Kansas City, Missouri Timeline

Kansas City, Missouri Timeline

Kansas City, Missouri Timeline – 1800s

1819 The first steamboat came up the Missouri River.
1821 François Chouteau established Chouteau’s Landing on the Missouri River below the mouth of the Kansas River.
Missouri became a state.
1827 Independence is founded.
1828 The government survey of the Santa Fe Trail was completed.
1831 Santa Fe trade began in Independence.
1833 Westport was founded.
1838 The “Town of Kansas” and Westport Landing was established.
1846 The population is 700.
1850 The “Town of Kansas” was formally organized on June 3.
The Santa Fe trade centered in the Town of Kansas.
1852 The name “Town of Kansas” was changed to “City of Kansas.”
1853 On March 28, the “City of Kansas” was incorporated by Missouri.
1854 The Bleeding Kansas era begins.
1857 The City Market is formally established.
The Chamber of Commerce was established.
The first City Hall was built between 4th and 5th Streets and Main and Walnut on the city’s “public square.”
1860 The population is 4,418.
1863 On August 13, the Union Women’s Prison collapsed, killing four and maiming several other women. Later, the pro-Confederate bushwhackers will cite revenge as a justification for the Sacking of Lawrence, Kansas.
1864 The Battle of Westport was fought on October 23.
1865 The Pacific Railroad was the first railroad to reach Kansas City.
1867 On March 1, the first meeting of the Kansas City Public Schools Board of Education takes place.
1869 On July 3, the Hannibal Bridge over the Missouri River opens. It is the first railroad bridge across the river.
Mules and horses pulled the first streetcars in Kansas City.
1870 The population is 32,260.
1871 The Kansas City Bar Library Association was formed.
1872 Elmwood Cemetery was established.
1875 Fetterman Circulating Library was in business.
1878 The Union Depot opened in the West Bottoms.
1880 The population was 55,785.
1882 The Kansas City Club was founded.
Implemented by Kansas City Power & Light, the first electric lights were used.
1885 The Kansas City Art Institute was founded. Walt Disney would later attend it.
The first overhead electric trolleys in the U.S. were used here.
1887 The Kansas City Athletic Club was founded.
1888 The Board of Trade Building was constructed.
1889 “Kansas City” was formed by the merger of Westport and the City of Kansas.
Kansas City Public Library opens.
1890 The population was 132,716.
The New York Life Building was built.
The Emery Bird Thayer building was built.
1892 The Court House was built.
A second City Hall was built on the same land as the first.
The City Beautiful Movement began.
1895 The Kansas City School of Law was founded.
1896 Swope Park was established after Thomas H. “Colonel” Swope purchased 1,334 acres of land outside of city limits and donated it to the city for public use.
1897 On December 20, the City Workhouse Castle opened.
Children’s Mercy Hospital is established.
1899 The American Royal began as a cattle show in the Kansas City Stockyards.
The Convention Hall was built.
Construction of North Terrace Park began. It is now called Kessler Park
Kansas City, Missouri Timeline - 1900-1949

Kansas City, Missouri Timeline – 1900-1949

1900 On July 4, the Democratic National Convention was held.
The Federal Building housing the post office and customs house was completed in June. It was located at 8th and Grand Streets.
The population was 163,752.
1903 The Automobile Club of Kansas City is active.
In June, the Missouri River crested at 34.9 feet, 12.9 feet above the natural river bank, leaving 22,000 people homeless.
1908 The City Hospital was built.
Another flood in June damaged Kansas City, though not as disastrous as the one in 1903.
1909 The Kansas City Zoo opens in Swope Park.
1910 Hallmark business established.
The population is 248,381.
1911 The Kansas City Symphony was formed.
1913 Cook Paint and Varnish Company was established.
1914 The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City opens.
The Paseo YMCA opens.
A new Union Station Depot was built.
1915 The Kansas City Polytechnic Institute was established.
The first Union Depot was demolished.
1917 Rockhurst College opens.
1919 Truman and Jacobson Haberdashery opened.
1920 The population is 324,410.
1921 Laugh-O-Gram Studio was founded by Walt Disney.
1922 American Royal building on Stockyards property was completed at an estimated cost of $800,000,
WPE radio begins broadcasting.
1923 Fairyland Amusement Park opens at 7501 Prospect.
Laugh-O-Gram Studio files for bankruptcy and closes.
1926 Ararat Shrine Temple and Bagdad Theatre opened.
Liberty Memorial, dedicated to World War I veterans, opens.
1927 The Downtown Airport opened, dedicated by Charles Lindbergh.
1928 The Republican National Convention is held in June.
The F. W. Woolworth Building was constructed.
1931 Kansas City Power and Light Building constructed.
1933 The Kansas City Massacre took place at Union Station on June 17.
In 1933, the old Federal Building located at 8th and Grand Streets was razed and replaced by a new Federal Building
1936 Holy Land Christian Mission was founded.
1937 The third Kansas City City Hall was built. The 30-story tall building remains in use today. It is located between 11th and 12th Streets and Oak and Locust in the downtown area.
1945 Independence native Harry S. Truman was sworn in as President of the United States after President Franklin Roosevelt’s sudden death.
1946 Linda Hall Library was established.
1948 Harry S Truman wins the Presidential election.
The Crest Drive-In opened on July 1, 1948, located in the Hickman Mills district.
Industrial Bearings Transmission, now IBT, Inc., was founded at 1625 Grand.
Kansas City, Missouri Timeline - 1950-1999

Kansas City, Missouri Timeline – 1950-1999

1951 The Great Flood of 1951 occurred in July.
1954 The U.S. Weather Bureau, Severe Local Storms Unit, relocated to Kansas City.
The Paseo Bridge opens.
1955 The city gained its first major professional sports team when the Philadelphia Athletics of the American League relocated to Kansas City.
1956 The first runway opens at Kansas City Industrial Airport, now KCI
1957 The Kansas City Ballet was founded.
Ruskin Heights F-5 Tornado occurs.
The last streetcars in Kansas City were removed.
1959 Five Kansas City firefighters were killed in a gas tank explosion on Southwest Blvd.
1963 The Dallas Texans of the American Football League relocated to Kansas City and became the Chiefs.
The University of Missouri-Kansas City was established.
1964 The Kansas City Repertory Theatre was founded.
1967 The Kansas City Chiefs won the American Football League championship and played in the first Super Bowl, losing to the Green Bay Packers.
The Athletics relocate to Oakland, California, after the season.
1968 In April, the Kansas City Riot occurred after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
1969 The Kansas City Royals baseball team formed.
The Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl IV
1970 The population is 507,330.
1971 Crown Center opens.
The Emery Bird Thayer building was demolished.
1972 Arrowhead Stadium opens.
NBA came to Kansas City when the Cincinnati Royals relocated and became the Kings.
Kansas City International Airport becomes the city’s primary passenger airport.
1973 Worlds of Fun opens.
Kauffman Stadium opens as Royals Stadium.
1974 Kemper Arena opens.
NHL comes to Kansas City to establish the Scouts as an expansion team.
1977 Fairyland Amusement Park closes after extensive damage by a windstorm.
1980 Hyatt Regency Hotel opens.
The Kansas City Royals won the American League pennant before losing to the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series.
1981 On July 17, the Hyatt Regency’s walkway collapsed.
1982 Oceans of Fun opens.
1985 The Kansas City Royals win the World Series.
1986 The Town Pavilion hi-rise was built.
1988 One Kansas City Place was built.
Serial killer Bob Berdella was apprehended, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, and given life in prison sentence.
1990 The population is 435,146.
1991 The Kansas City Stockyards close.
The Firefighters’ Memorial Fountain was dedicated at 31st & Broadway.
1992 The new American Royal Complex was constructed to replace the outdated facility which was then torn down.
1993 The Great Flood of 1993 occurs
1994 Bartle Hall Convention Center opens.
Kansas City, Missouri Timeline - 2000 & Beyond

Kansas City, Missouri Timeline – 2000 & Beyond

2000 The population is 441,545.
2005 Penn Valley skatepark opens.
2007 Sprint Center opens.
2008 The Kansas City Power & Light District opens
2010 The population is 459,787.
The Paseo Bridge is closed and demolished.
The Christopher S. Bond Bridge opens, replacing the Paseo Bridge.
2011 The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts opens.
The Kansas City Metropolitan area population is 2,052,676.
2012 Google Fiber service begins.
2014 Liberty Memorial was designated as a National World War I Monument.
2015 World Series won by Kansas City Royals.
2016 New streetcars began.
The American Royal Association announced its relocation to Wyandotte County, Kansas.
2020 Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl LIV
2021 Kansas City Chiefs lose Super Bowl LV
2023 Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl LVII
2024 Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl LVIII

©Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated February 2024

Also See:

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Missouri – The Show Me State

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