Last century ‘Just a theory,’ activists say

A political action group in the state of Kansas is applying pressure on the Kansas State Board of Education to ban any and all references to the 20th century from school textbooks, a spokesman for the group confirmed today.

The move to ban the 20th century came up in a series of contentious school board hearings this week as the group loudly complained that the state’s current textbooks are rife with references to the controversial century, which they say may or may not have happened. “These textbooks state unequivocally that the 20th century occurred, as if that were a proven historic fact,” said Gordon Lavalier, the group’s leader and spokesman. “The simple truth is, the 20th century is and has always been nothing but a theory.”

If the group gets its way, starting in the fall of 2005 Kansas students would be taught from newly reconstituted history books that end in the year 1899.

Among students at Kansas City’s John F. Kennedy High School, which the group has demanded be renamed William Jennings Bryan High School, reaction to the ban on the 20th century was mixed.

“If the 20th century didn’t happen, does that mean I have to give up my iPod?” asked junior Carolynn Bevins, 17. But sophomore Zach Golloway, 16, was more upbeat about the news: “If it means that we have to learn a hundred less years of history, that would rule!”

Elsewhere, United Airlines said that their employees would no longer be entitled to a pension but that they would be offered a light snack for purchase on all domestic flights.

Andy Borowitz writes a daily humor column at