NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Up To Date

Senator Roy Blunt | Lynching Victim Honored | Lynching Memorial In Kansas City (R)

Cody Newill
KCUR 89.3
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt during a visit to KCUR.

Missouri's senior senator on the work ahead in his final months in Congress and two memorials to Levi Harrington who was killed by a Kansas City mob in 1882.

Segment 1, beginning at 1:00: Senator Blunt's political career began in 1973 as county clerk in Greene County, Missouri, and will finish when his current term as senator ends in 2023.

Blunt explains what was behind his recent announcement not to seek reelection. He offered his thoughts on President Biden's American Jobs Plan, the idea of adding justices to the U.S. Supreme Court and if there is anything he had hoped to achieve in politics but didn't.

Segment 2, beginning at 16:35: Levi Harrington, a Black man, was hung from a Kansas City bridge in 1882 for a crime he did not commit.

As part of the Community Remembrance Project of Missouri, soil from the site of Mr. Harrington's death was collected to be part of a display at the Black Archives of Mid-America. Staci Pratt explained how the Community Remembrance Project started and the importance of remembering the victims of terror lynchings.

Segment 3, beginning: A memorial marker to lynching victim Levi Harrington in Kansas City's West Terrace park was the first such memorial in Missouri.

In April of 1882 Harrington, a black man, was hung from a beam on the Bluff Street Bridge in Kansas City's West Bottoms by an angry white mob for a crime he did not commit. In an encore presentation, we hear the story behind Harrington's lynching, just one of the more than 4,400 documented to have occurred between 1877 and 1950 in this country.

Steve Kraske is the host of KCUR's Up To Date. Follow him on Twitter @stevekraske.
Zach Wilson is the associate producer for KCUR's Up To Date.
Danie Alexander is the senior producer of Up To Date.