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Apr 15


Posted on April 15, 2021 at 10:04 AM by Bill Sowers

Government reports are often dry, factual accounts of events, data, legal questions and social issues... something along the lines of the old TV show, Dragnet's detective, Joe Friday's famous line, "Just the facts, Ma'am!"  

Recently staff at the State Library came across a report about an incident in Garnett, Kansas in 1963 written in a style which was more of a "page turner."  The report described events which lead up to a riot, reactions/responses to the event and plans to remediate the situation and prevent similar problems which might occur locally or statewide in the future.

The riot involved young people attending an auto racing event held at a race track just outside of Garnett, members of the Garnett community and law enforcement. 

The author of the report, Bill D. Schul, was the director of the Kansas Attorney General's Division of Juvenile and Youth Affairs at the time.  He was also a staff member of the Department of Preventative Psychiatry at the Menninger Foundation and continued in a career in therapy and the study of the mind.  You can read more about him here.  

This is a good read... a quick look into the problems of large crowds in a small community and possible solutions in working through the situation involving all involved, directly or indirectly

WARNING...  The report includes quotes by participants and observers which include offensive language, including at least one racially offensive remark. The State Library of Kansas does not condone hate speech of any kind but presents the report as is as an historical document.

You can read the report in the State Library of Kansas' KGI Online Library here:


Want to read more about this?  There is an excellent, in depth article covering the riot available online at the Kansas Historical Sociey's website:

"Hedonism Running Rampant": The 1963 Garnett Riot
by Jason Pendleton
KANSAS HISTORY, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Autumn 2004), pages 164-179