Kansas 105

Today’s Trivia (May 20)

"The Ballad of August Bondi" is about a Jewish freedom fighter who became an abolitionist and then fought alongside John Brown during Kansas' territorial years.

The song was commissioned by the magazine Jewish Life and the Jewish Young Folksingers in 1954 to commemorate 300 years of Jewish life in America. Bondi is a folk hero, but he was a real man, too.

Bondi came to Kansas in 1855 and soon became involved in the border fighting between Kansas and Missouri. At that time, partisans were fighting over whether the state would enter the Union as a free or a slave state.

Bondi was born July 21, 1833, in Vienna, Austria. When he was 15, he joined the Academic Student Legion, a Hungarian revolutionary group that worked to free Hungary from Austrian control. The revolt failed and Bondi was expelled from his school. Some of the students were imprisoned. Bondi and his family fled for the United States, settling in St. Louis.

According to an article on Bondi from the March 2004 issue of Jewish Currents, Bondi read an editorial in the New York Tribune encouraging Americans to go to Kansas to help save it from becoming a slave state.

Bondi responded.

It was May 1855 when he came to Kansas and homesteaded in Franklin County. When Missouri ruffians burned his cabin and stole livestock, Bondi joined the "Kansas Regulars." He was with Brown on several raids along the Missouri -Kansas line.

Question: What Kansas communities did Bondi live in and what things did he do after riding with Brown?

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Answer to Thursday’s question: Ayesh said he had to take his time closing the bomb bay doors at 15,000 feet above Germany and "could only turn the screwdriver a quarter of a turn, then I had to use the pliers. Screwdriver. Pliers. A quarter-turn at a time."

Check Kansas.com on Saturday for the answer to today’s question.