Kansas City, Missouri - Kansas City sits at the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas rivers and was incorporated in its present form in 1853. The city was the location of several battles during the Civil War. Although the
First Battle of Independence in August 1862 resulted in a Confederate victory, the Southerners were unable to follow up their win in any significant fashion, as Kansas City was occupied by Union troops and proved too heavily fortified for them to assault. The Second Battle of Independence, part of Sterling Price's Missouri expedition of 1864, also resulted in a Confederate triumph. Once again the Southern victory proved hollow, as Price was decisively defeated in the pivotal Battle of Westport the next day, effectively ending Confederate efforts to occupy the city.
The city is well known for its contributions to the musical styles of
blues as well as to cuisine, notably Kansas City-style barbecue. In March 2012, downtown Kansas City was selected as one of America's best downtowns by Forbes magazine for its rich culture in arts, numerous fountains, upscale shopping and various local cuisine - most notably barbecue.
City of Fountains, with over 200 fountains, the city claims to have the second most in the world, just behind Rome. The fountains at Kauffman Stadium, commissioned by original Kansas City Royals owner Ewing Kauffman, are the largest privately funded fountains in the world. The city also has more boulevards than any other city except Paris and has been called "Paris of the Plains." The overwhelming popularity of soccer, both professionally and as a youth sport, in the city as well as Sporting Park being a popular home stadium for the US Men's National Team has led to the city being known to many as "The Soccer Capital of America". Residents are known as Kansas Citians. It is sometimes referred to colloquially as the Heart of America as it is near both the population center of the United States and the geographic center of the 48 contiguous states.
Panoramic view from the top of Liberty Memorial looking North to downtown. Union Station is in the foreground, and Crown Center to its right., Wikimedia Commons