Letter to the editor: It ain’t ‘The Booth’; it’s sacred

To the editor:

I love Lance Leipold and his kids, but not so much “The Booth.” Excuse me, it’s Memorial Stadium, as in “memory of” something important.

Kansans built it in 1921, remembering 3,000 KU students, staff and faculty who’d gone off to fight in the Great War; 129 of those 3,000 Jayhawks never came back, mostly the 35th Infantry Division Kansas National Guard.

Sept. 26, 1918, the great Meuse-Argonne offensive kicked off; 45 days later, on what would become Veterans Day, German armies crumbled. The 35th went over the top with nine other infantry divisions across a 20-mile front. Think of Lawrence to Topeka, 200,000 Doughboys, shoulder to shoulder, four deep. The map shows the 35th near Boureuilles, France, pointed at the tiny village of Cheppy.

Eight days later, when the next map line was drawn, six of the original 11 divisions, including the 35th, disappeared. Advancing less than five miles, by Oct. 3, the 35th, 37th, 79th, 80th, 29th and 26th were ground up. No longer effective military formations, they had to be taken out of the line. Cheppy and those eight days were the where and when for most of the 129 Jayhawks who died.

I appreciate what David Booth has done for KU but doubt he’d want his name substituted at Memorial Stadium in place of the kids of 1918. Merchandisers may make money by making up names like The Phog or The Booth, to stick on things other people built, but they shouldn’t be allowed to put their price stickers on our sacred places.

William Skepnek,



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