KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval issued a proclamation in support of the Bengals Friday afternoon that got a foundational fact about Kansas City completely wrong.
The mayor tweeted out a video with his “They Gotta Play Us Day” proclamation for this Sunday and the AFC Championship Game.
The proclamation reads, in part, “Whereas, Kansas City is named after its neighboring state-which is, you know, just kind of weird.”
There’s just one problem: Kansas City isn’t named after the state of Kansas. Not even close. In fact, the city of Kansas City was incorporated in 1853, eight years before Kansas became the 34th state on January 29, 1861.
The city was initially called the City of Kansas, but became Kansas City in 1889.
For a detailed explanation, we turn to the Kansas City Public Library, which cites historian Carrie Westlake Whitney’s summary from her 1908 book “Kansas City, Missouri: Its History and Its People.”
“The proprietors decided to call the town ‘Kansas’ after the Kansas river. The river was named after the Kansas Indians who lived along the banks of the stream. The Kansas Indians’ name for themselves was ‘Kanzas,’ pronounced by the French traders ‘Kahns’ a term that finally was adopted by the American settlers,” the passage reads.
So there you have it, Kansas City, Missouri, is not named after the state of Kansas.
But the proclamation is certainly generating attention online, and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas took a moment to weigh in with his opinion:
The Chiefs take on the Bengals Sunday at 5:30 p.m. at Arrowhead Stadium with the winner advancing to Super Bowl LVII.