100 years ago in Kansas, March 30 – April 7, 1918:

March 30, 1918

  • Five students at Haskell Institute had died and 457 were ill with a disease called “strepo-grip.”
  • The Department of Justice moved to dislodge large stocks of wheat and flour held on farms.  A secret service agent had put 7,000 pounds of flour and over 10,000 bushels of wheat from Pawnee county on the market.
  • Daylight-saving time went into effect.  Clocks were set an hour ahead to give more daytime for gardening and to save fuel used for electric lighting.
  • Meatless day regulations were suspended for 30 days because of an oversupply of meat.
  • At K.S.A.C. (Kansas State Agricultural College) 300 men were learning to be tank drivers.

March 31, 1918

  • Easter services were held on the hillside at Camp Funston for 10,000 soldiers and civilians.

April 3, 1918

  • An “eat potatoes” campaign was initiated.  Grocers sold potatoes without profit and recipes were publicized.  Sales for a week were 400 percent above normal.

April 4, 1918

April 7, 1918

  • The Zone at Camp Funston, built by Capt. Dick Foster without cost to the government, was said to be the only city within an army camp.  There were 55 businesses; the civic center included a Y.M.C.A., Knights of Columbus hall, Jewish center, library, officers club and amusement hall.


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.