An Inside Look At Kansas City

Kansas City History

Kansas City was founded in the 1830’s as port where the Missouri River and Kansas River meet, known as West Port. Kansas City is split by the Missouri River and the state line between Kansas and Missouri. The Kanas City Metro Area includes major suburbs like Independence, Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs on the Missouri side, and Kansas City, Overland Park, Olathe in Kansas. However, most locals are referring to Kansas City, MO when referencing KC.

Famous Kansas Citians

Harry S Truman was from Independence, MO and his Presidential Library is located there. Here’s a fun fact. The “S” in Truman’s name doesn’t stand for anything. It was a compromise for his grandfathers who both had S names. Walt Disney was born in Kansas City and started his first studio here, call Laugh-O-Gram studios. The company went bankrupt, but he did meet a friendly mouse in office before moving to Hollywood. Just north of KC, Liberty was the home of legendary outlaw, Jesse James. You can also find the birthplace of Amelia Earhart just outside of KC in Atchison, KS. Kate Spade is also a KC native and got the inspiration for her handbags here.

Kansas City has been the home of many legendary musicians, especially in the 18th & Vine Jazz District and Westport entertainment district. KC gave birth to such acts as Eminem, Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Melissa Etheridge, Pat Metheny, Puddle of Mudd, Shooting Star, The Get Up Kids, The Life and Times, The Elders, Tech N9ine, and Janelle Monáe. The famous song, “Kansas City” promise women and wine at 12th Street and Vine, but there is only a commemorative sign there. You will want to head to 18th & Vine for the Jazz Museum.

KC has been the home of many famous athletes and is the home of the Nergo Leagues Museum, where you can find tributes Kansas Citians, like Satchel Page and Buck O’Neil. Kansas City is also the home of George Brett, Frank White, Albert Pujols, Tom Watson, Tony Temple, Casey Stengel, Brandon and Kareem Rush, Josh Freeman, Maurice Green, Darren Sproles, Tommy Morrison, and female NASCAR Driver, Jennifer Jo Cobb. Check out our other article for more on KC sports.

Actors, comedians, and other notable personalities litter the history of KC, as well. Celebrities such as Walter Cronkite, Ed Asner, Sylvia Brown, Don Cheadle, Scott Foley, Eddie Griffin, Jean Harlow, Ellie Kemper, Mancow Muller, Rob Riggle, Ginger Rogers, Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, Sarah Lancaster, Jason Whitlock, Eric Stonestreet, and Dianne Wiest. And you probably don’t want to face a Kansas Citian on a reality show. Danni Boatwright won Survivor: Guatemala, and David Cook won American Idol.

Famous KC Food

Kansas City is most famous for its steak and barbecue. In the early days of KC, the stockyards provided cheap meat that was slow-cooked over native hardwoods like hickory, and its sauce was typically tomato and molasses-based. The stockyards also lead to the Kansas City strip steak. Today, more than 90 barbecue restaurants operate in the metropolitan area, and the American Royal hosts the world’s biggest barbecue contest each fall. Notable restaurants include Arthur Bryant’s, Gates and Sons, Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue, and Joe’s Kansas City. Don’t forget the world famous sauce, KC Masterpiece, which is now owned by Kingsford.

Kansas City is the home to the Boulevard Brewing Co., which is the country’s 10 largest craft brewer. It is also the home of McCormick’s Vodka. KC is also known for its chocolate, being home to Russel Stover’s, the world’s largest box chocolate manufacturer and Christopher Elbow, world-renown artisanal chocolate maker. Once a year, you can combine the Boulevard beer and Elbow chocolates with the Chocolate Ale, but it is hard to get, so you will need to act fast!

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01 Jan 2015

By Mike Montague