Official Navy photographs of Kansas City flooding
The collection includes 85 aerial and ground photographs taken by official photographers stationed at the United States Naval Air Station in Olathe, Kansas, of the flooding in the greater Kansas City area in 1951.
Conditions Governing Access
No access restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.
History of 1951 Flood
The 1951 flood struck the Greater Kansas City area on Friday, July 13, 1951. Also known as Black Friday, the flood struck the industrial area, paralyzing the livestock industry. The flood began on Thursday, July 12, when it overflowed into the Argentine district of Kansas City. 15,000 individuals were evacuated and their property was destroyed. Other affected areas in the Kansas City area included Armourdale, Central Industrial district, and Fairfax. As the flooding reached oil refineries, the oily water was prone to fire causing even more destruction and dangerous conditions for those attempting to evacuate and save property. Damage to the Kansas City area was estimated above one billion dollars. Other cities along the Kaw were greatly impacted include Lawrence, Topeka, and Manhattan.
Photographs in this collection document primarily Kansas City and Lawrence damage. Images were taken by official photographers stationed at the United States Naval Air Station in Olathe, Kansas. The images are primarily aerial views of damage, but ground photographs show Naval troops rescuing civilians, making sandbags, conversing, and scenes of flooded streets.
0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)
Language of Materials
RH PH 511
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift, Bill Steele, 2014.
Separated from Robert W. Hess Collection.
- Steele, Bill (Donor, Person)
- Guide to the Greater Kansas City Area Flood of 1951 Collection.
- Official Navy photographs of Kansas City flooding
- Finding aid prepared by el. Finding aid encoded by el.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Finding aid written in English.
- Finding aid permalink
- Preferred citation
Greater Kansas City Area Flood of 1951 Collection, RH PH 511, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.
Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository
1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States