New Kansas oral history collections completed, others include new interviews

FILE(Phil Anderson | File/WIBW)
Published: May. 30, 2023 at 7:42 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Two new oral history collections have been completed in the State of Kansas while others have been added to include interviews from newer leaders.

The Kansas Oral History Project announced on Monday, May 29, that it recently completed two new oral history collections - Diverse Voices in Public Policy and Kansas Courts and the Rule of Law. Meanwhile, two other collections, Kansas Governors and Notable Kansans were expanded with interviews of Govs. Bill Graves and Kathleen Sebelius, as well as Sen. Nancy Landon Kassebaum.

KOHP noted that Statehouse Conversations posted eight new interviews which included former Majority Leader Jim Denning and Democrat Leader Anthony Hensley.

The community has been invited to learn about the new content and discuss the interview findings between noon and 1:30 p.m. on Friday, June 2, at the Kansas Capitol Visitors Center Auditorium, SW 8th and SW Van Buren St., in Topeka. Three interviewers - Mike Matson, former 13 NEWS journalist and press secretary to Gov. Bill Graves, Dr. Eric Sexton, government affairs consultant with Foulston Siefken and Richard Ross, retired Reporter of Decisions for the Kansas Supreme Court - will highlight memorable portions.

Both of these new collections are remarkable for the insights gained about the challenges key Kansas leaders faced in formulating or implementing public policy,” said Dr. Ramon Powers, President of the Kansas Oral History Project. “Jim Denning’s candid comments about why Medicaid expansion never passed provide historians and journalists useful information about major issues of the day.”

KOHP indicated that Diverse Voices in Public Policy contains 10 interviews with former legislators, cabinet officials or other policymakers. Kansas Courts and the Rule of Law contains 12 interviews with a mix of state and federal judges, five retired Supreme Court Justices and other court personnel as well as several legislators who chaired the Judiciary Committees.

KOHP noted that since it was founded in 2015, it has recruited 22 individuals to interview for the 116 published interviews on its website. Humanities Kansas also provided the funds for the interview transcriptions.

For more information or to view the projects, click HERE.