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.

In 2007, Victor Gold, a long-time G.O.P. insider, wrote a widely discussed book entitled Invasion of the Party Snatchers. Cleverly using the 1956 film classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers as a symbolic reference point, Gold lamented the growing influence of the religious right and neo-conservatives in the Republican Party.

http://www.suffragewagonnewschannel.com/

This commentary originally aired on November 28, 2017.  

On November 27th and 28th 1917, the federal government succumbed to public outcry and released the National Women’s Party picketers from the Occoquan Workhouse. The events leading up to this capitulation advanced discussion of women’s suffrage, but at great cost to members of the National Women’s Party.

dcwriterdawn / flickr Creative Commons

On Nov. 10, 1919, the U.S. Supreme Court decided its second First Amendment case in two weeks.

In Abrams v. U.S., the federal government asked the court to uphold the 1918 Amendment to Espionage Act of 1917, better known as the Sedition Act, which made it a criminal offense to suggest ending war-time production. In a 7-2 decision, the court upheld the Sedition Act, applied the two-week-old "clear and present danger" doctrine, and ignited a conversation on the limitations of free speech that extended through the rest of the 20th century.

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.

This year represents the 400-year anniversary of the first enslaved Africans being brought to America. The subsequent history of Africans in America is especially illuminating when viewed through the lens of business and economics.

pulitzercenter.org

In August, the United States observed the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved people kidnapped from West Africa and transported to the North America colonies. To observe this date, the New York Times, in partnership with the Pulitzer Center, published a 100-page edition of its Sunday magazine entitled “The 1619 Project.” 

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.


From 1897 to 1986, Wichita State University, previously known as Fairmount College, fielded a football team. During its eighty-nine year history, Shocker football made news both on and off the field. For instance, a 1905 game against Washburn College featured the first forward passes thrown in a game. On October 2, 1970, Wichita and the nation mourned the death of half of the Shocker football team in a plane crash.

This commentary originally aired on November 29, 2016.

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.

Win McNamee / Getty Images / npr.org

On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act. Considered one of the most effective pieces of federal legislation, this act secured nationwide minority voting rights. While previous legislation had attempted to do this, the sweeping infrastructure of federal oversight that developed through a series of “special provisions” differentiates this act.

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