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The History of our Public Schools
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 1940


Once more the United States became involved in a foreign war when the Japanese attacked American ships at Pearl Harbor on December 7.  War was declared also in Germany and Italy on December 11.  The impact was felt almost immediately in the city.  A National Defense Program already started by the government soon affected the lives of all.  Gas rationing coupons were issued locally to 38,000 people.  Tire rationing and blackouts followed.

Training schools for machine shop work and welding prepared workers for the manufacture of bombers in a huge Fairfax plant.  Superintendent Schlagle, Lewis H. Brotherson, and Vocational Director L. E. Falgren, visited Inglewood, California to find out the exact training necessary for such workers.  The program established in 1940 was carried on with additional instruction as it was needed.

Shop equipment was purchased by the government and it paid salaries of 75 teachers and assistants.  Industry had requested the training of 400 boys and girls for building radios and broadcasting equipment in Fairfax.  No payment was made for depreciation on equipment, but the board considered that as its contribution to the war effort.

Teachers emphasized the Four Freedoms:

  1. Freedom of worship,
  2. Freedom of speech,
  3. Freedom of want, and
  4. Freedom of fear

in teaching the values of democracy.  Mr. Schlagle made a plea that young children be given security from hate and fear and that older students be taught the principles of democracy and be fitted to carry an economic load.

The monthly school bulletin established years before was restored by the Teachers' Council as employees needed to be informed of the philosophy and progress of schools during war time.  Donald Kohlstadt, librarian, left for a similar position at Grand Rapids, Michigan.  G. H. Sandy, graduate of the University of Illinois, took his place.  Fifth-three persons came into the system.

Next Section   1942

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Contact the History Webmaster - Patricia Adams

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

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