Air War Over Southeast Asia: A Pictorial Record Vol. 1, by Lou Drendel

By Lou Drendel

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Marie Abels, like many women in the United States, was a cold warrior in her own right. Once a Sunday school teacher at First United Methodist Church, Marie Abels withdrew from the church after becoming convinced that church leaders “were compromising with evil rather than taking a firm stand against it,” a likely reference to the National Council of Churches’ ecumenical movement and the call for a détente with the Soviets in the 1950s. Like her husband, Marie was active in Kansas Republican politics and was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) locally and nationally.

29 Low income and narrow educational and employment opportunities also contributed to the poor housing situation for Lawrence’s African American population. The median income in 1960 for nonwhite families in Lawrence was $3,832, over a third less than the median income of $5,708 for all families in Lawrence. Further, the unemployment rate among people of color was significantly higher. 9 percent. 30 Mere statistics, however, do not describe the full extent of the social conditions African Americans confronted in Lawrence.

16 The Cold War to many Americans was a religious war against godless communism, and the 1962 Supreme Court decision on school prayer was a rallying point for a resurgent Christian right. Religion was a crucial component of identity in Lawrence, regardless of what position its citizens occupied on the political spectrum. Throughout the decade, liberal theology and social activism confronted conservative orthodoxy. Despite the power of the Yankee narrative, Lawrence was not a homogenous community.

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