Less Corn, More Hell

Each day, KHC  features the hot topics and great speakers in the Speakers Bureau catalog. Today’s featured presentation is “Kansas Politics Working for Change, 1880-1920” by Randy Roberts.

Mary Elizabeth Lease

Mary Elizabeth Lease of the People’s (Populist) Party reportedly said farmers should raise “less corn and more hell.”
Photo from kansasmemory.org, Kansas Historical Society, copy and reuse restrictions apply.

Between 1880 and 1920, Kansas was strife with political, social, and economic change. Randy Roberts’ Speakers Bureau topic explores the lasting legacies of prohibition, populist, socialist, and progressive Republican parties as they developed during this volatile time period. Many changes, such as women’s suffrage, workman’s compensation, and the 8-hour workday, remain a part of the Kansas work landscape today.

Roberts is a curator of special collections and an archivist at Pittsburg State University, where he also teaches Kansas history.

“At first, many Kansans are skeptical when you tell them our state was once at the forefront of these changes in the United States,” said Roberts. “William Allen White, Carry A. Nation, Mary Elizabeth Lease, Alex Howat, and many other Kansans worked for real change during those years.”

Randy Roberts

Randy Roberts

Bring Randy Roberts’ “Kansas Politics Working for Change, 1880-1920” or one of the other presentations in the Speakers Bureau catalog to your community for FREE with a Resource Center Support Grant. It’s quick and easy! Visit the Speakers Bureau page to get started or contact Leslie Von Holten, KHC program officer, for more information.