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Thursday, 28 February 2013 10:19

From the archives of Liberal’s hometown newspaper since 1886.
Researched and compiled by A.J. Coleman, L&T Reporter 

Boys, cannon and pigeons

“Bill would extend legalized abortions,” read the Southwest Daily Times front page headline. 
Abortion is now a topic of discussion in every walk of life. Back in 1963, the people and the state government were discussing what was to be done about the laws already in place in Kansas. A new proposition had been brought to the Senate. 
A bill had been introduced in the Kansas Senate to legalize abortions “when chances are great of the child having grave defects mental or physical,” the article said. An abortion could be performed only after three physicians certified the circumstances they believed justified an abortion. Legal abortions could also be performed when pregnancy resulted from forcible rape or incest; substantial risk was involved; or the birth would gravely impair the health of the mother. At the time, Kansas law allowed an abortion only “when necessary to protect the life of the mother.” 
It’s sad to note that legislation introduced 50 years ago continues to be a battleground in Kansas, which is at the center of the nation and the center of the abortion argument, as well. 
In a less controversial move, the state senate also received a bill to help college students seeking special courses not available in Kansas. 
All of us have problems with curiosity but a little boy in 1963 was about to learn an important lesson about where the urge leads. “Stuck by curiosity,” read the headline of the Southwest Daily Times in a report about a Southwest Kansas boy whose adventure made regional news. 
“Randy Caulfield got his 3-year-old curiosity aroused by a toy cannon. He stuck his arm in the barrel of the cannon and Randy couldn’t get it out. His mother called the police and the officer called the city commissioner. Marel Bacon, the city commissioner, used a hacksaw and snippers to cut the boy from the cannon. Randy was quiet and glum the whole time, apparently annoyed that his plan hadn’t worked so well.
Other young people found inspiration in nature, not weaponry. “Thirty five boys and hundreds of birds in new Ulysses organization,” read the headline of the Times. The newest organization in Ulysses has 35 boys and between 800 and 900 birds as members. The organization was the Ulysses Pigeon Club. Organized in January, it had just held it first public meet. Steve Tarbet was president and Darel Hickman was vice-president. Wayne Howard was secretary and Don Allison volunteered as adult director of the club. 
“Members have acquired racing or homing pigeons, show pigeons of all kinds and ‘eating pigeons,’ which produce squab for market. The boy have bought these pigeons from breeders in several states,” the article said.” Some of the birds were valued at $3.50 to $4 a pair. Tarbet had built a new loft and, with several other boys, planned to produce squab. 
“These are large birds growing to be about two pounds each in the 30 days after hatching,” the story explained, and went on to say: “Racing pigeons are taken in bunches to a starting point and released at a signal and race home for the trophies. The club is planning a pigeon race from Wichita to Ulysses, 225 miles, in July or August.”

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About The High Plains Daily Leader

The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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