The Sunflower State!
Kansas is located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. Residents of Kansas are called “Kansans.” The capitol is Topeka.
For thousands of years what is now Kansas was home to numerous and diverse Native American tribes. Kansas was first settled by European Americans in the 1830s, but the pace of settlement accelerated in the 1850s, in the midst of political wars over the slavery issue. When officially opened to settlement by the U.S. government in 1854, abolitionist Free-Staters from New England and pro-slavery settlers from neighboring Missouri rushed to the territory to determine if 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 eventually prevailed and on January 29, 1861, Kansas entered the Union as a free state (34th). After the Civil War, the population of Kansas grew rapidly, when waves of immigrants turned the prairie into farmland.
Other places and informational links for Kansas:
The western two-thirds of the state, lying in the great central plain of the United States, has a generally flat or undulating surface, while the eastern third has many hills and forests. The land gradually rises from east to west. It is a popular belief that Kansas is the flattest state in the nation, reinforced by a well-known 2003 study stating that Kansas was indeed “flatter than a pancake”. This has since been called into question, with most scientists ranking Kansas somewhere between 20th and 30th flattest state, depending on measurement method. Its average elevation is 2,000 feet
Kansas contains three climatic types. The eastern two-thirds of the state (especially the northeastern portion) has a humid continental climate, with cool to cold winters and hot, often humid summers. The western third of the state – from about the U.S. Route 183 corridor westward – has a semiarid steppe climate. Summers are hot, often very hot, and generally less humid. Winters are highly changeable between warm and very cold. The far south-central and southeastern reaches of the state have a humid subtropical climate with hot, humid summers, milder winters and more precipitation than the rest of the state.
Kansas has a large state highway system because of the high number of counties and county seats and the intertwining of them all. In January 2004, the Kansas Department of Transportation announced the new Kansas 511 traveler information service. 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.
There are many National parks and historic sites in Kansas. 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
The state’s only major commercial (Class C) airport is Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, located along US-54 on the western edge of the city. Manhattan Regional Airport in Manhattan offers daily flights to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Most air travelers in northeastern Kansas fly out of Kansas City International Airport, located in Platte County, Missouri. For those in the far western part of the state, Denver International Airport is a popular option.