State of Kansas - KS

Kansas is a Midwestern state in the Central United States. The state is named after the Kansas River that flows through it, which in turn derived its name from the Siouan word Kansa meaning "People of the south wind."

Located in the heartland of the country, Kansas is home to the geographical center of the contiguous United States. Historically home to large numbers of Native Americans who hunted buffalo there, the state was first settled by white Americans in the 1850s. Beginning in 1854, abolitionists from New England and pro-slavery settlers from neighboring Missouri rushed to the territory to determine if Kansas would become a free state. Known as Bleeding Kansas, the state was a hotbed of violence and chaos in its early days as these forces collided. On January 29, 1861 Kansas entered the Union as a free state. After the Civil War, the population of Kansas exploded after wave of immigrants turned the desolate prairie into productive farmland. Today, Kansas is one of the most productive agricultural states, leading the nation in wheat production.

Kansas is bordered by Nebraska on the north; Missouri on the east; Oklahoma on the south; and Colorado on the west. It is located equidistant from the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean. The geodetic center of North America is located in Osborne County. This spot is used as the central reference point for all maps produced by the government. The geographic center of the 48 contiguous states is located in Smith County near Lebanon, Kansas, and the geographic center of Kansas is located in Barton County.

The state is divided up into 105 counties with 628 cities.

Kansas is one of the six states located on the Frontier Strip.

The state, lying in the great central plain of the United States, has a generally flat or undulating surface, and on a large scale appears almost perfectly flat[2]. However, the land displays a gradual slope up from east to west; its altitude above the sea ranges from 684 feet (208 m) along the Verdigris River at Coffeyville in Montgomery County, to 4,039 feet (1,231 m) at Mount Sunflower, in Wallace County.

The Missouri River forms nearly 75 miles (120 km) of the state's northeastern boundary. The Kansas River, formed by the junction of the Smoky Hill and Republican rivers at appropriately-named Junction City, joins the Missouri at Kansas City, after a course of 150 miles (240 km) across the northeastern part of the state. The Arkansas River, rising in Colorado, flows with a tortuous course for nearly 500 miles (800 km) across three-fourths of the state. It forms, with its tributaries (the Little Arkansas, Ninescah, Walnut, Cow Creek, Cimarron, Verdigris, and the Neosho), the southern drainage system of the state. Other important rivers are the Saline and Solomon, tributaries of the Smoky Hill River; the Big Blue, Delaware, and Wakarusa, which flow into the Kansas River; and the Marais des Cygnes, a tributary of the Missouri River.

National parks and historic sites
Areas under the protection of the National Park Service include:

Brown v. Board Of Education National Historic Site in Topeka
California National Historic Trail
Fort Larned National Historic Site in Larned
Fort Scott National Historic Site
Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
Nicodemus National Historic Site at Nicodemus
Oregon National Historic Trail
Pony Express National Historic Trail
Santa Fe National Historic Trail
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve near Strong City

Kansas contains three climate types, according to the Köppen climate classification: humid continental, semiarid steppe, and humid subtropical.

The eastern two-thirds of the state has a humid continental climate, with cold winters and hot summers. Most of the precipitation falls in the summer and spring.

The western one-third of the state has a semiarid steppe climate. Summers are hot, and often very hot. Winters are cold in the northwest and cool to mild in the southwest. The region is semiarid, receiving on average only about 16 inches (40 cm) of precipitation per year. Chinook winds in the winter can warm western Kansas all the way into the 80 degree Fahrenheit (25 °C) range.

The far south central and southeastern reaches of the state have a humid subtropical climate, with long, hot summers and short, mild winters and much more precipitation than the rest of the state.

Precipitation ranges from about 46 inches (120 cm) annually in the southeast of the state, to about 16 inches (40 cm) in the southwest. Snowfall ranges from around 5 inches (13 cm) in the fringes of the south, to 35 inches (90 cm) in the far northwest. Frost free days range from more than 200 days in the south, to 130 days in the northwest.

Kansas is the 9th or 10th sunniest state in the country, depending on the source. The only state east of Kansas which is sunnier on average is Florida, coming in Sixth place. Arizona is No. 1, followed by California, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas, according to the National Weather Service. Western Kansas is as sunny as parts of California and Texas.

In spite of the freuqent sunshine throughout much of the state, the state is vulnerable to strong thunderstorms especially in the spring. Many of these storms which become supercell thunderstorm clusters spawn tornadoes, often of F3 strength or higher. Kansas averages over 50 tornadoes annually.[2]

Main article: History of Kansas
For millennia, the land that is presently Kansas was inhabited by Native Americans. Francisco Vásquez de Coronado was the first European to set foot in present-day Kansas, exploring the area in 1541. In 1803, most of Kansas was secured by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Southwest Kansas, however, was still a part of Spain, Mexico, and the Republic of Texas until the conclusion of the Mexican-American War. From 1812 to 1821, Kansas was part of the Missouri Territory. The Santa Fe Trail traversed Kansas from 1821 to 1880, transporting manufactured goods from Missouri and silver and furs from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Wagon ruts from the trail are still visible today.

In 1827, Fort Leavenworth became the first permanent settlement of white Americans in the future state. The Kansas-Nebraska Act became law on May 30, 1854 establishing the U.S. territories of Nebraska and Kansas. Kansas Territory stretched all the way to the Continental Divide and included the sites of present-day Denver, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo.

Some of the first Americans to settle in Kansas Territory were abolitionists from Massachusetts and other Free-Staters, who attempted to stop the spread of slavery from neighboring Missouri. Directly presaging the American Civil War, these forces collided, entering into skirmishes that earned the territory the name of Bleeding Kansas. Kansas was admitted to the United States as a free state on January 29, 1861, making it the 34th state to enter the Union. By that time the violence in Kansas had largely subsided. However, during the Civil War, on August 21, 1863, William Quantrill led Quantrill's Raid into Lawrence, destroying much of the city and killing almost two hundred people.

After the Civil War, many veterans constructed homesteads in Kansas. Many African Americans also looked to Kansas as the land of "John Brown" and led by men like Benjamin "Pap" Singleton began establishing black colonies in the state. At the same time, the Chisholm Trail was opened and the Wild West era commenced in Kansas. Wild Bill Hickok was a deputy marshal at Fort Riley and a marshal at Hays and Abilene. Dodge City was another wild cowboy town in the late 19th century. In one year alone, 8 million head of cattle from Texas boarded trains in Dodge City bound for the East, earning Dodge the nickname "Queen of the Cowtowns." Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp were both lawmen in Dodge City. In part as a response to the violence perpetrated by cowboys, on February 19, 1881, Kansas became the first U.S. state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages.

Historical populations
Census Pop. %±


1860 107,206
1870 364,399 239%
1880 996,096 173%
1890 1,428,108 43%
1900 1,470,495 3%
1910 1,690,949 15%
1920 1,769,257 4%
1930 1,880,999 6%
1940 1,801,028 -4%
1950 1,905,299 5%
1960 2,178,611 14%
1970 2,246,578 3%
1980 2,363,679 5%
1990 2,477,574 5%
2000 2,688,418 9%
As of 2005, Kansas has an estimated population of 2,744,687, which is an increase of 10,990, or 0.4%, from the prior year and an increase of 55,863, or 2.1%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 76,138 people (that is 204,663 births minus 128,525 deaths) and a decrease due to net migration of 19,541 people out of the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 38,222 people, and migration within the country produced a net loss of 57,763 people[3].

Demographics of Kansas (csv)
By race White Black AIAN Asian NHPI
AIAN is American Indian or Alaskan Native - NHPI is Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
2000 (total population) 91.19% 6.41% 1.78% 2.10% 0.12%
2000 (hispanic only) 6.63% 0.23% 0.19% 0.05% 0.02%
2005 (total population) 90.87% 6.60% 1.67% 2.45% 0.12%
2005 (hispanic only) 7.89% 0.28% 0.20% 0.06% 0.02%
Growth 2000-2005 (total population) 1.74% 5.04% -4.13% 19.15% 3.43%
Growth 2000-2005 (non-hispanic only) 0.19% 4.28% -5.09% 19.19% 2.86%
Growth 2000-2005 (hispanic only) 21.51% 25.88% 3.71% 17.69% 5.86%

As of 2004, the population included 149,800 foreign-born (5.5% of the state population), and an estimated 47,000 illegal aliens (1.7% of state population).

The largest reported ancestries in the state are: German (25.9%), Irish (11.5%), English (10.8%), American (8.8%), French (3.1%), and Swedish (2.4%).

Americans of British ancestry are common throughout Kansas, as are German-Americans. People of German ancestry are especially strong in the northwest, people of British ancestry and descendants of white Americans from other states are especially strong in the southeast. Mexicans are present in the southwest and make up nearly half the population in certain counties. Many African Americans in Kansas are descended from the "Exodusters", newly freed blacks who fled the South for land in Kansas following the Civil War.

Urban and rural populations

Rural flight
Kansas, as well as five other Midwest states (Nebraska, Oklahoma, North and South Dakota and Iowa), is feeling the brunt of falling populations. 89% of the total number of cities in those states have fewer than 3000 people; hundreds have fewer than 1000. There are more than 6,000 Ghost Towns in the state, according to Kansas historian Daniel Fitzgerald. Between 1996 and 2004, almost half a million people, nearly half with college degrees, left the six states. "Rural flight" as it is called has led to offers of free land and tax breaks as enticements to newcomers[4].

The 2003 total gross state product of Kansas was US$93 billion, an increase of 4.3% over the prior year, but trailing the national average increase of 4.8%. Its per-capita income was US$29,438. The December 2003 unemployment rate was 4.9%. The agricultural outputs of the state are cattle, sheep, wheat, sorghum, soybeans, cotton, hogs, corn, and salt. The industrial outputs are transportation equipment, commercial and private aircraft, food processing, publishing, chemical products, machinery, apparel, petroleum and mining.

Kansas ranks 8th in U.S. oil production. Production has experienced a steady, natural decline as it becomes increasingly difficult to extract oil over time. Since oil prices bottomed in 1999, oil production has remained fairly constant, with an average monthly rate of about 2.8 million barrels in 2004. The recent higher prices have made carbon dioxide sequestration and other oil recovery techniques more economical.

Kansas ranks 8th in U.S. natural gas production. Production has steadily declined since the mid-1990’s with the depletion of the Hugoton natural gas field—the state's largest field which extends into Oklahoma and Texas. In 2004, slower declines in the Hugoton gas fields and increased coalbed methane production contributed to a smaller overall decline. Average monthly production was over 32 billion cubic feet (0.9 km³).

Kansas is the nation's second largest producer of beef cattle, behind only Texas. Kansas is one of the most productive agricultural states, leading the nation in wheat production.

Kansas has 3 income brackets for income tax calculation, ranging from 3.5% to 6.45%. The state sales tax in Kansas is 5.3%. Various cities and counties in Kansas have an additional local sales tax. Except during the 2001 recession (March–November 2001) when monthly sales tax collections were flat, collections have trended higher as the economy has grown and two rate increases have been enacted. Total sales tax collections for 2003 amounted to $1.63 billion, compared to $805.3 million in 1990.

Revenue shortfalls resulting from lower than expected tax collections and slower growth in personal income following a 1998 permanent tax reduction has contributed to the substantial growth in the state's debt level as bonded debt increased from $1.16 billion in 1998 to $3.83 billion in 2006. Some increase in debt was expected as the state continues with its 10-year Comprehensive Transportation Program enacted in 1999. As of June 2004, Moody's Investors Service ranked the state 14th for net tax-supported debt per capita. As a percentage of personal income, it was at 3.8%—above the median value of 2.5% for all rated states and having risen from a value of less than 1% in 1992. The state has a statutory requirement to maintain cash reserves of at least 7.5% of expenses at the end of each fiscal year.

Major employers in Kansas include the Sprint Nextel Corporation (with operational headquarters in Overland Park), Embarq (with national headquarters in Overland Park), Cessna (Wichita), Learjet Inc. (Wichita) Raytheon (mostly in Wichita), Hallmark Cards (Topeka, Lawrence & Kansas City), Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company (Topeka), Applebee's (Overland Park), Payless Shoes (National headquarters and major distribution facilities in Topeka), Koch Industries (Wichita), Department of Defense (Ft.Riley/Junction City and Fort Leavenworth) and Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems (Wichita).

Kansas is served by two Interstate highways with two spur routes, three bypasses, and one beltway over a total of 874 miles. The first section of Interstate in the nation was opened on I-70 just west of Topeka on November 14, 1956. I-70 is a major east/west route connecting to St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri, in the east and Denver, Colorado, in the west. Cities along this route (from east to west) include Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka, Junction City, Salina, Hays, and Colby. I-35 is a major north/south route connecting to Des Moines, Iowa, in the north and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in the south. Cities along this route (from north to south) include Kansas City (and suburbs), Ottawa, Emporia, El Dorado, and Wichita.

Spur routes serve as connections between the two major routes. I-135, a north/south route, connects I-70 at Salina to I-35 at Wichita. I-335, a northeast/southwest route, connects I-70 at Topeka to I-35 at Emporia. I-335 and portions of I-35 and I-70 make up the Kansas Turnpike. Bypasses include I-470 around Topeka and I-235 around Wichita. I-435 is a beltway around the Kansas City Metropolitan Area while I-635 bypasses through Kansas City, Kansas.

US Route 69 runs North and South, from its Northern section in Minnesota to its Southern section in Texas. US 69 runs through the eastern section of Kansas, through the Kansas City area, down through Fort Scott, Frontenac, Pittsburg, and Baxter Springs before entering Oklahoma.

In January 2004, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) announced the new Kansas 511 traveler information service.[3] By dialing 511, callers will get access to information about road conditions, construction, closures, detours and weather conditions for the state highway system. Weather and road condition information is updated every 15 minutes.

Law and government

State and Local Politics
The top executives of the state are Democrats: Governor Kathleen Sebelius and Lieutenant Governor John E. Moore. Both are elected on the same ticket to a maximum of two consecutive 4-year terms. Their current term will end in January of 2007, and they are able to run for re-election in 2006, although Moore has announced that he will not run on Sebelius' ticket this fall; Sebelius announced her candidacy for re-election on May 26, 2006. The current Attorney General is Republican Phill Kline; his office is also up for re-election in November of 2006.

The legislative branch of the state government is the Kansas Legislature. The bicameral body consists of the Kansas House of Representatives, with 125 members serving two year terms, and the Kansas Senate, with 40 members serving four year terms.

State symbols
Amphibian: Barred Tiger Salamander
Animal: American Buffalo
Fish: Channel Catfish
Bird: Western Meadowlark
Flower: Sunflower
Insect: Honeybee
Motto: Ad astra per aspera, or "To the stars through difficulties"
Reptile: Ornate Box Turtle
Soil: Harney silt loam
Song: "Home on the Range"
Tree: Cottonwood

Kansas has a reputation as a progressive state with many firsts in legislative initiatives—it was the first state to institute a system of workers compensation (1910). Kansas was also one of the first states to permit women's suffrage in 1912. Suffrage in all states would not be guaranteed until ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. The council-manager government was adopted by many larger Kansas cities in the years following World War I while many American cities were being run by political machines or organized crime. Kansas was also at the center of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, a 1954 Supreme Court decision that banned racially segregated schools throughout the U.S.

Since the 1960s, Kansas has grown more socially conservative. The 1990s brought new restrictions on abortion, the defeat of prominent Democrats, including Dan Glickman, and the Kansas State Board of Education's infamous 1999 decision to eliminate the theory of evolution from the state teaching standards, a decision that was later reversed. In 2005, voters accepted a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. The next year, the state passed a law setting a minimum age for marriage at 15 years. [5] On November 8, 2005, The Kansas State Board of Education, at the urging of intelligent design advocates, voted to add criticisms of evolution to the state science standards. However, the Manhattan-Ogden school board has voted to reject the standards, and several board members who supported those standards were defeated for reelection in 2006. [6]

Federal Politics
The state's current delegation to the Congress of the United States includes Senators Sam Brownback of Topeka and Pat Roberts of Dodge City and Representatives Jerry Moran of Hays (District 1), Jim Ryun of Topeka (District 2), Dennis Moore of Lenexa (District 3), and Todd Tiahrt of Goddard (District 4). Moore is the only Democrat in the delegation; all others are Republicans.

Kansas has not supported a Democratic presidential candidate since 1964,when Lyndon B. Johnson won the state's electoral vote, and Republican candidates have carried Kansas in every election except one since 1940. In 2004, George W. Bush won the state's 6 electoral votes by an overwhelming margin of 25 percentage points with 62% of the vote. The only two counties to support Democrat John Kerry were Wyandotte, which contains the city of Kansas City, and Douglas, which contains the college town of Lawrence.

List of Governors of Kansas; U.S. Congressional Delegations from Kansas

Important cities and towns
See also: List of cities in Kansas
Kansas has 627 incorporated cities. By state statute, cities are divided into three classes as determined by the population obtained "by any census of enumeration". A city of the third class has a population of less than 5,000, but cities reaching a population of more than 2,000 may be certified as a city of the second class. The second class is limited to cities with a population of less than 25,000, and upon reaching a population of more than 15,000, they may be certified as a city of the first class. First and second class cities are independent of any township and not included within the township's territory.

Largest cities with population of at least 10,000 City Population* Growth rate** Metro area
1 Wichita 354,865 0.20% Wichita
2 Overland Park 164,811 1.89% Kansas City
3 Kansas City 144,210 -0.35% Kansas City
4 Topeka 121,946 -0.16% Topeka
5 Olathe 111,334 3.73% Kansas City
6 Lawrence 81,816 0.38% Lawrence
7 Shawnee 57,628 3.70% Kansas City
8 Manhattan 49,462[4] 1.87% ‡
9 Salina 85,000 0.08% ‡
10 Lenexa 43,434 1.51% Kansas City
11 Hutchinson 40,961 -0.41% ‡
12 Leavenworth 35,213 -0.15% Kansas City
13 Leawood 30,145 1.71% Kansas City
14 Garden City 27,098 -1.01% ‡
15 Emporia 26,456 -0.27% ‡
16 Dodge City 26,104 0.66% ‡
17 Prairie Village 21,454 -0.55% Kansas City
18 Derby 20,543 2.55% Wichita
19 Liberal 20,257 0.57% ‡
20 Hays 19,632 -0.38% ‡
21 Pittsburg 19,214 -0.04% ‡
22 Newton 18,229 0.56% Wichita
23 Junction City 16,402 -2.49% Manhattan‡
24 Great Bend 15,440 0.12% ‡
25 Gardner 14,317 9.60% Kansas City
26 McPherson 13,695 -0.13% ‡
27 El Dorado 12,659 -0.25% Wichita
28 Ottawa 12,597 1.08% Kansas City
29 Winfield 11,861 -0.58% ‡
30 Arkansas City 11,581 -0.65% Winfield‡
31 Parsons 11,212 -0.47% ‡
32 Merriam 10,769 -0.42% Kansas City
33 Coffeyville 10,359 -1.22% ‡
34 Lansing 10,214 1.98% Kansas City
35 Atchison 10,169 -0.12% ‡
*Estimated as of July 1, 2005[5]
**Estimated annual growth rate 2000–2005
‡Defined as a micropolitan area

Northeast Kansas
The northeastern portion of the state has a rich history and is home to more than 1.1 million people in the Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka, and St. Joseph metropolitan areas. In the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the cities of Johnson County have some of the fastest growing populations and highest median incomes in the state and the enitre country. Overland Park, a young city incorporated in 1960, has the largest population and the largest land area in the county. In 2006 Overland Park was ranked as the 6th best place to live in America. Olathe came in at 13th. [7] It is home to Johnson County Community College, the state's largest community college, and the corporate campus of Sprint Nextel, the largest private employer in the metro area. The cities of Olathe, Shawnee, and Gardner have some of the state's fastest growing populations. Olathe is the county seat and home to Johnson County Executive Airport. The cities of Overland Park, Lenexa, Olathe, and Gardner are also notable because they lie along the former route of the Santa Fe Trail. Among cities with at least one thousand residents, Mission Hills has the second highest median income in the state.

Several institutions of higher education are in the area including MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas City Kansas Community College and KU Medical Center in Kansas City, and KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park. Less than an hour's drive to the west, Lawrence is home to the University of Kansas, the largest public university in the state, and Haskell Indian Nations University.

To the north, Kansas City, Kansas, with the second largest land area in the state, contains a number of diverse ethnic neighborhoods. Its attractions include Kansas Speedway, the Woodlands, and Kansas City T-Bones. Further up the Missouri River, the city of Lansing is home of the state's first maximum-security prison. Historic Leavenworth, founded in 1854, was the first incorporated city in Kansas. North of the city, Fort Leavenworth is the oldest active Army post west of the Mississippi River. The city of Atchison was an early commercial center in the state and is well-known as the birthplace of Amelia Earhart.

To the west, nearly a quarter million people reside in the Topeka metropolitan area. Topeka is the state capital and home to Washburn University. Built at a Kansas River crossing along the old Oregon Trail, this historic city has several nationally registered historic places. Further westward along Interstate 70 and the Kansas River is Junction City with its historic limestone and brick buildings and nearby Fort Riley, well-known as the former home to the "Big Red One". A short distance away, the city of Manhattan is home to Kansas State University, the second largest public university in the state and the nation's oldest land-grant university, dating back to 1863. South of the campus, Aggieville dates back to 1889 and is the state's oldest shopping district of its kind.

In south-central Kansas, the four-county Wichita metropolitan area is home to nearly 600,000 people. Wichita is the largest city in the state in terms of both land area and population. 'The Air Capital' is a major manufacturing center for the aircraft industry and the home of Wichita State University. With a number of nationally registered historic places, museums, and other entertainment destinations, it has a desire to become a cultural mecca in the Midwest. Although Wichita's population growth has been anemic in recent years, surrounding suburbs are among the fastest growing cities in the state. The population of Goddard has grown by more than 11% per year since 2000.[5] Other fast-growing cities include Andover, Park City, Derby, and Haysville.

Up river (the Arkansas River) from Wichita is the city of Hutchinson. The city was built on one of the world's largest salt deposits, and it has the world's largest and longest wheat elevator. It is also the home of Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center and Prairie Dunes Country Club. North of Wichita along Interstate 135 is the city of Newton, the former western terminal of the Santa Fe Railroad and trailhead for the famed Chisholm Trail. To the southeast of Wichita are the cities of Winfield and Arkansas City with historic architecture and the Cherokee Strip Museum (in Ark City). The city of Udall was the site of the deadliest tornado in Kansas on May 25, 1955; it killed 83 residents. To the southwest of the largest city in the state is Freeport, the state's smallest incorporated city (population 8).

Around the state
Located midway between Kansas City, Topeka, and Wichita in the heart of the Bluestem Region of the Flint Hills, the city of Emporia has several nationally registered historic places and is the home of Emporia State University, well-known for its Teachers College. It was also the home of newspaper man William Allen White.

Southeast Kansas has a unique history with a number of nationally registered historic places in this coal-mining region. Located in Crawford County (dubbed the Fried Chicken Capital of Kansas), Pittsburg is the largest city in the region and the home of Pittsburg State University. The neighboring city of Frontenac in 1888 was the site of the worst mine disaster in the state in which an underground explosion killed 47 miners. "Big Brutus" is located a mile and a half outside the city of West Mineral. Along with the restored fort, historic Fort Scott has a national cemetery designated by President Lincoln in 1862.

Salina is the largest city in central and north-central Kansas. South of Salina is the small city of Lindsborg with its numerous Dala horses. Much of the architecture and decor of this town has a distinctly Swedish style. To the east along Interstate 70, the historic city of Abilene was formerly a trailhead for the Chisholm Trail and was the boyhood home of President Eisenhower. Westward along the Interstate, the city of Russell is the home of former U.S. Senator Bob Dole and the boyhood home of U.S. Senator Arlen Specter. The city of Hays is home to Fort Hays State University and the Sternberg Museum of Natural History, and is the largest city in sparsely-populated northwest Kansas. The "Cathedral of the Plains" is located 10 miles east of Hays in Victoria, and the boyhood home of Walter Chrysler is located 15 miles west of Hays in Ellis.

Southwest Kansas, and Dodge City in particular, is famously known for the cattle drive days of the late 19th century. The city of Dodge was built along the old Santa Fe Trail route. The city of Liberal is located along the southern Santa Fe Trail route. The first wind farm in the state was built east of Montezuma.

Main article: Education in Kansas
Education in Kansas is governed primarily by the Kansas State Board of Education (web). On August 9, 2005, the Board approved a draft of science curriculum standards that mandated equal time for the theories of "evolution" and "intelligent design" This echoes a previous decision in Kansas. In 1999, the Board ruled that instruction about evolution, the age of the earth, and the origin of the universe was permitted, but not mandatory, and that those topics would not appear on state standardized tests. However, the Board reversed this decision February 14, 2001, ruling that instruction of all those topics was mandatory and that they would appear on standardized tests.

Professional sports teams
Kansas City T-Bones (baseball), Wichita Wranglers (baseball), Wichita Thunder (Hockey), Dodge City Legend (basketball), (Salina) Kansas Cagerz (basketball). All teams listed are minor-league teams.
Although there are no major professional sports league teams within Kansas itself, many Kansans support the sports teams of Kansas City, Missouri, including the Kansas City Royals (MLB), the Kansas City Chiefs (NFL), and the Kansas City Wizards (MLS). All three teams play at the Truman Sports Complex, located about 10 miles from the Kansas-Missouri state line. However, the Wizards are considering relocating to a new stadium or complex in Johnson County. Persons in western Kansas may sometimes support the major league teams in Denver, and those areas close to the Colorado state line have large pockets of fans of the NFL's Denver Broncos. A significant number of people who live close to the Oklahoma state line support the Dallas Cowboys.
Two major auto racing facilities are situated in Kansas. The Kansas Speedway located in Kansas City hosts races of the NASCAR, IRL, and ARCA circuits. Also, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) holds drag racing events at Heartland Park Topeka, situated in Topeka.

Miscellaneous topics

Notable residents
Amelia Earhart (aviation poneer), Ronald Evans (NASA astronaut), Carrie Nation (temperance activist), President Eisenhower, Vice President Charles Curtis, and presidential candidates Bob Dole and Alf Landon called Kansas their home.

Despite its strong agricultural reputation, Kansas was home to industrial pioneers Walter Chrysler of automotive fame, Clyde Cessna (aviation), Jack Kilby (microchip inventor) and George Washington Carver (educator and scientist).

Kansas was also home to Samuel Ramey (Opera Singer),Deborah Lee Green (Opera Singer), Louise Brooks (actress),Annette Benning (actress), Steve Balderson (film director), John Brown, Langston Hughes (poet), Gordon Parks (photographer, movie director, musician, author), William Inge (writer), Coleman Hawkins (Jazz musician), Martina McBride (Country Singer), Charlie Parker (Jazz musician) and William A. White (editor).

Famous athletes from Kansas include Barry Sanders, Gale Sayers, John H. Outland, Billy Mills, Jim Ryun, Walter Johnson, Jackie Stiles,Caroline Bruce, John Riggins, Maurice Greene, and Lynette Woodard. Kansas is also home to coaches James Naismith, Dean Smith, Adolph Rupp, and Tex Winter plus Survivor: Guatemala winner Danni Boatwright.

The world's largest ball of twine (disputed), created August 15, 1953, in Cawker City.
Big Brutus, the world's second largest electric shovel resides in West Mineral. It is 160 feet (49 m) tall and weighs 11 million pounds (5,000t).
S.P. Dinsmoor created the Garden of Eden in Lucas in 1905, and opened it up to tourists in 1908. The garden features sculptures of biblical scenes and political messages. One scene has labor being crucified by a doctor, lawyer, banker, and preacher. Dinsmoor even built his own mausoleum in which you can still see him today in his concrete coffin by paying for the tour. [8]
Lucas is also home to the Grassroots Art Center (web). The museum features many works of art created by people with no formal training, and it sits only a block or two from the Garden of Eden.
The John Brown museum is located in Osawatomie.
The Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant in De Soto opened in 1942 to manufacture gunpowder and munitions propellants for World War II. The closed plant sits on over 9,000 acres (36 km²) of land which was made up of more than 100 farms.
The boyhood home of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Eisenhower Library, and his grave are located in Abilene.
The Greyhound Hall of Fame(web) is also located in Abilene.
Abilene is the ending point of the Chisholm Trail where the cattle driven from Texas were loaded onto rail cars.
The house of Carrie Nation, now a museum, is located in Medicine Lodge.
Constitution Hall in Lecompton is the location where the Kansas Territorial Government convened and drafted a pro-slavery constitution. [9]
The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics houses the largest collection of papers for a politician other than a president. The institute is located in Lawrence, on the campus of the University of Kansas. [10]
The Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City features Old West memorabilia and history.
The Wizard of Oz Museum in Wamego features Dorothy's House, a recreation of the farm house featured in the film The Wizard of Oz.
The National Teachers Hall of Fame(web) is located in Emporia.
The National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame is located in Bonner Springs.
The Horace Greeley museum is located in Tribune.
The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, located in Hutchinson, is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute. The museum features the largest collection of artifacts from the Russian Space Program outside of Moscow. It is also home to Apollo 13, an SR-71 Blackbird, and many space artifacts.
The Boyer Gallery, a collection of animated sculptures made by Paul Boyer is located in Belleville.
The fifth largest collection of civilian and military aircraft in the United States is located at the Mid-America Air Museum.
The Big Well, the world's largest hand dug well, is in Greensburg.
The Sternberg Museum of Natural History (web) in Hays, features exhibits of several fossils discovered by Charles Hazelius Sternberg as well as various temporary exhibits. [11]
Big Basin and Little Basin are two large sinkholes located in Clark County.
Arikaree Breaks are badlands located in Cheyenne County, Kansas.
The Cimarron National Grassland, Kansas's largest tract of public land, is located in Morton County.
Monument Rocks is a series of chalk arcs and other formations. Kansas also has many other formations of this nature.
The boyhood home of General Frederick Funston is located in Iola. [12]
A replica of Norman Number 1 (supposedly the first oil derrick west of the Mississippi River) and a small museum dedicated to it are located near the chaimber of commerse building in Neodesha (located in the eastern end of the town, just before its Main Street merges with U.S. 75). The original derrick and museum were located on Mill Street, but were abandoned shortly before erosion caused the derrick to collapse into the Verdigris River.
The Dalton Defenders Museum, located in Coffeyville, commemorates the townspeople who died defending the town against the Dalton Gang, who unsuccessfully attempted to rob two Coffeyville banks simultaneously on October 5, 1892.
The award-winning Kansas Museum of History (web) is the state museum, and is located in the capital city of Topeka.


More Good Stuff


Weddings are our specialty

Corporate Events

We can help to make your corporate event the moral booster and "thank you" that you want.

Kid Parties

Your kids grow up so fast. Let them have fun while they are young.