Small Market Meetings

MAY 2017

The Newspaper for Smaller Cities, Facilities and Planners.

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F o r t S c o t t N a t i o n a l H i s t o r i c S i t e F o r t S c o t t B r o w n v . B o a r d o f E d u c a t i o n N a t i o n a l H i s t o r i c S i t e T o p e k a May 2017 33 Meet the Past in Kansas Courtesy NPS An interpreter leads a candlelight tour at Fort Scott National Historic Site. Kansas has played a pivotal role in America's history. In the early 1800s, it was the nation's formative frontier, where Missouri ended and the "Great American Desert" began. When Kansas became a state in 1854, it also became the battleground over slavery. And it didn't end there: Kansas originated the landmark 1954 Supreme Court case that ended segregation in public schools. Meeting planners can immerse attendees in the state's influential history by meeting at these historic Kansas sites. Fort Scott National Historic Site Fort Scott Fort Scott was established in 1842, one of a line of forts from Minnesota to Louisiana that acted as the frontier's frontline. But when Kansas and Nebraska became states in 1854 and the federal government left it to a popular vote to decide whether to allow slavery, it sparked a border war between Kansas and Missouri known as Bleeding Kansas, which "was the fight over slavery leading up to the Civil War," said Holly Baker, chief of interpretation and resource management for the Fort Scott National Historic Site in Fort Scott. Of the 20 buildings on the site that visitors can tour, 11 are original and the rest were rebuilt on original foundations. During a self-guided tour, guests can explore furnished interior spaces "that depict life on the W hen you meet in Kansas, you have a great chance to meet the past. fort in 1848" — a mess hall, a bunkhouse and a jail — she said. The fort has limited event space; meetings with up to 12 people can use an open area upstairs in one of the historic barracks. Groups can also request a special guided tour at least three weeks in advance or join regularly scheduled tours and programs during the summer. New interactive exhibits include a series of video panels, each representing a different year, and guests can choose from six characters and hear about their lives during the period. Visitors can also watch a 22-minute film and read news articles from the period at touch panels to see how Northern and Southern newspapers reported on the same events. Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site Topeka Third-grader Linda Brown had to walk six blocks to the bus stop and ride a bus to Monroe Elementary School, a black school, although an all-white elemen- tary school was only seven blocks from her home. Her father, Oliver Brown, was one of 13 parents who filed a class-action lawsuit against the Topeka Board of Education for operating segregated schools. The U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 1954 ruling in the case By Rachel Carter

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