Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Who is... The Adjutant General?

The Adjutant General’s office is an executive department whose main goal is to keep Kansans safe, be that during time of conflict, or before, during and after natural or man-made disasters. By utilizing the Kansas National Guard and citizen corps, the Adjutant General is in charge of organizing the best methods to provide Kansans with security and protection of life and property.

Kansas Adjutant General homepage:

Leader of the Department: Major General Tod M. Bunting, Adjutant General
Find his biography at:

This department has a long history, as it was organized before Kansas statehood. Find out more at:

The Adjutant General’s office has four divisions:

Kansas Air National Guard

Kansas Army National Guard

Kansas Homeland Security

Kansas Division of Emergency Management
Find out about the purpose and mission of this division at:

You can find the Adjutant General's recent publications including annual reports, Plains Guardian magazine, or other publications online at:

You can find recent press releases regarding natural disasters, National Guard deployments, or other news at:

Reports and publications transcribed by others originally published by the Adjutant General's office that may be of interest to historians or genealogists:

20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry
An Account of the Kansas Volunteers in the Spanish-American War 1898-1899

Excerpts from Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kansas, Vol. 1. - 1861-1865. Leavenworth, Kansas: Bulletin Co-operative Printing Company, Chicago. 1867.

KANSAS CASUALTIES IN THE WORLD WAR, 1917-1919: Compiled Under Supervision of the
Adjutant General of Kansas, 1921.

Kansas Adjutant General's Report, 1898-1899
The 12th biennial Kansas Adjutant General's Report lists the names of all soldiers who served in the Kansas volunteer troops (the 20th through 23rd Kansas Regiments) during the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (through Oct. 28, 1899). This index to the report includes the company and regiment in which the individual served

Kansas Adjutant General's Report, 1861-1865
The Kansas Adjutant General's Report, 1861-1865, lists the names of all troops who served in the Kansas volunteer regiments (for example, the Second Kansas Cavalry or the Eighth Kansas Infantry) during the Civil War. This index to the report, originally prepared by volunteer Fred Delap, includes the name, regiment and company, and place of residence for each soldier. Also listed are a few Kansans who served in non-Kansas regiments; Mr. Delap came across these names in the course of his research. It does NOT include all Kansans who served in the Civil War. In particular, the index does not include the Kansas State Militia.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Maritime Piracy

We've all watched news stories of daring rescues of pirate attack captives in that area of the world known as the Horn of Africa. It seems so far away from us and yet these stories cover the tip of an economic iceberg that touches us all.

Attacks in this region have grown to a point within the past few years where shipping lanes through the Suez Canal have been threatened. What this means is that maritime insurance costs have gone up and those ships that are rerouted around the Horn of Africa (the southern tip of Africa) add a cost to shipment that is transferred to industries and businesses that rely on the goods transported. These added cost are eventually applied to products purchased by consumers. Counter measures by nations like the United States also mean tax dollars spent to protect ships from attack The economic impact of maritime piracy ripples out to affect us all.

Below are links to information on maritime piracy. Most interesting are the IMB map and the information from the U.S. Secretary of State. Piracy is not something limited to the Horn of Africa. It is found in several other regions of the world as well affecting the movement of goods and people. Another point of interest are the cooperative efforts of nations around the globe who recognize the need to work together to combat this menace.

IMB Live Piracy Map 2009
(A map showing worldwide piracy attacks with added current and historic information / provided by ICC Commercial Crime Services)

International Maritime Piracy
(The U.S. Department of State highlights areas of maritime piracy for travelers)

Economic Impact of Piracy on Global Trade
(The U.S. Maritime Administration)

The European Union and Piracy
(The European Union Response)

Maritime Security Centre
(The European Union Security Center for the Horn of Africa)

Countering Piracy Off the Horn of Africa
(The U.S. Government Response)

Counter Piracy Operation Allied Protector

Worldwide Threats to Shipping
(U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence)

Piracy - The East Africa/Somalia Situation
(Practical Measures to Avoid, Deter or Delay Piracy Attacks)

Piracy off the Coast of Somalia
(An excellent listing of online resources supplied by the National Defense University Library)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Who is... The Department of Commerce

This is the start of a series that will shed light on government agencies, boards or commissions. We hope to highlight state and federal executive, legislative, and judicial departments to exhibit who they are, what they do, and how the everyday functions of that department affects you the citizen.

The first department we'll feature is the Kansas State Department of Commerce:

Department Head: Secretary David Kerr

Synopsis: As the state's lead economic development agency, the Kansas Department of Commerce strives to empower individuals, businesses and communities to achieve prosperity. To this end, the Department comprises various programs and services that create jobs, attract investment, provide workforce training, encourage community development and promote the state as a wonderful place to live, work and play.

Previously this department was named Kansas Department of Economic Development and Kansas Industrial Development Commission before that

Has 5 divisions:

Business Development - promotes the Kansas economy through job growth and attracting business

Rural Development- helps to develop rural communities and promote agritourism

Trade Development- helps Kansas businesses export their services or products

Travel and Tourism- promotes travel opportunities and community events in Kansas

Workforce Services- has resources for employers looking for a strong workforce and for workers looking for jobs and training. Includes a job directory called KansasWorks!

Publications accessible online:

Kansas! magazine

Kansas Visitors Guide- come play in Kansas!

Kansas Business Incentives- A guide as to why you should relocate your business to Kansas

Every time you, the Kansan, go to dine at your favorite hometown restaurant, you are benefitting from the services of the Kansas Department of Commerce. If you are in the market for a new job, you can benefit from KansasWorks! If your business is looking to expand overseas, you can benefit from the services of the Department of Commerce.

The Department of Commerce can be contacted at (785) 296-3481 or you can email them at

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mothers Day

"Mine! This tiny dimpled creature of rose
Still wrapped in lingering breath of Heaven's oer-fume.

Mine! The shining little eyes,
The leaf-curled nose,
The little mouth,
Like a small rose,
A-nuzzling at my breast.

But scarce a month
And all the garden of his face
Was not, and all his grace.
One month, and yet it seems a year,
Since first I trod that path of pain and fear
Till out of all my anguish
Came my bliss,
When God reached down from Heaven
And gave me this!"
--Louisa Cooke Don-Carlos
Poetry of Kansas, Blue Skyways website)

In Great Britain many call it Mothering Sunday and celebrate Mum on the third Sunday of the Christian season of Lent. In Thailand mothers are feted on August 12th, the birthday of the Queen, who is considered the "Mother of the Nation." In the United States and many other countries the second Sunday of May is set aside as Mother's Day. The day may be different but mothers are honored at least one day out of the year in over 140 countries around the world.

Below are links to information on Mother's Day and mothers provided by government and nongovernment websites. Among these web resources are one audio, one audio-visual and a "passport" into a virtual Mother's Day display within Second Life:

Mother's Day History and Culture

Honor Your Mother (Library of Congress "Wise Guide")

Mother's Day History (Mother's Day Central)

Julia Ward Howe (Mother's Day Central)
(An early proponent of Mother's Day)

Anna M. Jarvis (West Virginia Division of Culture & History)
(The "Mother" of the modern holiday, Mother's Day)

Old Mother's Day film trailer (Internet Archive)
(Watch a short tribute to mothers from long ago)

U.S. Mother's Day Shrine

"Women in the Wheat Country" / by Pamela Riney-Kehrberg
(Online reprint of article appearing in Kansas History, Spring-Summer 2000 (Vol. 23, No. 1-2)

Information from the U.S. Census Bureau
2008 Press Release
2007 Press Release
2006 Press Release
2005 Press Release

Poetry About Mothers

10 Poems for Mother's Day

Quotes About Mothers

Second Graders Recite Their Mothers Day Poems
(An Internet Archive Audio File of a second grade class reading poetry)

Virtual Mother's Day Display
Alliance Virtual Library Info Island Second Life
(The above "SLURL" is a direct link to this display within Second Life. To view this display within the Second Life Virtual world/game one needs to register for free
How to Join Second Life
System Requirements