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Governor Brownback Announces First Five Notable Kansans

KSCB News - August 18, 2011 3:30 pm

As part of the state’s commemoration of the Kansas
sesquicentennial during 2011, Governor Sam Brownback announced today the
first five of 25 Notable Kansans at an event at the Kansas Museum of
History in Topeka. Four other such events will be held across the state
in the coming weeks.

The first five notables to be honored this morning were Arthur Capper,
Charles Curtis, Karl Menninger, Satanta, and Charles Sheldon.

Arthur Capper was born in Garnett and was the first native-born Kansan
elected governor. He served five terms as a U.S. senator and owned and
published /Capper’s Weekly/ and the /Topeka Daily Capital/. Capper
established what later became known as Easter Seals Capper Foundation,
whose mission is to enhance the independence of children with
disabilities. He also initiated programs that eventually became the 4-H

Charles Curtis was born near Topeka and attended the school that is now
Kaw Mission State Historic Site in Council Grove. He spoke three
languages—English, French, and Kansa. He became a lawyer and was elected
with President Herbert Hoover in 1928, becoming the first American
Indian U.S. vice president.

Karl Menninger was born in Topeka and graduated from Harvard Medical
School. He founded the Menninger Clinic in Topeka with his father,
Charles Menninger. He also wrote influential books such as /The Human
Mind/ and /The Crime of Punishment/. Under the leadership of Karl
Menninger and his brother, Will, the Menninger Foundation gained a
national reputation for psychiatric treatment.

Satanta was a Kiowa chief whose name meant white bear. He spoke four
American Indian languages, English, and Spanish. Satanta led many
campaigns across the plains in defense of his homelands. Because of his
eloquent speech and his ability to convey the needs of his people, he
was called the orator of the plains. He signed the 1867 Medicine Lodge
Peace Treaty and fought to keep the Kiowa hunting grounds.

Charles Sheldon was the minister of Topeka’s Central Congregational
Church. He was known for the book /In His Steps/, which was published in
1897 and ranks as the 39th bestselling book of all time. Sheldon worked
with African American “Exodusters” to improve Topeka’s Tennessee Town
community and helped sponsor the first African American kindergarten
west of the Mississippi River. He also campaigned for the preservation
of the family.

The public is invited to the remaining Notable Kansan events, where the
rest of the names will be announced, five at each event: 3 p.m.
Thursday, August 25, at Shawnee Indian Mission State Historic Site,
Fairway; 10 a.m. Wednesday, August 31, at Fort Scott National Historic
Site, Fort Scott; 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 7, at Kansas Aviation
Museum, Wichita; and 9:30 a.m. Thursday, September 15, at the Kansas
State Fair, Hutchinson. Each event will feature comments by Governor
Brownback, introduction of special guests, singing of the state song,
and a brief reception. Events commemorating the top 12 events in Kansas
history will be held later in the fall.

The 25 Notable Kansans were selected by the governor’s blue ribbon panel
for history. The panel is comprised of: Don Chubb, Topeka; Dr. Virgil
Dean, Kansas Historical Society; Gayle Garrelts, Hays; Dr. James Hoy,
Emporia State University; Bob Keckeisen, Kansas Historical Society;
Nathan McAlister, Royal Valley High School; Dr. Leo Oliva, Woodston;
Mary Regan, Finney County Historical Society; J. Schafer, Kansas Public
Radio; Dr. James Shortridge, University of Kansas; and Dr. Raymond
Wilson, Fort Hays State University.

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