Listen to stories of Kansans -- some famous, some infamous and some just average folks -- that are contained in documents preserved by the Kansas Historical Society Library and Archives. The letters, diaries, and other documents featured in the biweekly "A Kansas Memory" podcasts provide fascinating glimpses into the past by sharing the words of the people who lived through these events. The documents used in our first series of podcasts are part of Territorial Kansas Online, a virtual repository of primary sources from the Bleeding Kansas era, 1854-1861. The URL for the web site is www.territorialkansasonline.org. Visit www.kshs.org to learn more about the programs and services of the Kansas Historical Society.
Kansas governor Mike Hayden held office from January 12, 1987 - January 14, 1991. Hayden grew up in Atwood in northwest Kansas and relied heavily on support from agriculture and the rural areas of the state in his 1986 campaign. During his administration a comprehensive state highway plan was passed and statewide reappraisal was implemented. Hayden lost his bid for re-election to Kansas' first woman governor, Joan Finney, largely because of the reappraisal controversy.
This features excerpts from the second interview with Kansas Governor John Carlin, who held office from January 8, 1979 to January 12, 1987. In 1978, in a surprise upset, he defeated the Republican incumbent Governor, Robert Bennett, in his bid for re-election. In this interview, Carlin recalls that Bennett initially won, not because he was a popular choice, but because his Democratic opponent was Vern Miller, the controversial Wichita sheriff and Kansas Attorney General from 1971-1975. Carlin ran for a third non-consecutive term as governor in 1990 in one of the most interesting Democratic primary races in Kansas history.
Kansas Governor John Carlin held office from January 8, 1979 to January 12, 1987. He was elected to the Kansas legislature in 1970 and was Minority Leader of the House from 1975-1977; then Speaker of the House from 1977-1979, when Democrats unexpectedly won a majority. In 1978, Carlin upset incumbent Governor Robert Bennett's re-election bid by only 16,335 votes. The interview is the basis for Dr. Bob Beatty's article, "Be willing to take some risks to make things happen," published in Kansas History, vol. 31 (Summer 2008). Video and a complete transcript of the interview is available on Kansas Memory.
William Avery would have never become a politician if not for a series of disastrous floods in Kansas in the mid 20th century. He was the third generation of Averys farming near Wakefield, in Clay County, when President Truman appropriated funds to build two dams in the Blue Valley that would inundate his farm. Avery became an opposition leader and was elected to serve in the Kansas Legislature from 1951-1955, and went on to serve in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1955-1965, though he was unable to stop the dam project. In 1965, Avery became Kansas 37th governor. Video and a complete transcript of the interview is available on Kansas Memory.
John Anderson Jr. was governor of Kansas from January 9, 1961 to January 11, 1965. Dr. Bob Beatty, professor of political science at Washburn University, conducted this interview as part of the Kansas Governors Recorded History and Documentary Project, 2005. In these excerpts, Governor Anderson explains his support for the death penalty during his tenure in office and the major changes he helped bring about in Kansas' public education system. Video and a complete transcript of the interview is available on Kansas Memory.