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Background Image 1972 campaign mailer

Kansas 1972: Decision 1972

Explore the election year 1972 in Kansas. Republican President Nixon won re-election by a landslide, including carrying every single county in Kansas. Hear about the connection between the Catholic Volga German community, a noted Democratic political strategist from Ellis County, and the 1972 governor's race. 1972 also saw the re-election of the controversial, and popular, Kansas attorney general Vern Miller. What does the "folklore" surrounding Miller make us miss about his larger legacy?

 

Go Deeper

Archival Audio Sources

 

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

Interviews

  • Randy Gonzales - newspaper reporter; historian, Fort Hays State University
  • Jeremy Gill - historian who is the Kansas Room Coordinator at the Hays Public Library
  • Jonathan Hagel - Assistant Teaching Professor, Department of History, University of Kansas
  • John Frieden - Attorney

Music by Clelia Walking

 

 

 

 

Gallery

Map with election results in KansasView
1972 Kansas Gubernatorial Election Results. Source: Wikipedia
Newspaper photo of women and man at a campaign rallyView
Kansans Together - State Democratic delegates gathered in Convention Hall for action Tuesday night. From left: Theda Brown, Hutchinson; Denise Edison, Parsons; Karen Smith, Emporia; and Kathy Dreiling and her father Norbert Dreiling, Hays. Source: 1972-07-12, Wichita Eagle.
Large protest crowdView
Anti Vern Miller protest at the University of Kansas, 1971. Source: KU University Archives.
Campaign PamphletView
Docking campaign mailer, 1972. Source: KansasMemory.org, Kansas Historical Society.
Two men talking to one anotherView
John F. Kennedy and Norbert Dreiling at Hays fundraiser on November 20, 1959. Source: Ellis County Historical Society.
Invitation and programView
Program for Democrat congressional dinner with John F. Kennedy. November 20, 1959 in Hays. Source: Ellis County Historical Society.
group of girls and two menView
John F. Kennedy, Norbert Dreiling, and guests at the fundraising dinner in Hays on November 20, 1959. Source: Ellis County Historical Society.
Campaign MailerView
Morris Kay campaign mailer, 1972. Source: KansasMemory.org, Kansas Historical Society.
Slot MachineView
Mills slot machine confiscated by KBI agents at the Belleville VFW in 1972. Source: KansasMemory.org, Kansas Historical Society.
Two men sitting in audienceView
Norbert Dreiling and Robert Docking, 1972. Source: KansasMemory.org, Kansas Historical Society.
Two men sitting in front of microphonesView
Robert Docking and Vern Miller, 1972. Source: KansasMemory.org, Kansas Historical Society
man seated at deskView
Vern Miller at desk, early 1970s. Source: KansasMemory.org, Kansas Historical Society.
men and woman talkingView
Vern Miller campaigning, early 1970s. Source: KansasMemory.org, Kansas Historical Society.
man next to boxes of beer cansView
Vern Miller with confiscated alcohol, early 1970s. Source: KansasMemory.org, Kansas Historical Society.
Man standing in field of plantsView
Vern Miller with confiscated marijuana. Source: KansasMemory.org, Kansas Historical Society.
man standing in front of book shelfView
Vern Miller with law books, early 1970s. Source: KansasMemory.org, Kansas Historical Society.

 

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