Kansas (/ˈkænzəs/(listen)) is a state in the MidwesternUnited States. Its capital is Topeka and its largest city is Wichita. Kansas is a landlocked state 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".
Although one of the most damaging tornadoes of the outbreak sequence occurred in Greensburg on May 4, 25 tornadoes were confirmed that day. That number exploded to 92 the following day (May 5), with many tornadoes near the affected area from the previous night. Most were in open country, but there were injuries in at least two spots in Kansas, and one death reported near a county lake in Ottawa County. Fifteen more tornadoes were confirmed on May 6 in the region before the outbreak finally ended. (Full article...)
The Kansas State Guard was the official state defense force of the state of Kansas during each of the world wars. The unit was first created during World War I, and was later reactivated during World War II. When the Kansas National Guard was federalized and deployed during each of the world wars, the state of Kansas was forced to raise and maintain its own military force in order to protect against saboteurs, quell riots, and perform other duties which would normally fall to the National Guard. Unlike the National Guard, which could be federalized and deployed abroad, the State Guard was funded and equipped solely by the state and as such was immune to deployment. The Kansas State Guard is authorized under Kansas law. In 2007, the Kansas Legislature considered a bill which would create a modern Kansas State Defense Force. The bill did not pass. (Full article...)
Image 16A population density map of Kansas (from Kansas)
Image 17Charles Curtis (R) was born near Topeka and served as a State Legislator, Congressman and Senator, before becoming Vice President (1929-33). He is the only Native American elected to the Executive Branch (he was born into the Kaw Nation). (from Kansas)
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