This is the third post in a week-long series spotlighting Kansas City and Annual Meeting topics leading up to the announcement of the #AASLH18 speakers on Friday.
Read Monday’s post, “Welcome to Speaker Week: Inspiration from Past Annual Meeting Speakers.”
Kansas City and its history are the subjects of an impressive number of vlogs and podcasts. From walking tours to famous citizens to local businesses and colorful characters, KCMO loves to share its local lore with a global digital audience. For those of us who have yet to visit the “Paris of the Plains,” this is a great way to get a feel for the city’s culture and make plans for even more interesting places to visit while we’re there. Here are some of our favorites we’re exploring to learn more about this year’s Annual Meeting host site.
Paris of the Plains
This podcast is dedicated to sharing unheard stories and diverse personal narratives from the Kansas City region. They aim to spark dialogue and foster community spirit through storytelling, and episodes cover local artists, immigrant experiences, businesses, historical sites, KC lore and legends, and other topics. I appreciate the production quality and how the hosts step back to let the subjects fully own their stories. Paris of the Plains is produced in partnership with community and public radio stations, the Kansas Humanities Council, and others.
Mr. Beat is a 7th grade social studies teacher in the KC metro who posts new videos about history (and music videos of popular songs rewritten about historical topics) every Friday. Some of his most popular series are about Supreme Court cases and Presidential elections — every election since 1788 has its own entertaining and informative video. I can definitely see his videos being popular with classrooms, but they’re fun for everyone with a curiosity about history and interest in making these topics appealing to younger audiences. Start with “Why Kansas City is (Mostly) in Missouri” and see where it takes you.
Stuff You Missed in History Class
“Pretty Boy Floyd and the Kansas City Massacre”
Stuff You Missed in History Class is a well-regarded podcast that covers an astonishing amount of ground, from medieval history to WWII and beyond. It discusses fascinating figures, historic places, and key events that have shaped world history, and best of all, they always include sources and bibliographies so you can explore further. This episode examines the life of legendary gangster Pretty Boy Floyd and his potential involvement in the 1933 Kansas City Massacre gunfight with police at Union Station.
The Kansas City Podcast
This weekly interview podcast offers a one-of-a-kind look into the lives of the fascinating folks that make the city great. Topics are wide-ranging and engaging: one episode discusses the origins of local favorite Atomic Fizz Soda Pop with its co-founder, and this week’s installment talks with the 2013 World Air Guitar Champion (yes, it’s a thing) Eric “Mean” Melin. Host Cole Lindbergh spent over a decade in the amusement park industry and now works for U.S. Toy Company in Kansas City, so you know he’s an entertaining host with great people skills that really shine on air.
Easy to Linger
This podcast offers walking tours of sites around the city (and around the country, as well). Host Jetta Smith guides you through places like Union Station, Loose Park, and Strawberry Hill, providing practical and architectural commentary as well as well-researched background information on the sites’ origins and histories. Each episode is designed so it can be listened to both at the site and away, so I’d recommend queuing up a few episodes for the drive or plane trip this fall so you can impress your colleagues by navigating like a local once you get to KC.