Kurt's Historic Sites

Topeka, Kansas capitol


Admission to the Union Sequence in Admission Sequence in Capitols I Have Visited
January 29, 1861 34th admitted 4th visited

Photographed August 11, 2009.

I snapped this photo of the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka as twilight fell in August 2009. From there, my father and I ate dinner at the now-defunct Kansan Grille and soldiered on to Abilene, where the next morning we explored the presidential library of Dwight D. Eisenhower. After that, we were able to return to Topeka and go inside the capitol before we continued eastward to Missouri.

On their Roadside Presidents mobile app, the folks behind Roadside America bill this sculpture inside the Kansas Capitol as “Statue of Ike as Mr. Clean.” They write the resemblance is “uncanny” due to the “bald head, square jaw, formless clothing, even the beefy arms folded across the chest.” It is unlikely that sculptor Peter Felten used the product mascot as a model when he created it in 1981, but they have a point, “minus the earring.” Roadside America may be vindicated if a cleaning agent is unearthed from the time capsule limestone Eisenhower looms over, which is to remain sealed until the 34th president’s 200th birthday on October 14, 2090. 

Photographed August 12, 2009.
Photographed August 12, 2009.

Another Kansan commemorated in the statehouse is aviator Amelia Earhart, who was born on July 24, 1897 in Atchison. Earhart broke barriers as the first woman to pilot a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Her transatlantic journey took place in May 1932, when she was 34 years old. Earhart was one of the most famous Americans at the time she and navigator Fred Noonan attempted to circumnavigate the globe in summer 1937. The Lockheed Model 10-E Electra they were flying in disappeared near Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937. The pair was declared dead in 1939.

A sign on one of the capitol doors made it clear that firearms were prohibited in the building.

Photographed August 12, 2009.

Sources Consulted

This Exit LLC. “Roadside Presidents.” Apple App Store, Vers. 2.3 (2021). https://apps.apple.com/us/app/roadside-presidents/id485457840?ign-mpt=uo%3D4.

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