Local History Index
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Local History Index
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"Political Machines" magazine article
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Henry R Luce
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...
A Political Boss Talks about His Job
Candid interview with Tom Pendergast with several quotes and insights into the Pendergast machine.
Alderman Jim Pendergast
Biography of James or "Big Jim" Pendergast, older brother of Tom Pendergast, starting in Kansas City politics in the late 1870s as a saloon keeper and City Council alderman in the First Ward, including...
April 20, 1940
Article about the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the fall of "the city's machine dictatorship," with a chronology of events in April 1939 starting with the resignation of city manager Henry McElroy...
Behind the Scenes with James E. Burke: Burke, Pendergast and J.C. Nichols
Excerpt from a 1976 speech given by local real estate developer and former Pendergast associate James Burke, about ties between J. C. Nichols and Tom Pendergast related to the paving of Brush Creek on...
Unverified article about Kansas City's political boss Tom Pendergast.
Boss Rules: Tom Pendergast Holds Missouri Democracy in Hollow of His Hefty Hand
Article about the influence over the Democratic Party in the Missouri state government by self-proclaimed political boss of Kansas City, Tom Pendergast, with photo and quotes by him and personal insights...
Case against the Star
Article describing the Kansas City Star newspaper, its history of opposing political machines itself, and the federal antitrust court case against the paper.
Citizens v. Boss: Citizens Win
History of the extreme turnaround in organization of Kansas City's government, from 1931 when $10 million of $32 million in bond improvements were "utilized illegally for private gain," to 1954 with Kansas...
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 Comment: "You Can't Fool All of the People. .."
Article about the drastic disappearance of corruption in the city government between 1940 and 1942, as evidenced in elections, taxes, employment, etc.
Editorial Comment: Lucky "13" for Kansas City?
Summary of the thirteen years under the city manager plan of government of Kansas City and its failure due to corruption.
First Six Months in Kansas City: Form of Council-Manager Government Adopted; Next Step Is to Apply the Spirit
Review of the first six months of the city government under the new council-manager form of government, pointing out improvements but notably weaknesses such as a sininster partisanship and uneven employment...
First Ward to Ward Parkway
Photo and description of the new Jackson County Courthouse and plans for two more "Pendergast Pyramids"--a municipal auditorium and city hall, all constructed with Tom Pendergast's Ready Mixed Concrete...
Folk: The Story of a Little Leaven in a Great Commonwealth
Photo and article about the political corruption in the Missouri state government with descriptions of several politicians such as Alexander Cochran, "state counselor for the Missouri Pacific" Railroad,...
Gentlemen, Reach for All: Toppling the Pendergast Machine, 1936-1940
Article discusses the downfall of Boss Tom Pendergast and how it was precipitated in part by turmoil within the Missouri Democratic Party.
Give 'Em Hell, Harry!
Article about personal memo documents of Harry S. Truman at the Truman Library, revealing many obscure thoughts, opinions, and actions of the former president, including dealings with the Pendergast machine,...
Unverified article, missing from the bound periodical in this library.
Govt. and Politics: Ready-Mix Regime
Photo (of Tom Pendergast) and book review of "Tom's Town" by William Reddig, about the Kansas City Pendergast machine headed by Boss Tom Pendergast (owner of the "Ready-Mixed Concrete" company).
Hock Shop Paradise
Photos and article about the selling of merchandise stolen from Kansas merchants in Kansas City pawn shops. Description of the subsequent closing of small shops not tied to the Pendergast machine and sentencing...
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