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Virgil Dean, Speaker

Retired as consulting editor and editor of Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains

"We, The People of Kansas..." The Story of Kansas's Founding Documents, 1820-2020

A nation or state’s founding documents speak to the values and aspirations of its people, and at a functional level, provide the functions of government. For the United States, these are the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, and for Kansas, the 1859 Wyandotte Constitution qualifies. It stipulated the form of government, a bill of rights, and systems for elections, education, public institutions, and even the formation of counties and townships. This talk will explore the key components of the Wyandotte Constitution and look at other foundational documents in the state’s history. It will also explore the modifications to the constitution to expand the role of government and rights for individuals over the 160 years of statehood.

Contact Virgil directly about speaking at your event:
(785) 424-5115

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How to Bring a Humanities Kansas Speaker to Your Event

  1. Review the Speakers Bureau catalog and select a speaker and topic.
  2. Contact the speaker and confirm time, date, and location.
  3. If interested, you can apply for funding to bring this speaker to your community. Find out how. (Please Note: Completed applications must be submitted six weeks before the event date to be considered for funding.)
  4. Publicize your event. Download a press release template and photo and Humanities Kansas logo poster.
  5. Tell us how it went. After the event, download and fill out a Speakers Bureau Evaluation and Cost Share Form. For applications submitted after November 1, 2023, please log in to your applicant dashboard to access your report.
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