Fort Scott recently hosted “Americans by Choice: The Story of Immigration and Naturalization in Kansas,” a temporary exhibit commissioned by the U.S. District Court, District of Kansas. The exhibit tells the dramatic story of immigration and citizenship throughout the state’s 150 year history.
Between 1860 and 1890, the Sunflower State lured many with promises of a better life through homesteading and employment opportunity; as a result, Kansas’s population increased fourteen-fold during the period.
War veterans, Black Exodusters, Irish, Swedes, and Germans from Russia, among many others, sought peaceful lives on the prairie. Despite the oft-challenging environment, their hard work helped make Kansas the breadbasket of the world. Today, Latinos are finding similar opportunities in a state where six percent of the population is foreign born.
Fort Scott NHS continues to partner with the court to host annual naturalization ceremonies which typically afford nearly 100 new citizens to take their citizenship oath while, for many, also visiting their first national park.