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.

Used with permission from the Kansas Historical Society

In these times when close elections are common and disputes over elections are tense, it is worth remembering that these have happened before. A striking example from Kansas history was the Legislative War of 1893.

During President Andrew Jackson’s 1829 inaugural address, he proposed removal of the Native Americans living in the Southeast, mainly the Cherokee, Choctaw, Muskogee Creek, Chickasaw, and Seminole nations. A year later, on May 30, 1830, he signed the Removal Act. 

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration / Public Domain

On March 21, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt proposed to Congress a full-scale works program that would provide work of “definite, practical value, not only through prevention of great present financial loss but also as a means of creating future national wealth.” 

Ten days later, on March 31, Congress approved the Emergency Conservation Works Act. Through this act, Roosevelt and Congress created agencies that followed through with this legislative promise of relief.


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. 

Quaker & Special Collections, Haverford College. Used with permission.

While most Americans place the abolitionist movement in the 19th century, the first North American protest against enslavement took place on February 18, 1688, in Germantown, Pennsylvania. 

Only three American presidents have suffered the indignity of being impeached: Andrew Johnson in 1867; Bill Clinton in 1998; and now Donald Trump.

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. 

Jimmy Emerson / Creative Commons

On Christmas Eve, 1913, striking families in Calumet, Michigan, gathered at the Italian Diner Hall for a party sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Western Federation of Miners. 

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.