Old Photos: Cruising Downtown Kansas City With Ike

Someone pointed out that finding these photos is not that hard, anyone can go the Life photo archives, try different keywords and voilà. Why do you think I keep posting them?

These photos were taken when the future President Dwight D. Eisenhower visited Kansas City in 1952. During the visit his cortege rode through the city encountering an outpouring of support, as well as a protest. The photographs reflect the look of downtown, full of life and commerce and windows that were actually made to be opened.

I realize most of these photos look alike, but each iteration shows slightly different store signs and window displays.

In Kansas City picketed general as he rode through the city.They refused to tell reporters whether they were paid or not.© Time Inc. Joe Scherschel

©Time Inc. Joe Scherschel

©Time Inc. Joe Scherschel

©Time Inc. Joe Scherschel

©Time Inc. Joe Scherschel

©Time Inc. Joe Scherschel

©Time Inc. Joe Scherschel

©Time Inc. Joe Scherschel

©Time Inc. Joe Scherschel

©Time Inc. Joe Scherschel

©Time Inc. Joe Scherschel

©Time Inc. Joe Scherschel

©Time Inc. Joe Scherschel

©Time Inc. Joe Scherschel

©Time Inc. Joe Scherschel

©Time Inc. Joe Scherschel

©Time Inc. Joe Scherschel

Bonus: Prehistoric teleprompter.

©Time Inc. Joe Scherschel

  • Donna W

    I’m too lazy to go searching through the Life website for pictures, so go right ahead showing these pictures. It reminds me what downtown was like when I was a kid. I had to study that picture with the protesters: that one lady looks suspiciously like a man in women’s clothes. I wonder what “mink” was about?

  • Anonymous

    I think the lady is wearing mink… it’s sad seeing all the buildings that USED to be downtown. We need an Eisenhower NOW.

    • Also, the streetcar rail, which has since been paved over.

  • Bob

    I love these photos. In my memory, downtown KC was much more crowded on a typical weekday. So either Ike wasn’t so popular, or my memory sucks. But it is nice to know that at least at times, downtown was as deserted as it is now. I feel so much better.