Kansas City (U.S.A.)

2017-04-15 10:43:08 , Source : The Government Website of Shaanxi Province

 

Kansas City is the largest city in Missouri and the sixth largest city in the Midwest. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city had an estimated population of 475,378 in 2015, making it the 36th largest city by population in the United States. It is the anchor city of the Kansas City metropolitan area, which straddles the Kansas–Missouri border. Kansas City was founded in the 1830s as a Missouri River port at its confluence with the Kansas River coming in from the west. On June 1, 1850 the town of Kansas was incorporated; shortly after came the establishment of the Kansas Territory. Confusion between the two ensued and the name Kansas City was assigned to distinguish them soon thereafter.

Sitting on Missouri's western border, with Downtown near the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers, the modern city encompasses some 319.03 square miles (826.3 km2), making it the 23rd largest city by total area in the United States. Most of the city lies within Jackson County, but portions spill into Clay, Cass, and Platte counties. Along with Independence, it serves as one of the two county seats for Jackson County. Major suburbs include the Missouri cities of Independence and Lee's Summit and the Kansas cities of Overland Park, Olathe, and Kansas City.

The city is composed of several neighborhoods, including the River Market District in the north, the 18th and Vine District in the east, and the Country Club Plaza in the south. Kansas City is also known for its cuisine (including its distinctive style of barbecue), its craft breweries and its major league sports teams.

History

Kansas City, Missouri was officially incorporated as a town on June 1, 1850, and as a city on March 28, 1853. 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. James Compton House, and Woodneath are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Geography

The city has an area of 319.03 square miles (826.28 km2), of which, 314.95 square miles (815.72 km2) is land and 4.08 square miles (10.57 km2) is water. Bluffs overlook the rivers and river bottom areas. 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".

Economy

The federal government is the largest employer in the Kansas City metro area. More than 146 federal agencies maintain a presence there. Kansas City is one of ten regional office cities for the US government. The Internal Revenue Service maintains a large service center in Kansas City that occupies nearly 1,400,000 square feet (130,000 m2). It is one of only two sites to process paper returns. The United States Postal Service operates post offices in Kansas City. The Kansas City Main Post Office is at 300 West Pershing Road.

Ford Motor Company operates a large manufacturing facility in Claycomo at the Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant, which currently builds the Ford F-150. The General Motors Fairfax Assembly Plant is in adjacent Kansas City, Kansas. Smith Electric Vehicles builds electric vehicles in the former TWA/American Airlines overhaul facility at Kansas City International Airport.

One of the largest US drug manufacturing plants is the Sanofi-Aventis plant in south Kansas City on a campus developed by Ewing Kauffman's Marion Laboratories. Of late, it has been developing academic and economic institutions related to animal health sciences, an effort most recently bolstered by the selection of Manhattan, Kansas, at one end of the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, as the site for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, which researches animal diseases.

Numerous agriculture companies operate out of the city. Dairy Farmers of America, the largest dairy co-op in the United States is here. Kansas City Board of Trade is the principal trading exchange for hard red winter wheat, the principal ingredient of bread. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and The National Association of Basketball Coaches are based in Kansas City.

Culture

Performing arts

The Kansas City Repertory Theatre is the metropolitan area's top professional theatre company. The Starlight Theatre is an 8,105-seat outdoor theatre designed by Edward Delk. The Kansas City Symphony was founded by R. Crosby Kemper Jr. in 1982 to replace the defunct Kansas City Philharmonic, which was founded in 1933. The symphony performs at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. The current music director and lead conductor of the symphony is Michael Stern. Lyric Opera of Kansas City, founded in 1958, performs at the Kauffman Center, offers one American contemporary opera production during its season, consisting of either four or five productions. The Civic Opera Theater of Kansas City performs at the downtown Folly Theater and at the UMKC Performing Arts Center. Every summer from mid-June to early July, The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival performs at Southmoreland Park near the Nelson-Atkins Museum; the festival was founded by Marilyn Strauss in 1993.

Irish culture

The large community of Irish-Americans numbers over 50,000. The Irish were the first large immigrant group to settle in Kansas City and founded its first newspaper. The Irish community includes bands, dancers, newspapers, Irish stores and the Kansas City Irish Center at Drexel Hall in Midtown. The first book that detailed the history of the Irish in Kansas City was Missouri Irish: Irish Settlers on the American Frontier, published in 1984.

Casinos

Missouri voters approved riverboat casino gaming on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers by referendum with a 63% majority on November 3, 1992. The first casino facility in the state opened in September 1994 in North Kansas City by Harrah's Entertainment (now Caesar's Entertainment). The combined revenues for four casinos exceeded $153 million per month in May 2008. The metropolitan area is currently home to six casinos: Ameristar Kansas City, Argosy Kansas City, Harrah's North Kansas City, Isle of Capri Kansas City, the 7th Street Casino (which opened in Kansas City, Kansas, in 2008) and Hollywood Casino (which opened in February 2012 in Kansas City, Kansas).

Cuisine

Kansas City is most famous for its steak and barbecue. During the heyday of the Kansas City Stockyards, the city was known for its Kansas City steaks or Kansas City strip steaks. The most famous of its steakhouses is the Golden Ox in the Kansas City Live Stock Exchange in the West Bottoms stockyards. These stockyards were second only to those of Chicago in size, but they never recovered from the Great Flood of 1951 and eventually closed. Founded in 1938, Jess & Jim's Steakhouse in the Martin City neighborhood was also well known.

City government

Kansas City is home to the largest municipal government in the state of Missouri. The city has a council/manager form of government. The role of city manager has diminished over the years. The non-elective office of city manager was created following excesses during the Pendergast days. The mayor is the head of the Kansas City City Council, which has 12 members (one member for each district, plus one at large member per district). The mayor is the presiding member. Kansas City holds city elections in every fourth odd numbered year. The last citywide election was held in May 2015. The officials took office in August 2015 and will hold the position until 2019.

Pendergast was the most prominent leader during the machine politics days. The most nationally prominent Democrat associated with the machine was Harry S Truman, who became a Senator, Vice President and then President of the United States from 1945 to 1953. Kansas City is the seat of the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, one of two federal district courts in Missouri. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri is in St. Louis. It also is the seat of the Western District of the Missouri Court of Appeals, one of three districts of that court (the Eastern District is in St. Louis and the Southern District is in Springfield).

Walt Disney in Kansas City

In 1911, Elias Disney moved his family from Marceline to Kansas City. They lived in a new home with a garage built by Elias Disney, which became the location for Walt's very first animation, at 3028 Bellefontaine. In 1919, Walt Disney returned from France where he had served as a Red Cross Ambulance Driver in World War I. Walt started the first animation company Laugh-O-Gram Studio in Kansas City. Later, the company went bankrupt, Walt Disney moved to Hollywood, and started The Walt Disney Company on October 16, 1923.

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