History Marking–Kansas City’s Place in Progress

A Moment in Time

The members of LGBT-KC stand in front of the new marker in Kansas City, smiling for the camera.
Members of LGBT-KC at the marker unveiling on October 20, 2016. L to R: David Jackson, Kay Madden, Stuart Hinds, Brad Wolf, and Jon Barnett.
Photo by John J. Long

Although the history of the homophile movement might have passed, the telling of the homophile movement’s history has only just begun. On October 20, 2016, a historical marker commemorating the National Planning Conference of Homophile Organizations’ 50th anniversary was unveiled in Kansas City. Championed by LGBT-KC, a volunteer committee that partnered with the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America to help construct the memorial, the marker now stands at the corner of 12th and Wyandotte across from where the Hotel State once stood.

Searching for Stories

Photo showing the aisles of boxes and files that make up the archive.
The archives of GLAMA. Photo by Samantha Hollingsworth

The installation of the NACHO marker would not have been possible without the hard work of historians who helped uncover the meeting’s very occurrence and impact. The Gay and Lesbian Archives of Mid-America (GLAMA) at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, for example, helped find many of the documents on display here that tell the story of NACHO and the Phoenix Society. GLAMA’s mission is to collect, preserve, and make accessible the documents and artifacts that reflect the histories of Kansas City’s LGBT communities. As the first and only archive dedicated to local LGBT communities, GLAMA highlights Kansas City’s diversity and serves as a resource for ongoing struggles for progress and equal rights.

If you would like to contribute to building this history by donating material to the collection, please contact GLAMA curator Stuart Hinds at www.umkc.edu/GLAMA.