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Bonnie and Clyde decided to visit
Battle vs. Barrow Gang was 75 yrs. ago

by Alan McArthur
Landmark reporter

Plans are being announced for a 75th anniversary remembrance of the 1933 gunfight in Platte County between lawmen and Bonnie and Clyde and the Barrow gang.

On Saturday, July 19, the Red Crown Symposium and Road Tour will be held in Platte County.

The gunfight occurred at the Red Crown Tavern located near the Kansas City International Airport. The symposium will run from 9 a.m. to noon and will be held at the Majestic Theater in Zona Rosa with films, rare slides, and accounts of the shootout. There will be vintage cars, period costumes, and collectibles on display.

There will also be a road tour after the symposium, beginning from the theater and traveling along the suspected route taken by the gang to escape Platte County. The road tour will end in Platte City where a host of activities will be held that afternoon beginning at 3 p.m.

The festivities in Platte City include a car show with award given to the best car based on a popular vote. Other events include the Platte City Dust Bowl Jam on the courthouse lawn from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The music will be an open jam session for anyone playing guitar, fiddle, mandolin, harmonica, banjo or even wash-tub bass.

There will also be an ice cream social in front of da Capo on Main Street. The eatery will remain open late on July 19 to accommodate the festivities.

The Ben Ferrell Museum will be open for tours to learn about Platte County's history. It is planned that the lobby of the Platte County Courthouse will also be open for limited tours of the historic artifacts located in the lobby.

There will also be self-guiding walking tours available telling the history of Platte City and part of the story of Bonnie and Clyde.

In July 13, 1933, Clyde Barrow, Bonnie Parker and the Barrow Gang were hiding at the Red Crown Tavern and Tourist Cabins, which were located near where the Kansas City International Airport is now.

Thirteen lawmen had the place surrounded and somehow the Barrow Gang escaped, but not unscathed. While most thought the gang ran straight for Iowa, in fact they spent most of the night just trying to get out of Platte County.

Clyde is also said to have purchased bandages for Bonnie at an old pharmacy on Main Street in Platte City.

Blanche Barrow, part of the Barrow Gang, was returned to the Platte County Courthouse and put on trial. She was convicted and spent 10 years in prison.

Bonnie and Clyde escaped the county by taking back roads and hiding in barns and fields along the way.

For the symposium, attendees must pre-register at or call Jim Spawn at 816-421-1991 or 816-916-4100.


In search of Bonnie and Clyde

Part I: The Battle of Platte County
Part II: Local lawmen shoot it out with notorious bandits
Part III: Further on up the road
Part IV: Holt Coffey: Platte County Hero


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