusses the legality of said pleas.

Date: 
November 18th 1940

Indictment for Criminal Case No. 14937: United States vs. Thomas J. Pendergast, Robert Emmet O'Malley, and A. L. McCormack, Defendant. In this indictment, the defendants are charged with the illegal appropriation of $8,000,000.00 collected from the American Insurance Company and other insurance companies. The time line of this conspiracy is then detailed in "Overt Acts".

Date: 
July 1940
Ruth Kathryn Rhodes

Photograph of Transcontinental & Western Air employee Ruth Kathryn Rhodes, who was appointed first chief hostess in December 1935.

J. C. Nichols Companies Field Construction Department trucks paving the middle of the street in the Armour Hills Gardens housing development.

Date: 
1934

Wide view of Oak Meyer Gardens housing development. This vantage point faces northwest from 69th Street and Holmes Road. Cherry Street north of 69th Street is pictured in foreground; the steeple of Sixth Church of Christ Scientist and Southwest High School on Wornall Road is pictured in the right far background.

Date: 
1938

Motorized snowplows are called into action to clear the sidewalks of J. C. Nichols Companies homes in the Oak Meyer Gardens subdivision. This vantage point faces west on 65th Street just west of Cherry Street. Southwest High School at Wornall Road and 65th Street can be seen in the far background.

Date: 
December 1939

Map showing the boundaries of precincts as defined in 1918 for the fourth ward of Kansas City, Missouri. This ward is bounded by 39th Street to the north, Kansas to the west, south city limits to the south, and Campbell Street and Troost Avenue to the east.

Date: 
1918

Photograph of the Meyer Boulevard Evangelical Church located at the southwest corner of Meyer Boulevard and Rockhill Road. It was known later as the Trinity Evangelical Church. This vantage point faces southeast from the south side of Meyer Boulevard between Charlotte Street and Rockhill Road.

Street map of a "Scenic Route Through the Country Club District: America's Most Beautiful Residential Section, 2000 Acres Restricted." The scenic route is indicated in red; specific directions are at bottom of map. Map shows Kansas City Country Club, Mission Hills Country Club, and names of neighborhoods. Printed at the top: "Put this in the pocket of your automobile for use the next time you are pleasure driving."

Date: 
1920
General Hospital No. 2 Exterior
Author: 
Jason Roe

"They did not try to build something ‘good enough for Negroes’ but something as good as money could buy." This is how Chester Arthur Franklin, the Republican founder of The Call newspaper and one of Kansas City’s most prominent black leaders, greeted the newly constructed eight-story building that housed General Hospital No. 2, serving the indigent African American population of Kansas City.

Dante's Inferno interior
Author: 
Stuart Hinds

During the 1890-1930 heyday of vaudeville, a number of female impersonators enjoyed impressive, successful careers and became household names across the country. Even during 1920s Prohibition, the tradition expanded into nightclubs and cabarets and drew enormous crowds in large cities like New York and Chicago. American entertainment tastes started to become more conservative, repressive oversight of liquor consumption followed Prohibition’s 1933 repeal, and female impersonation almost immediately disappeared from “legitimate” and cabaret stages throughout the United States. But in wide-open Pendergast-era Kansas City, female impersonators remained popular until the late 1930s.

Lucile Bluford
Author: 
Henrietta Rix Wood

This essay analyzes Bluford’s initial reporting on her effort to enter MU, her commentary on her failed civil lawsuit in May 1942, and the announcement of the newspaper’s fundraising campaign for African American education in the same month. The facts of Bluford’s three-year crusade to enroll at MU are known: she repeatedly tried to enroll at the university and pursued three lawsuits, losing the last one in April 1942. The fact that she and The Call collaborated to influence readers’ responses to the quest for African American educational rights has not been acknowledged or analyzed.

Benny Moten Band
Author: 
Marc Rice

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.

Donnelly Garment Company interior
Author: 
Kyle Anthony

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.

Sketch of Federal Reserve districts
Author: 
Jaclyn Miller

In the second decade of the 20th century, Kansas City was emerging as a key center of economic power west of the Mississippi. Agriculture constituted a central pillar of Kansas City’s success: dozens of railroads shipped grains and livestock through the city’s new hub at Union Station, and its manufacturing district developed large meatpacking, flour, and other food processing industries. Wholesale and retail commerce joined agriculture and industry as the foundations of Kansas City’s economic power.

Masie Jones Ragan
Author: 
David Hanzlick

Kansas City women–members of the Athenaeum, the Woman’s City Club, and other organizations–sought to assert power in their community and beyond. Coming from Republican and independent Democratic backgrounds, and abhorring the influence of the Democratic machine, they embraced a progressive spirit that revered what they envisioned as good government.

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.