LARNED — The annual Fort Larned Old Guard program scheduled at Fort Larned National Historic Site Saturday will be presented at the Larned Community Center, 1500 Toles Rd.
The move is required because expected attendance is greater than seating capacity at Fort Larned. There is plenty of room at the Community Center, and everyone is invited to the afternoon presentations and the evening movie. There is no admission charge.
Visitors coming for the events are encouraged to visit Fort Larned NHS during the morning hours and for the retreat ceremony following the afternoon session.
The focus of the programs is the Kansas premier showing of a 1920s silent movie, The Daughter of Dawn, featuring an all-Indian cast presented at the Larned Community Center at 7 p.m.
The movie was filmed in Oklahoma featuring a cast of 300 Comanches and Kiowas using their own equipment, horses and tipis. The male lead was played by White Parker and one of the main female roles was played by Wandada Parker. Both were children of the great Comanche Chief Quanah Parker. One critic called this film an “original and breath-taking adventure.”
This may be the only such feature film ever made, and it was believed all copies were lost until one was discovered recently.
The 80-minute film, still a work in progress, has been restored, digitized, and will be presented with commentary by the Oklahoma Historical Society.
A tipi used in the film is now in the collections of the Oklahoma Historical Society, and the story of that tipi will be presented during the afternoon. There will also be a presentation to the fort by the Old Guard of a rare historic artifact connected to Fort Larned.
Janis Whitham, owner of the race horse named Fort Larned, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park, Cal., last November, will be recognized for naming him Fort Larned.
The schedule at Larned Community Center:
1 p.m. — “Kiowa History and Culture and Fort Larned,” Vanessa Jennings, Kiowa Nation
2:15 p.m. — “History of the Tipi with Battle Pictures,” Matt Reed, Oklahoma Historical Society
3:45 p.m. — Fort Larned Old Guard Annual Meeting. Special presentations are planned.
4:30 p.m. — Fort Larned Retreat Ceremony
7 p.m. — Premier showing of the movie, “The Daughter of Dawn,” with introduction and commentary by Bob Blackburn, Oklahoma Historical Society. Doors open 6:30 p.m.