• Population- 2,765,000
  • Capital- Topeka
  • Largest cities– Wichita, Overland Park, Kansas City
  • Time zone- Central
  • Date of Admission to the Union-
  • Slogan- Ad astra, or “To the stars”
  • State website URL- www.kansas.gov

Sites often uniquely identify a place, such as Leavenworth. This maximum-security prison imbues the town’s name with an unfortunate association, but then again Fort Leavenworth was and still is a significantly influential Army base, also located near the city.

In 1954, Topeka, Kansas became fertile ground for Civil Rights. The well-known Brown v. Board of Education court case began in Topeka. Up until 1954, Blacks and Whites attended separate schools. Finally someone wished to challenge that norm. In the southern tier states this was not a decision each state or municipality could change. These were laws in place across the southern region, no debate. Brown v. Board of Education changed all that.

In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy exclaims, “We’re not in Kansas anymore, Todo.” This of course points to Kansas’ physical location in what’s been termed, Tornado Alley. The legendary Chisholm Trail, is much more than some fictional roadway in an old cowboy Western. The trail informally connected the cattle yards of Texas with those outside Kansas City. This was the route by which cowboys moved herds, but the trail also became a route for people heading West during the mid to late 1800s.

Modern day transit is punctuated by the efforts of the Kansas Department of Transportation. Many states have lackluster interest in making the travel experience of visitors any more pleasant than it must be, but Kansas put one of the first informational phone numbers in place. Travelers through the state that choose to try out the system will get up to the minute road conditions and weather reports, among other things, all of which are designed to improve the travel experience.

A trend is afoot to give your state soil a name. Kansas chose the name, “Harney Silt Loam” to describe their top layer of earth. According to the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, the soil combines the best soil attributes to support the predominantly grain-centric agricultural economy. And in fact there’s a reason that grain naturally grows so well in the prairie states: the already grassy plains break down the surface of the soil over time; what’s left is a beautiful and loamy layer that is well suited to supporting the needs of a wide range of grain crops.