Jay Price

History commentator

Jay M. Price is chair of the department of history at Wichita State University, where he also directs the public history program.

His works include Temples for a Modern God: Religious Architecture in Postwar America, Gateways to the Southwest: The Story of Arizona State Parks, Wichita, 1860-1930, and El Dorado!: Legacy of an Oil Boom. He has co-authored Wichita's Legacy of Flight, the Cherokee Strip Land Rush, Wichita’s Lebanese Heritage, and Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley.

He has served on the boards of the Kansas Humanities Council and the Kansas State Historic Sites Board of Review. He is currently on the board of the Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum and the University Press of Kansas.

Ways to Connect

This commentary falls between Earth Day, April 22, and the anniversary of the Moon Landing on July 20. Both days mark a series of events that took place in 1969 and 1970, among them several efforts to create a flag to represent the planet Earth. There was already a flag for the United Nations as well as several concepts for a flag to represent the world or humanity in general. Now, just as people saw the earth from space for the first time, some wondered if there should be a flag for the planet as an entity rather than just a collection of peoples.

One of the more colorful figures in early Wichita was M.R. “Charlie” Cordeiro, who came to town as a scout for the army and later opened a saloon. His time here was turbulent, starting in 1869 with him killing a man out of self-defense. Later, he operated the Texas Hotel/Saloon/Restaurant, albeit in the face of lawsuits among other challenges. By 1874, his former Texas Saloon had been sold in a sheriff’s sale and by 1875, he was a leading member of a party searching for gold in the Black Hills, where some later reports suggested he was killed by Native Americans.

John 'Hoppy' Hopkins

This month marks the 50th anniversary of Allen Ginsberg, poet and Beat icon, coming to Wichita. Back in the 1950s, Kansas in general and Wichita in particular had produced an astonishing number of writers and artists who had gone to San Francisco to be part of the Beat scene. There were so many Wichitans involved that when Ginsberg received a travel grant, he made a point to visit Wichita on his tour of the Midwest.

One of the best things about living in Wichita is the chance to go to a year-round set of food fests. Most start as congregational fund

Fletcher Powell / KMUW

Next year, the Public History Program at Wichita State University will officially become the Local and Community History Program.

http://www.vet.k-state.edu/

While working on the African Americans of Wichita book project, I was struck by how many prominent figures of the 20th century were veterinarians. For example, Dr. Thomas G. Perry opened the first small animal hospital on Cleveland Street in 1921, later joining the faculty of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Other figures included Dr. G. T. Bronson, Tuskegee airman Dr. Don Jackson and Dr. T. E. McDonald.

Given that my father is a veterinarian, the number of animal doctors in the community definitely caught my attention.

What's In A Name?

Aug 11, 2015

Wichitans are getting used to flying out of Dwight D. Eisenhower Airport, now that the old name of Mid-Continent has been retired.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

    

Those shopping and eating at Bradley Fair in northeast Wichita probably don’t realize that they are visiting what could have been the community of Manchester.

Jim Kent / Wichita Music History Project

Popular culture often provides a useful window into the past, highlighting larger trends and issues that may not be apparent at first. This was the case when I became involved in a project documenting local rock bands from the 1950s through the 1970s.

Jay Price / KMUW

The McClinton Market is gone.

Back in 2011, things seemed more promising when the building at 1205 E 12th Street in Wichita was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. I remember that nomination; I was on the State Historic Sites Board of Review then. It was one of the few surviving early African American owned business buildings in the city.

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