Jay Price

Volunteer History commentator

Jay M. Price is chair of the department of history at Wichita State University, where he also directs the public history program.

His works include Temples for a Modern God: Religious Architecture in Postwar America, Gateways to the Southwest: The Story of Arizona State Parks, Wichita, 1860-1930, and El Dorado!: Legacy of an Oil Boom. He has co-authored Wichita's Legacy of Flight, Cherokee Strip Land Rush, Wichita’s Lebanese Heritage, and Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley.

He has served on the boards of the Kansas Humanities Council and the Kansas State Historic Sites Board of Review. He is currently on the board of the Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum and the University Press of Kansas.

Ways to Connect

Copyright 2020 North Carolina Public Radio – WUNC. To see more, visit North Carolina Public Radio – WUNC.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

U.S. Air Force

The Great War, World War I, left its mark on Wichita in a number of ways. We especially see this in the landscape of College Hill and Crown Heights. 

Kansas Historical Society

A map of South America shows an island at the bottom of the continent. The La Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego faces the rough passage around the horn and is divided in half. The east half belongs to Argentina and the west is part of Chile. This island’s division between the two countries is due, in part, to the efforts of a Kansas governor.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW/File photo

Fifty-one years ago this week, Century II opened its doors, ahead of celebrating Wichita’s centennial and moving the city into its second century the following year in 1970.

Across the nation, cities were enthusiastically replacing their older neighborhoods, “blighted areas,” and fading business cores with new “civic centers” in an attempt to revitalize their downtowns. In many cases, these attempts proved limited at best and often ended up devastating downtowns rather than reviving them. 

Jay Price

A few weeks ago, I was at the Kansas Preservation Conference in Dodge City and a tour took us to see where the Santa Fe Trail ruts ran down to the Arkansas River. One point, the Middle Crossing, marked a ford in the river where wagon teams could cross as they set out on the trail’s waterless and dangerous Cimarron Route to Santa Fe.

wichita.gov

Last week, the faculty at the History Department had a social gathering at Park Villa. The rough stone structure with its red tile roof and wide, surrounding porch has welcomed Wichita groups for more than a century, many of whom probably don’t realize they owe their visit to the efforts of a colorful woman named Laura Buckwalter.

Looking at a photograph of the west side of the Arkansas River from a century ago shows a prominent two-story railroad station just south of Douglas. This was the site of one of Wichita’s lesser known railroad connections: The Midland Valley Railroad. 

Jay Price

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, where LBGT patrons of the Stonewall Inn in New York City resisted one of many police raids on the bar. It remains a turning point in the gay rights movement.

Until 2016, many Wichitans knew Blake Hall at 3317 E. 17th Street as KMUW’s home. What they may not know is that the KMUW story at that spot only goes back to 1981. During the 1960s and 1970s, the intersection of 17th and Fairmount was part of a neighborhood business district, home to several establishments. 

KMUW is turning 70 years old this week, so we decided to take a peek at what Wichita looked like in 1949, the year the station was born. Dr. Jay Price, director of Wichita State University's Public History program, gives us a glimpse.

Pages