Robert E. Weems Jr.

History commentator

Robert E. Weems, Jr. is the Willard W. Garvey Distinguished Professor of Business History at Wichita State University.

His research specialty is African American business and economic history.

Ways to Connect

U.S. presidents have long sought to communicate with the American people on a variety of pertinent issues. With the advent of radio in the early twentieth-century, this task became much easier.

Van L. Johnson

Wichita, like many other U.S. cities during the early-to-mid twentieth century, placed restrictions on how African Americans could use municipal swimming pools. According to numerous local blacks who lived during this era, the pool at Riverside Park was especially notorious in this regard.

The fortunes of local African American swimmers improved dramatically in 1969 with the construction of a swimming pool at McAdams Park. This facility, created by the renowned black architect Charles McAfee, received a design award from the American Institute of Architects in 1970.

The year 2017 represents the 50th anniversary of the “long hot summer” of 1967. During this tumultuous period, 176 cities (including Wichita) experienced racial disturbances.

Situated between World War II and Vietnam, the Korean War is often referred to as America’s “forgotten war.” Despite its relative murkiness in the context of public consciousness, the Korean War and its aftermath is arguably America’s most fascinating recent military endeavor.

The Tariff Act of 1789, signed by President George Washington on July 4, sought to solve two problems of the early United States. This legislation, which called for import duties on foreign produced products, first and foremost, provided a revenue stream for the federal government. For instance, in 1790, 99.9 percent of federal revenue came from the recently instituted tariffs. Second, tariffs were viewed as a mechanism that would allow the young America to build an industrial base with reduced competition from foreign companies.

The first 100 days of a new U.S. presidential administration provide an important vantage point to assess how effective (or ineffective) the nation’s chief executive will be.

An important characteristic of 2016 holiday shopping is consumers’ ever-increasing use of the internet to make gift purchases. A century ago, American consumers also utilized an alternative to shopping in brick and mortar stores.

Politics, similar to law, is influenced by the principle of precedent. Considering what has taken place during the presidential campaign of 2016, both Democrats and Republicans should be concerned about the dynamics of future elections in the United States.

An important off-shoot of the Black Lives Matter Movement is the growth of a parallel phenomenon known as Black Money Matters. As history reveals, African Americans’ use of their collective spending power to bring about positive change is nothing new. For instance, during the Civil Rights era, such episodes as the Montgomery Bus Boycott clearly showed the power of strategic consumerism.

The recent passing of the legendary Muhammad Ali and the recent release of ESPN’s multi-part documentary, O.J. Made in America, has generated a re-examination of these two individuals’ lives and legacy.

Muhammad Ali and O.J. Simpson are similar in that their notoriety transcended their exploits as superstar athletes in the boxing ring and on the football field. Yet, they are dramatically dissimilar in that Ali lived a life linked with principled action whereas Simpson lived a life linked with public relations.

Pages