TOPEKA, Kan. -- A group that publicizes Kansas history is planning a three-day celebration in Topeka next month to mark the 150th anniversary of the formation of the first unit of black soldiers to go into battle during the Civil War.
The Kansas Fever Committee plans to have events starting Aug. 3. The site will be Cushinberry Park, near the national historic site dedicated to the U.S. Supreme Court's historic Brown v. Board decision in 1954 declaring segregated schools unconstitutional.
The celebration will honor the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteers, which formed in 1862 and went into its first battle in Missouri in October 1862.
That was nine months before the first battle in South Carolina for the better-known 54th Massachusetts, subject of the 1989 film, "Glory."