American Royal

The American Royal is a livestock show, horse show, rodeo and barbecue competition held each year in September - November at Various Sites in the Kansas City Metro Area. The Future Farmers of America (now the National FFA Organization) was founded during the annual Royal. The Kansas City Royals professional baseball team derive their name in part from the Royal.[1]

American Royal logo


MOPAC Livestock show 1922
Newspaper ad for the 1922 version of the Royal.

The American Royal began as a cattle show in 1899 in the Kansas City Stockyards. The name "American Royal" was inspired by a 1901 editorial in beef industry publication Kansas City Drovers Telegram entitled "Call It The American Royal." The editorial noted the Royal Agricultural Society in England has a similar event called the Royal Show. The first American Royal horse show was added in 1907, and has grown to include five shows (Quarter Horse Show, Hunter-Jumper Horse Show, Arabian Horse Show, American Saddlebred, Youth Horse Show and a Cutting Horse show).

In 1926, the American Royal invited vocational agriculture students to judge livestock. During the 1928 American Royal, 33 of the students meeting at the Baltimore Hotel in downtown Kansas City formed the Future Farmers of America. Now, the National FFA Organization has 579,678 members. The group proceeded to hold a convention every year during the Royal in Kansas City until 1998. The original home of the American Royal was destroyed by fire in 1925 during an Automobile Show. The structure was rebuilt in time for the event that year and served as the center for events until the American Royal complex was built across from Kemper Arena in 1992. During World War II, the Royal complex was converted into a glider factory.

New Complex

American Royal Complex
American Royal Complex

The new American Royal Complex was constructed in 1992 to replace the outdated facility constructed in 1926. The complex was designed by the architecture firm Black and Veatch and constructed by Walton Construction.[2] The new complex consists of a museum and visitor center, three exhibition halls, Hale Arena, a theatre, a full-service restaurant and concession stand, as well as the administrative offices. In 1993, the new facilities were flooded but was restored in time for the American Royal livestock shows to continue that autumn. Hale Arena has since replaced Hy-Vee Arena and the Sprint Center as arenas where the livestock and rodeo shows are held each autumn. The barbecue competition had been held on the complex grounds, but was moved to the Arrowhead Stadium parking lots in 2015 and then to Kansas Speedway in 2016.

American Royal Museum

The American Royal Museum is open by appointment and for extended hours during the American Royal season. Exhibits include horses, veterinary medicine, the history of the American Royal, agriculture in Kansas City, and horse, rodeo and livestock show clothing, saddles and memorabilia.[3]

The American Hereford Association bull and Hy-Vee Arena and the Kansas City Livestock Exchange Building in the former Kansas City Stockyards of the West Bottoms as seen from Quality Hill


The American Royal is an annual eight-week season of barbecue competition, rodeos, livestock shows, equestrian events and agricultural activities benefiting youth and education. One of Kansas City's premier fall events with annual economic impact of more than $62 million, the Royal hosts the world's largest barbecue contest, one of the Midwest's largest livestock exhibitions, one of the top five ranked rodeos in the nation, and is home of the national championship horse competition.

The barbecue contest is divided into several categories: brisket, pork ribs, pork shoulder, chicken, sausage, side dishes and dessert.


The American Royal is a not-for-profit, community volunteer-based service organization which raises funds to fulfill its vision & mission through endowments contributions, sponsorships and event revenues.

In 2005, the organization contributed more than $1.3 million in financial support in the form of scholarships, educational awards, educational programs, community donations, competitive awards and prize monies and premiums.

See also


  1. ^ Cole, Suzanne P.; Engle, Tim; Winkler, Eric (April 20, 2012). "50 things every Kansas Citian should know". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  2. ^ "The New American Royal". Kansas City Business Journal. October 23, 1992.
  3. ^ "American Royal Museum and Visitors Center". Visit Missouri. Retrieved 25 August 2017.

External links

1968 Major League Baseball expansion draft

The 1968 Major League Baseball expansion draft was conducted to stock up the rosters of four expansion teams in Major League Baseball created via the 1969 Major League Baseball expansion and which would begin play in the 1969 season.

The expansion draft for the Montreal Expos and the San Diego Padres was held on October 14, 1968. The expansion draft for the Kansas City Royals and the Seattle Pilots was held on October 15, 1968.

1969 Major League Baseball season

The 1969 Major League Baseball season was celebrated as the 100th anniversary of professional baseball, honoring the first professional touring baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings.

It was the first season of what is now called the "Divisional Era", where each league of 12 teams was divided into two divisions of six teams each. The winners of each division would compete against each other in a League Championship Series, then best-of-five, to determine the pennant winners that would face each other in the World Series.

In a year marked by Major League Baseball's third expansion of the decade, the New York Mets and the Baltimore Orioles faced each other in the 1969 World Series. Having won the N.L. East Division with a league-best 100–62 record, and sweeping the N.L. West Division Champion Atlanta Braves in three games in the first National League Championship Series, the "Miracle Mets" became the first expansion team to win a pennant. They faced the A.L. East Division Champion Orioles, holders of the best record in baseball (109–53), who swept the A.L. West Division Champion Minnesota Twins in three games in the first American League Championship Series. The upstart Mets upset the heavily favored Orioles and won the World Series title in five games.

American Royal Zephyr

The American Royal Zephyr was a streamlined passenger train service operated by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad between Chicago and Kansas City. This CB&Q Zephyr was named for the American Royal, one of the Midwest's largest and oldest livestock exhibition, professional rodeo, and horse show.

The American Royal Zephyr made its inaugural run on February 1, 1953, as an all-new overnight streamliner between Chicago and Kansas City. The new train was prompted by the completion the previous October of the $16-million "Kansas City Shortcut", 49 miles of new track that made the route shorter, flatter, and straighter. The new alignment shaved 2 hours off of the previous shortest route, and made CB&Q optimistic that it could compete successfully against its entrenched rival, the AT&SF, on this busy route.

American Royal Zephyr #56 departed Kansas City at 10:00 pm, arriving in Chicago at 7:30 am. Westbound counterpart #55 operated on a mirrored schedule, departing the Windy City at 10:00 pm and arriving in Kansas City at 7:30 am. Both trains covered the 466 mile route at an average pace of 49 mph. The original consist included two Vista-Domes (which provided meal service), two Chicago-KC sleepers, one Chicago - St. Joe sleeper, and coaches. The CB&Q simultaneously launched a daylight Chicago-Kansas City service on the same route under the banner of the Kansas City Zephyr. Like its daylight counterpart, the American Royal Zephyr never lived up to ridership expectations, and it was not long before equipment from the ARZ was being shuffled off to other trains. Intense competition came from the Santa Fe, which ran six daily streamliners in each direction through Kansas City on a shorter schedule than CB&Q, and an existing, dedicated overnight service called the Kansas City Chief.

The American Royal Zephyr was discontinued in 1971.

Billy Fiske

William Meade Lindsley Fiske III (4 June 1911 – 17 August 1940) was the 1928 and 1932 Olympic champion bobsled driver and, following Jimmy Davies, was one of the first American pilots killed in action in World War II. At the time Fiske was serving in the Royal Air Force (RAF). He was one of 11 American pilots who flew with RAF Fighter Command between 10 July and 31 October 1940, thereby qualifying for the Battle of Britain clasp to the 1939–45 campaign star.Between his Olympic career and his military service, Fiske was instrumental in the early development of the Aspen ski resort. He and a partner built the first ski lift and lodge in the remote Colorado mountain town. Others would continue their work after the war.

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad

The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (reporting mark CBQ) was a railroad that operated in the Midwestern United States. Commonly referred to as the Burlington Route, the Burlington or as the Q, it operated extensive trackage in the states of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and also in New Mexico and Texas through subsidiaries Colorado and Southern Railway, Fort Worth and Denver Railway, and Burlington-Rock Island Railroad. Its primary connections included Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Louis, Kansas City and Denver. Because of this extensive trackage in the midwest and mountain states, the railroad used the advertising slogans "Everywhere West", "Way of the Zephyrs", and "The Way West".

In 1967, it reported 19,565 million net ton-miles of revenue freight and 723 million passenger miles; corresponding totals for C&S were 1,100 and 10 and for FW&D were 1,466 and 13. At the end of the year CB&Q operated 8,538 route-miles, C&S operated 708 and FW&D operated 1362. (These totals may or may not include the former Burlington-Rock Island Railroad.) In 1970, it merged with the Northern Pacific and Great Northern Railroads to form the Burlington Northern Railroad.

Cunard Line

Cunard Line is a British–American cruise line based at Carnival House at Southampton, England, operated by Carnival UK and owned by Carnival Corporation & plc. Since 2011, Cunard and its three ships have been registered in Hamilton, Bermuda.In 1839 Samuel Cunard, a Halifax, Nova Scotia, shipowner, was awarded the first British transatlantic steamship mail contract, and the next year formed the British and North American Royal Mail Steam-Packet Company together with Robert Napier, the famous Scottish steamship engine designer and builder, to operate the line's four pioneer paddle steamers on the Liverpool–Halifax–Boston route. For most of the next 30 years, Cunard held the Blue Riband for the fastest Atlantic voyage. However, in the 1870s Cunard fell behind its rivals, the White Star Line and the Inman Line. To meet this competition, in 1879 the firm was reorganised as the Cunard Steamship Company, Ltd, to raise capital.In 1902 White Star joined the American-owned International Mercantile Marine Co. and the British Government provided Cunard with substantial loans and a subsidy to build two superliners needed to retain its competitive position. Mauretania held the Blue Riband from 1909 to 1929. The sinking of her running mate Lusitania in 1915 was one of the causes of the United States' entering the First World War. In the late 1920s, Cunard faced new competition when the Germans, Italians and French built large prestige liners. Cunard was forced to suspend construction on its own new superliner because of the Great Depression. In 1934 the British Government offered Cunard loans to finish Queen Mary and to build a second ship, Queen Elizabeth, on the condition that Cunard merged with the then ailing White Star line to form Cunard-White Star Ltd. Cunard owned two-thirds of the new company. Cunard purchased White Star's share in 1947; the name reverted to the Cunard Line in 1950.Upon the end of the Second World War, Cunard regained its position as the largest Atlantic passenger line. By the mid-1950s, it operated 12 ships to the United States and Canada. After 1958, transatlantic passenger ships became increasingly unprofitable because of the introduction of jet airliners. Cunard undertook a brief foray into air travel via the "Cunard Eagle" and "BOAC Cunard" airlines, but withdrew from the airliner market in 1966. Cunard withdrew from its year-round service in 1968 to concentrate on cruising and summer transatlantic voyages for vacationers. The Queens were replaced by Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2), which was designed for the dual role.In 1998 Cunard was acquired by the Carnival Corporation, and accounted for 8.7% of that company's revenue in 2012. In 2004, QE2 was replaced on the transatlantic runs by Queen Mary 2 (QM2). The line also operates Queen Victoria (QV) and Queen Elizabeth (QE). As of 2019, Cunard is the only shipping company to operate a scheduled passenger service between Europe and North America.

Hy-Vee Arena

The Hy-Vee Arena, previously known as the Kemper Arena, is an indoor arena located in Kansas City, Missouri. Prior to conversion to a youth sports facility, Kemper Arena was previously a 19,500-seat professional sports arena. It has hosted NCAA Final Four basketball games, professional basketball and hockey teams, professional wrestling events, the 1976 Republican National Convention, concerts, and is the ongoing host of the American Royal livestock show.

It was originally named for R. Crosby Kemper Sr., a member of the powerful Kemper financial clan and who donated $3.2 million from his estate for the arena. In 2016, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in recognition of its revolutionary design by Helmut Jahn.

Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg

The Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg are a pair of 258-mile (415 km) passenger trains operated by Amtrak that run between Chicago and Quincy, Illinois. The trains are a part of the Illinois Service rail network and are partially funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Between Chicago and Galesburg, Illinois, the services share the BNSF, (ex-CB&Q main line) with the California Zephyr and Southwest Chief. The Galesburg to Quincy section (ex-CB&Q Quincy/Hannibal branch) is only served by the Illinois Zephyr and the Carl Sandburg. Started in November 1971, the Illinois Zephyr is the "longest continuously operated state-sponsored train." The Carl Sandburg was added as a second daily round trip in 2006.

During fiscal year 2015, both the Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg carried a combined 208,961 passengers, a 2.8% decrease over fiscal year 2014. The two trains had a total revenue of $5,287,029 in fiscal year 2015, a 4.2% decrease over fiscal year 2014.

John Thornton Augustine Washington

John Thornton Augustine Washington (May 20, 1783 – October 9, 1841) was a prominent Virginia (now West Virginia) landowner, farmer, and statesman and a member of the Washington family. Washington was a grandnephew of George Washington, first President of the United States.

Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city had an estimated population of 488,943 in 2017, making it the 37th most-populous city in the United States. It is the central city of the Kansas City metropolitan area, which straddles the Kansas–Missouri state line. Kansas City was founded in the 1830s as a Missouri River port at its confluence with the Kansas River coming in from the west. On June 1, 1850 the town of Kansas was incorporated; shortly after came the establishment of the Kansas Territory. Confusion between the two ensued and the name Kansas City was assigned to distinguish them soon after.

Sitting on Missouri's western boundary, with Downtown near the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, the modern city encompasses some 319.03 square miles (826.3 km2), making it the 23rd largest city by total area in the United States. Most of the city lies within Jackson County, but portions spill into Clay, Cass, and Platte counties. Along with Independence, one of its major suburbs, it serves as one of the two county seats of Jackson County. Other major suburbs include the Missouri cities of Blue Springs and Lee's Summit and the Kansas cities of Overland Park, Olathe, and Kansas City.

The city is composed of several neighborhoods, including the River Market District in the north, the 18th and Vine District in the east, and the Country Club Plaza in the south. Kansas City is known for its long tradition of jazz music and culture, for its cuisine (including its distinctive style of barbecue), and its craft breweries.

Kansas City Blues (ice hockey)

The Kansas City Blues were a minor-league hockey team based in Kansas City, Missouri that played in the Central Hockey League from 1967 to 1972, and again in the 1976-77 season, mainly as an affiliate of the in-state St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League. The 1967 Blues were owned by Missouri Lieutenant Governor (1968-1972) William S. (Bill) Morris, and represented the return of hockey to Kansas City for the first time in over 30 years. Morris was determined to bring an NHL team to Kansas City and tried to lay the groundwork by convincing his friend Sid Soloman, owner of the St. Louis Blues, to create a farm team in Kansas City. The Blues made history on February 21, 1971, when Blues goalie Michel Plasse became the first goaltender to score a goal in a professional hockey game, scoring against the Oklahoma City Blazers. This goal was unfortunately witnessed by few as a snow storm was moving through the Kansas City area causing even the team's owner to leave the arena early.

Although the Blues weren't always winners on the ice, they brought an exciting brand of hockey to Kansas City. Claude Cardin, who played in three seasons for the team, was once featured on the cover of a prominent Kansas City magazine with a chart of all of the scars on his face superimposed on his picture. Hardly any of his face was visible. Hockey from 1967-1972 featured fights that erupted into bench clearing brawls and some that erupted outside the rink with fans joining the action. Few players wore helmets in those days. Many future St. Louis Blues players made appearances on the ice at the American Royal Building, if only briefly, which was a thrill for fans of hockey of that era. A partial list of those players can be found here.

The first incarnation of the Kansas City Blues played their home games at the American Royal Building, while the second incarnation played their home games at Kemper Arena, once the NHL's Kansas City Scouts moved to Denver and became the Colorado Rockies.

Kansas City Royals

The Kansas City Royals are an American professional baseball team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The Royals compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member team of the American League (AL) Central division. The team was founded as an expansion franchise in 1969, and has participated in four World Series, winning in 1985 and 2015, and losing in 1980 and 2014.

The name Royals pays homage to the American Royal, a livestock show, horse show, rodeo, and championship barbeque competition held annually in Kansas City since 1899 as well as the identical names of two former negro league baseball teams that played in the first half of the 20th century (one a semi-pro team based in Kansas City in the 1910s and 1920s that toured the Midwest and a California Winter League team based in Los Angeles in the 1940s that was managed by Chet Brewer and included Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson on its roster). The Los Angeles team had personnel connections to the Monarchs but could not use the Monarchs name. The name also fits into something of a theme for other professional sports franchises in the city, including the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL, the former Kansas City Kings of the NBA, and the former Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro National League.

In 1968, the team held a name-the-team contest that received more than 17,000 entries. Sanford Porte, a bridge engineer from the suburb of Overland Park, Kansas was named the winner for his “Royals” entry. His reason had nothing to do with royalty. “Kansas City’s new baseball team should be called the Royals because of Missouri’s billion-dollar livestock income, Kansas City’s position as the nation’s leading stocker and feeder market and the nationally known American Royal parade and pageant,” Porte wrote. The team's board voted 6-1 on the name, with the only opposition coming from team owner Ewing Kauffman, who eventually changed his vote and said the name had grown on him.Entering the American League in 1969 along with the Seattle Pilots, the club was founded by Kansas City businessman Ewing Kauffman. The franchise was established following the actions of Stuart Symington, then-United States Senator from Missouri, who demanded a new franchise for the city after the Athletics (Kansas City's previous major league team that played from 1955 to 1967) moved to Oakland, California in 1968. Since April 10, 1973, the Royals have played at Kauffman Stadium, formerly known as Royals Stadium.

The new team quickly became a powerhouse, appearing in the playoffs seven times from 1976 to 1985, winning one World Series championship and another AL pennant, led by stars such as Amos Otis, Hal McRae, John Mayberry, George Brett, Frank White, Willie Wilson, and Bret Saberhagen. The team remained competitive throughout the early 1990s, but then had only one winning season from 1995 to 2012. For 28 consecutive seasons (1986–2013), the Royals did not qualify to play in the MLB postseason, one of the longest postseason droughts during baseball's current wild-card era. The team broke this streak in 2014 by securing the franchise's first wild card berth and advancing to the World Series. The Royals followed this up by winning the team's first Central Division title in 2015 and defeating the New York Mets for their first World Series title in 30 years.

Kansas City–style barbecue

Kansas City–style barbecue refers to the specific regional barbecue style of slowly smoked meat that originated from the pit of Henry Perry in the early 1900s in Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas City barbecue is characterized by its use of a wide variety of meats: pork, beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, sausage, and sometimes even fish. Just about any type of barbecued meat served in the country's other barbecue capitals, from pulled pork to brisket to beef ribs and pork ribs in a number of different cuts, is served in KC-area barbecue restaurants. Burnt ends – the crusty, fatty, flavorful meat cut from the point of a smoked beef brisket – are much in demand.

Kansas City barbecue is rubbed with spices, slow-smoked over a variety of woods and served with a thick tomato-based barbecue sauce, which is an integral part of KC-style barbecue. Most local restaurants and sauce companies offer several varieties with sweet, spicy and tangy flavor profiles, but the staple sauce tends to be both sweet (often from molasses) and spicy. Kansas City barbecue is also known for its many side dishes, including a unique style of baked beans, French fries, coleslaw, and other Southern-food staples.

The Kansas City metropolitan area has more than 100 barbecue restaurants, a number of which are nationally renowned. The area is also home to several large barbecue cooking contests, notably the Great Lenexa BBQ Battle and the American Royal World Series of Barbecue, the largest barbecue competition in the world.

Kansas Speedway

Kansas Speedway is a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) tri-oval race track in Kansas City, Kansas. It was built in 2001 and it currently hosts two annual NASCAR race weekends. The IndyCar Series also held races at the venue until 2011. The speedway is owned and operated by the International Speedway Corporation.

Lawrence Berry Washington

Lawrence Berry Washington (November 26, 1811 – September 21, 1856) was an American lawyer, military officer, author, Forty-niner, Border Ruffian, and a member of the Washington family. Washington was born on his family's Cedar Lawn plantation near Charles Town, Virginia (present-day West Virginia) and was the eldest of 13 children. He practiced law, then served as a second lieutenant in the Virginia Volunteers during the Mexican–American War. During his service in the war, Washington reportedly wore the sword of his great-granduncle George Washington.

Following the Mexican–American War, Washington traveled to California in 1849 as a Forty-niner in the California Gold Rush and authored the novel, A Tale to be Told Some Fifty Years Hence. Washington then relocated east to Missouri in the 1850s, where he remained for a few years and fought as a Border Ruffian during the Bleeding Kansas confrontations over slavery along the border between Kansas Territory and Missouri. While under the command of Captain Henry Clay Pate, Washington was present at the June 1856 Free-Stater attack known as Battle of Black Jack, where he sustained minor injuries. Washington died by drowning after falling overboard from a steamboat on the Missouri River in September 1856. His family's descendants claim Washington was murdered by Jayhawkers.

Washington was a great-grandson of Samuel Washington, a great-grandnephew of first President of the United States George Washington, a great-grandson of Robert Rutherford, a United States House Representative from Virginia, and a nephew of Henry Bedinger III, also a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Osmunda spectabilis

Osmunda spectabilis or (American) Royal Fern is a species of fern once thought to be the same as Osmunda regalis, but recent genetic studies have shown it to be a separate species.

RMS Britannia

RMS Britannia was an ocean liner of the British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, later known as Cunard Steamship Company. She was launched on 5 February 1840, at the yard of Robert Duncan & Company in Greenock, Scotland. The ship and her sisters, Acadia, Caledonia, and Columbia, were the first ocean liners built by the company.

Royal Show

The Royal Show was an annual agricultural show/fair held by the Royal Agricultural Society of England every year from 1839 to 2009. Early venues for the show included Oxford (1839); Liverpool (1840); Manchester (1841); Park Royal in London; Wolverhampton Race Course now West Park (1871); Chantry Park, Ipswich (1934); Wrottesley Park, Staffordshire (1937), and Victoria Park, Leamington Spa. From 1963 it was held in Stoneleigh Park (previously known as the National Agricultural Centre or NAC) near Stoneleigh in Warwickshire, England. The first show at Stoneleigh lasted four days and attracted 111,916 visitors.The event encompassed all aspects of farming, food and rural life - from the best of British livestock to the latest business and technological innovations in the farming industry. Over 1,000 stands, world-class livestock and equine classes attracted visitors from over 100 countries.On 3 April 2009, organisers said the 2009 show would be the last. The Agricultural Buildings Show has taken over in part from the Royal Show at Stoneleigh Park.

Indirectly, the show provided the name of the Kansas City Royals baseball team, which was named for that city's American Royal show, named after the Royal Show.

SS Aleppo

SS Aleppo was a British passenger cargo vessel, launched on 1 November 1864, measuring 292.5 feet by 38.2 feet, 2,057 gross tonnage, built in Glasgow by J & G Thomson Govan. Its first North Atlantic voyage from Liverpool to Halifax to New York City launched on 15 September 1865. The Aleppo contained accommodations for 46 first class and 593 third class passengers. The ship was commissioned for the British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Co, Liverpool and transferred to the Cunard Line on 7 September 1878.

In 1880, the ship was fitted with compound engines and in 1890, the SS Aleppo was re-engined with triple-expansion engines by J. Howden & Co. The ship made its last North Atlantic voyage from Liverpool to Boston on 24 March 1892. In 1905, the SS Aleppo was broken up at Preston by Thos W Ward.

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