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.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Tue January 28, 2014

An Alternate History For Kansas Day

Credit Wikimedia Commons

One nice thing about teaching Kansas history is that it is easy to draw a state map: just create a rectangle with one corner nibbled off.

This map could have been very different, however.

Our story begins in 1854, with the creation of the massive Territory of Kansas that extended from Missouri to the Continental Divide. With Utah on its western border, territorial Kansas included both Pike’s Peak and Bent’s Fort.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Past and Present: American Celebrations

Credit maureen lunn / Flickr / Creative Commons

Traditionally, Christians marked December as the season of Advent, paralleling the role of Lent before Easter. Christmas celebrations were to begin at Christmas. That practice has been under siege for generations, with Christmas, it seems, now threatening to engulf Thanksgiving.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Past and Present: Wichita State's Oldest Building

Fiske Hall has served many functions since its dedication in 1906.
Credit Fletcher Powell / KMUW

The oldest surviving structure on Wichita State’s campus, Fiske Hall’s story began in 1904 with a donation from Charlotte Fiske of Massachusetts to construct a new men’s dormitory at what was then Fairmount College.

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Commentary
12:30 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Past and Present: A President's Kansas Heritage

President Barack Obama with his grandparents, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham
Credit U.S. Embassy, Jakarta / Flickr / Creative Commons

Recently, two students and I had a chance to work on a project that looked at the Kansas ancestors of President Barack Obama.

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Commentary
12:30 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Past and Present: The Pride Of The Interurban

Interurban railroad cars
Credit Six Miles of Local History / Flickr

In the 1910s, a person in Kansas City who wanted to attend the University of Kansas-University of Missouri game in Lawrence only needed to take the trolley to the station of the Kaw Valley Interurban, where trains left every hour on the half hour.

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Commentary
12:30 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Past and Present: Route 66

Jay and the Buick Super at the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, N.M.
Jay Price KMUW

Over the years, I have traveled down various segments of Route 66 that, taken together, have covered or paralleled nearly the entire length of “the Mother Road.”

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Commentary
12:30 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Past and Present: Preservation

The Brutalist-style Central branch of the Wichita Public Library was built in the 1960s.
Credit Fletcher Powell / KMUW

My research includes the study of buildings constructed from about World War II to the 1970s.

It began with a study of Route 66 and the features along the “Mother Road.” Since then, my interest in the postwar built-landscape has extended to suburban ranch homes, one of which I just purchased, and to the religious landscape of 1950s and 1960s America.

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Commentary
12:30 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Past and Present: The Reality of History

Credit xmacex / Flickr

Many in the general public think of history as dry textbooks and the memorization of lists of dates, wars, kings and presidents. But memorizing facts is no more history than practicing free throws is basketball.

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Commentary
12:30 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Past and Present: Architect Behind Some Well-Known Wichita Buildings

Uel Clifton Ramey
Credit Steve Ramey

Historians study those who shape the world in which we live, including those who designed the physical space around us. One such person was architect Uel Clifton Ramey.

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Commentary
12:30 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Past and Present: Kellogg, The Lost Thoroughfare

Credit Amy Delamaide

More than just a road, Kellogg is a major landmark, separating the main downtown and upscale districts of central and northern Wichita from the aviation plants and blue-collar neighborhoods that lie “south of Kellogg.”

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