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K-State Today

August 9, 2022

Summer issue of Kansas History now available

Submitted by Kristen Epps

Kansas History, a joint publication of the K-State history department and the Kansas Historical Foundation, released its summer 2022 issue in late July. It includes three articles, in addition to a lovely tribute to the former director of the Kansas Historical Society, Jennie Chinn, who died unexpectedly earlier this year.

To learn more about the journal or to subscribe, please visit the website. Subscriptions can be purchased for $35 by clicking on the seal in the right sidebar.

The first article, "Barbara Ehrsam and the Bahá'í Faith in Kansas, 1868–1924" by Duane L. Herrmann, traces the arrival of the Bahá'í faith in Kansas through the life of Barbara Ehrsam, beginning with the first mention of the religion in a Leavenworth newspaper in 1868, to her invitation to the first Bahá'í teacher in Kansas, hosting a class in her home in 1897, to her participation in a national Bahá'í project before her death in 1924. The Bahá'í community has continued in Kansas from that time and has grown across the state.

Also published in the issue is "Dust Storms, Jackrabbits, and Grasshoppers . . . Oh, My!: Frank 'Pop' Conard and His Exaggerated Creations" by H. Jason Combs. The article focuses on photographer and postcard artist Frank "Pop" Conard from Garden City, who began producing postcards in the 1920s and added exaggeration cards — which often included giant, human-sized grasshoppers and jackrabbits — to the mix in the 1930s. His intimate, firsthand knowledge of difficult circumstances in western Kansas, joined with his creativity, allowed Conard to capture images that resonated with the public.

The last article takes a different approach by presenting transcripts of three oral history interviews from the 1990s — taken by the Brown Foundation and housed at the Kansas Historical Society — that examine how Jim Crow affected the everyday lives of Americans who grew up under its shadow. It is edited and introduced by Bernard F. Harris Jr., a recent K-State graduate, and is titled "Jim Crow in Kansas: African American Life during the Era of Segregation."

By examining the lives of three African Americans from Kansas — Onan Burnett, Barbara Gibson and Claude Emerson — one can observe how segregationist policies shaped their lives.

The issue also includes book reviews of scholarship on Kansas and/or the West, and short book notes — abstracts— of other relevant titles. Kansas History, headquartered in Calvin Hall, is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal that publishes scholarly articles, edited documents, and other materials that contribute to an understanding of the history and cultural heritage of Kansas and the Central Plains.