Help Us Tell a Kansas Story
The life and career of John Carlin, from state legislator to governor to Chief Archivist of the United States, is a window into how political leadership has changed from the 1970s through the present day. From an upbringing in a dairy farm in Smolan, Kansas, to learning the tools of leadership through 4-H to learning the engaging in state and national politics, Carlin found that leadership was about building and cultivating relationships. Even when in the seat of authority and when challenging decisions were on the table, Carlin knew that letting other people shine was the key to moving forward.
Above, you will see an interview conducted by the Kansas Oral History Project, where you will hear Governor Carlin tell his story in his own words. But a study of John Carlin that focuses only on him would miss an essential part of the story. Carlin succeeded because of the legislators he worked with, the staff and colleagues who labored with him, the organizations in which he participated, and the countless individuals who each made their own contributions.
Therefore, to tell the story of this legacy, John Carlin, the Kansas Oral History Project, and the Kansas Historical Society invite you to share your own experiences. You are invited to share your memories of John Carlin and the projects where you worked together. You are invited also to share your own leadership story, discussing how you came to be involved in the story.
Preserving the lessons of leadership also includes interviews as well as sharing and scanning photos and documents to be archived at the Kansas State Historical Society.
The story of John Carlin embodies the principles of the Kansas Leadership Center that says that “leadership is an activity, not a position,” that involves “mobilizing people to make progress on the most important challenges.” Therefore, we invite you to share your part of the John Carlin story, and really, the story of our state, our country, and our time.
The future direction of this project will be informed and shaped by your engagement. So, we hope you'll reach out and let us know how you'd like to be involved.
To be part of this project, please fill out the contact form or reach out to: