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Kansas History - Forthcoming issue

Volume 39, number 4

Winter 2016

M. H. Hoeflich, “The Call of Kansas Controversy after 100 Years.”

One of the most beloved Kansas poems, "The Call of Kansas" became the center of a nationwide controversy in 1914 when Mrs. Emma Clark Karr accused Miss Esther Clark of plagiarism and claimed the poem as her own. Over several months the dispute filled local and national newspapers with accusations, quasi-proofs, and calls for a final adjudication. The Kansas Authors Club entered the fray and appointed an investigative committee. But far more significantly, the secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, William E. Connelley, became involved and conducted what can only be termed an informal judicial investigation culminating in two opinions by Kansas judges that Esther Clark was, indeed, the true author of "The Call of Kansas" and Emma Clark Karr a false claimant. This article explores this fascinating controversy over a Kansas literary icon.

James H. Ducker, “Strikers, Loyalists, and Replacement Workers: The 1922 Shopmen’s Strike in Emporia.”

The national strike of railroad shop workers in 1922 was the largest strike in the nation between the two world wars.  The workers’ defeat was emblematic of labor’s weakness in the decade before the New Deal.  In “Strikers, Loyalists, and Replacement Workers,” James H. Ducker tells the story of that strike on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway in Emporia. Bolstered by the excellent reporting of the Emporia Gazette and the analysis of its editor, William Allen White, the study also utilizes company payrolls, census rolls, and other sources more commonly used by genealogists to provide the most intensive demographic analysis of any American strike.  It presents the arguments for and against the strike as they motivated Emporia’s Santa Fe workers; it traces the origins of the strikebreakers who the railroad recruited to fill the vacated positions; and it tells what became of strikers, loyal workers, and replacement workers in the years after the strike.

Jennifer Donnally, “The Untold History behind the 1991 Summer of Mercy.”

The 1991 Summer of Mercy in Wichita, Kansas, was a pivotal event for the anti-abortion movement and the Christian Right in the United States and Kansas politics. One-thousand-seven-hundred-and-eighty-one individuals risked arrest over a forty-one day siege on Wichita’s three abortion clinics. Journalists and scholars have often credited the Summer of Mercy to Operation Rescue National and in doing so have overlooked the important contribution of Kansas anti-abortion leaders who laid the groundwork for the success of the Summer of Mercy. Drawing on oral interviews, personal papers, and records from anti-abortion organizations, historian Jennifer Donnally argues that clinic protests and sit-ins unified competing anti-abortion organizations in Kansas and moved them in the same conservative direction. The untold history behind the Summer of Mercy—the story from local and state anti-abortion activists in the decade before 1991 – creates a fuller and more accurate history of the event and the transformation of the moderate Kansas Republican Party into a conservative stronghold in the late twentieth century.

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