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The Capitol Insurrection Revived The Story Of A Legendary Abolitionist

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Walter Ingalls
/
United States Senate
On January 6, 2021 a pro-Trump rioter carried a Confederate flag past this portrait of U.S. Sen. Charles Sumner of Massachusetts that hangs in the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

The namesake of Sumner Academy in Kansas City, Kansas, was almost killed on the U.S. Senate floor for his "Crime Against Kansas" speech in 1856. Now, a photo from the insurrection this month has people remembering U.S. Sen. Charles Sumner's story.

The irony of a Confederate flag being carried past one of the most ferocious abolitionists to serve in the U.S. Senate was not lost on those who recognized the subject of the portrait. Sumner served during a period of partisanship in the Congress that can be compared to the atmosphere in the nation's capital today.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
Whether it’s something happening right now or something that happened 100 years ago, some stories don’t fit in the short few minutes of a newscast. As a podcast producer at KCUR, I help investigate questions and local curiosities in a way that brings listeners along for adventures with plot twists and thought-provoking ideas. Sometimes there isn’t an easy answer in the end – but my hope is that we all leave with a greater understanding of the city we live in. Reach me at mackenzie@kcur.org or find me on Twitter @_macmartin.