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The occupation that saved a Wyandot cemetery, revisited

Crysta Henthorne
KCUR 89.3

In the early 1900s, the three Conley sisters barricaded themselves in a Wyandot cemetery in downtown Kansas City, Kansas, to save it from destruction. Then Lyda Conley took the battle all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court — the first Indigenous woman to do so. In this episode, which originally aired in 2020, Suzanne Hogan uncovers Conley’s story and reports how the Kansas City arts community is newly celebrating her legacy.

The version of this episode that first aired in February 2020 was reported, produced and mixed by Suzanne Hogan with editing by Sylvia Maria Gross. The 2024 update was produced by Mackenzie Martin with editing by Gabe Rosenberg.

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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.
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 for KCUR Studios and host of the podcast A People’s History of Kansas City, 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.
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