University of Missouri

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Ernest H. Newcomb

His name was never a household word in Kansas City and, although Ernest Newcomb played a large part in determining the location of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, he was not even well-known on campus for many years. As the administrative founding father of UMKC, Newcomb is now considered to have been an important figure in the history of higher education in Kansas City, but a change in management during the university's early years strained his relationship with the school for nearly four decades.

Hazel Browne Williams

A glimpse into the history of education in Kansas City would not be complete without a profile of Hazel Browne Williams, the first African American fulltime professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Hazel Browne, a native Kansas Citian, was born on February 9, 1907, the only child of John and Effie Moten Browne. She graduated from Lincoln High School in 1923, where she earned the honor of serving as the first woman sponsor major of the school's Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). Her reputation for breaking barriers would continue throughout the rest of her life.

Confronting Injustice: Lucile Bluford and the Kansas City Call, 1939-1942

This essay analyzes Bluford’s initial reporting on her effort to enter MU, her commentary on her failed civil lawsuit in May 1942, and the announcement of the newspaper’s fundraising campaign for African American education in the same month. The facts of Bluford’s three-year crusade to enroll at MU are known: she repeatedly tried to enroll at the university and pursued three lawsuits, losing the last one in April 1942. The fact that she and The Call collaborated to influence readers’ responses to the quest for African American educational rights has not been acknowledged or analyzed.

The North Kansas City Urban District

An excerpt of John Q. Adams's doctoral thesis about the physical and cultural characteristics of the North Kansas City Urban District. Adams characterizes the district both as a unit and in relation to Kansas City, Missouri across the river. He concludes his study with a discussion of the implications for future changes in the landscape. The article presents maps and photos of the geographic features of North Kansas City as well as tables pertinent to land usage and industrial development.

Statement Regarding Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada

Statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court case Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada, reporting that the Court has not yet made a final decision in the case, and noting that the state established Lincoln University as "a separate educational system for the negro race." Lloyd Gaines, a young black Missouri man, sought admission to the University of Missouri's law school and was rejected on the basis of his race. The case eventually reached the Supreme Court, which decided in December 1938 that if only one school existed, students of all races must be admitted.

Memorandum of Interview with Lucile Bluford

Memorandum recounting a meeting with Lucile Bluford as recounted by S. W. Canada, registrar at the University of Missouri. Canada writes that Bluford visited his office the afternoon of February 5, 1941, with another woman, to follow up on her telegram reporting that Lincoln University offered no journalism coursework and thus is not a substite for University of Missouri's School of Journalism. She requests admission to the MU program, and Canada reiterates that he has no authority to offer her admission.

From William S. Hogsett to S. W. Canada

Letter from William S. Hogsett to University of Missouri registrar S. W. Canada, noting that the university's graduate journalism program is to be reinstated, and addressing questions about Lucile Bluford potentially renewing her application and filing another lawsuit. Hogsett suggests they return to their prior successful argument that her applications are not being made in good faith and are instead "a mere pretense." He believes it likely that the NAACP would select another plaintiff for future efforts.

From William S. Hogsett to S. W. Canada

Letter from William S. Hogsett to University of Missouri registrar S. W. Canada, suggesting Canada need not reply to letters from Lucile Bluford, suggesting she "has now been placed in the nuisance class" after losing her two lawsuits against Canada. At the time, Bluford was the managing editor of the Kansas City Call and her effort to gain admittance to the masters degree program at MU's School of Journalism, and repeated denials due to her race, lead to a case that eventually was heard before the Missouri Supreme Court.

From William S. Hogsett to S. W. Canada

Letter from William S. Hogsett to University of Missouri registrar S. W. Canada reporting that he will be meeting that day with Rubey M. Hulen and Kenneth Teasdale about the new suit filed by Lucile Bluford in federal court. At the time, Bluford was the managing editor of the Kansas City Call and her effort to gain admittance to the masters degree program at MU's School of Journalism, and repeated denials due to her race, lead to a case that eventually was heard before the Missouri Supreme Court.

From William S. Hogsett to S. W. Canada

Letter from William S. Hogsett to University of Missouri registrar S. W. Canada. Hogsett writes that Canada need not acknowledge receipt of the copy of Lucile Bluford's letter to Lincoln University President Sherman D. Scruggs, and asks if Canada has any information about what journalism courses Lincoln will offer, noting Bluford's likelihood to continue legal action if that school does not establish that program.

From William S. Hogsett to S. W. Canada

Letter from William S. Hogsett to University of Missouri registrar S. W. Canada suggesting a reply to Charles Houston's letter of September 11. Hogsett provides a draft reply recommending Canada writes that he deems it to be his duty to follow the court opinions, despite Houston's disagreement, and reiterate that he has no authority to admit Lucile Bluford to the university. Hogsett then recommends Canada confer with attorneys Rubey Hulen and Kenneth Teasdale, as well as university president Frederick A. Middlebush, for their approval before sending a reply.

From William S. Hogsett to S. W. Canada

Letter from William S. Hogsett to University of Missouri registrar S. W. Canada, forwarding a copy of the Missouri Supreme Court opinion in the Bluford vs. Canada case.