Six new plaques will be added to the Kansas Walk of Honor at the state capitol this spring.
Plaques honoring Clyde Cessna, Walter Chrysler, Samuel Crumbine, John Steuart Curry, Gordon Parks, and William Allen White will be installed along the walkways of the Kansas State Capitol.
These six new plaques will join those of Charles Curtis, Bob Dole, Amelia Earhart, and Jack Kilby. The walk was established in 2011 and highlights people who contributed on a state and national level and have significant connections to Kansas.
The six honorees were pioneers in their chosen careers.
Clyde Cessna (1979-1954) grew up in Kingman County. A pioneer aviator he built his Silverwing in 1911 and finally made a successful flight after 13 attempts. With Lloyd Stearman and Walter Beech he established Travel Air Manufacturing Company in Wichita in 1925. Cessna went on to produce individual and small business planes.
Walter Chrysler (1875-1940) grew up in Ellis. Chrysler taught himself how cars were built. He went on to oversee production at Buick Motor Company and became the company's president. He formed Chrysler Corporation, and was named Time's Man of the Year in 1928.
Samuel Crumbine (1862-1954) operated a drug store and a medical practice in Ford County. As director of the state board of health, Crumbine promoted the flyswatter and the elimination of the common drinking cup to control the spread of disease. His public health advocacy inspired many changes in the food and drug industry.
John Steuart Curry (1897-1946) was born in Jefferson County. He worked first as an illustrator for national magazines and went on to depict the rural Kansas of his youth in his paintings. Curry's murals at the Kansas Capitol are considered among the finest works of public art in the nation.
Gordon Parks (1912-2006) was born in Fort Scott. He became a well-known photographer for Vogue and Life. He directed a film version of his book The Learning Tree, becoming the first African American director to be financed by Hollywood. He left an invaluable body of work depicting African American heritage.
William Allen White (1868-1944) earned the nickname "Sage of Emporia" through his work as the editor of the Emporia Gazette. His advice was sought by prominent people like Theodore Roosevelt. His work received two Pulitzer Prizes. White's common sense approach left an impact on local, national, and worldwide policy.
The Kansas Historical Foundation, serves as the caretaker of funds for the Kansas Walk of Honor. People can donate to this fund. The Historical Foundation, which supports the Kansas Historical Society, a state agency, established the walk fund so people can offer donations to cover the cost of plaques.