National Archives at Kansas City

Great Plains Originals: Historic Documents from America’s Heartland

Great Plains Originals: Historic Documents from America’s Heartland. Written by Brian Burnes, Kansas City Star reporter and edited by Monroe Dodd, Kansas City Star editor. Published by Star Books.
View select images from the book.

From wild Westerners to patriots and protesters, the National Archives – Central Plains Region opens its storehouse of American history in the pages of Great Plains Originals: Historic Documents from America's Heartland.

This colorful book boasts a parade of the choicest items held by the Archives’ in Kansas City. You’ll find Buffalo Bill and Walt Disney, tarred-and-feathered farmers, aging Civil War veterans who had to register as enemy aliens, and scores more gems of Americana.

In the 200 full-color pages of Great Plains Originals, author Brian Burnes tells the story of each photograph, illustration, document and artifact — all assembled by the archives from Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and the Dakotas.

Written by Brian Burnes, Kansas City Star reporter and edited by Monroe Dodd, Kansas City Star editor. Published by Star Books.

To order a copy of the book use the order form or copies can be purchased from Star Books a division of the Kansas City Star.

Select Images From the Book


Massive ad campaign staged by the Royal Theater movie house, nearby businesses complained of the large signage. Record Group 21

Promoter John Mabray and others alleged to be involved in fixed boxing and wrestling matches. Record Group 21

On the front lies with the CCC, moving rocks in a camp. Record Group 114

This central Missouri slaveowner, Horace Kingsbury sought compensation for his slave, Albert Cavanaugh, who joined the Union Army in early 1864. Record Group 21

After vigilantes were finished with him, John Meintz showed what a tarring-and-feathering looked like. Record Group 21

Among Robert Stroudís Leavenworth Penitentiary file is his records card. Stroud was know later as the "Birdman of Alcatraz". Record Group 129

Playing the part of a marionette representing South Vietnam, Charles Blackmon took part in this protest against the war in Vietnam. Record Group 21

From a series of letters surrounding the arrest of Sitting Bull. Record Group 75

St. Louis clothing workers marched outside the Curlee Clothing Co. at times coming to blows. Record Group 21

Government posters warned of the threat of erosion, from the Farm Security administration. Record Group 114

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