The area was the starting point of many Western expeditions; the Santa Fe and Oregon trails passed through there. Several historic settlements of the early 19th cent. (including Westport) have become full-fledged cities. Kansas City, Kans., is the seat of two theological seminaries, the Univ. of Kansas Medical Center, and a state school for the blind (est. 1868). It has an agricultural hall of fame and several museums, and the Huron Indian cemetery is of interest. Kansas City, Mo., is the site of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, and the National World War I Museum as well as a science museum and other attractions in the renovated Union Station. There are numerous parks and public spaces filled with fountains and sculptures. Country Club Plaza (finished 1922) was one of the first U.S. shopping malls. 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; among its theaters are those of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 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.
See W. D. Grant, The Romantic Past of the Kansas City Region (1987).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. Political Geography