The Heart of America

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Green and yellow illustrations of buildings and statues with a window in the middle and a red heart at the bottom

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W & H CO. NEWARK N.J. PAT. OCT. 1-1929

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Edward J. Shannahan, a Kansas City lawyer, handled publicity for the national convention of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, held in Kansas City, Missouri in August 1914. Shannahan sought a way to not only promote the convention but the city itself. Shannahan came up with the phrase, “The Heart of America,” to use in advertising for the Eagles convention. The Commercial Club (now the Chamber of Commerce) adopted the phrase for a campaign to persuade Eastern tourists to pass through Kansas City on their way to the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition World’s Fair that was held in San Francisco, California.

“Heart of America” became the city’s official slogan on March 15, 1915, and remained a part of Kansas City’s official identity for at least two decades. The phrase continues to be used in the names of groups, businesses and even an athletic conference, but the popularity of the slogan is no longer what it used to be, and the city has continued a search for a newer slogan to promote the city.


Kelly, D. (2020, February 12). This KCQ doesn’t miss a beat: Kansas City has shown its heart for more than 100 years. The Kansas City Star.

Catalog ID EV0402