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Kansas City is known for its long tradition of jazz music and culture, for its cuisine including its distinctive style of barbecue , and its craft breweries.
Kansas City, Missouri was incorporated as a town on June 1, , and as a city on March 28, The territory straddling the border between Missouri and Kansas at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers was considered a good place to build settlements.
The Antioch Christian Church , Dr. The Spanish took over the region in the Treaty of Paris in , but were not to play a major role other than taxing and licensing Missouri River ship traffic.
The French continued their fur trade under Spanish license. The Chouteau family operated under Spanish license at St. After the Louisiana Purchase , Lewis and Clark visited the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers, noting it was a good place to build a fort.
In , a group of Mormons from New York settled in what would become the city. Soon after, the Kansas Town Company, a group of investors, began to settle the area, taking their name from an English spelling of "Cansez.
On February 22, , the City of Kansas was created with a newly elected mayor. It had an area of 0. The boundary lines at that time extended from the middle of the Missouri River south to what is now Ninth Street, and from Bluff Street on the west to a point between Holmes Road and Charlotte Street on the east.
The Kansas City area was rife with animosity just prior to the U. Kansas successfully petitioned the U. Missouri had many slaves, and slavery sympathizers crossed into Kansas to sway the state towards allowing slavery , at first by ballot box and then by bloodshed.
During the Civil War, the city and its immediate surroundings were the focus of intense military activity. Although the First Battle of Independence in August resulted in a Confederate States Army victory, the Confederates were unable to leverage their win in any significant fashion, as Kansas City was occupied by Union troops and proved too heavily fortified to assault.
Once again their victory proved hollow, as Price was decisively defeated in the pivotal Battle of Westport the next day, effectively ending Confederate efforts to regain Missouri.
Joseph Railroad bridge over the Missouri River brought about significant growth. The population exploded after , when the Hannibal Bridge, designed by Octave Chanute , opened.
The boom prompted a name change to Kansas City in , and the city limits to be extended south and east. Westport became part of Kansas City on December 2, In , Kansas City was the 22nd largest city in the country, with a population of , residents.
Kansas City, guided by architect George Kessler , became a forefront example of the City Beautiful movement, offering a network of boulevards and parks.
Long , president of the Liberty Memorial Association, was a driving force in the funding for construction. Long was a longtime resident and wealthy businessman.
He built the R. Nichols in , as part of his Country Club District plan. At the start of the 20th century, political machines gained clout in the city, with the one led by Tom Pendergast dominating the city by Several important buildings and structures were built during this time, including the Kansas City City Hall and the Jackson County Courthouse.
The machine fell in when Pendergast, riddled with health problems, pleaded guilty to tax evasion after long federal investigations.
Pendergast may bear comparison to various big-city bosses, but his open alliance with hardened criminals, his cynical subversion of the democratic process, his monarchistic style of living, his increasingly insatiable gambling habit, his grasping for a business empire, and his promotion of Kansas City as a wide-open town with every kind of vice imaginable, combined with his professed compassion for the poor and very real role as city builder, made him bigger than life, difficult to characterize.
Many also went north of the Missouri River , where Kansas City had incorporated areas between the s and s. In , African Americans represented The assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
At this time, slums were forming in the inner city, and many who could afford to do so, left for the suburbs and outer edges of the city.
In , the city had about , residents; by , the same area was home to only about , The Hyatt Regency walkway collapse was a major disaster that occurred on July 17, , killing people and injuring more than others during a tea dance.
At the time, it was the deadliest structural collapse in US history. One of the main goals is to attract convention and tourist dollars, office workers, and residents to downtown KCMO.
By , the arena was being converted to a sports complex under the name Hy-Vee Arena. Construction is expected to start in early with Loews as the operator.
From to , downtown residential population in Kansas City quadrupled and continues to grow. The area has grown from almost 4, residents in the early s to nearly 30, as of Conversions of office buildings such as the Power and Light Building, Commerce Bank Tower, and others into residential and hotel space has helped to fulfill the demand.
While the residential population of downtown has boomed, the office population has dropped significantly from the early s to the mid s.
AMC and other top employers moved their operations to modern office buildings in the suburbs. High office vacancy plagued downtown, leading to the neglect of many office buildings.
Swiss Re, Virgin Mobile, AutoAlert, and others have begun to move operations to downtown Kansas City from the suburbs as well as expensive coastal cities.
The area has seen additional development through various transportation projects, including improvements to the Grandview Triangle , which intersects Interstates and , and U.
Route 71 , a thoroughfare long notorious for fatal accidents. In , voters approved the formation of a TDD to expand the streetcar line south 3. Citywide, voter support for rail projects continues to grow with numerous light rail projects in the works.
In , Jackson County, Missouri acquired unused rail lines as part of a long term commuter rail plan. For the time being, the line is being converted to a trail while county officials negotiate with railroads for access to tracks in Downtown Kansas City.
The city has an area of Kansas City proper is bowl-shaped and is surrounded to the north and south by glacier -carved limestone and bedrock cliffs.
Kansas City is at the junction between the Dakota and Minnesota ice lobes during the maximum late Independence glaciation of the Pleistocene epoch.
The Kansas and Missouri rivers cut wide valleys into the terrain when the glaciers melted and drained.
A partially filled spillway valley crosses the central city. This valley is an eastward continuation of the Turkey Creek Valley.
It is the closest major city to the geographic center of the contiguous United States, or "Lower 48". Kansas City, Missouri, comprises more than  neighborhoods, some with histories as independent cities or as the sites of major events.
Kansas City hosts over working fountains. Notable examples are on the Country Club Plaza. Designs range from French-inspired traditional to modern.
More than 30 full-time merchants operate year-round and offer specialty foods, fresh meats and seafood, restaurants and cafes, floral, home accessories and more.
Downtown Kansas City is an area of 2. It is a center of literary and visual arts, and bohemian culture. Crown Center is the headquarters of Hallmark Cards and a major downtown shopping and entertainment complex.
It is connected to Union Station by a series of covered walkways. The Country Club Plaza , or simply "the Plaza", is an upscale, outdoor shopping and entertainment district.
It was the first suburban shopping district in the United States,  designed to accommodate shoppers arriving by automobile,  and is surrounded by apartments and condominiums, including a number of high rise buildings.
The associated Country Club District to the south includes the Sunset Hill and Brookside neighborhoods, and is traversed by Ward Parkway , a landscaped boulevard known for its statuary, fountains and large, historic homes.
Many residential properties recently have been or are under redevelopment in three surrounding warehouse loft districts and the Central Business District.
Its first tenant opened on November 9, It is anchored by the Sprint Center, a 19,seat sports and entertainment complex.
Kansas City lies in the Midwestern United States , near the geographic center of the country, at the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas rivers.
The city lies in the northern periphery of the humid subtropical zone. The warmest month is July, with a hour average temperature of Winters are cold, with 22 days where the high temperature is at or below The average window for freezing temperatures is October 31 to April 4, while for measurable 0.
Precipitation, both in frequency and total accumulation, shows a marked uptick in late spring and summer. Kansas City is located in " Tornado Alley ", a broad region where cold air from the Rocky Mountains in Canada collides with warm air from the Gulf of Mexico, leading to the formation of powerful storms, especially during the spring.
The Kansas City metropolitan area has experienced several significant outbreaks of tornadoes in the past, including the Ruskin Heights tornado in  and the May tornado outbreak sequence.
The region can also experience ice storms during the winter months, such as the ice storm during which hundreds of thousands of residents lost power for days and in some cases weeks.
During the s and s, Kansas City annexed large amounts of land, which are largely undeveloped to this day.
Between the and Census counts, the urban core of Kansas City continued to drop significantly in population. The areas of Greater Downtown in the center city, and sections near I and I in the south, and Highway in the north are the only areas of Kansas City, Missouri, to have seen an increase in population, with the Northland seeing the greatest population growth.
The federal government is the largest employer in the Kansas City metro area. More than federal agencies maintain a presence there.
Kansas City is one of ten regional office cities for the US government. The General Services Administration has more than employees.
Numerous agriculture companies operate out of the city. Kansas City Board of Trade is the principal trading exchange for hard red winter wheat , the principal ingredient of bread.
Missouri is the only state to have two of the 12 Federal Reserve Bank headquarters the second is in St.
Reed , who as senator, broke a tie to pass the Federal Reserve Act. The national headquarters for the Veterans of Foreign Wars is headquartered just south of Downtown.
Kansas City is often abbreviated as KC abbreviations often refer to the metropolitan area. It is officially nicknamed the " City of Fountains ".
The fountains at Kauffman Stadium , commissioned by original Kansas City Royals owner Ewing Kauffman, are the largest privately funded fountains in the world.
Residents are known as Kansas Citians. The city is sometimes referred to as the "Heart of America" , as it is near both the population center of the United States and the geographic center of the 48 contiguous states.
The Starlight Theatre is an 8,seat outdoor theatre designed by Edward Delk. The Kansas City Symphony was founded by R. The symphony performs at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
Lyric Opera of Kansas City, founded in , performs at the Kauffman Center, offers one American contemporary opera production during its season, consisting of either four or five productions.
The Kansas City Ballet , founded in by Tatiana Dokoudovska, is a ballet troupe comprising 25 professional dancers and apprentices.
Between and , it combined with Dance St. From to , the Ballet was run by dancer and choreographer Todd Bolender. Today, the Ballet offers an annual repertory split into three seasons, performing classical to contemporary ballets.
The chorus performs an annual concert series and a concert in Phoenix each year with their sister choir, the Phoenix Chorale. The Chorale has made nine recordings three with the Phoenix Chorale.
Kansas City jazz in the s marked the transition from big bands to the bebop influence of the s. The documentary The Last of the Blue Devils portrays this era in interviews and performances by local jazz notables.
In the s, Kansas City attempted to resurrect the glory of the jazz era in a family-friendly atmosphere.
In the s, an effort to open jazz clubs in the River Quay area of City Market along the Missouri ended in a gang war. Three of the new clubs were blown up in what ultimately ended Kansas City mob influence in Las Vegas casinos.
The annual "Kansas City Blues and Jazz Festival" attracts top jazz stars and large out-of-town audiences. As of , the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra , a big band jazz orchestra, performs in the metropolitan area.
The amphitheatre was famous for hosting popular music festivals, which includes: Ozzy Osbourne recorded a performance called Speak of the Devil at the venue on June 12, , for home video release in Japan; said video was eventually released on DVD in the US in Pop superstar Michael Jackson performed three concerts at the amphitheatre November , during his Bad Tour.
Oingo Boingo would play its annual Halloween concerts here from through , and one final time in , before moving the remaining and shows to Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.
Tangerine Dream performed on June 6, recorded on bootleg Sonambulistic Imagery. The Grateful Dead performed at the amphitheatre fifteen times from through Because of the opening of the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim now Honda Center , Irvine Meadows became increasingly an alternative to the much larger Pond, in addition to being a venue for amphitheater tours.
Kelly Clarkson performed at the amphitheatre on August 1, , during her Addicted Tour. Once the show was over she wrote "Irvine", a hidden track off her album My December , there at the venue.
Miley Cyrus performed at the amphitheatre in October for the promotional show of the series Hannah Montana. Bernie Sanders hosted a political rally here on May 22, Print your own onward or return flight ticket with this free service.
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