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.

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.

On January 20th, Donald Trump will be sworn in as President of the United States. While the Constitution only stipulates that the president make an “oath or affirmation,” the inauguration is so significant that there have only been four out-going presidents who did not attend the inauguration of their successor, in all cases, their bitter, political rival.

A recent road trip included a visit to Roswell, New Mexico.  I welcomed a chance to see the place that turned an event from 1947 into a cottage industry involving UFOs and aliens.

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.

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.

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