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Lawrence Museum Spotlights Cold War Outreach

As the relationship between the U.S. and Russia comes under increased scrutiny, a Lawrence museum is remembering a time when Kansans reached out to the Soviet Union to try to end the Cold War. The Watkins Museum of History is opening an exhibit today (FRI) called "Breaking the Ice: Lawrence, the Soviet Union, and Peace." Curator Brittany Keegan says Lawrence schoolchildren launched a letter-writing campaign to bring Russians to the 1983 Kansas Relays:

Those athletes were followed by a group of 300 Russians who visited Lawrence in 1990. Steve Nowak is director of Watkins Museum. He says the 1990 delegation was comprised of regular Russian citizens who spent several weeks in Kansas: shopping, visiting, and meeting local residents.
If you were one of those kids who wrote letters to Russia, hosted a Russian visitor, or otherwise took part in those activities, the Watkins Museum of History is looking for you. They're hosting a Final Friday event tonight (FRI) to talk about those and other efforts to reach out to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. You can find out more at their website,

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