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Wyandotte County, Kansas




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KCKS Public School System, 1819-1961
by Nellie McGuinn
Copyright USD 500, Feb 1966

Return to Previous Section 1935


Franklin D. Roosevelt and the "New Deal" met with popular approval and the voters elected him to a second term.  Kansas City, along with other cities of the country, celebrated the President's birthday with "Birthday Balls" to help finance the rehabilitation program for polio victims.  A local boy, John Zellars, was sent to the center at Warm Springs, Georgia, under this plan.  Lovers of the sensationalism in the news followed with avid interest the trial of Bruno Hauptman for the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh's young son.

In January, 1936, M. E. Pearson brought to an end his long years of association with the KSTA board.  Frank Pinet, executive secretary, compared Mr. Pearson to "Mr. Chips" in his article of farewell, "Good-bye, Mr. Pearson."

After April 17, 1935 when final approval of the new Wyandotte High School was given, the board of education lost no time in proceeding with the erection of the building.  Contracts were let in June and July and during 1936 the greater part of the work was completed.  Firms awarded contracts were:

The WPA, bearing 30% of the cost, sent regular monthly checks to insure proper payment of bills.  After several delays the builders promised to have the school ready for occupancy by the fall term of 1937-38.  When the board bought ground to the east and south of the Argentine field, it was able to obtain funds from the government for grading and other improvements.

Federal allotments helped to make Huron Park a more attractive spot.  Under the direction of Henry F. Shaible, park commissioner, a new pergola and rose garden to the south of the library were almost completed in 1936.  The crumbling wall on the south side of Minnesota near Huron Cemetery was rebuilt.

On May, former Oakland and Louisa M. Alcott students held a reunion to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the school west of the city limits in 1886.  William Drennan, attorney for the Board of Public Utilities, was among the guests.  He had been principal at Oakland in 1909.

When forty-one new teachers were elected for 1936-37, it seemed that the city was definitely out of the worst of the depression.  Problems faced teachers and schools.  Faith in democracy, shaken by the depression, had to be restored.  High school, formerly for the few going to college, should offer graduating students a start at least toward equipping them with a means of earning a living.  Getting along with others and learning to be adaptable were necessary qualities.  The superintendent suggested occupational survey courses for the final year.

The old autocracy of the school room was crumbling.  Teachers were urged to respect others, to treat them as individuals.  Outside interests and contacts were needed when teachers could afford them.  In some states an income tax was furnishing additional revenue for schools.

[Annotation:  History of Income Tax - The nation had few taxes in its early history. From 1791 to 1802, the United States government was supported by internal taxes on distilled spirits, carriages, refined sugar, tobacco and snuff, property sold at auction, corporate bonds, and slaves. The high cost of the War of 1812 brought about the nation's first sales taxes on gold, silverware, jewelry, and watches. In 1817, however, Congress did away with all internal taxes, relying on tariffs on imported goods to provide sufficient funds for running the government.

In 1862, in order to support the Civil War effort, Congress enacted the nation's first income tax law. It was a forerunner of our modern income tax in that it was based on the principles of graduated, or progressive, taxation and of withholding income at the source. During the Civil War, a person earning from $600 to $10,000 per year paid tax at the rate of 3%. Those with incomes of more than $10,000 paid taxes at a higher rate. Additional sales and excise taxes were added, and an "inheritance" tax also made its debut. In 1866, internal revenue collections reached their highest point in the nation's 90-year history-more than $310 million, an amount not reached again until 1911.

The Act of 1862 established the office of Commissioner of Internal Revenue. The Commissioner was given the power to assess, levy, and collect taxes, and the right to enforce the tax laws through seizure of property and income and through prosecution. The powers and authority remain very much the same today.

In 1868, Congress again focused its taxation efforts on tobacco and distilled spirits and eliminated the income tax in 1872. It had a short-lived revival in 1894 and 1895. In the latter year, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the income tax was unconstitutional because it was not apportioned among the states in conformity with the Constitution.

In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution made the income tax a permanent fixture in the U.S. tax system. The amendment gave Congress legal authority to tax income and resulted in a revenue law that taxed incomes of both individuals and corporations. In fiscal year 1918, annual internal revenue collections for the first time passed the billion-dollar mark, rising to $5.4 billion by 1920. With the advent of World War II, employment increased, as did tax collections-to $7.3 billion. The withholding tax on wages was introduced in 1943 and was instrumental in increasing the number of taxpayers to 60 million and tax collections to $43 billion by 1945.]     

Kansas noted in 1936 a 10% increase in NEA membership.  The city for twelve years had been 100%.  At the convention in Portland, Oregon, Miss Marie Brotherson, a local teacher, was elected vice-president of the association.

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History Site created on December 02, 2002
Page last updated: 02-Jan-2012

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