Kansas 105

1961-1970 Timeline


August — Learjet breaks ground on a new plant near the Wichita Municipal Airport.


Although wild turkeys virtually disappeared from the state during the Dust Bowl years, small numbers of the birds begin finding their way back into Kansas, along the Arkansas River. To help the turkey population rebuild, 125 Rio Grande turkeys from Texas are released in several locations in southern Kansas.


April 14 — Richard Hickock and Perry Smith are hanged at Lansing for the 1959 murder of the Clutter family near Holcomb.

December — First deer season opens in Kansas.


Truman Capote's book "In Cold Blood," about the Clutter family murders, is published.

Jan. 18 — KC-135 tanker from McConnell crashes on Piatt Street in north Wichita.

June 8 — A tornado hits Topeka, leaving 17 dead and 500 injured and causing more than $100 million in damage.

July 17 — At age 19, Wichitan Jim Ryun breaks the world record for the mile run with a time of 3 minutes 41.3 seconds.


Allen Ginsberg, Beat Generation and counterculture pioneer, comes to Wichita and writes one of his most famous and critically acclaimed works, "Wichita Vortex Sutra," in opposition to the Vietnam War. He reads his works at Moody's Skid Row Beanery at 627 E. Douglas and Wichita State University and, when interviewed by The Wichita Eagle, tells a reporter: "The city imposes a dark night on the soul of its youth."


May — Violent race riots occur in northeast Wichita. A. Price Woodard becomes Wichita's first black mayor.


A year after their father dies, Charles, William, David and Fred Koch rename the family company Koch Industries, Inc.

March 18 — Robert Kennedy delivers his first presidential campaign speech at Kansas State University, Manhattan.

May 10 — Wichitan Billy McGonigle is declared missing in action in the Vietnam War. His remains were finally found and identified in 2005. He is one of the last MIAs to be returned home. Thirty-one Kansans remain missing in action from Vietnam.

Nov. 21 — Four Wichita firefighters die in what becomes one of the deadliest fires in Wichita's history, the Yingling Chevrolet building at 300 S. Topeka.

Dec. 13 — Nichols Gymnasium at Kansas State University is gutted by a fire. Authorities suspect arson.

Construction begins on the first section of Interstate 35W, now Interstate 135, near McPherson.


Jan. 1 —The University of Kansas football team loses to Penn State, 15-14, in the Orange Bowl.

March 28 _ Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower, five-star general in the United States Army, Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe and the 34th president of the United States, dies. His body is returned to his hometown of Abilene to be buried.


April 20 — The student union at the University of Kansas is set on fire amid student protests and campus unrest. The damage is $2 million.

Oct. 2 — A twin-engine Martin 404 carrying Wichita State football players, athletic officials and fans crashes into a Colorado mountainside en route to a game with Utah State. Thirty-one people die.

Sept. 16 — President Richard M. Nixon speaks at Kansas State University in his first appearance before a student body.

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