• For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights -

    In September 1955, shortly after fourteen-year-old Emmett Till was murdered by white supremacists in Mississippi, his grieving mother, Mamie Till Bradley, distributed to newspapers and magazines a gruesome black-and-white photograph of his mutilated corpse. The mainstream media rejected the photograph as inappropriate for publication, but Bradley was able to turn to African-American periodicals for support. Asked why she would do this, Bradley explained that by witnessing, with their own eyes, the brutality of segregation, Americans would be more likely to support the cause of civil rights.

    For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights, a nationally touring exhibition from NEH on the Road, opens June 16, 2017 and will remain on exhibit through Aug 11, 2017 at the Santa Fe Trail Center Museum in Larned, KS. Through a compelling assortment of photographs, television clips, art posters, and historic artifacts, the exhibition traces how images and media disseminated to the American public transformed the modern civil rights movement and jolted Americans, both black and white, out of a state of denial or complacency.

    Visitors to the immersive display will explore dozens of compelling and persuasive visual images, including photographs from influential magazines, such as LIFE, JET, and EBONY; CBS news footage; and TV clips from The Ed Sullivan Show. Also included are civil rights-era objects that exemplify the range of negative and positive imagery—from Aunt Jemima syrup dispensers and 1930s produce advertisements to Jackie Robinson baseball ephemera and 1960s children’s toys with African American portraiture. For All the World to See is not a history of the civil rights movement, but rather an exploration of the vast number of potent images that influenced how Americans perceived race and the struggle for equality.

    A Larned Area Chamber of Commerce Coffee Hour will be held June 15 at 9:30 a.m. at the museum to give the public a sneak peek at the exhibit before it fully opens the next day.  Many events have been scheduled in conjunction with this exhibit. They include a Juneteenth celebration on the grounds of the museum June 17, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; several Sunday afternoon programs throughout the exhibit period; and a free showing of the movie Hidden Figures at the State Theater on July 2, at 2 p.m.

     For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights was curated by Dr. Maurice Berger, Research Professor, The Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture, University of Maryland, Baltimore. It was co-organized by The Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture and the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. For All the World to See has been made possible through NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). It has been adapted and is being toured by Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA). Founded in 1972, Mid-America Arts Alliance is the oldest regional nonprofit arts organization in the United States. For more information, visit www.maaa.org or www.nehontheroad.org.

  • Juneteenth Celebration

    This program is free and open to the public.

    Join the Santa Fe Trail Center Museum on June 17, 2017 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to learn about and celebrate Juneteenth: commemorating June 19, 1865 when African-American slaves in Galveston, TX learned about the abolishment of slavery – two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in January of 1863 by President Lincoln.

    Activities include a Buffalo Soldier Encampment, presentation about the history of Juneteenth, Praise service in the Johnson Street CME Escue Chapel, music, and more. Also, the exhibit For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights will be open for the public to see.

    Lorenzo’s BBQ and Catering will be on the grounds selling Fried Chicken, Fish, and BBQ.  Also, Bahama Mama’s will help us beat the heat by selling shaved ice treats.

    Tentative Schedule:

    • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Buffalo Soldier Encampment – Wichita Buffalo Soldiers
    • 10 a.m.  Dr. JohnElla Holmes – Presentation – “Good news a-commin’; although late!”: A Historical Overview of the Juneteenth Celebration.

    June 19th, marks the Juneteenth holiday, which celebrates the day in 1865 that slaves in Galveston, Texas were told that slavery had ended. President Abraham Lincoln had actually ended slavery two and a half years prior to the Texas slaves being notified. Union soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger delivered the good news to those in captivity through General Orders No. 3.

    This interactive presentation tells the story through lecture, photos, and song.  JohnElla Holmes received her doctoral degree from Kansas State University in Special Education, Counseling, and Student Affairs. Where she taught American Ethnic Studies and graduate courses for the College of Education. Dr. Holmes is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Switzer/KSU Agriculture Camp for Youth.  Where they bring inner city youth to Kansas State for two days as the guest of the College of Agriculture and then on to Nicodemus to actual farms owned and operated by Blacks on land settled by their forefathers in 1877. The youth horseback ride, have campfire dinners, learn to fish and much more, while in Nicodemus.  She is a proud 4th generation descendant of those amazing settlers, mother of three, grandmother of seven, and great-grandmother of one!

    • 11:15 a.m. to 12 p.m. Buffalo Soldier Presentation – Wichita Buffalo Soldiers
    • 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Enjoy the exhibit, eat lunch on the grounds, see the exhibit For all the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights, visit with friends old and new.
    • 1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. – TBD – Possibly African-American Music of the Civil War
    • 2:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. – Cake Walk, proceeds will go to the continued preservation of the Johnson Street CME Escue Chapel on the museum grounds.
    • 3:30 p.m. – Praise Service in Escue Chapel – Rev. Cameron Moore


  • Civil Rights and Racism, 1865-1896: Emancipation to Separate but Equal - Resources Listed

    Dr. Leo Oliva will explore how slavery and racism were enshrined in the Constitution. The Civil War was fought over slavery, and the Civil War amendments to the Constitution brought emancipation and some civil rights for African-Americans. Reconstruction in the South enforced those achievements with federal administration in the former Confederate States. The reaction was the rise of new forms of racism, including the Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crow laws. Legal racism was restored by the Supreme Court in 1896 with the “separate but equal” doctrine that reinforced segregation until 1954 Brown v Topeka Board of Education launched a new road to legal equality. The era 1865-1896 is critical to understanding the racism that continues in the U.S. today.

    This program is free and open to the public.

    Additional Resources

    Ashley  Montagu, Man’s Most Dangerous Myth, the Fallacy of Race (1942), available online.

    Mahmoud El-Kati, The Myth of Race, the Reality of Racism: Critical Essays (1984 & 2014).

    Robert W. Sussman, The Myth of Race: The Troubling Persistence of an Unscientific Idea (2014).

    Steven Newcomb, Pagans in the Promised Land, Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery (2008).

    Victor Hugo Green published an annual guidebook, The Negro Motorist Green-Book (1936-1966), 1949 edition is available online.

     Brent Campney, This Is Not Dixie: Racist Violence in Kansas, 1861-1927 (2015).


  • Movie - Free Showing of Hidden Figures at the State Theater Downtown Larned,

    Three brilliant African-American women at NASA — Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) — serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world. Based on a true story. 

    Admission to the movie is free but concessions must be paid for. 

  • Nicodemus and Civil Rights

    Angela Bates, Nicodemus Historian and descendant will share with you her thoughts and experiences on civil rights in the 1960’s and 1970’s while growing up in Pasadena, California, but experiencing Nicodemus every summer. As a descendant and historian of Nicodemus, she will share with you the affects of civil rights on the community and how it shaped it in its infancy and development. Nicodemus was established in 1877 at the end of Reconstruction, and is the oldest and only remaining all black town west of Mississippi. It stands as a national icon to the African American experience in the West.

    This program is free and open to the public. 

  • Larned Quilting Bees - Crazy Quilts

    Join the Larned Quilting Bees at the Santa Fe Trail Center Museum for an informative and fun program about the history of crazy quilts.  The program will be given by Dr. Merlene Baird, past president of the Fort Larned Historical Society. Several of the crazy quilt’s from the museum’s own collection will be on display.

    This program is free and open to the public. 

  • Gordon Parks: Documenting the Civil Rights Movement

    Jill Warford, Executive Director of the Gordon Parks Museum will talk about LIFE Magazine’s first black photojournalist, Gordon Parks who documented the Civil Rights Movement and the unseen, and sometimes deeply private moments that unfolded behind the scenes. Park’s was allowed access to Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech as it echoed from the entrance of the Lincoln Memorial; he met Muhammad Ali after he evaded the draft: and he was permitted singular access tot he Nation of Islam. He was friends with Malcolm X and with Ralph Ellison, who published Invisible Man two years before the official start of the Civil Rights Movement. Martin Luther King had “non-violence,” Malcolm X his “any means necessary.” Ali had his fists, and Ellison his pen. Gordon Parks had his Camera which was his powerful “Choice of weapons.”

    This program is free and open to the public.


  • Buffalo Soldiers: An American Legend on the Western Frontier

    Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger from Fort Larned NHS will delve into the history of Co. A, 10th U.S. Cavalry, which arrived at Fort Larned in April 1867. They were one of the first of the new African American troops created by the Army Reorganization Act of 1866 assigned to field duty.  Although the men did their job well, they faced resentment and animosity from the white infantry troops stationed at the fort, leading to a tragic event that led to their reassignment.  This program will explore the formation of the 10th Cavalry and Company A’s time at Fort Larned. It will also take a look at some of the some of the myths and realities associated with the Buffalo Soldiers from a historic perspective, including the evolution of their iconic nickname.

    This program is free and open to the public. 

  • Kansas Baseball, 1858-1941, Presentation and Book Signing by Author Mark Eberle

    Join the Santa Fe Trail Center Museum for a presentation and book signing by author, Mark Eberle on Sunday September 10 at 2 p.m. His book Kansas Baseball, 1858–1941, is an overview of people, places, and events associated with the sport during the period that baseball developed into its modern form. While most books deal with major league baseball, no major league team has ever been based in Kansas, so this book focuses primarily on the history of local baseball played in hundreds of towns across the state. Nine towns still play the national pastime in the state’s oldest ballparks, constructed between 1924 and 1940. Four of these towns are in western Kansas—Larned, Kinsley, Garden City, and Hays. There were similarities among their experiences. For example, they all supported town teams that played against each other, and they all hosted a variety of barnstorming teams, such as the Kansas City Monarchs, but only Larned fielded early minor league teams. Author Mark Eberle’s presentation at the Santa Fe Trail Center will describe some of the teams, games, characters, and events associated with local baseball in Larned and its neighbors, along with an overview of the histories of their current ballparks.

    Mark Eberle was born in Kansas City, Kansas, and grew up mostly in the eastern part of the state. He attended college in Oregon and Kansas, graduating with a Master of Science degree in biology. He now teaches biology and scientific writing at Fort Hays State University. Mark’s biological research has focused on fishes and other aquatic life in streams of the Great Plains. In addition to articles published in scientific journals, he has coauthored books written for broader audiences about Fishes of the Central United States (coauthored and illustrated by fellow Kansas City native Joe Tomelleri) and Kansas Fishes (with more than 40 coauthors). His most recent book, released in April 2017, is a departure from biology but still features a subject associated with the out of doors during summertime—Kansas Baseball, 1858–1941. In August 2017, Mark completed a study about Dwight D. Eisenhower and the question of whether or not he played professional baseball before playing NCAA football for the US Military Academy at West Point.

    This program is free and open to the public


  • William and George Bent, Presentation and Book Signing by Camilla Kattell

    Join the Santa Fe Trail Center Museum for a presentation and book signing by author Camilla Kattell on Sunday September 17, at 2 p.m.  Kattell’s new book is At the Confluence of Two Cultures: William and George Bent Confront Manifest Destiny, 1829-1918. +

    In 1829 William Bent resolved to find his future in the unsettled lands west of the Mississippi River. He chose a challenging path of self-determination on a frontier unfettered by racial limitations. Establishing a trading empire in the wilderness, William maintained egalitarian relationships with indigenous tribes, European trappers, Hispanic settlers, and American migrants traveling in great wagon caravans.

    Insidiously, with migration came the clash of cultures. Racism became as infectious as small pox. Bloodshed and retaliation became a way of life. Thousands died. As William’s five half-Cheyenne children grew to maturity they were confronted by a very different world than the one their father had embraced. William’s son George, in particular, personified the struggle of the plains Indians under siege. His ultimate contribution was to preserve the Indians’ story.

    This program is free and open to the public.