Humanities Happenings 5/20-5/22

City Drug Store, Fredonia, 1930s., Kansas Historical Society, Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply.

Cindy Higgins talks about the glory days of the soda fountain this Saturday in Greensburg. Pictured: City Drug Store, Fredonia, 1930s., Kansas Historical Society, Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply.

This almost-summer weekend features events covering classic summertime topics like baseball and soda fountains, plus cowboys and Thomas Hardy. Explore this weekend’s Humanities Happenings:

Garden City: Far From the Madding Crowd

Gabriel Oak watches Bathsheba, the impulsive young mistress of Weatherby Farm, enter into an unhappy marriage — as unaware as she that fate will finally bring them together. Jennifer Jo Krisuk leads a TALK book discussion of Thomas Hardy’s classic novel on Saturday, May 21 at 11:00 AM at Finney County Public Library. Details here.

Dodge City: Cowboys and Clerics

In the days when Wild Bill Hickok might ride his horse into your church service — it happened in Junction City — the life of a minister was a rowdy affair. John Burchill’s Speakers Bureau presentation looks into the early years of Kansas clergy and the colorful characters that made up our early faith communities, such as Pastor Gay of Mulvane who faced a gunman in church — and then converted him. Saturday, May 21 at 2:00 PM at Boot Hill Museum. Details here.

Greensburg: Soda Fountains of Kansas

Relive the glory days of the soda fountain where tonics and curatives evolved into refreshments like the Brown Cow, the Mudslide, and the Egg Cream. Government regulations, World War I luxury taxes, and bottled soda pop prompted Kansas pharmacists to make more ice cream concoctions and add food to keep their evolving fountain sideline businesses profitable. Cindy Higgins’ Speakers Bureau presentation also explores soda fountains in Kansas today and their revival throughout the nation. Saturday, May 21 at 3:00 PM at Kiowa County Historical Museum & Soda Fountain. Details here. 

Junction City: The Kansas City Monarchs in Our Hometown

Formed in 1922, the Kansas City Monarchs revolutionized baseball: not only were they charter members of the Negro National League and the first professional team to use outdoor lighting, the Monarchs sent more players to the major leagues than any other Negro League franchise. Phil S. Dixon’s Speakers Bureau presentation explores the exciting early barnstorming days of the Monarchs, highlights great players such as Wilber “Bullet” Rogan, Satchel Paige, and Jackie Robinson who were wore the uniform, and connects the spirit of the Monarchs to the many Kansas communities in which they played. Sunday, May 22 at 1:30 PM at Dorothy Bramlage Public Library. Details here.

Find more Humanities events on KHC’s Calendar of Events.