Skating Rink Shenanigans

Skating 1913 - CoverIt appears that 100 years ago Kansas City was in the midst of a skating rink crisis.  The 1913/14 Annual Report from the Board of Public Welfare includes a report on the state of the issue, noting that “complaints against skating rinks were received daily by this department”.  Most of the complaints came from the mothers of the girls who  patronized certain of these establishments.  Therein, the young maidens would find “filthy toilets”, cigarette stubs littering the floor, “a large stage with a drop curtain [that] offered cover for improprieties”, and “a dark balcony” that “offered further cover for improper conduct”, among many other shortcomings.  Serenaded by “a discordant mechanical organ”, skaters were soon covered by dust in the building kicked up by their Skating 1913 - Page 1-2incessant activity.  In this environment – also replete with “profane language” – several young patrons found their way into municipal and juvenile courts.  This was enough to stir local club women and social workers into action, and they succeeded in urging the city council to pass an ordinance on April 14, 1914 that regulated these Way Stations of Wheeled Wickedness .


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