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Moments of Glory - Part 6

Debra Barnes as honorary Blue Angel.

Brushes With Greatness

"Welcome to Smallville, Boyhood Home of Superman!"

We've all seen signs like this in our travels. Communities like to celebrate their connections to famous people.

Sometimes well-known people become drawing cards for special occasions. Often communities or organizations seek celebrities' endorsements for a particular purpose or simply reward them for actions of which the community approves.

Debra Barnes, Miss America from southeast Kansas, was made an honorary Blue Angel on a visit to the Naval Air Station in Olathe in 1968.

She is pictured (right) receiving a jacket from the Blue Angels, who are the Navy's flight demonstration team.

Temperance publication.

Glenn Cunningham set a world record as a mile runner in the 1930s. He later lent his name and assistance to a temperance organization for use on one of its publications (left).

A childhood friend was the happy recipient of a clock, chair, and desk from actor Ed Asner, formerly of Wyandotte. These were props from the set of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, where Asner portrayed the character Lou Grant.


Moments of Glory is an online exhibit developed by the Kansas Museum of History.

  1. Introduction
  2. Competition: Everybody Loves a Winner
  3. People Outstanding in Their Fields
  4. Social Approval: The Good, the Bad, and the Role Models
  5. Personal Milestones
  6. Brushes With Greatness
  7. Creativity: Following the Muse
  8. Collections

Contact us at kshs.kansasmuseum@ks.gov