Kansas City General Information
Established as a trading post in 1821, Kansas City served as the starting point
for wagon trains heading over the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon trails and
later emerged as the nation's center for cattle stockyards and slaughterhouses.
||Today, greater Kansas City is a sprawling
metropolis of 1.8 million straddling the Kansas-Missouri state line. Yet it
retains something of a small-town atmosphere, with tree-lined boulevards and
a large number of parks spread over gently rolling hills. Need further
incentive to visit? Kansas City is famous for its steaks, barbecue, jazz,
rich frontier history, and unique attractions.
Kansas City bills itself as the "Heart of America." Within 250 mi of both
the geographic and population centers of the nation, the city is famous for
its stockyards, saxophone player Charlie "Bird" Parker and his Kansas
City-style bebop, and some of the best barbecue in the world. The city has
more boulevards than Paris and more working fountains (200) than any city
but Rome. A fountain of some sort is incorporated into the design of nearly
every commercial building, giving Kansas City its second nickname: "The City
Established as a fur trading post in 1821, Kansas City played a major role
in American history as a gateway for pioneers heading west along the Oregon,
California, and Santa Fe trails. In the mid-1800s, settlers, missionaries,
and traders began their overland journeys here or from nearby Independence
Several Civil War battles were fought here, and the 33rd president of the
United States, Harry S Truman, began his political career here. Jazz
musicians Charlie Parker and Duke Ellington played in the nightclubs of the
18th and Vine District, Walt Disney first sketched Mickey Mouse in a Kansas
City garage, and Joyce Hall (cofounder of Hallmark Cards) made his first
greeting card here.
The Country Club Plaza (finished in 1922) is one of the first U.S. shopping
malls, and the renovated Union Station contains a science museum and other
attractions. Among its educational institutions are the Univ. of Missouri-Kansas
City, Avila College, Park College, Rockhurst College, Kansas City Art Institute,
a college of osteopathy and surgery, a music conservatory, and theological
schools. The city has a symphony orchestra and several theaters.
The Kansas City Star was founded (1880) by William Rockhill Nelson and headed by
him until 1915. The Kansas City Royals (baseball) and the Kansas City Chiefs
(football) are the major sports teams, and the Kansas Speedway and the Negro
Leagues Baseball Museum are located here. Kansas City has long been noted for
its music, particularly jazz and swing, popular there since the 1930s. Kansas
City holds various jazz and blues festivals and is home to a jazz museum.
Vibrant and diverse, Kansas City maintains a healthy mix of art and agriculture,
sports and technology, cowboys and haute couture.
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