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Laura Phillippi image

Laura Phillippi, Speaker

Historian Based in Leavenworth

The Kansas Industrial Farm for Women

In 1917, the Kansas Industrial Farm for Women was established in Lansing, Kansas, to house women found in violation of a new quarantine law intended to prevent the spread of venereal disease. As male troops enlisted for World War I, large numbers were found to have syphilis and gonorrhea. It was a public health crisis. To counter this, five-mile "morality zones" were established around Kansas military installations to keep soldiers away from "lewd" women. The women who were arrested, incarcerated, and kept until the prison officials felt otherwise, were taught to grow crops, raise chickens, sew, and cook. This presentation explores life on this unusual farm and the women who lived there. 

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