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Friday, 16 October 2015



The name of the state comes from the Kansa Native Americans, whose name comes from a Siouan-language phrase meaning "people of the south wind."

In 1682, Marquette, Joliet, Hennepin and other French leaders took formal control of the Mississippi Valley, including the land that would become Kansas. This land, known as the Louisiana territory, was used to organize trade with Native Americans.

In 1762, France ceded the Louisiana territory to Spain. However, in 1801, Spain receded the territory back to France in the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso. On April 30, 1803, Napoleon sold the Louisiana territory including Kansas to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase.

In the early 1800s, Kansas was used to hold Native Americans that were removed from their native lands.

Samuel Seymour's 1819 illustration of a Kansa lodge and dance (see below) is the oldest drawing known to be done in Kansas.

The Kansas–Nebraska Act became law in 1854, establishing the U.S. territories of Nebraska and Kansas, allowing settlers in those territories to determine if they would permit slavery within their boundaries. With the passage of the act, thousands of pro- and anti-slavery supporters flooded Kansas. Violent clashes soon occurred. In one raid Southerners destroyed the Kansas town of Lawrence, killing nearly 200 people. Kansas was called during this period, "Bleeding Kansas".

The abolitionists eventually prevailed and on January 29, 1861, Kansas entered the Union as a free state.

In 1881 Kansas became the first U.S. state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages.

Susanna Salter was elected mayor of Argonia, Kansas in 1887, making her the first woman mayor in the United States.

During the infamous Dust Bowl era of the 1930s Kansas had little rainfall and high temperatures. Thousands of farmers became impoverished and had to move to other parts of the United States. The number of people living in Kansas was reduced by 4.3 percent, the only time the state's population has decreased.

In 1998, during the height of the Pokemon craze, the town of Topeka, Kansas renamed itself to 'ToPikachu' for a day.


The geographic center of the contiguous United States is near Lebanon, Kansas.

Kansas has a total population of 2.9 million, with an area of 82,000 sq mi (212,379 km2), making Kansas the 34th largest state by population and the 15th largest state by area.

Mount Sunflower, the highest natural point in the state of Kansas, is a site on the plains. At 4,039 feet (1,231 m), it is 3,300 feet (1,010 m) above the state's topographic low point in southeastern Kansas. It is less than half a mile (0.8 km) from the Colorado state border and close to the lowest point in Colorado. The state of Kansas gradually increases in elevation from the east to the west. As such, "Mount" Sunflower is virtually indistinguishable from the surrounding terrain.

Kansas farmers produce about 400 million bushels of wheat per year. The state also ranks first in the United States in grain sorghum produced and second in cropland.

Kansas Summer Wheat and Storm Panorama. By James Watkins - Flickr: 

While it is not entirely clear how bourbon got its name, most historians agree that it was probably not named for Bourbon County, Kansas.

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