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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 1936


In 1937, Shirley Temple, the country's idol, was eight years old.  King Edward VIII of England abdicated the throne and announced he would marry a commoner.  On a visit to America the giant dirigible, Von Hindenberg, exploded and burned.  The Supreme Court ruled in favor of old age and unemployment compensations.  On July 2, Aviatrix Amelia Earhart was reported missing on her flight over the Pacific.  In Texas, tragedy in the form of a gas explosion took the lives of over 400 school children.  [Annotation:  During the summers and sometimes the school year, Amelia Earhart lived with her grandparents in Kansas City, Kansas.  The house is still standing in 2004.]

A memorial collection was begun for Dr. D. W. Clopper, prominent Argentine resident and friend of the schools, who had died in 1935.  [Annotation:  Dr. D. W. Clopper is incorrect.  The name was Dr. David E. Clopper.]   St. Margaret's Hospital observed a 50th anniversary and Minnesota Avenue was resplendent with new mercury vapor mazda lights from Fourth to Eighth Streets.   The old jail site at Seventh and State was purchased for a new hotel.  [Annotation:  The future Town House Hotel.]  Montgomery Ward bought the northwest corner at Seventh and Minnesota

The new Wyandotte High School was accepted by the board on march 30.  During the year 1936, the government through the WPA, had paid the major expense of improving and paving school grounds.  In April the board voted $75,000 for equipment and landscaping at the high school, but the work was delayed until the government gave approval.  High School teachers moved into their assigned rooms in May to have them ready for the September opening.

At the dedication of the $2.5 million building on September 10, Governor Walter A. Huxman and Secretary of War Harry A. Woodring were speakers.  Student guides showed the building to visitors over a period of several days of open house.  Rosedale's stadium was enlarged in 1937 with WPA aid. 

The Kansas Senate aided school finance by passing a bill to lift bond and levy limitations.  In April, a tenure law applying only to Kansas City was passed.  The board was empowered to issue life contracts to teachers who had given satisfactory service in the schools for three years.  A 10% salary increase was promised for January, 1938.  Sumner, using every inch of available space for classes, was declared eligible for a WPA grant for building a new school.

A sign of more prosperous times was the outbreak of strikes.  When the bakers left their ovens, they set an example for some Rosedale students who were displeased because their industrial teacher had not been hired for the next year.  Three Wyandotte boys organized a strike the following day when they learned two coaches were not to return.  The leaders were expelled and no further rebellions occurred.

Fifty-two teachers entered the schools in September, 1937.  The superintendent warned them and those already in service of the tendency of teachers to become autocratic.  Taut nerves were a professional hazard, and as chances of promotion were few, teachers needed to take more time for recreation to give their jobs variety.

Up to 1937, traffic had been allowed to grow without planning.  The failure to educate had allowed the problems to increase.  When the nation became safety conscious, educators feared another textbook and a new course on "Safety" would be prescribed by law.  School people needed to anticipate such needs by setting up their own programs.

Next Section   1938

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

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