Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city within Missouri State. It is the main city within the Kansas City Metropolitan Area and is usually called "KC". The city serves as the county seat of Jackson County although it covers more than 820 square km within the counties of Clay, Jackson, Cass and Platte Kansas City has a population of 459,787. The larger metropolitan area has 2.1 million residents.
Kansas City is situated at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers, opposite the city of Kansas, Kansas. It was founded as a town in 1838 and was incorporated as a city during 1850. KC was the location of the Battle of Westport and several other Civil War battles. Kansas City played a vital part in the history of jazz and blues.
Etienne de Veniard, Sieur de Bourgmont, was the very first European to go to the area and explore the lower Missouri River. He was a commander at the French's Fort Detroit, but left after being criticized for his handling of Native American affairs. A deserter, became a fur trader, he evaded authorities and married a Native American.
Greater Kansas City is home to Hallmark Cards and various Fortune 500 companies. Headquartered there are YRC Worldwide Inc., Sprint Nextel Corporation, H&R Block and International Assets Holding Corporation. Other companies located there include Aquila, Great Plains Energy, Applebee's, AMC Theatres, Cerner, DST Systems, Russell Stover candies and Garmin International. Three international law businesses are also based in Kansas City.
Agriculture is important to the city's economy. Kansas City is home to Dairy Farmers of America, the biggest Dairy Co-op in the country.
There are several lakes in the area around KC. These lakes offer lots of recreational opportunities like fishing, swimming, camping and boating. Popular places are Lewis and Clark Lake, around 45 minutes north of Kansas City, and Big Lake State Park, further north. Stockton Lake at Stockton State Park is known for scuba diving and is located 160 km southeast of Kansas City.