A Brief History of Mid-America Mensa
The first Mensa meeting in Kansas City, Missouri was April 14, 1964. Kansas City Area Mensa was officially recognized as a Local Group by the North American Committee on August 20, 1965. The geographical area was everywhere within 75 miles of Kansas City.
The name was changed to Mid-America Mensa on October 13, 1973 because of an increase in the geographic territory. All Mensans in Kansas and Missouri except those living in or close to St. Louis were members of MAM. Since then, Sunflower Mensa in Wichita, KS and Ozark Mensa in southwestern Missouri have shrunk the geographic area with their own Local Groups.
Mid-America Mensa has hosted two AGs (Annual Gatherings), in 1979 and 1991. An AG is similar to a national convention for Mensans. The first RG (Regional Gathering) in International Mensa was held in Kansas City in October of 1964. KCAM and MAM have hosted 10 RGs. An RG is an AG on a smaller scale.
Mid-America Mensa’s first picnic was in 1964. One has been held almost every summer since then. Other annual events are Halloween and New Year’s Eve parties. MAMs also have socialized by going to art galleries, art shows, ballet, live theater, movies, philharmonic concerts, planetariums, natural history museums, baseball games, Worlds of Fun and float trips in southern Missouri. They have also bowled, played miniature golf and hosted many, many parties.
An important area of socializing is SIGs (Special Interest Groups). MAM has had over 80 different ones, ranging from Lunch Bunch to Philosophy, some more lasting than others. The longest lasting have been Singles, Gossip (now retired) and Games.
Members learn when and where activities are from the Calendar of Events in the Mension, the MAM newsletter. It has been published monthly since September, 1973. There were other newsletters prior to that date.
MAMs have given back to the community by sponsoring scholarships open to anyone attending college the following fall since 1985. They contributed 200 books to an American Mensa project to restock a public library that was flooded in 1993. They have answered phones for KCPT during pledge week, contributed to the KCPT auction, taught literacy and judged high school debates, Odyssey of the Mind and a charity Trivial Pursuit Contest.
KCAM and MAM have grown from 147 members in 1965 to nearly 600 members currently.
Several of those members have been national officers, and two have been International Mensa officers.