The Kansas Portal

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Kansas (/ˈkænzəs/ (About this soundlisten)) is a state in the Midwestern United States. Its capital is Topeka and its largest city is Wichita. Kansas is bordered by Nebraska to the north; Missouri to the east; Oklahoma to the south; and Colorado to the west. Kansas is named after the Kansas River, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native Americans who lived along its banks. The tribe's name (natively kką:ze) is often said to mean "people of the (south) wind" although this was probably not the term's original meaning. For thousands of years, what is now Kansas was home to numerous and diverse Native American tribes. Tribes in the eastern part of the state generally lived in villages along the river valleys. Tribes in the western part of the state were semi-nomadic and hunted large herds of bison.

The first Euro-American settlement in Kansas occurred in 1827 at Fort Leavenworth. The pace of settlement accelerated in the 1850s, in the midst of political wars over the slavery debate. When it was officially opened to settlement by the U.S. government in 1854 with the Kansas–Nebraska Act, abolitionist Free-Staters from New England and pro-slavery settlers from neighboring Missouri rushed to the territory to determine whether Kansas would become a free state or a slave state. Thus, the area was a hotbed of violence and chaos in its early days as these forces collided, and was known as Bleeding Kansas. The abolitionists prevailed, and on January 29, 1861, Kansas entered the Union as a free state, hence the unofficial nickname "The Free State".

By 2015, Kansas was one of the most productive agricultural states, producing high yields of wheat, corn, sorghum, and soybeans. Kansas, which has an area of 82,278 square miles (213,100 square kilometers) is the 15th-largest state by area and is the 34th most-populous of the 50 states with a population of 2,940,865 according to the 2020 census. Residents of Kansas are called Kansans. Mount Sunflower is Kansas's highest point at 4,039 feet (1,231 meters). (Full article...)

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The 2009 Price Chopper 400 presented by Kraft Foods was the 29th of 36 scheduled stock car races of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the third in the ten-race season-ending Chase for the Sprint Cup. It was held on October 4, 2009, in Kansas City, Kansas, at Kansas Speedway, before a crowd of 100,000 spectators. Stewart-Haas Racing driver and co-owner Tony Stewart won the 267-lap race, starting from the fifth position. Jeff Gordon of Hendrick Motorsports finished in second, with Roush Fenway Racing's Greg Biffle in third.

Mark Martin won the 47th pole position of his career by posting the fastest lap in qualifying. He lost the lead to his teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. who passed him on lap 12. Earnhardt kept it until his other teammate Jimmie Johnson emerged in the first position after the first round of green flag pit stops took place. Biffle took the lead for the first time on the 72nd lap, and he led six times for a total of 113 laps, more than any other driver. Stewart became the leader through strategy on lap 238 during a phase of pit stops under a caution period by taking only two tires, while Biffle chose to have four tires installed on his car. He held off the closing Gordon in the final laps to secure the victory. There were six cautions and a track-record 26 lead changes amongst 14 different drivers during the course of the event. (Full article...)

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Credit: Michael Overton
Big Brutus Note people standing near the bottom "treads" to gain perspective of this 160 feet (49 m) machine.

Important dates in Kansas' history

July–August 1541
Coronado explores Kansas
April 30, 1803
Louisiana Purchase Treaty signed
May 30, 1854
Kansas Territory organized
July 29, 1859
Constitution adopted by convention
January 29, 1861
Kansas becomes 34th state
August 21, 1863
Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence
Spring 1879
February 19, 1881
First state to Constitutionally prohibit alcohol
Populist Revolt
July 1951
Great Flood of 1951
May 17, 1954
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka


State facts

State symbols:

The American Bison, Kansas' state mammal.

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Laura Cobb 1.jpg
Laura Mae Cobb (May 11, 1892 – September 27, 1981) was a member of the United States Navy Nurse Corps who served during World War II. She received numerous decorations for her actions as a POW of the Japanese, during which she continued to serve as Chief Nurse for eleven other imprisoned Navy nurses—known as the "Twelve Anchors. She retired from the Nurse Corps as a Lieutenant Commander in 1947. (Full article...)
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