Introduction - State of KansasThe state of Kansas, located in the Midwest United States, is part of America's agricultural heartland and is one of the most productive agricultural states in the United States. Kansas is America's leading producer of wheat and is referred to as "The Wheat Capital of the World". As a U.S. state Kansas had a bloody beginning. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 opened up Kansas for settlement and stipulated that the settlers would be allowed to determine whether slavery would be allowed once the territory became a state. This lead to violence among settlers and the territory became known as "Bleeding Kansas". On this page you will find lists of additional interesting facts, and a short description of this U.S. state. This information, written for kids and adults, includes when Kansas became a state, and what famous historic events took place there.
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State of Kansas Quick Facts
- Kansas became the 34th U.S. state on January 29th of 1861.
- Kansas is bordered by Nebraska to the north, Colorado to the west, Missouri to the east, and Oklahoma to the south.
- The state capital of Kansas is Topeka.
- The largest city in Kansas, in both total land area and population, is Wichita. Other major cities include Overland Park, Kansas City, Topeka, Olathe, Lawrence, Shawnee, and Salina.
- With a total area of 82,278.36 square miles (213,099 square kilometers) it is the 15th largest state.
- With a population of 2,904,021 (source 2014 Unites States Census Bureau) Kansas ranks 34th among all U.S. states.
- The major rivers in Kansas are the Missouri River, Kansas River, Republican River, Smoky Hill River, and the Arkansas River. The Missouri River makes up a large part of the state's northeastern boundary.
- This states nick names include the Sunflower State, the Wheat State, and the Jayhawker State.
- Residents of this state are called Kansans.
- The state flower is the Sunflower.
- The state motto is "Ad astra per aspera" (To the stars through difficulties).
- "Home on the Range" became the official state song of Kansas in 1947.
- At 4,039 feet (1,231 meters) above sea level Mount Sunflower is the highest point in the state. It is located less than half a mile (0.8 kilometers) from the state's western border.
Interesting Kansas Facts
- The land that is now Kansas was traditionally the home of numerous Native American Indian tribes including the Comanche, Kansa, Pawnee, Wichita, Arapaho, and Cheyenne.
- Kansas is named after the Kansa Native American Indian tribe which inhabited the Midwestern United States.
- In 1541 the Spanish explore Francisco Vazquez de Coronado explored what is now Kansas.
- The state, in particular the capital Topeka, drew national attention in 1954 due to the famous Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka civil-rights case that went before the United States Supreme Court. The court's landmark decision ended the "separate but equal" racial segregation doctrine in public schools; a major victory in the struggle for civil rights.
- Fort Leavenworth, located in northeast Kansas, is the oldest active United States Army post west of Washington, D.C.
- Kansas is famous for being the setting for the classic book and movie The Wizard of Oz. In the movie, after landing in the magical land of OZ, the main character Dorothy states "I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore". This now famous phrase is frequently used to indicate no longer being in familiar comfortable surroundings.
- Several of the members of the famous rock band Kansas, which formed in the 1970s, were from Topeka, the state capital of Kansas.