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Commentaries

Vietnam War memorial at the University of Kansas. (Photo by J. Schafer)
Tai Edwards Friday, November 15th, 2019

On Monday, the nation observed Veterans Day. Parades and ceremonies were held all across the country to honor the men and women who have served in the U.S. military. Relatively few Americans have served in uniform. But most Americans say they appreciate the service of those who have. That raises a question: what's the best way to honor and thank our veterans? Guest Commentator Tai Edwards has a suggestion.

Rex Buchanan Friday, September 27th, 2019

A new exhibit about knowledge, at the Spencer Museum of Art, is generating some buzz. Not just among the art community, but among those who study geology. Part of the exhibit features a tall stack of books -- a spire -- in the shape of a well-known Kansas rock formation. Among geologists, such a formation is called a hoodoo. Commentator Rex Buchanan assures us this is a real word.

(Photo by J. Schafer)
Rex Buchanan Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

Have you seen the Netflix series Last Chance U? It chronicles community college football, including a disastrous season for the Pirates at Independence Community College in southeast Kansas. It's the TV series that many Kansans can't stop talking about, including Commentator Rex Buchanan.

Dyche Hall, Natural History Museum, University of Kansas
John Richard Schrock Friday, August 30th, 2019

A prominent building at the University of Kansas is named after a man from Osage County who spent most of his childhood unable to read and write. Commentator John Richard Schrock brings us the remarkable story of Lewis Lindsay Dyche, the namesake of KU's Museum of Natural History.

Remembering Emmett Till, by KU Professor Dave Tell (Photo by J. Schafer)
Rex Buchanan Thursday, August 1st, 2019

In 1955, an African-American teenager from Chicago, Emmett Till, visited a tiny town in Mississippi. Witnesses claim he spoke to, or perhaps whistled at, a white woman. Whatever happened, locals perceived the incident as disrespectful. Till was abducted and killed. His open-casket funeral back in Chicago sparked nationwide outrage. A KU professor has written a new book about the way we remember the incident. It's called Remembering Emmett Till. Commentator Rex Buchanan has this review.

Tallgrass Prairie Preserve near Pawhuska, Oklahoma (Photo by Mike Fuhr, The Nature Conservancy)
Julene Bair Friday, July 19th, 2019

Are phrases like "the Great Plains" and "the Midwest" interchangeable? Guest Commentator Julene Bair, who grew up in western Kansas, says no! She also tells us why that matters when it comes to growing crops.

A crowd of people receives inactivated poliovirus vaccine (the Salk vaccine) in Protection, Kan.  The small southwest Kansas town became the first in the nation to be fully-immunized against polio.  Similar lines formed during the 1954 vaccine field trials. (Photo via March of Dimes Foundation)
John Richard Schrock Thursday, July 11th, 2019

We thought science had eliminated them, but now... some preventable diseases are making a comeback.  So why have some highly-contagious diseases returned?  Commentator John Richard Schrock thinks the success of vaccines has helped lead to less vaccination. 

Conductor and violinist Itzhak Perlman (Photo from Itzhak Perlman's website: http://www.itzhakperlman.com/)
Rex Buchanan Friday, June 28th, 2019

Kansas has made some notable contributions to the world of classical music, both on stage and behind the scenes. And Commentator Rex Buchanan thinks it's high time more people took notice. In this piece written for KPR, he highlights a Kansas woman and music educator who helped shape the sound of classical music.

Baseball and glove (Photo by J. Schafer)
Tom Averill Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

Commentator William Jennings Bryan Oleander visits the baseball museum in Near Here, Kansas, and ruminates on the sport that many still consider America's pastime.

Olive Ann (Mellor) Beech, who led Beechcraft Aircraft Corporation in Wichita for several decades.
Bobbie Athon Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

From Waverly to Wichita to the Wild Blue Yonder... Olive Ann Beech earned more awards, honorary appointments and special citations than any other women in aviation history. Commentator Bobbie Athon tells us more about the First Lady of Aviation.

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