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.

Beth Golay / KMUW

Back in 2012, John Bardo became Wichita State University's president. Some presidents are caretakers, who maintain the status quo. That was not Bardo’s legacy. He took on an institution that was, in some ways, not that different from the one where he taught back in the 1970s. Now, as the university's head, he became a builder, a transformer, and the campus became a very different space.

As the calendar changes from February to March, many of us are aware that we move from celebrating Black History Month to Women’s History Month. However, this abrupt shift reflects more the arbitrary way we mark the passage of time than lived experiences that more frequently push against arbitrarily drawn timeframes and structures of analysis. As a scholar of women and gender history, the move from Black to Women’s History months presents the perfect opportunity to discuss intersectionality.

Income inequality has been a long-standing feature of American life. Consequently, U.S. history has featured numerous proposals to decrease the disparity between the economic “haves” and “have-nots.”

Just a month ago, the WSU departments of History and Philosophy returned to their old home on campus, Fiske Hall, after a several-year exile to other buildings due to major renovations.

Historically, societies along the Great Plains have organized along watersheds that form backbones to the states that have developed. Nebraska, for example, is the state of the Platte River. Its main cities, from Omaha and Lincoln in the east to Scottsbluff in the west, follow the Platte in part because the Union Pacific’s main line also follows that river course.  


When historians talk about the “trust-busting era” in US history, we are probably referring to the early 20th century when the federal government broke up several large, corporate monopolies in order to promote economic competition. However, the largest corporate breakup actually took place in 1982.  

The annals of American business history are filled with numerous instances of companies that experienced both dramatic success and dramatic failure during their life cycles.

This fall, a group of students and I participated in the Day of the Dead event at the Nomar International Market. We had with us a large, blown up map of the North End from the 1950s, showing all the individual houses, stores, and other structures. People could write on the map or put in pins with tags that showed what the given building was and why it was significant to them.

On Nov. 30, 1804, the U.S. Senate opened its only impeachment trial against a U.S. Supreme Court justice. The House of Representatives’ charges against Associate Justice Samuel Chase stated that his partisanship affected his decisions. While Chase narrowly escaped removal from the court, his trial placed the court’s impartiality into question.

Recent American history features numerous instances where U.S. Attorneys General recused themselves from cases where a conflict of interest existed.

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