Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas

On June 29, 2018, USA Today's article about Amazon HQ2 mentioned Kansas City—"They 'listen when it's Amazon.' Second headquarters race revives transit, education projects". Seeing "Kansas City, Missouri" text piqued my curiosity about Kansas City. Questions arose, in no particular order.

Why do both Kansas and Missouri have cities named Kansas City? Why isn't Missouri's city named Missouri City? I got to thinking—how old are these cities? Did they precede statehood for the states? Are they near each other? Did they used to be one city that got split up into two, one state having its own portion? Which state is the Kansas City song about?

Bird's-eye Viewing Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO) and Kansas City, Kansas (KCK)

From "Kansas City metropolitan area"
The Kansas City metropolitan area is a 15-county metropolitan area anchored by Kansas City, Missouri, that straddles the border between the U.S. states of Missouri and Kansas. With a population of 2,104,509, it ranks as the second largest metropolitan area with its core in Missouri
Google map information about the two cities:

Quick facts section about KC in KC Kansas Google map—"Kansas City sits on the eastern edge of Kansas, at the border with Missouri."
Quick facts section about KC in KC Missouri Google map—"Kansas City sits on Missouri's western edge, straddling the border with Kansas."

The Quora forum "Are Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS actually the same city or are they two different neighboring cities?" lists replies from current and former residents of both KCs. In addition, the forum suggests additional sites having related topics. Two such closely related topics:
More Comparing KCMO to KCK

"Comparing Kansas City, MO vs. Kansas City, KS" displays all sorts of stats comparisons—populations, demographics, family structures. Maybe the most striking difference between the two cities is KCMO's population being triple KCKs, about 1/2 million to 150,000. The population difference might explain MLB and MLF teams association with Missouri's KC rather than Kansas'.

Note: The site lists Kansas City being compared to Kansas City, omitting the state names in the detailed text. The top of the website shows KCMO map image first, then the KCK image.

Play Ball

I wondered about Kansas City sports teams—KC Chiefs, KC Athletics that moved to Oakland. (Athletics were in KC, 1955–1967.) Were both teams associated w/Missouri? My roundabout way of finding out the Kansas City that the teams are associated with: "How many states of the USA have no professional teams in the four major sports?"

Kansas is listed with **. "** Note that the Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Chiefs both play on the Missouri side of the border."

Back to the Past

The present-day Kansas City, Missouri, city center was incorporated in 1850. At around the same time settlement was beginning along the river bottoms in Wyandotte County just across the border in the state of Kansas. So from the 1850s on there were two Kansas Cities, divided by the Missouri-Kansas state line, and both grew from a consolidation of villages rather than from a single unit.
From "Why is Kansas City split between Kansas and Missouri?"
Kansas City, Missouri, was the first to take the name. It was settled in 1821, but didn’t have an official name until years later. There’s a legend in these parts that city fathers rejected such names as Possum Trot and Rabbitville before naming the city after the Kansas Indians. When the town was incorporated in 1853, it took on the name City of Kansas. In 1889, it officially took on the moniker Kansas City.
The Kansas counterpart became known as Kansas City, Kansas, in the 1880s when several small towns were grouped together to become one large city. The idea, it’s said, was to basically ride on the coattails of Missouri’s now successful Kansas City.
"Kansas City History Facts and Timeline (Kansas City, Missouri - MO, USA)" has additional history. "Why Kansas City is (Mostly) in Missouri" is a YouTube video with narrator explanation, accompanied by description text.

Kansas City Song

When Wilbert Harrison recorded Kansas City, which Kansas City did he mean? (As a youngster, I probably assumed Kansas City, Kansas.)

"Wilbert Harrison "Kansas City" (1959)" has about a one-minute intro by Dick Clark. "Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show. May 02, 1959." Note: Dick Clark had a weekly evening pop/rock show; show is not part of American Bandstand.

Songfacts' "Kansas City by Wilbert Harrison" displays lyrics in one tab and history in another tab.
One notable Beatles performance of the song came on September 17, 1964, when Charles O. Finley, the owner of the Kansas City Athletics baseball team, paid them $150,000 to perform at their stadium. … It was the only time The Beatles played the song in the United States - they performed it on the US TV show Shindig, …
Speaking of the Beatles, view "The Beatles - Kansas City" (1964 Shindig appearance). Rock Music Wiki's "Kansas City (Leiber and Stoller song)" has loads more history about the song, including numerous additional artists' versions. Amusing to me is looking up several history websites about the song and not being able to find "Missouri" in the content.

Where is Twelfth Street and Vine? Let's go for easy answer here. "News Flash To The World: Kansas City Has No '12th Street And Vine' — Here's Why" explains.
Today, what once was 12th and Vine is a five-acre patch of grass with an informational kiosk officially known as the Goin’ To Kansas City Plaza At Twelfth Street And Vine. Little else is there, except for a couple of ornamental street signs where sometimes befuddled-looking tourists can have their pictures taken at the historic, but now-nonexistent, corner. …
Next time you hear or read about Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Athletics, Kansas City Royals, or the Kansas City song, remember they're all about the Kansas City in Missouri.

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