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.

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.

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. While she was not the first bride to make this omission, Stanton’s choice reflected a deeper understanding of the inequity women faced within their marriages and her desire to increase women’s legal rights within the institution.

One of the constants of the post-slavery African American experience has been the positive role played by black women’s organizations in promoting community uplift.

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.

On January 22, 1973, the United States Supreme Court ruled on the Texas abortion case Roe v. Wade. In a 7 to 2 decision, the Court declared that the right to an abortion was a fundamental right included in the guarantee of personal privacy, safe guarded in the 14th Amendment’s concept of personal liberty. On the same day, the Court decided another abortion case out of Georgia, Doe v. Bolton. While the Roe decision receives most of the attention regarding the constitutionality of abortion, it is only in tandem with Doe that we fully understand the details of this right to privacy.

The underside of American history, as it relates to race relations, includes discourse regarding the alleged mental inferiority of people of African descent. During slavery, white belief that transplanted Africans came from savage, uncivilized, societies helped soothe the consciences of those participating in this sordid business enterprise.

Pizza and Coke Behind the Iron Curtain

Dec 29, 2015
Maarten / Flickr / Creative Commons

This post originally aired on November 18, 2014.

When I was a youngster in Wichita in the 1980s, I knew that the Soviets were the "bad guys" and that the world would be destroyed in the event of World War III, thanks to the Evil Empire. Like dozens of cities in America, locals asserted that our hometown would be one of the first to be obliterated in a nuclear war.

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

December 1 marks the sixtieth anniversary of Rosa Parks’s refusal to move to the colored section on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus. A longtime member of the NAACP, Parks’s act of defiance became an important symbol of the early stages of the Civil Rights Movement. However, she was not simply tired or defiant, but had been vetted by the organization for her good, strong character as part of the NAACP’s longer, legal challenge to city and state segregation laws.

Nati Harnik/AP

A long-standing philosophical debate in American history involves people who believe in unfettered economic development versus those who believe that limits must be placed on the business-related depletion and damage of natural resources.

Pages