© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

How Missouri made the Lake of the Ozarks

With more shoreline than the coast of California, the Lake of the Ozarks in mid-central Missouri is a popular tourist destination for land-locked Midwesterners. But few know the origin of this man-made lake and the communities it displaced. Plus: A Kansas City artist has turned his car into not just a vehicle, but a piece of art.

The Bagnell Dam was constructed in 1931, creating what many people know today as the Lake of the Ozarks. It's a summer staple for tourists who want to beat the heat on this "ocean in the Midwest." But, as KCUR's Suzanne Hogan reports for the KCUR Studios podcast A People's History of Kansas City, the origin story for this man-made body of water involves corruption, jail time, communities torn apart and displaced families.

When artist Philo Northrup works on his car, he’s not just changing oil or inflating his tires — he’s using found objects to tell a story. And when you see his car in your rearview mirror with painted flames and outrageous accessories, what you're seeing is more than just a vehicle — it's a movable sculpture. KCUR's Julie Denesha has his story.

Contact the show at news@kcur.org. Follow KCUR on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news.

Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Trevor Grandin, Byron Love, and KCUR Studios, and edited by Gabe Rosenberg and Lisa Rodriguez.

You can support Kansas City Today by becoming a KCUR member: kcur.org/donate.

As a newscaster and a host of a daily news podcast, I want to deliver the most important and interesting news of the day in an engaging and easily understandable way. No matter where you live in the metro or what you’re interested in, I want you to learn something from each newscast or podcast – and maybe even give you something to talk about at the dinner table.
Trevor Grandin is a contributing producer for KCUR Studios.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.