What is Kansas? April 25, 1922 in the Judge by William Allen White
Kansas is a state of the Union, but it is also a state of mind, a neurotic condition, a psychological phase, a symptom indeed, something undreamt of in your philosophy, an inferiority complex against the tricks and manners of plutocracy —- social, political and economic.
When anything is going to happen in this country, it happens first in Kansas. Abolition, Prohibition, Populism, the Bull Moose, the exit of the roller towel, the appearance of the bank guarantee, the blue sky law, the adjudication of industrial dispute as distinguished from the arbitration of industrial differences —- these things came popping out of Kansas like bats out of hell. Sooner or later other states take up these things and then Kansas goes breeding other troubles. Why, no one seems to know.
To Theodore Roosevelt, Oyster Bay, N.Y., June 23, 1900* - William Allen White
A little son came to our house this week, and that is why I was not at Philadelphia. He is our first born that has lived, and he is a stong little ten-pounder. His name is Bill and anyone who calls him Willie or Will is going to be put out on the first ballot. I guess my duty to little Bill was greater than it was to the Republican party so I did not go to the National Convention. I am going to Europe on business not on pleasure or I certainly should stop until you passed through Kansas. - May God bless you and strengthen and keep you for the great work which I believe He has somehow, somewhere, laid out for you.
*Theodore Roosevelt was nominated for Vice-president on the Republican ticket at the June, 1900 convention along with William McKinley for President. Roosevelt became President in September, 1901 after McKinley was assassinated in Buffalo, New York.
Excerpt from "The Last Christmas Tree". (A broadcast from the Finnish-Russian front, Christmas, 1939)
W. L. White speaking to you on this Christmas night from Finland, the country where our legend of Santa Claus and his reindeer first began. Reindeer still pull sleighs in the north of Finland tonight, carrying supplies to the little nation's army which is fighting to press back the great army which would come in. But if part of our Christmas story began in Finland, this is also the country where Christmas ends, for beyond the line of its armies lies that great land where there is no Christmas any more, and where the memory of its stories is dimming fast. And this is why, since I have come from a front line post-of-command of this Finnish army, I can tell you tonight about the last Christmas tree....
Excerpt from "Let there Be Rain!" Emporia Gazette, April 27, 1935
O Lord, in Thy mercy grant us rain and by that we don't mean a shower. We want to go out and watch the lightning rip across the southwestern sky in hot blue forks as the fat clouds roll in on us. We want to hurry home to close the house with the first fat drops the size of marbles on a suddenly rising wind, chasing us and plunking on the car hood. We want to scramble all over the house, just as the first sheets descend frantically slamming down the windows...
God of Israel, Isaac and Jacob, let it come down so hard, let the drops dance so high that the streets and sidewalks seem covered with a six-inch fog of spatter-drops. Then let it just keep up for a while, and then begin to taper off, and then turn right around and get a lot worse, swishing, pounding, splattering, pouring, drenching, the thunder coming - Crackity - BAM! - and the lightning flashing so fast and furious you can't tell which flash goes with which peal of thunder....
Kansas is indeed the Promised land, O Lord, and if it gets a break it will flow with milk and honey. But we can't live much longer on promises. W.L.W.
Books by W.L. White
What People Said · Journey For Margaret · They Were Expendable
Queens Die Proudly · Report on the Russians · Report on the Germans
Lost Boundaries · Land of Milk and Honey · Bernard Baruch
Back Down The Ridge · The Captives of Korea · The Little Toy Dog
Report on the Asians