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.

The familiar verse “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” from Emma Lazarus’s 1883 poem “The New Colossus” affirms many Americans’ belief that the United States is a nation of immigrants.

Last month, I attended the Western History Association conference in St. Paul, Minnesota, where I took part in a meeting of the newly-formed Midwestern History Association.  One of the association’s founders, historian Jon Lauck, suggested that, in contrast to the South and West, which have large, rich scholarships, the American Midwest was equally worthy of study, given its significant role in the country’s history.

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.

When Hillary Clinton became the Democratic Party’s nominee for president, she made history as the first woman to represent a major party on the presidential ticket. However, she was not the first woman to run for president. That honor goes to Victoria Woodhull.

Kansas Historical Society

1950s cuisine often brings up images of drive-in hamburgers, casseroles with cream of mushroom soup, and ghastly Jello salads. I found my stereotypes shattered one afternoon when I happened to come across some menus from the Santa Fe Railroad.  

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.

www.ourbodiesourselves.org

On September 8th, we celebrate the 45th anniversary of the publication of Our Bodies, Ourselves. The book originated from pamphlets put together for a women’s health seminar taught by Nancy Miriam Hawley at Boston’s Emmanuel College in 1969. While the course started small it grew quickly in popularity through word of mouth. The classes became consciousness-raising events, providing women with the necessary tools, ideas, and resources that formed the nexus of the book produced by the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective.

Wichita Music History Project Facebook page

A few years ago, I became involved with a group of musicians who wanted to document the history of rock music in Wichita. These guys had played in bands in the 1960s and 1970s and opened my eyes to a vibrant music scene in Wichita. Back then, young people flocked to clubs like the Penthouse, The Fireside Club, and Sound Sircus to listen to bands play, sometimes every night of the week. There were “battles of the bands” at the Cotillion and outdoor concerts at parks, the most famous (or infamous) being at Herman Hill.

Courtesy of the Kansas Historical Society

Recently, I was at the Kansas Historical Society looking through historic maps. One was from the Santa Fe Railroad from 1865. Back then, the company had just started the line to the south of Emporia and this map showed the proposed route. 

AP Photo/Jefferey Z. Carney

 

During July and August of 1991, thousands of members of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue descended on the city of Wichita. Basing their actions on civil disobedience, their mission during what they called the Summer of Mercy was to “put their bodies on the line” for babies by ending legal access to abortion.

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