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How White Castle started America’s burger wars

The White Castle chain began in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas, where its ingenious small burgers kicked off a national craze and inspired imitators of all shapes and sizes. But over a century later, White Castle has entirely vanished from its home state. And the story of how it introduced America to the hamburger and the concept of fast food has largely been overshadowed by its restaurant rivals.

This episode of A People's History of Kansas City was reported, produced and mixed by Mackenzie Martin with editing by Gabe Rosenberg and Suzanne Hogan.

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Whether it’s something happening right now or something that happened 100 years ago, some stories don’t fit in the short few minutes of a newscast. As a podcast producer at KCUR, I help investigate questions and local curiosities in a way that brings listeners along for adventures with plot twists and thought-provoking ideas. Sometimes there isn’t an easy answer in the end – but my hope is that we all leave with a greater understanding of the city we live in. Reach me at mackenzie@kcur.org.
Every part of the present has been shaped by actions that took place in the past, but too often that context is left out. As a podcast producer for KCUR Studios and host of the podcast A People’s History of Kansas City, I aim to provide context, clarity, empathy and deeper, nuanced perspectives on how the events and people in the past have shaped our community today.

In that role, and as an occasional announcer and reporter, I want to entertain, inform, make you think, expose something new and cultivate a deeper shared human connection about how the passage of time affects us all. Reach me at hogansm@kcur.org.
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