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Park Service offers bus tours of Topeka sites

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- The National Park Service is offering free bus tours of Topeka sites tied to the Bleeding Kansas era and the civil rights movement.

The Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site says the first tours will be Saturday, with tickets available starting around 9 a.m. The first 90-minute tour begins at 10:30 a.m., the second at 12:30 p.m. and the final one at 2:30 p.m.

The featured stops tell a messy racial story that begins in 1854, when Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act that allowed settlers to decide for themselves whether to permit slavery. Fighting ensued as people for and against slavery rushed to the Kansas Territory.

A century later, Topeka was involved in a U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned segregated education.