Topeka in History

Kansas: Kansas City - Wichita

Historical Events

  • 1860-07-09 Temperature hits 115°F in Fort Scott and 112°F in Topeka, Kansas
  • 1891-03-10 Almon Strowger, an undertaker in Topeka, Kansas, patents the strowger switch, a device which led to the automation of telephone circuit switching
  • 1897-06-24 Hail injures 26 in Topeka, Kansas
  • 1931-01-05 1st woman to purchase a baseball team Lucille Thomas purchases Topeka franchise in the Western League
  • 1953-11-15 WIBW TV channel 13 in Topeka, KS (CBS/ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1954-05-17 US Supreme Court unanimously rules on Brown v Topeka Board of Education reverses 1896 "separate but equal" Plessy v Ferguson decision
  • 1965-10-21 KTWU TV channel 11 in Topeka, KS (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1966-06-08 Topeka, Kansas is devastated by a tornado that registers as an "F5" on the Fujita Scale: the first to exceed US$100 million in damages. Sixteen people are killed, hundreds more injured, and thousands of homes damaged or destroyed.
  • 1967-12-28 KTSB (now KSNT) TV channel 27 in Topeka, KS (NBC) begins broadcasting

Famous Birthdays

  • 1893-07-23 Karl Menninger, American psychiatrist (Menninger Clinic), born in Topeka, Kansas (d. 1990)
  • 1917-06-07 Gwendolyn Brooks, American poet (Bean Eaters, Annie Allen, Pulitzer 1950), born in Topeka, Kansas (d. 2000)
  • 1921-06-08 Sheila Ryan, American actress (Big Fix, Mule Train, Ringside, Caged Fury), born in Topeka, Kansas (d. 1975)
  • 1929-04-13 Marilynn Smith, LPGA golfer (1972 Pabst Open), born in Topeka, Kansas
  • 1930-11-03 Lois Smith, American actress (True Blood, Desperate Housewives.), born in Topeka, Kansas
  • 1932-03-02 Frank E. Petersen Jr, American soldier and 1st African American Marine aviator & General, born in Topeka Kansas (d. 2015)
  • 1936-04-20 Pat Roberts, US Senator (Rep-R-KS, 1981-1997), born in Topeka, Kansas
  • 1942-08-25 Margaret L. Thompson Murdock, American army and first woman to win medal for small bore rifle (Olympic silver 1976), born in Topeka, Kansas
  • 1949-09-18 Kerry Livgren, American rock guitarist (Kansas), born in Topeka, Kansas

Person of interestAnnette Bening

1958-05-29 Annette Bening, American actress (Grifters, Bugsy, American Beauty), born in Topeka, Kansas

  • 1960-04-10 Katrina Leskanich, American musician and singer (Katrina and the Waves), born in Topeka, Kansas
  • 1963-08-21 Melvin Douglas, American 198 lbs/90 kg freestyle wrestler (Olympics 1996), born in Topeka, Kansas
  • 1979-04-04 Andy McKee, American fingerstyle guitarist, born in Topeka, Kansas
  • 1979-08-22 Brandon Quintin Adams, American actor (The People Under the Stairs), born in Topeka, Kansas

Famous Deaths

  • 1987-10-12 Alfred M Landon, former Kansas Gov, dies at his Topeka home at 100