The thirty-fourth state to join the Union, Kansas entered the United States in 1861. It was a crucial battlefield for slavery leading up to the Civil War, with both sides hotly contesting whether it would be a free or slave state. The 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry Regiment are the first black troops to see action in the Civil War. Many of these troops will later be murdered after being captured in Arkansas. Today, Kansas has a population of 2.9 million people. The capital is Topeka.
Kennedy Center Honors
Award given by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. in recognition of outstanding lifetime achievement in the performing arts. The honors have been presented annually since 1978, culminating each December in a gala celebrating the honorees.
Kennedy, John F.
Elected in 1960 as the nation’s thirty-fifth president, John F. Kennedy was both the first Roman Catholic elected to the office and the youngest. Son of famed Boston entrepreneur and public citizen, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., Kennedy’s youth and vibrancy captured the imagination of the American electorate. His presidency was marked by the Cold War and managing relations with the Soviet Union. In 1963, after serving just two years, Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas during a motorcade ride.
Kennedy, Robert F.
The brother of thirty-fifth president, John F. Kennedy. Like his brother, Kennedy served in the armed forces and graduated from Harvard University. He also served in his brother’s administration as attorney general, where he won notoriety for his dogged pursuit of organized crime bosses and then-Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa. As attorney general, he also sent federal troops to enforce the integration of the University of Mississippi. After his brother’s assassination in 1963, Kennedy was elected to the U.S. Senate from the State of New York. After four years as a senator, he announced his candidacy for president, winning crucial Democratic primaries in Indiana and Nebraska. Tragically, he was shot on June 5th in Los Angeles, California and died one day later, shortly after claiming victory in that state’s primary.
The fifteenth state to join the United States, Kentucky was granted statehood in 1792. Divided on the issue of slavery, the state was neutral in the early part of the Civil War and officially joined the Union in late 1861. The scene of numerous important events during the Civil Rights Movement, Kentucky passed the Kentucky Civil Rights Act of 1966, which Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., called the strongest and most comprehensive civil rights bill passed by a southern state. Ten years later, due to a historical oversight, Kentucky finally ratified the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Kicks & Co.
A musical written by Oscar C. Brown Jr. in 1960. The musical follows the adventures of the carefree and devilish character Mr. Kicks as he involves himself with a sit-in of black students at the fictional Freedman University for Negroes.
King, Martin Luther, Jr.
Born January 15, 1929, this ordained clergyman and Nobel Prize winner was one of the principal leaders of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Dr. King's advocacy of nonviolent protest to end legal segregation and racial discrimination was instrumental in forcing the federal government to confront the issues of injustice in the United States. Dr. King served as president of the Montgomery Improvement Association, an organization responsible for the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott. Additionally, he co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Dr. King's last speech was delivered April 3, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee during a bitter sanitation workers' strike. He was assassinated the following evening. In 1986, Martin Luther King's birthday was officially declared a federal holiday.
Famed African American singer, actor and performer. The versatile Kitt was one of a handful of entertainers to be nominated for a Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award. She got her start as a dancer in the Katherine Dunham Company and went on to record numbers Top 10 hits. She also starred as Catwoman in the television series Batman.
The Korean War, fought from 1950 until 1953, was waged over preventing the spread of Communism to all of Southeast Asia. The war began with the invasion of South Korea by North Korea. After a near victory for United States forces, they were driven back and nearly defeated. Ultimately, gains were remade, and the United States, North Korea and China signed an armistice, which resulted in the establishment of a demilitarized zone dividing the country in two.