100 years ago in Kansas, October 23 – November 4, 1917.

October 23, 1917

  • Atchison was made a terminal wheat market by the federal food administration.

October 27, 1917

  • Fifty thousand Kansans launched a food conservation campaign and secured pledges from 1,200,000 persons.

October 30, 1917

  • Public presentation of side-arms to 626 Negro commissioned officers was made by Maj. Gen. Leonard Wood at Topeka.
  • An acute coal shortage caused many towns to close power plants and deny service to all but essential businesses.  Topeka sales were limited to two tons per customer.

October 31, 1917

  • Nine hundred Negroes arrived at Fort Riley for training.  Not a single request for exemption was made by Kansas Negroes.  At Manhattan plans were made for a social center after General Wood said:  “Manhattan will not have done her full duty until quarters are also provided for colored troops.”

November 4, 1917

  • Kansans were asked to contribute to the recreation building fund of the 353rd Infantry, the all-Kansas regiment at Camp Funston.

Blair Tarr is the Museum Curator of the Kansas State Historical Society. He oversees the three-dimensional collections of the Society, but has special interests in the Civil War, Wichita-made Valentine diners, and Leavenworth's Abernathy Furniture. In the last few years he has also done a lot of cramming on The Great War. He is a past president of the Kansas Museums Association and the Civil War Round Tables of both Kansas City and Eastern Kansas. He is currently a board member of the Heritage League of Greater Kansas City.