Kansas


Kansas is in the middle of the United States of America. It became the 34th state on January 29, 1861. The Geodetic center of the U.S. (contiguous 48) is in Osborne county Kansas. Just North is the Geographical Center of the U.S., in Smith county Kansas.

Population2,764,075(Est. 2006)
Work Force1,466,004(Est. 2006)
Area82282sq.mi
Land81823sq.mi.
Water459sq.mi.
Highest Point Mt. Sunflower4,039 feet
Lowest PointVerdigris River680 feet
State FlowerSunflower (Helianthus annuus)
State TreeCottonwood (Populus deltoides)
State AnimalAmerican Buffalo(Bison bison)
State BirdWestern Meadowlark(Sturnella neglecta)
State Amphibian Barred Tiger Salamander(Ambystoma mavortium)
State ReptileOrnate Box Turtle(Terrapene ornata)
State InsectHoneybee(Apis mellifera)
State Nicknames Sunflower State,Jayhawk State,Wheat State
State Mottoad astra per aspera (To the stars through difficulties)
State SongHome on the Range(Brewster Higley, Dan Kelley)

Residents are called "Kansans". The state is named for the Kansa tribe of Indians and means "people of the south wind".

Economy:
Agriculture:
cattle, wheat, sorghum, soybeans, hogs, corn, poultry, salt

Industry:
aerospace, food processing, printing and publishing, chemical products, machinery, apparel, petroleum, mining


The state Flag was adopted in 1927.
It has a navy blue field with a sunflower at the top, the state seal and the word Kansas at the bottom. The state seal has the motto "ad astra per aspera", 34 stars (34th state), purple mountains (silly), Indians hunting buffalo, a wagon train, a steamboat, a log cabin, and a farmer plowing his field.

Back to top

Famous Kansans and Residents:
John Brown abolitionist
Carrie Nation temperance activist
Glenn Cunningham athlete
Jim Ryun athlete
Wilt Chamberlain athlete
Barry Sanders athlete
Gale Sayers athlete
Lynette Woodard athlete
William Allen White newspaper editor
Gordon Parks writer, filmmaker
Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle actor
Vivian Vance actress
Dennis Hopper actor
Kirstie Alley actress
Charles Curtis US Vice President
Dwight D. Eisenhower US President
Alf Landon presidential candidate
Bob Dole presidential candidate
George Washington Carver scientist
Walter Chrysler automotive tycoon
Jack Kilby inventor of I.C.s
Amelia Earhart aviation pioneer
Clyde Cessna aviation pioneer
Lloyd Stearman aviation pioneer
Bill Lear aviation tycoon
Ronald Evans astronaut
Joe Engle astronaut
Steve Hawley astronaut
Guy Clark The Kansas Guy
  
Fictional Kansans and Residents:
Dorothy Gale Wizard of Oz
Clark Kent Superman
Marshal Matt Dillon Gunsmoke
Mary Ann Summers Gilligan's Island
Dennis Mitchell Dennis the Menace
Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell Stargate SG-1

Back to top

History:
The Earth is my witness.
Seventy million years ago the Cretaceous Seaway covered Kansas. Numerous fossils like sharks teeth and Limestone deposits are found. Clovis people may have lived in the area around 18,000 years ago. Francisco Coronado explored the area in 1541. In 1803, most of Kansas was annexed as part of the Louisiana Purchase. In 1804 the Lewis and Clark Expedition (no relation) explored parts of Kansas.

When opened to settlement in 1854, abolitionists and pro-slavery settlers rushed in. They wanted to determine if Kansas would become a free state or a slave state. The violence that followed became national news. Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune coined the term "Bleeding Kansas" (or Bloody Kansas). During the Civil War (1863) William Quantrill's troops raided Lawrence, killing nearly 200. That raid was the single bloodiest act of domestic terrorism in America before the 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City.

Jim R. Mead opened a trading post at what became Wichita, Kansas. Then in 1865 he sent Jesse Chisholm south from Kansas to the Red River. Chisholm is well know as the pioneer of the Chisholm Trail.

After the civil war, Kansas was part of the wild west with characters such as Wild Bill Hickok, Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp and Carry Nation. In the 1860's and 70's towns like Abilene, Dodge City, Newton and Wichita were destinations for cattle drives. From there, the cows were transported on trains across the country. Wagon ruts from the Santa Fe trail (1821-1880) are still visible in Kansas today.

On December 7, 1905 near Dexter, Kansas; Helium was discovered in natural gas. Previously it had only been available in very limited quantities. This made Kansas the Nation's leader in helium production. Kansas roadside Historical Marker.

The O'Henry candy bar was invented in 1920 by Tom Henry of Arkansas City.

By 1929 there were 11 aircraft manufacturers in Wichita, Kansas. About one quarter of the aircraft in the country were made there. In December of 1944 Wichita's airplane factories were reported to have constructed 22,334 airplanes and 750 gliders. Many towns and cities in Kansas helped with aircraft production during World War II.

Some of this information came from:
www.50states.com/kansas
www.travelks.com
www.wikipedia.org/Kansas
www.vlib.us/old_west
spacer

Back to top