We are happy to announce the 2013 Kansas Hall of Fame Laureates! Join us on June 21st! Come be a part of history!
He is the most recognized superhero in pop culture and he’s
Like many who have achieved greatness in Kansas, he was not
born here; nor was he born in our world. When the planet Krypton was exploding
and his parents knew they would not survive, they placed their baby in a space
craft and sent him to Earth. For Jonathan and Martha Kent, a childless couple
in Smallville, Kansas, he was the answer to their prayers.
It soon became
apparent that young Clark was not like other people. He was stronger, faster, and defied gravity.
His body was virtually indestructible. His Kansas parents wisely counseled him
that these attributes were not to be used for his personal gain, but for a
greater good. The love and values
instilled by the Kent family of rural Kansas shaped their son’s life both as a
newsman and as a superhero.
The superhero’s creators chose to place him in Kansas for a
reason: so he would learn that super powers without super values are not only
useless, they are also dangerous.
Superman may not have been born in Kansas, but “Truth, justice and the
American way” certainly were.
This comic book character has become so beloved that a
long-running television show and numerous movies have told and retold his
story, and the much awaited new film, “Man of Steel,” will debut June 14. Perhaps Superman has endured because his
story is not so far-fetched. With loving parents, a work ethic, solid values
and a good education, great things are possible.
James Naismith November 6, 1861 – November
peach basket in 1891 to the Olympics in 1936”
Known world-wide as the “Father of Basketball,”
Canadian-born James Naismith spent more than four decades at the University of
Kansas, Lawrence, founding one of the most storied programs in college
As a Physical
Education teacher at the Y.M.C.A. International Training School in Springfield,
MA, Naismith was given two weeks to create an indoor game to occupy a rowdy
class of young men during the brutal New England winter. After tacking two peach baskets to the walls,
Naismith gave the men a soccer ball to throw into them – and basketball was
born. His first game was played December
15, 1891. A month later, his “Rules of Basketball” were published, many
of which continue to govern the game today.
After receiving his medical degree at the University of
Colorado in 1898, Naismith came to KU as Associate Professor of Physical
Culture and Chapel Director. He was not only an athlete, but a minister,
teacher, physician, sportsman, spiritual leader and military chaplain. This
broad background led Dr. Naismith to promote the idea that physical exercise
was necessary for a healthy life. He
instituted basketball as a winter sport for both boys and girls and oversaw the
early development of the game while coaching the first KU basketball
teams. He was a good teacher: one of his
players, Forrest C. “Phog” Allen is recognized as the “Father of Basketball
The game of basketball became an Olympic sport at the 1936
games in Berlin. James Naismith attended
and tossed up the first ball, a fitting honor for the game’s creator.
These home-grown musicians took the
soil of Kansas, turned it into poetry, set it to music, and made music
history. The band’s million-selling gold
single, “Dust in the Wind,” is playing somewhere around the world every moment
of the day. Celebrating four decades in
the music business this year, the band continues to maintain an active tour
schedule and the demand for their recordings has never waned.
In a highly competitive environment,
KANSAS was, and is, unique. Kerry Livgren’s songwriting, Robby Steinhardt’s
violin, and Steve Walsh’s vocals combined with the guitar of Richard Williams
and drums of Phil Ehart gave the band a sound that was ahead of its time. As a
loyal fan said, their music “perplexed record companies eager to put music in a
box. This band has always defied description, and avoided being typecast.”
Wally Gold, record producer for the
legendary Don Kirshner, was credited with “discovering” KANSAS while they were
performing at the Ellinwood (Kansas) Opera House. KANSAS has produced eight
gold albums, three sextuple-Platinum albums, and one platinum live album. Their
songs have been featured in television shows and feature films, and KANSAS has
reached a whole new audience through their unmistakable presence on the popular
video games Rock Band and Guitar Hero.
The foundation for their success and
their unique sound is simple, band members agree. It is simply, Kansas.
Drs. C. F., (1862-1953) Karl (1893-1990) and Will Menninger (1899-1966)
"We had a vision of a
better kind of medicine and a better kind of world."
Will Menninger were only boys when their father, Dr. Charles Frederick
Menninger returned from visiting the Mayo Clinic and told them they would
become doctors and join him in a new family clinic. Karl was following that
path to medicine when he became interested in “the people in the basement” of
the hospital, the mentally ill. Dr. Charles considered it most important that
“the family practice together, not just that we practice”, thus the father’s
dream was realized, and psychiatry would become the family specialty.
1, 1925, Drs. Charles and Karl opened the Menninger Sanitarium, and in December
younger son, Will, joined them. The
three men brought very different and necessary qualities to the practice:
Charles, the visionary; Karl, the brilliant writer; Will, the people-person.
All possessed a commitment to treatment, research and education that
transformed the world of psychiatry.
pioneers in the field, the Menningers earned a reputation that secured their
place in shaping both attitudes and public policy. Dr. Will was billed as the
“Salesman for Psychiatry,” and was the president of three leading psychiatric
organizations in the nation. Dr. Karl’s books, including Man Against Himself and The Human Mind, brought an understanding
of psychiatry to the general public.
from around the globe trained at Menninger’s and a third generation carried the
vision of Dr. Charles forward. The Menninger Clinic is now affiliated with
Baylor School of Medicine in Houston, TX.
Kansas Colored Infantry
By the time Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation
Proclamation on January 1, 1863, the First Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry
had already fought and died in the hope of securing their freedom. Raised in
the summer of 1862 by U. S. Senator James H. Lane, the 1st Kansas
Colored consisted mainly of fugitive slaves from Missouri. So many fleeing
slaves were eager to enlist that the 2nd Kansas Colored was mustered
soon after. These were the first black regiments in the United States Army,
recruited months before the federal government would officially allow them to
225 soldiers of the 1st Kansas saw initial combat
at Island Mound, Missouri in October, 1862, where they sustained ten
fatalities. Reports of the success of
the 1st Kansas against a larger opponent and of the ferocity they
showed that day encouraged other federal African-American units that were
forming elsewhere. Almost 200,000 black
soldiers would become engaged during the Civil War.
October, 2012, the state of Missouri dedicated the Island Mound Battlefield as
its newest historic site. The memorial dedicated to their memory is an eloquent
testament to their plight and their accomplishment. It reads in part:
Here, a group of volunteers faced battle
with the certainty of only two outcomes – victory or death – for there would be
no quarter given to a black man who had taken up arms.
Here, in uniforms issued on behalf of a
country that had not yet emancipated them, they revealed courage and tenacity
Here, the First Kansas Colored Volunteer
Infantry defeated a force rebellious to the Federal government laying to rest
doubts that former slaves could perform as soldiers.
Here, their bravery and determination
helped our nation better understand the founding fathers’ words “all men are
battle was in Missouri. Their hope and their home were in Kansas.