Past and Present

Three Wichita State history professors, Drs. Robin Henry, Robert Weems, and Jay Price, will talk about Wichita history, parallels between current events and historical happenings, and how historical events got us to where we are today.

Past & Present is also available through iTunes. Listen or subscribe here.

Horace Cort / AP

Most Americans are probably aware of the famous August 28, 1963, March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his immortal “I Have A Dream” speech. Far fewer citizens are aware of his advocacy of a second march on Washington planned for April 1968.

This commentary originally aired on March 8, 2016.

On May 10, 1840, Elizabeth Cady married abolitionist Henry Stanton. For the presiding pastor, the unconventional wedding day, a Friday, was not the most shocking part of their wedding ceremony. Rejecting Protestant tradition, Elizabeth Cady omitted the vow binding her “to obey” her husband.

On April 17th 1905, the US Supreme Court held, in a 5-4 decision, that maximum hours laws violated the 14th Amendment and an individual’s right to contract. The New York state legislature had passed the Bakeshop Act in 1895 that restricted bakery employees to 10-hour workdays and 60-hour workweeks. 

When studying issues in the press of a given time, it is essential to compare as many different publications as possible. The Wichita Eagle and Wichita Beacon, founded as the city’s Republican and Democratic papers, respectively, often took remarkably different views of an issue.

The ongoing controversy surrounding Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has generated increased discussion of Trump’s flaunting of professional decorum regarding nepotism. Still, while the Trump presidency has featured a variety of unprecedented actions, his selection of family members to serve in a variety of governmental capacities is not one of them.

Despite public criticism, John Adams, the second president of the United States, named his son John Quincy Adams as the U.S. minister to Prussia and his son-in-law William Stephens Smith as a customs agent in New York.

March 8 is International Women’s Day, and this year’s theme is “The Time is Now.” First organized in the United States by the Socialist Party of America in 1909, International Women’s Day quickly grew into a truly international celebration of women’s activism toward equal rights and peace.

In the spring of 1871, word came that Wichita might lose its position on the Texas Cattle Trail to rival Park City, located near modern Valley Center unlike its modern namesake. One morning, James R. Mead, J.M. Steele, N.A. English, and Mike Meagher rode out and encouraged the drovers to abandon their initial Park City plans and return, instead, to the older route by way of Wichita. In the encounter, the Four Horsemen foiled the efforts of Henry Shanklin, who was encouraging the drovers to favor the Park City route. 

Long before Donald Trump made profane comments about restricting the number of immigrants from certain countries to the U.S., the history of American immigration policy possessed explicit racial characteristics.

In 1973, the US Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade legalized abortion. However, the abortion laws that Roe negated were relatively new. 

ensh / Flickr / Creative Commons

This commentary originally aired on December 30, 2014.

The meaning of the words justice served relies on the social, political and legal contexts in which it is applied.

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