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KGI Online Library

The Kansas Government Information (KGI) Online Library
Kansas government publications, resources and information available from the State Library of Kansas

Feb 08

Kansas State Government School Funding Publications in KGI

Posted on February 8, 2018 at 4:24 PM by Bill Sowers

The issue of public school funding has been a top priority for Kansas state government from the beginning of statehood.  Each session of the Legislature brings forth studies, reports, press releases, court rulings and legislative bills presenting different theories/proposals/plans on funding schools.

The State Library of Kansas' KGI Online Library has made an effort to digitize historic state publications as well as more recent government documents relating to school finance for researchers interested in knowing the historic background of school finance.  Clicking on the link below will take you on a chronological journey through decades of studies, reports, press releases and other resources giving you an idea of just how important education has been throughout our state's history.


Nov 29

Kansas License Plates, 1970-2000

Posted on November 29, 2017 at 12:47 PM by Bill Sowers

License plates...

Other than viewing them on passing or parked vehicles on the street, you might see them arranged in neat rows on garage walls, in man caves, basement hobby rooms or even automobile museums.  Often rectagular shaped and metallic they contain registration number formats, typically alphanumeric, designed to provide enough unique numbers for all motor vehicles a jurisdiction expects to register.  Some license plates have color schemes, designs, logos, map outlines etc on them.  Through the years Kansas has used state symbols such as wheat, the rectangular outline of the state map, the State Capitol dome and different slogans on its plates.

According to licenseplateshistory.com:

"Cities and counties in Kansas started registering motor vehicles as early as 1904. Some of the cities and counties issued porcelain license plates while other required motor vehicle owners to get their own. The first statewide license plates were issued in 1913 and these were undated until 1921. The abbreviation KAN appeared on all state issued Kansas license plates until 1929 when the entire name KANSAS was embossed/stamped on all license plates. All state plates were made of steel or aluminum."

The Kansas Department of Revenue and its predecessor, the Kansas Motor Vehicle Department, published pamphlets displaying color replicas of the different license plates used by our state for many years.  The State Library of Kansas' KGI Online Library has 27 years of these publications, 1970-2000, online. You can see the changes in plate colors and designs here:


Nov 20

A Venture in Selling Kansas in 1940

Posted on November 20, 2017 at 10:15 AM by Bill Sowers

In 1940 the newly created Kansas Industrial Development Commission published a booklet, "A Venture in Selling Kansas," outlining its accomplishments and future plans for promoting Kansas as a business-friendly location.  In the book's foreword and introductory statement the authors put forth their premise for the need of an agency such as the Commission for increasing commercial development within the state:

"Kansas, taking stock of the years that have fled and looking forward to the years to come has reached the decision that if it is to grow progressively in all ways it must base itself upon a firmer industrial foundation...

The Kansas Industrial Development Commission has been in existence only since May, 1939. It was created by a progressive State Legislature, inspired by the leadership of Gov. Payne Ratner and in response to a public demand that Kansas be fully equipped to meet the growing competition engendered by its ambitious sister states. This accounting seeks to tell modestly of the plans, hopes, objectives and whatever of accomplishment has been gained in less than a year and a half. Sincere appreciation is also herewith expressed for the eordial cooperation that has been rendered this Commission from a thousand sources."

Perusing this book 77 years after its publication provides a cool look at the general state of things in Kansas just before the beginning of the Second World War.  Kansas was coming out of the Great Depression and Dirty Thirties striving to establish its place in the world as a player willing and able to compete in the national/world marketplace.  This publication was the Industrial Development Commission's statement of why Kansas needed an agency such as theirs as well as a "bugle call" to the people of our state that promoting Kansas would bring in jobs and a better life for all.

You can find "A Venture in Selling Kansas" [1940] online at the State Library of Kansas' KGI Online Library.  Take a look at our state many years ago and enjoy the ride through the 1940 Sunflower State.