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.
Barred Tiger Salamander
Ornate Box Turtle
ad astra per aspera
(To the stars through difficulties)
Home 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".
cattle, wheat, sorghum, soybeans, hogs, corn, poultry, salt
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.
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
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.