Local History Index
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"Pendergast Machine" organized crime
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William R Wehrman
A 13-Year Nightmare Ends
Letter to the editor reviewing the 13 years (from about 1926 to 1939) of unofficial city government control by the Pendergast machine in Kansas City and the demand for a clean-up campaign to ensure against...
Biography of John Lazia (1896-1934), Crime Figure
City Window: Hollywood Asks Morris about Truman, Pendergast
Photo and biographical article Milton Morris, or Milt Morris, a 71-year-old (in 1983) bar operator and "a chauffeur for Western Missouri Judge Truman at the same time he was a go-fer for the Pendergast...
Civic Housekeepers… And More
A history of women's organizations and women civic leaders in Kansas City. Beginning the in the 1850s and continuing forward, women in Kansas City sought to form groups that addressed issues of education,...
Criminal Aspects of the Pendergast Machine
Detailed examination of the Kansas City political machine of Tom Pendergast (starting with his older brother James Pendergast), "one of the most powerful city machines in United States history," from "the...
Editorial: Kansas City Assassinations Shock the Nation
Article about the murders of Charles Binaggio and Charles Gargotta, former mob rivals of James Pendergast, calling into question President Truman's ties to the Pendergast machine such as Charles Binaggio,...
Investigation of Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce Part 4-A: Missouri
Testimonies of James Pendergast and Thomas Lacoco, respectively, about ballot theft, gambling money, the Gargotta and Binaggio murders, and other organized crime activities related to the Pendergast machine....
It Came from Kansas City: The How and Why behind the Development of Kansas City Jazz
Photos and article about the development of the unique Kansas City jazz sound and scene in the 1920s-1930s during the Pendergast machine era and the city's efforts to embrace the tradition in recent years....
Jim Pendergast Is Dead at 70: Long Illness Fatal to Political Leader, Nephew of Late Boss
Photo and obituary for James Michael Pendergast, or James Pendergast (ca. 1896-1966), "the last to carry the family name in the political arena" dying at the age of 70 on March 28, 1966 at his home at...
Kansas City Night Life
Illustrations and article about the Prohibition and Great Depression eras of Kansas City, coinciding with the Pendergast machine years of open vice and jazz and blues night clubs. Mention of numerous organized...
Kansas City Sin: New Drive on Boss Pendergast Started by Missouri Governor
Article about the history of campaigns to stop vice-type crime in Kansas City, highlighting the lastest by Governor Lloyd Stark against the vice propagated by the Pendergast machine, especially Downtown....
Kansas City's Declaration of Independence (with Apologies to Thomas Jefferson)
Duplicate of the original Declaration of Independence of the United States, adapted to the revolution against the Pendergast machine.
Missouri Waltz: The Inside Story of the Pendergast Machine by the Man Who Smashed It
Chapter of the book about the Union Station Massacre in 1933 and the events leading up to and following it, including descriptions of John Lazia, "Pretty Boy" Floyd, or Pretty Boy Floyd, and police officers...
On the Go in a Wide-Open Town: Harry Truman's Kansas City
Article about Kansas City during Harry Truman's local retail and political careers, from 1919 to 1934, starting with his haberdashery (hat store) business, Truman & Jacobson, at 104 West 12th Street, until...
Organized Crime in Kansas City, Missouri
Book jacket reads: "The alliance between organized crime and politics was never stronger than it was in Kansas City, where the local Mob boss controlled the police department and terrorized elections.......
Outlook for November II: Donnell Luck and Missouri Scandal
Article about the Missouri senatorial election predicted to be close between Republican candidate Forrest C. Donnell and the Democratic candidates, scandal-ridden by "the old Pendergast machine" including...
News of the 1934 city elections in Kansas City, with four people killed "as a result of gang methods of getting out the vote" by the Pendergast machine and Bryce Smith elected mayor over the "fusionist,"...
The End of Pendergast
Article about the downfall of the Pendergast machine and the events leading up to it, starting more or less with murders of federal prisoners "in front of the city's railroad passenger terminal" in 1933....
The Forward Kansas City Committee, 1939-1940
A 38 page paper from the University of Kansas City, Special Project - 490, about the Forward Kansas City Committee, an organization promoting corruption-free city government in the transition period during...
The Public Indicts the Machine
Essay listing several of the criminal practices found out about the Pendergast machine in the wake of Tom Pendergast's prison sentencing in 1939, including violations of the city charter, election frauds,...
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