Month: May 2018

Kansas Populist Movement Basics: The End
The Sunflower State

Kansas Populist Movement Basics: The End

Kansas Populist Movement Basics: The End

“Sockless Jerry” Simpson

Populist candidate James Weaver did not become president in 1892, as most undoubtedly know. However, he did win 8.5% of the popular vote, which was considered an impressive amount for a third-party candidate. He also won the states of Kansas, Colorado, Nevada, and Idaho.

The Populist movement was far more successful in some states than others. As previously mentioned, Populist strongholds tended to be states in which farmers were hard hit by drought and economic turmoil. One of these states was Kansas. Read More

Kentucky Bluegrass
The Sunflower State

Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky BluegrassKentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) receives its name from its blue inflorescence, an open, branching, pyramid-shaped structure known as a panicle. The panicle is 1-1/2 to 5 inches long and 1 to 3 inches wide. The waving branches bear spikelets on their ends. Each spikelet has three to six flowers capable of producing abundant awnless seed. Read More

Kansas Populist Movement Basics: The Beginning
The Sunflower State

Kansas Populist Movement Basics: The Beginning

Kansas Populist Movement Basics: The Beginning

A Populist convention in Nebraska in 1890

The Populist movement of the late 1800s is a major topic in Kansas history. A brief glance at history books tells us that the populism of that era was more or less radical agrarianism. While this is basically true, the topic is far more complex than this.

What did the Populists believe? How did they try to achieve it? And what became of them? Lengthy books can be (and have been) written on the subject. This week and next, we’ll try to summarize the main points. Read More

Silver Bluestem
The Sunflower State

Silver Bluestem

Silver BluestemSilver bluestem (Bothriochloa saccharoides) is a unique, attractive bunchgrass that derives its name from its silky white inflorescences. These silvery plumes range from 2-1/2 to 6 inches in length and obtain their distinctive appearance from their short, bent awns. Another name this species has received from its appearance is silver beardgrass. Read More