Humanities Happenings (1/25-1/29)

Kansas Day is January 29th. Commemorate the 153rd anniversary of Kansas statehood with KHC-sponsored events exploring the history, people, and places of the Sunflower State.

On the Screen: Haysville, Smith Center, and Wichita

RTV Poster 2 copyKansas stories are on the big and small screen this weekend. Screenings of The Road to Valhalla: Civil War on the Border will take place at the Center Theater in Smith Center on January 25th and January 26th and the Haysville Community Library on January 25th. The documentary film tells the gripping story of continued conflict on the Kansas-Missouri border.  Presented by Lone Chimney Films. Click here for details.

Tune in to KPTS TV in Wichita to see Conducting Hope, a documentary film about the inmates at the Lansing Correctional Facility who comprise the “East Hill Singers,” the only chorus in the nation to perform outside prison walls. Presented by Arts in Prison and filmmaker Margie Friedman. January 25th at 11:00 p.m. Click here for details.

Shared Stories: Fort Scott and Topeka

What was life like in Kansas 150 years ago? Relive the thoughts and experiences of early Kansas settlers in their own words with Shared Stories of the Civil War reader’s theater events. Find out why nowhere in the United States was the Underground Railroad more dangerous than in western Missouri and eastern Kansas in the late 1850s when the Fort Scott National Historic Site presents “The Underground Railroad” on January 25th at 2:00 p.m. Click here for details.

Each experience in the Kansas Territory was unique, yet all who arrived suffered hardships from trying to make a living on the western frontier. Learn more when the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library presents “Settling the Kansas Territory” on January 29th at 7:00 p.m. Click here for details.

Watch a Shared Story of the Civil War event in action:

Prairie Letters: Wellington

Join the Sumner County Historical Society staff as they share findings from a Heritage Grant project to transcribe the letters of Emily Sell, an early settler in Sumner County. January 27th at 6:30 p.m. at the Wellington Senior Citizen Center. Click here for details.

Agricultural Roots: Junction City

Family in front of home

Kansas farm family, late 1800s.
Photo from, Kansas Historical Society, copy and reuse restrictions apply.

Our state’s deep agricultural roots and pioneer history are familiar to most Kansans. Less known, however, is the history of the thousands of African American pioneers in Kansas who settled to farm. In her Speakers Bureau presentation, Anne Hawkins introduces one such farmer: Junius Groves. Born into slavery, Groves became a millionaire in Kansas agriculture and the nation’s wealthiest black farmer of his era. By 1910, black Kansans farmed a greater average acreage, and enjoyed a higher average farm value, than farmers of any race in the American South, and other African American farmers in most states. Many of these agricultural operations endure today. Hawkins’ presentation, “Succeeding Generations: African-American Agriculture in Kansas,” takes place on January 27th at 7:00 p.m. at the Dorothy Bramlage Public Library. Sponsored by the Prairie Heritage Institute. Click here for details.

Explore additional Kansas history topics, from breweries to bucket lists, in Speakers Bureau events taking place in Larned, Wichita, WaKeeney, El Dorado, and Manhattan. Click here for details.

More KHC-supported events are taking place throughout Kansas this winter.  Click here for the KHC Calendar of Events.