James Pendergast. 1892
“Today, politics may be our friend, and tomorrow we may be its victims.”Owen D. Young. Chairman of General Electric. 1922-1939
Plato 400 B.C.E.
Niccolo Machiavelli. 1532
With the arrival of the Great Depression, Boss Tom did not wait for Hoover to sympathize with Kansas Cities’ 38% unemployment. In November of 1930 the town voted a $40 million bond issue, for a “Ten-Year-Plan”. What Kansas got for its investment in the future was the “Power and Light Building”, still a landmark in KC., as well as a new City Hall, the Jackson County Court House, a new Police Headquarters, a new Municipal Auditorium, and several schools. When the KC “Star” described all these new buildings as “Pendergast’s concrete pyramids”, Tom merely smiled. And the hundreds of workers who found work building Kansas City's future, smiled too. The truth was that Pendergast Ready-Mix Cement was probably his only entirely legal business. But what brought Tom Pendergast down, was another legal business; political consultant.
Alan Clark. 1974
The reformers patted themselves on the back, and the Republicans reveled in their triumph over Democratic sin. Governor Stark (above) hoped to use the toppling of Boss Tom to propel himself into the U.S. Senate. But in 1940, he lost a nasty contest to Harry Truman, who had been a long time Pendergast man. After that Stark was through in Missouri politics. When Boss Tom died in January of 1945, his funeral was well attended, and the only thing that changed about Missouri politics was the names on the ballots.
Harry S. Truman.
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