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Along with other Native Americans, Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez helped America win the war in the Pacific during World War II.  After the war, he studied at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence.  (Flickr_Fronteras-Desk)
Ron Wilson Thursday, September 17th, 2015

It was kept secret for more than 20 years after the end of World War II, but Native American soldiers were a key factor in America's victory over the Japanese in the Pacific. Many people now know the story of the Navajo Code Talkers. In this guest commentary, we hear about one of those Native American heroes who had ties to Kansas.  

(Covered Wagon Flickr Photo by Frank DiBona)
Rex Buchanan Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

A few years ago, two brothers bought a covered wagon in Kansas and then headed out, down the dusty pioneer path known as the Oregon Trail. Now, a best-selling book chronicles their modern-day journey. Commentator Rex Buchanan has our review of The Oregon Trail, by Rinker Buck.

Typical Kansas cicada (Photo by Aidan Loveland Koster)
John Richard Schrock Monday, August 31st, 2015

Some Kansans may be thrilled to know that cicadas - and their sounds - will soon be leaving us, while others may be sad to see them go. Whichever camp you're in, you'll be fascinated by the information Commentator John Richard Schrock has to share about these chirping insects.

Rex Buchanan Friday, August 21st, 2015

Just who was Boston Corbett? The man credited with killing John Wilkes Booth has remained both mysterious and elusive to historians. Now, a new book sheds more light on the soldier who killed the actor who shot President Abraham Lincoln. Commentator Rex Buchanan has this review.

The Singapore skyline. (Flickr Photo by Joseph Tay)
John Richard Schrock Friday, August 14th, 2015

America gave the world the light bulb, telephone and airplane. We invented television, microwaves and the Internet. Heck, we even put a man on the moon! Indeed, when it comes to innovation, America is awesome. But when it comes to personal health and wealth -- and to low rates of crime and corruption -- another nation shines much brighter: Singapore. The city-state is celebrating its 50th year of democratic independence this month.

A photograph of a firefly, taken by Jessica Lucia, courtesy of
John Richard Schrock Saturday, July 25th, 2015

Fireflies, also known as lightning bugs, are neither true flies nor true bugs. They are, in fact, beetles. And there are more than 1,000 species of this little critter Commentator John "Richard" Schrock tells us more about this fascinating insect.

The Emerald City in the Land of Oz, from the Wizard of Oz
Tom Averill Friday, July 3rd, 2015

​Tax hikes, budget cuts and Brownback, oh my! It's been a wild ride in the capitol city of Topeka this year. And commentator William Jennings Bryan Oleander is not happy...

Here's the historical marker you'll find in Burdett, Kansas, summarizing Clyde Tombaugh's amazing discovery: Pluto!  (Photo by Kimberly Fertig)
Rex Buchanan Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

We'll soon have a much better idea of what Pluto really looks like. This month, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will finally fly past the icy planet on the edge of our solar system. After a nine-year mission in space, New Horizons will come closer to Pluto than any other NASA spacecraft and it will be taking lots of pictures.

Depiction of the scene, witnessed by George Armstrong Custer, following the "Kidder Massacre" in Sherman County, Kansas, in the summer of 1867. (Image credit: Harper's Weekly)
Rex Buchanan Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Almost 150 years ago this month, a group of Union Army soldiers were attacked and killed by Indians on the High Plains of northwest Kansas in what's come to be called the "Kidder Massacre" by some historians.  Like many Native Americans, Commentator Rex Buchanan doesn't refer to the attack as a "massacre," but he did recently visit the site of the battle, near Beaver Creek in Sherman County.

Dave Kendall, host of Sunflower Jouneys on public television stations in Kansas (Photo credit KTWU)
Dave Kendall Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Dave Kendall, the longtime host of KTWU's Sunflower Journeys, says goodbye to public broadcasting. In this guest commentary, he shares memories of the show... and some of the reasons behind his departure from public broadcasting.


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