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Kansas () is a
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
in the
Midwestern The midwestern United States, often referred to simply as the Midwest, is one of four census regions of the United States Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of ...
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., federal di ...

United States
. Its
capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minusc ...
is
Topeka Topeka ( ; Kansa: ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, state, province, or other administrative region, usua ...
and its largest city is
Wichita Wichita ( ) may refer to: People *Wichita people, a Native American tribe *Wichita language, the language of the tribe Places in the United States * Wichita, Kansas, a city * Wichita County, Kansas, a county in western Kansas (city of Wichita is ...
. Kansas is a
landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic basin, endorheic basins. There are currently 44 landlocked countries and 5 list of states with limited recognition, partial ...
state bordered by
Nebraska Nebraska () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States. It is bordered by South Dakota to the north; Iowa to the east and Missouri to the southeast, both across the Missouri River; Kansas t ...

Nebraska
to the north;
Missouri Missouri is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in C ...

Missouri
to the east;
Oklahoma Oklahoma () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...
to the south; and
Colorado Colorado (, other variants) is a state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. It encompasses most of the Southern Rocky Mountains, as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the wester ...

Colorado
to the west. Kansas is named after the
Kansas River The Kansas River, also known as the Kaw, is a river in northeastern Kansas in the United States. It is the southwesternmost part of the Missouri River drainage, which is in turn the northwesternmost portion of the extensive Mississippi River drai ...

Kansas River
, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native Americans who lived along its banks. The
tribe The term tribe is used in many different contexts to refer to a category of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intellig ...
's name (natively ') 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 In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washing ...
. 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 Bison are large, even-toed ungulates in the genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. ...
. The first Euro-American settlement in Kansas occurred in 1827 at
Fort Leavenworth Fort Leavenworth is a United States Army installation located in Leavenworth County, Kansas Leavenworth County (county code LV) is located in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known a ...
. The pace of settlement accelerated in the 1850s, in the midst of political wars over the
slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for another person (a slaver), while treated as property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and co ...
debate. When it was officially opened to settlement by the U.S. government in 1854 with the
Kansas–Nebraska Act The Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 () was a territorial organic act that created the territories of Kansas Kansas () is a state in the Midwestern United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United State ...
, abolitionist Free-Staters from
New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It is bordered by the state of New York (state), New York to the west and by the Cana ...

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 Bleeding Kansas, Bloody Kansas, or the Border War was a series of violent civil confrontations in Kansas Territory, and to a lesser extent in western Missouri, between 1854 and 1859. It emerged from a political and ideological debate over the leg ...
. 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 Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generat ...
states, producing high yields of
wheat Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the genus ''Triticum''; the most widely grown is common wheat Common wheat (''Triticum aestivum'') ...

wheat
,
corn Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can ...
,
sorghum ''Sorghum'' is a genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer to ...

sorghum
, and
soybean The soybean, soy bean, or soya bean (''Glycine max'') is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean, which has numerous uses. Traditional unfermented food uses of soybeans include soy milk, from which tofu and t ...

soybean
s. Kansas, which has an area of 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
Mount Sunflower
is Kansas's highest point at .


Etymology

The name ''Kansas'' derives from the
Algonquian Algonquin or Algonquian—and the variation Algonki(a)n—may refer to: Indigenous peoples *Algonquian languages, a large subfamily of Native American languages in a wide swath of eastern North America from Canada to Virginia **Algonquin languag ...
term, ''Akansa'', for the
Quapaw The Quapaw (or Arkansas and Ugahxpa) people are a tribe of Native Americans in the United States, Native Americans that coalesced in the Midwest and Ohio Valley. The Dhegiha Siouan-speaking tribe historically migrated from the Ohio Valley area to ...
people. These were a
Dhegiha Siouan The Dhegihan languages are a group of Siouan languages Siouan or Siouan–Catawban is a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign ...
-speaking people who settled in Arkansas around the 13th century. The stem -''kansa'' is named after the
Kaw people The Kaw Nation (or Kanza or Kansa) are a federally recognized Native American tribe in Oklahoma Oklahoma () is a state in the South Central region of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the Uni ...
, also known as the ''Kansa'', a federally recognized Native American tribe.


History

Before
European colonization The historical phenomenon of colonization is one that stretches around the globe and across time. Ancient and medieval colonialism was practiced by the Phoenicians, the Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ...
, Kansas was occupied by the
Caddoan The Caddoan languages are a family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to main ...
Wichita Wichita ( ) may refer to: People *Wichita people, a Native American tribe *Wichita language, the language of the tribe Places in the United States * Wichita, Kansas, a city * Wichita County, Kansas, a county in western Kansas (city of Wichita is ...
and later the
Siouan Siouan or Siouan–Catawban is a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing sys ...
Kaw people The Kaw Nation (or Kanza or Kansa) are a federally recognized Native American tribe in Oklahoma Oklahoma () is a state in the South Central region of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the Uni ...
. The first European to set foot in present-day Kansas was the Spanish
conquistador Conquistadors (, ) or conquistadores (, ; meaning 'conquerors') were the invaders, knights, soldiers, and explorers of the Spanish Empire, Spanish and the Portuguese Empires. During the Age of Discovery, conquistadors sailed beyond Europe to th ...
Francisco Vázquez de Coronado Francisco Vázquez de Coronado y Luján (; 1510 – 22 September 1554) was a Spanish conquistador is one of the most famous Portuguese conquerors, having expanded the Portuguese Empire The Portuguese Empire ( pt, Império Português), ...
, who explored the area in 1541. Between 1763 and 1803 the territory of Kansas was integrated into
Spanish Louisiana Spanish Louisiana ( es, link=no, la Luisiana) was a governorate and administrative district of the Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1762 to 1801 that consisted of a vast territory in the center of North America North America is a cont ...
. The governor
Luis de Unzaga Luis de Unzaga y Amézaga (1717–1793), also known as Louis Unzaga y Amezéga le Conciliateur, Luigi de Unzaga Panizza and Lewis de Onzaga, was a governor of Louisiana Louisiana (, ); Standard French: ' ; es, Luisiana is a state in t ...
'le Conciliateur', during that period, promoted expeditions and good relations with the
Amerindians The Indigenous peoples of the Americas, also known as Amerindians or Indians, are the inhabitants of the Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North and South America ...
, among the explorers were
Antoine de Marigny Antoine is a French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in West ...
and others who continued trading across the
Kansas River The Kansas River, also known as the Kaw, is a river in northeastern Kansas in the United States. It is the southwesternmost part of the Missouri River drainage, which is in turn the northwesternmost portion of the extensive Mississippi River drai ...

Kansas River
, especially at its confluence with the
Missouri River The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. Rising in the Rocky Mountains of the Eastern Centennial Mountains of Southwestern Montana, the Missouri flows east and south for before entering the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, ...
, tributaries of the
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the List of longest rivers of the United States (by main stem), second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest Drainage system (geomorphology), drainage system on the North American continent, second only to ...

Mississippi River
. In 1803, most of modern Kansas was acquired by the United States as part of the
Louisiana Purchase The Louisiana Purchase (french: Vente de la Louisiane, translation=Sale of Louisiana) was the acquisition of the Louisiana (New France), territory of Louisiana by the United States from French First Republic, Napoleonic France in 1803. In return ...

Louisiana Purchase
. Southwest Kansas, however, was still a part of Spain, Mexico, and the
Republic of Texas File:Flag of Texas (1835–1839).svg, Naval ensign of the Texas Navy from 1836–1839 until it was replaced by the Lone Star Flag The Republic of Texas ( es, República de Tejas) was a sovereign state in North America that existed from March 2, ...

Republic of Texas
until the conclusion of the
Mexican–American War The Mexican–American War, also known in the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. ...

Mexican–American War
in 1848, when these lands were
ceded to the United States
ceded to the United States
. From 1812 to 1821, Kansas was part of the
Missouri Territory The Territory of Missouri was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from June 4, 1812 until August 10, 1821. In 1819, the Territory of Arkansas was created from a portion of its southern area. In 1821, a southeas ...
. The
Santa Fe Trail The Santa Fe Trail was a 19th-century route through central North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the northern subc ...

Santa Fe Trail
traversed Kansas from 1821 to 1880, transporting manufactured goods from
Missouri Missouri is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in C ...

Missouri
and silver and furs from
Santa Fe, New Mexico Santa Fe ( ; , Spanish language, Spanish for 'Holy Faith'; tew, Oghá P'o'oge; tiw, Hulp'ó'ona, label=Tiwa language, Northern Tiwa; nv, Yootó) is the capital of the U.S. state of New Mexico. With a population of 84,683 as of 2019, it is the L ...

Santa Fe, New Mexico
. Wagon ruts from the trail are still visible in the prairie today. In 1827,
Fort Leavenworth Fort Leavenworth is a United States Army installation located in Leavenworth County, Kansas Leavenworth County (county code LV) is located in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known a ...
became the first permanent settlement of white Americans in the future state. The
Kansas–Nebraska Act The Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 () was a territorial organic act that created the territories of Kansas Kansas () is a state in the Midwestern United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United State ...
became law on May 30, 1854, establishing
Nebraska Territory The Territory of Nebraska was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 30, 1854, until March 1, 1867, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the United States, Union as the Nebraska, State of ...
and
Kansas Territory The Territory of Kansas was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 30, 1854, until January 29, 1861, when the eastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the free state of Kansas ...
, and opening the area to broader settlement by whites.
Kansas Territory The Territory of Kansas was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 30, 1854, until January 29, 1861, when the eastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the free state of Kansas ...
stretched all the way to the Continental Divide and included the sites of present-day
Denver Denver () is a List of municipalities in Colorado#Consolidated city and county, consolidated city and county, the List of capitals in the United States#State capital, capital, and List of municipalities in Colorado#, most populous city of th ...
,
Colorado Springs The City of Colorado Springs is the List of cities and towns in Colorado#Home rule municipality, Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the List of cities and towns in Colorado, most populous municipality of El Paso County, Colorado, ...
, and
Pueblo In the Southwestern United States The southwestern United States, also known as the American Southwest or simply the Southwest, is a geographic and cultural region of the United States that generally includes Arizona Arizona ( ; nv, ...
. The first non-military settlement of Euro-Americans in Kansas Territory consisted of
abolitionists Abolitionism, or the abolitionist movement, was the movement to end slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for another person (a slaver), w ...
from
Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * T ...

Massachusetts
and other Free-Staters who founded the town of Lawrence and attempted to stop the spread of slavery from neighboring Missouri. Missouri and
Arkansas Arkansas () is a U.S. state, state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States, home to more than three million people as of 2018. Its name is from the Osage language, a Dhegihan languages, Dhegiha Siouan lan ...
continually sent settlers into Kansas Territory along its eastern border to sway votes in favor of slavery prior to Kansas statehood elections. Directly presaging the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by Names of the American Civil War, other names) was a civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865, fought between northern U.S. state, states loyal to the Union (American Civil War), Union and south ...
these forces collided, entering into skirmishes and guerrilla conflicts that dubbed the territory the nickname
Bleeding Kansas Bleeding Kansas, Bloody Kansas, or the Border War was a series of violent civil confrontations in Kansas Territory, and to a lesser extent in western Missouri, between 1854 and 1859. It emerged from a political and ideological debate over the leg ...
. Kansas was admitted to the Union as a free state on January 29, 1861, making it the 34th state to join the United States. By that time, the violence in Kansas had largely subsided, but during the Civil War, on August 21, 1863,
William Quantrill William Clarke Quantrill (July 31, 1837 – June 6, 1865) was a Confederate guerrilla leader during the American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by Names of the American Civil War, other names) was a civil war in the Unite ...
led several hundred men on a raid into
Lawrence Lawrence may refer to: Education Colleges and universities * Lawrence Technological University Lawrence Technological University (LTU), frequently referred to as Lawrence Tech, is a private university Private universities (and private colleg ...
, destroying much of the city and killing nearly 200 people. He was roundly condemned by both the conventional Confederate military and the partisan rangers commissioned by the
Missouri legislature The Missouri General Assembly is the State legislature (United States), state legislature of the U.S. state of Missouri. The bicameral General Assembly is composed of a 34-member Missouri Senate, Senate and a 163-member Missouri House of Represent ...
. His application to that body for a commission was flatly rejected due to his pre-war criminal record. After the Civil War, many veterans constructed homesteads in Kansas. Many
African Americans African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans or Afro-Americans) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that ...
also looked to Kansas as the land of " John Brown" and, led by
freedmen A freedman or freedwoman is a formerly enslaved person who has been released from slavery, usually by legal means. Historically, enslaved people were freed by manumission (granted freedom by their captor-owners), emancipation (granted freedom ...
like
Benjamin "Pap" Singleton Benjamin "Pap" Singleton (1809 – February 17, 1900) was an American activist and businessman best known for his role in establishing African American settlements in Kansas. A former slavery in the United States, slave from Tennessee who escaped ...
, began establishing black colonies in the state. Leaving southern states in the late 1870s because of increasing discrimination, they became known as
Exodusters Exodusters was a name given to African Americans who Human migration, migrated from U.S. state, states along the Mississippi River to Kansas in the late nineteenth century, as part of the Exoduster Movement or Exodus of 1879. It was the first Human ...
. At the same time, the
Chisholm Trail The Chisholm Trail was a trail A trail is usually a path, track or unpaved lane or road. In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, path or footpath is the preferred term for a walking trail. The term is also applied in North Americ ...
was opened and the
Wild West The American frontier, also known as the Old West or the Wild West, includes the geography, history, folklore, and culture in the forward wave of United States territorial acquisitions, American expansion that began with European colonization of ...
-era commenced in Kansas.
Wild Bill Hickok James Butler Hickok (May 27, 1837August 2, 1876), better known as "Wild Bill" Hickok, was a folk hero of the American Old West known for his life on the frontier as a soldier, scout, lawman, gambler, showman, and actor, and for his involvement ...

Wild Bill Hickok
was a deputy marshal at
Fort Riley Fort Riley is a United States Army military base, installation located in North Central Kansas, on the Kansas River, also known as the Kaw, between Junction City, Kansas, Junction City and Manhattan, Kansas, Manhattan. The Fort Riley Military Res ...
and a marshal at Hays and Abilene.
Dodge City Dodge City is the county seat A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or Parish (administrative division), civil parish. The term is used in Canada, China, Romania, Hungary and the United Stat ...
was another wild cowboy town, and both
Bat Masterson Bartholemew William Barclay "Bat" Masterson (November 26, 1853 – October 25, 1921) was a U.S. Army scout, lawman, professional gambler, and journalist known for his exploits in the 19th and early 20th-century American Old West. He was born to a ...
and
Wyatt Earp Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp (March 19, 1848 – January 13, 1929) was an Old West lawman and gambler in the American West The Western United States (also called the American West, the Far West, and the West) is the region comprising the western ...

Wyatt Earp
worked as lawmen in the town. In one year alone, eight million head of cattle from Texas boarded trains in Dodge City bound for the East, earning Dodge the nickname "Queen of the Cowtowns". In response to demands of Methodists and other evangelical Protestants, in 1881 Kansas became the first U.S. state to adopt a constitutional amendment
prohibiting
prohibiting
all
alcoholic beverages An alcoholic drink is a drink that contains ethanol Ethanol (also called ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, drinking alcohol, or simply alcohol) is an organic chemical compound. It is a simple alcohol File:Alcohol general.svg, upright=0 ...
, which was repealed in 1948. In 1922, suffragist Ella Uphay Mowry became the first female gubernatorial candidate in the state when she ran as "Mrs. W.D. Mowry." She later stated that, "Someone had to be the pioneer. I firmly believe that some day a woman will sit in the governor’s chair in Kansas."


Geography

Kansas is bordered by
Nebraska Nebraska () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States. It is bordered by South Dakota to the north; Iowa to the east and Missouri to the southeast, both across the Missouri River; Kansas t ...

Nebraska
to the north;
Missouri Missouri is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in C ...

Missouri
to the east;
Oklahoma Oklahoma () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...
to the south; and
Colorado Colorado (, other variants) is a state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. It encompasses most of the Southern Rocky Mountains, as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the wester ...

Colorado
to the west. The state is divided into 105 counties with 628 cities, with its largest county by area being Butler County. Kansas is located
equidistant The circumscribed by the circle C. The circumcentre O is equidistant to each point on the circle, and a fortiori to each vertex of the polygon. A point is said to be equidistant from a set of objects if the distances between that point and ea ...

equidistant
from the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The geographic center of the 48 contiguous states is in Smith County near
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria to Lebanon–Syria border, the north and east and Israel to Blue Line ...
. Until 1989, the
Meades Ranch Triangulation Station The Meades Ranch Triangulation Station is a survey marker in Osborne County, Kansas, Osborne County in the state of Kansas in the Midwestern United States. The marker was initially placed in 1891; from 1901 to 1989, it was the reference location r ...
in Osborne County was the geodetic center of North America: the central reference point for all maps of North America. The geographic center of Kansas is in Barton County.


Geology

Kansas is underlain by a sequence of horizontal to gently westward
dipping
dipping
sedimentary rock Sedimentary rocks are types of rock (geology), rock that are formed by the accumulation or deposition of mineral or organic matter, organic particles at Earth#Surface, Earth's surface, followed by cementation (geology), cementation. Sedimentation ...

sedimentary rock
s. A sequence of Mississippian, Pennsylvanian and
Permian The Permian ( ) is a geologic period and stratigraphic system which spans 47 million years from the end of the Carboniferous period million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Triassic period 251.902 Mya. It is the last period of the Paleo ...
rocks outcrop in the eastern and southern part of the state. The state's western half has exposures of
Cretaceous The Cretaceous ( ) is a geological period A geological period is one of the several subdivisions of geologic time enabling cross-referencing of rocks and geologic events from place to place. These periods form elements of a hierarchy of divisions ...
through Tertiary sediments, the latter derived from the
erosion In earth science Earth science or geoscience includes all fields of natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific ...

erosion
of the uplifted
Rocky Mountains The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similari ...

Rocky Mountains
to the west. These are underlain by older Paleozoic and Mesozoic sediments which correlate well with the outcrops to the east. The state's northeastern corner was subjected to
glaciation A glacial period (alternatively glacial or glaciation) is an interval of time (thousands of years) within an ice age that is marked by colder temperatures and glacier A glacier ( or ) is a persistent body of dense ice that is constantly movi ...
in the
Pleistocene The Pleistocene ( , often referred to as the ''Ice Age'') is the geological Epoch (geology), epoch that lasted from about 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the earth’s most recent period of repeated glaciations. Before a change finally c ...
and is covered by
glacial drift In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it is composed, and the processes ...
and
loess Loess (, ; from German ''Löss'' ) is a clastic, predominantly silt-sized sediment Sediment is a naturally occurring material that is broken down by processes of weathering and erosion, and is subsequently sediment transport, transported by ...
.


Topography

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; its altitude ranges from along the
Verdigris River The Verdigris River is a tributary A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem (or parent) river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean. Tributaries and the main stem rive ...

Verdigris River
at Coffeyville in
Montgomery CountyMontgomery County may refer to: Australia * The former name of Montgomery Land District, Tasmania United Kingdom * The historic county of Montgomeryshire, Wales, also called County of Montgomery United States

* Montgomery County, Alabama * Mon ...
, to at
Mount Sunflower
Mount Sunflower
, from the Colorado border, in Wallace County. It is a common misconception that Kansas is the flattest state in the nation—in 2003, a tongue-in-cheek study famously declared the state "flatter than a pancake". In fact, Kansas has a maximum topographic relief of , making it the 23rd flattest U.S. state measured by maximum relief.


Rivers

Nearly of the state's northeastern boundary is defined by the
Missouri River The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. Rising in the Rocky Mountains of the Eastern Centennial Mountains of Southwestern Montana, the Missouri flows east and south for before entering the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, ...
. The
Kansas River The Kansas River, also known as the Kaw, is a river in northeastern Kansas in the United States. It is the southwesternmost part of the Missouri River drainage, which is in turn the northwesternmost portion of the extensive Mississippi River drai ...

Kansas River
(locally known as the Kaw), formed by the junction of the Smoky Hill and
Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of government that is not a monarchy or dictatorship, and is usually associated with the rule of law. ** Republicanism, the ideology in support of republics or against ...
rivers at appropriately-named Junction City, joins the Missouri River at
Kansas City The Kansas City metropolitan area is a bi-state metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories under the same administrative ...
, after a course of across the northeastern part of the state. The
Arkansas River The Arkansas River is a major tributary A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem (or parent) river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean. Tributaries and the main ste ...
( pronunciation varies), rising in
Colorado Colorado (, other variants) is a state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. It encompasses most of the Southern Rocky Mountains, as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the wester ...

Colorado
, flows with a bending course for nearly across the western and southern parts of the state. With its tributaries, (the
Little Arkansas
Little Arkansas
, Ninnescah, Walnut, Cow Creek, Cimarron, Verdigris, and the
Neosho
Neosho
), it forms the southern drainage system of the state. Kansas's other rivers are the
Saline
Saline
and Solomon Rivers, tributaries of the Smoky Hill River; the Big Blue,
Delaware Delaware ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Maryland to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean to its east. The sta ...
, and Wakarusa, which flow into the Kansas River; and the Marais des Cygnes, a tributary of the Missouri River. Spring River is located between Riverton and Baxter Springs, Kansas, Baxter Springs.


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, Kansas, Larned * Fort Scott National Historic Site * Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail * Nicodemus National Historic Site at Nicodemus, Kansas, Nicodemus * Oregon National Historic Trail * Pony Express National Historic Trail * Santa Fe National Historic Trail * Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve near Strong City, Kansas, Strong City


Flora and fauna

In Kansas, there are currently 238 species of rare animals and 400 rare plants. Among those include: ''Boechera laevigata'', Virginia rail, Virginia Rail, Cleft Ledge, Osmunda regalis, Royal Fern, Turkey-tangle, Bobolink, Cave salamander, Cave Salamander, Peregrine falcon, Peregrine Falcon, and Black-footed ferret. Common animal species and grasses include: Crows, Deer, Lesser prairie chicken, Lesser Prairie Chicken, Mouse, Mice, Mole (animal), Moles, Opossum, Prairie dog, Prairie Dogs, Raccoon, ''Tripsacum dactyloides'', Sporobolus heterolepis, Prairie Dropseed, Sorghastrum nutans, Indian Grass, Schizachyrium scoparium, Little Bluestem, Switch grass, Switch Grass, Chasmanthium latifolium, Northern Sea Oats, Carex stricta, Tussock Sedge, Sideoats grama, Sideoats Grama, and Big Bluestem.


Climate

According to the Köppen climate classification, Kansas's climate can be characterized in terms of three types: it has humid continental, semi-arid steppe, and humid subtropical. 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. Most of the precipitation falls during both the summer and the spring. The western third of the state—from roughly the U.S. Route 83 corridor westward—has a semi-arid climate, semi-arid steppe climate. Summers are hot, often very hot, and generally less humid. Winters are highly changeable between warm and very cold. The western region receives an average of about of precipitation per year. Chinook winds in the winter can warm western Kansas all the way into the range. The far south-central and southeastern portions of the state, including the
Wichita Wichita ( ) may refer to: People *Wichita people, a Native American tribe *Wichita language, the language of the tribe Places in the United States * Wichita, Kansas, a city * Wichita County, Kansas, a county in western Kansas (city of Wichita is ...
area, have a humid subtropical climate with hot and humid summers, milder winters, and more precipitation than elsewhere in Kansas. Some features of all three climates can be found in most of the state, with droughts and changeable weather between dry and humid not uncommon, and both warm and cold spells in the winter. Temperatures in areas between U.S. Routes 83 and U.S. Route 81, 81, as well as the southwestern portion of the state along and south of U.S. Route 50, U.S. 50, reach or above on most days of June, July, and August. High humidity added to the high temperatures sends the heat index into life-threatening territory, especially in Wichita, Hutchinson, Kansas, Hutchinson, Salina, Kansas, Salina, Russell, Kansas, Russell, Hays, and Great Bend, Kansas, Great Bend. Temperatures are often higher in
Dodge City Dodge City is the county seat A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or Parish (administrative division), civil parish. The term is used in Canada, China, Romania, Hungary and the United Stat ...
, Garden City, Kansas, Garden City, and Liberal, Kansas, Liberal, but the heat index in those three cities is usually lower than the actual air temperature. Although temperatures of or higher are not as common in areas east of U.S. 81, higher humidity and the urban heat island effect lead most summer days to heat indices between and in Topeka, Kansas, Topeka,
Lawrence Lawrence may refer to: Education Colleges and universities * Lawrence Technological University Lawrence Technological University (LTU), frequently referred to as Lawrence Tech, is a private university Private universities (and private colleg ...
, and the Kansas City metropolitan area. During the summer, nightly low temperatures in the northeastern part of the state, especially in the aforementioned large cities, struggle to fall below . Also, combined with humidity between 85 and 95 percent, dangerous heat indices can be experienced at every hour of the day. Precipitation ranges from about annually in the state's southeast corner to about in the southwest. Snowfall ranges from around in the fringes of the south, to in the far northwest. Frost-free days range from more than 200 days in the south, to 130 days in the northwest. Thus, Kansas is the country's ninth or tenth sunniest state, depending on the source. Western Kansas is as sunny as parts of California and Arizona. Kansas is prone to severe weather, especially in the spring and the early-summer. Despite the frequent sunshine throughout much of the state, due to its location at a climatic boundary prone to intrusions of multiple air masses, the state is vulnerable to strong and severe thunderstorms. Some of these storms become supercell thunderstorms; these can produce some tornadoes, occasionally those of Enhanced Fujita scale, EF3 strength or higher. Kansas averages more than 50 tornadoes annually. Severe thunderstorms sometimes drop some very large hail over Kansas as well. Furthermore, these storms can even bring in flash flooding and damaging straight line winds. According to NOAA, the all-time highest temperature recorded in Kansas is () on July 24, 1936, near Alton, Kansas, Alton in Osborne County, and the all-time low is on February 13, 1905, near
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria to Lebanon–Syria border, the north and east and Israel to Blue Line ...
in Smith County. Alton and Lebanon are approximately apart. Kansas's record high of ties with North Dakota for the fifth-highest record high in an American state, behind California (), Arizona (), Nevada (), and New Mexico ().


Demographics

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Kansas was 2,913,314 on July 1, 2019, a 2.11% increase since the 2010 United States Census, 2010 United States census and an increase of 58,387, or 2.05%, since 2010. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 93,899 (246,484 births minus 152,585 deaths) and a decrease due to net migration of 20,742 people out of the state. Immigration to the United States, Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 44,847 people, and migration within the country produced a net loss of 65,589 people. The population density of Kansas is 52.9 people per square mile. The center of population of Kansas is located in Chase County, Kansas, Chase County, at , approximately north of the community of Strong City, Kansas, Strong City. The focus on labor-efficient grain-based agriculture—such as a large wheat farm that requires only one or a few people with large farm machinery, machinery to operate, rather than a Vegetable farming, vegetable farm that requires many people—is causing the Depopulation of the Great Plains, de-population of rural areas across Kansas.


Ancestry

According to the 2010 United States census, the racial makeup of the population was: * 83.8% of the population was White American * 5.9% was Black or African American * 1.0% American Indian and Alaska Native * 2.4% Asian American * 0.1% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander * 3.0% from two or more races. Ethnically 10.5% of the total population was of Hispanic or Latino origin (they may be of any race). As of 2004, the population included 149,800 foreign-born (5.5% of the state population). The ten largest reported ancestry groups, which account for nearly 90% of the population, in the state are: German American, German (33.75%), Irish American, Irish (14.4%), English American, English (14.1%), American ancestry, American (7.5%), French American, French (4.4%), Scottish American, Scottish (4.2%), Dutch American, Dutch (2.5%), Swedish American, Swedish (2.4%), Italian American, Italian (1.8%), and Polish American, Polish (1.5%). German descendants are especially present in the northwest, while those of descendants of English and of white Americans from other states are especially present 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 Exodusters was a name given to African Americans who Human migration, migrated from U.S. state, states along the Mississippi River to Kansas in the late nineteenth century, as part of the Exoduster Movement or Exodus of 1879. It was the first Human ...
, newly freed blacks who fled the South for land in Kansas following the Civil War. As of 2011, 35.0% of Kansas's population younger than one year of age belonged to minority groups (i.e., did not have two parents of non-Hispanic white ancestry).


Language

English is the most-spoken language in Kansas, with 91.3% of the population speaking only English at home as of the year 2000. 5.5% speak Spanish, 0.7% speak German, and 0.4% speak Vietnamese.


Religion

The 2014 Pew Religious Landscape Survey showed the religious makeup of adults in Kansas was as follows: :Christian 76% ::Protestant 57% :::Evangelical Protestant 31% :::Mainline Protestant 24 % :::Black church, Black Protestant 2% ::Catholic 18% ::Mormon 1% ::Jehovah's Witness 1% :Non-Christian faiths 4% ::Jewish < 1% ::Muslim 1% ::Buddhist 1% ::Hindu < 1% :Other World Religions < 1% :Other Faiths 2% :Unaffiliated 20% ::Atheist 2% ::Agnostic 3% ::Nothing in particular 14% :Don't know < 1% As of 2010, the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) reported that the Catholic Church has the highest number of adherents in Kansas (at 426,611), followed by the United Methodist Church with 202,989 members, and the Southern Baptist Convention, reporting 99,329 adherents. Kansas's capital Topeka is sometimes cited as the home of Pentecostalism as it was the site of Charles Fox Parham's Bethel Bible College, where glossolalia was first claimed as the evidence of a spiritual experience referred to as the baptism of the Holy Spirit in 1901. It is also the home of Reverend Charles Sheldon, author of ''In His Steps'', and was the site where the question "What would Jesus do?" originated in a sermon of Sheldon's at Central Congregational Church. Topeka is also home of the Westboro Baptist Church, a hate group according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The church has garnered worldwide media attention for picketing the funerals of U.S. servicemen and women for what church members claim as "necessary to combat the fight for equality for gays and lesbians". They have sometimes successfully raised lawsuits against the city of Topeka.


Settlement

Known as rural flight, the last few decades have been marked by a migratory pattern out of the countryside into cities. Out of all the cities in these Midwestern states, 89% have fewer than 3,000 people, and hundreds of those have fewer than 1,000. In Kansas alone, there are more than 6,000 List of ghost towns in Kansas, ghost towns and dwindling communities, according to one Kansas historian, Daniel C. Fitzgerald. At the same time, some of the communities in Johnson County (metropolitan Kansas City) are among the fastest-growing in the country. Kansas has 627 Municipal corporation, 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 Civil township, township and are not included within the township's territory.


Birth data

''Note: Births in table don't add up, because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.'' * Since 2016, data for births of White Hispanic and Latino Americans, White Hispanic origin are not collected, but included in one ''Hispanic'' group; persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.


Life expectancy

The residents of Kansas have a life expectancy near the U.S. national average. In 2013, males in Kansas lived an average of 76.6 years compared to a male national average of 76.7 years and females lived an average of 81.0 years compared to a female national average of 81.5 years. Increases in life expectancy between 1980 and 2013 were below the national average for males and near the national average for females. Male life expectancy in Kansas between 1980 and 2014 increased by an average of 5.2 years, compared to a male national average of a 6.7 year increase. Life expectancy for females in Kansas between 1980 and 2014 increased by 4.3 years, compared to a female national average of a 4.0 year increase. Using 2017–2019 data, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation calculated that life expectancy for Kansas counties ranged from 75.8 years for Wyandotte County, Kansas, Wyandotte County to 81.7 years for Johnson County, Kansas, Johnson County. Life expectancy for the state as a whole was 78.5 years. Life expectancy for the United States as a whole in 2019 was 78.8 years.


Regions


Northeast Kansas

The northeastern portion of the state, extending from the eastern border to Junction City and from the Nebraska border to south of Johnson County is home to more than 1.5 million people in the Kansas City (Kansas portion), Manhattan, Lawrence, and Topeka metropolitan areas. Overland Park, Kansas, Overland Park, a young city incorporated in 1960, has the largest population and the largest land area in the county. It is home to Johnson County Community College. Olathe is the county seat and home to Johnson County Executive Airport. The cities of Olathe, Shawnee, Kansas, Shawnee, De Soto, Kansas, De Soto and Gardner, Kansas, Gardner have some of the state's fastest growing populations. The cities of Overland Park, Lenexa, Kansas, Lenexa, Olathe, De Soto, and Gardner are also notable because they lie along the former route of the
Santa Fe Trail The Santa Fe Trail was a 19th-century route through central North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the northern subc ...

Santa Fe Trail
. Among cities with at least one thousand residents, Mission Hills, Kansas, Mission Hills has the highest median income in the state. Several institutions of higher education are located in Northeast Kansas including Baker University (the oldest university in the state, founded in 1858 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church) in Baldwin City, Benedictine College (sponsored by St. Benedict's Abbey and Mount St. Scholastica Monastery and formed from the merger of St. Benedict's College (1858) and Mount St. Scholastica College (1923)) in Atchison, MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Ottawa University in Ottawa and Overland Park, 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 Lawrence may refer to: Education Colleges and universities * Lawrence Technological University Lawrence Technological University (LTU), frequently referred to as Lawrence Tech, is a private university Private universities (and private colleg ...
is home to the University of Kansas, the largest public university in the state, and Haskell Indian Nations University. To the north,
Kansas City The Kansas City metropolitan area is a bi-state metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories under the same administrative ...
, with the second largest land area in the state, contains a number of diverse ethnic neighborhoods. Its attractions include the Kansas Speedway, Sporting Kansas City, Kansas City T-Bones, Schlitterbahn, and The Legends at Village West retail and entertainment center. Nearby, Kansas's first settlement Bonner Springs, Kansas, Bonner Springs is home to several national and regional attractions including the Cricket Wireless Amphitheater (Bonner Springs, Kansas), Providence Medical Center Amphitheather, the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame, and the annual Kansas City Renaissance Festival. Further up the
Missouri River The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. Rising in the Rocky Mountains of the Eastern Centennial Mountains of Southwestern Montana, the Missouri flows east and south for before entering the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, ...
, the city of Lansing, Kansas, Lansing is the home of the state's first maximum-security prison. Historic Leavenworth, Kansas, Leavenworth, founded in 1854, was the first incorporated city in Kansas. North of the city,
Fort Leavenworth Fort Leavenworth is a United States Army installation located in Leavenworth County, Kansas Leavenworth County (county code LV) is located in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known a ...
is the oldest active Army post west of the
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the List of longest rivers of the United States (by main stem), second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest Drainage system (geomorphology), drainage system on the North American continent, second only to ...

Mississippi River
. The city of Atchison, Kansas, 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, Kansas, Topeka is the state capital and home to Washburn University and Washburn Institute of Technology. Built at a
Kansas River The Kansas River, also known as the Kaw, is a river in northeastern Kansas in the United States. It is the southwesternmost part of the Missouri River drainage, which is in turn the northwesternmost portion of the extensive Mississippi River drai ...

Kansas River
crossing along the old Oregon Trail, this historic city has several nationally registered historic places. Further westward along Interstate 70 (Kansas), Interstate 70 and the Kansas River is Junction City with its historic limestone and brick buildings and nearby
Fort Riley Fort Riley is a United States Army military base, installation located in North Central Kansas, on the Kansas River, also known as the Kaw, between Junction City, Kansas, Junction City and Manhattan, Kansas, Manhattan. The Fort Riley Military Res ...
, well known as the home to the United States Army, U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division (United States), 1st Infantry Division (nicknamed "the Big Red One"). A short distance away, the city of Manhattan, Kansas, 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.


South Central Kansas

In south-central Kansas, the Wichita metropolitan area, Kansas, Wichita metropolitan area is home to more than 600,000 people.
Wichita Wichita ( ) may refer to: People *Wichita people, a Native American tribe *Wichita language, the language of the tribe Places in the United States * Wichita, Kansas, a city * Wichita County, Kansas, a county in western Kansas (city of Wichita is ...
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. Before Wichita was 'The Air Capital' it was a Cowtown. 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. Wichita's population growth has grown by double digits and the surrounding suburbs are among the fastest growing cities in the state. The population of Goddard, Kansas, Goddard has grown by more than 11% per year since 2000. Other fast-growing cities include Andover, Kansas, Andover, Maize, Kansas, Maize, Park City, Kansas, Park City, Derby, Kansas, Derby, and Haysville, Kansas, Haysville. Wichita was one of the first cities to add the city commissioner and city manager in their form of government. Wichita is also home of the nationally recognized Sedgwick County Zoo. Up river (the
Arkansas River The Arkansas River is a major tributary A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem (or parent) river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean. Tributaries and the main ste ...
) from Wichita is the city of Hutchinson, Kansas, Hutchinson. The city was built on one of the world's largest salt deposits (of what would form Strataca), and it has the world's largest and longest wheat elevator. It is also the home of Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, Prairie Dunes Country Club and the Kansas State Fair. North of Wichita along Interstate 135 (Kansas), Interstate 135 is the city of Newton, Kansas, Newton, the former western terminal of the Santa Fe Railroad and trailhead for the famed
Chisholm Trail The Chisholm Trail was a trail A trail is usually a path, track or unpaved lane or road. In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, path or footpath is the preferred term for a walking trail. The term is also applied in North Americ ...
. To the southeast of Wichita are the cities of Winfield, Kansas, Winfield and Arkansas City, Kansas, Arkansas City with historic architecture and the Cherokee Strip (Kansas), Cherokee Strip Museum (in Ark City). The city of Udall, Kansas, Udall was the site of the deadliest tornado in Kansas on May 25, 1955; it killed 80 people in and near the city.


Southeast Kansas

Southeast Kansas has a unique history with a number of nationally registered historic places in this coal-mining region. Located in Crawford County, Kansas, Crawford County (dubbed the Fried Chicken Capital of Kansas), Pittsburg, Kansas, Pittsburg is the largest city in the region and the home of Pittsburg State University. The neighboring city of Frontenac, Kansas, 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 outside the city of West Mineral, Kansas, West Mineral. Along with the restored fort, historic Fort Scott, Kansas, Fort Scott has a national cemetery designated by President Lincoln in 1862. The region also shares a Media market with Joplin, Missouri, a city in Southwest Missouri.


Central and North-Central Kansas

Salina, Kansas, Salina is the largest city in central and north-central Kansas. South of Salina is the small city of Lindsborg, Kansas, Lindsborg with its numerous Dalecarlian horse, Dala horses. Much of the architecture and decor of this town has a distinctly Sweden, Swedish style. To the east along Interstate 70 (Kansas), Interstate 70, the historic city of Abilene was formerly a trailhead for the
Chisholm Trail The Chisholm Trail was a trail A trail is usually a path, track or unpaved lane or road. In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, path or footpath is the preferred term for a walking trail. The term is also applied in North Americ ...
and was the boyhood home of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and is the site of his Eisenhower Presidential Center, Presidential Library and the tombs of the former president, First Lady and son who died in infancy. To the west is Lucas, Kansas, Lucas, the Grassroots Art Capital of Kansas.


Northwest Kansas

Westward along the Interstate, the city of Russell, Kansas, Russell, traditionally the beginning of sparsely-populated northwest Kansas, was the base 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 the northwest with a population of around 20,001. Two other landmarks are located in smaller towns in Ellis County, Kansas, Ellis County: the "Cathedral of the Plains" is located east of Hays in Victoria, Kansas, Victoria, and the boyhood home of Walter Chrysler is west of Hays in Ellis, Kansas, Ellis. West of Hays, population drops dramatically, even in areas along I-70, and only two towns containing populations of more than 4,000: Colby, Kansas, Colby and Goodland, Kansas, Goodland, which are located apart along I-70.


Southwest Kansas

Dodge City Dodge City is the county seat A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or Parish (administrative division), civil parish. The term is used in Canada, China, Romania, Hungary and the United Stat ...
, famously known for the cattle drive days of the late 19th century, was built along the old
Santa Fe Trail The Santa Fe Trail was a 19th-century route through central North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the northern subc ...

Santa Fe Trail
route. The city of Liberal, Kansas, Liberal is located along the southern Santa Fe Trail route. The first wind farm in the state was built east of Montezuma, Kansas, Montezuma. Garden City, Kansas, Garden City has the Lee Richardson Zoo. In 1992, a West Kansas, short-lived secessionist movement advocated the secession of several counties in southwest Kansas.


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, Kansas, 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.


Economy

Total Employment of the metropolitan areas in the State of Kansas by total Non-farm Employment in 2016 *Kansas Portion of the Kansas City metropolitan area, Kansas City MO-KS MSA: 468,400 non-farm, accounting for 40.9% of state GDP in 2015 *Wichita, KS Metropolitan Statistical Area, Wichita, KS MSA: 297,300 non-farm *Topeka metropolitan area, Kansas, Topeka, KS MSA: 112,600 non-farm *Douglas County, Kansas, Lawrence KS, MSA: 54,000 non-farm *Manhattan, Kansas, metropolitan area, Manhattan, KS MSA: 44,200-non-farm *Total employment: 1,184,710 Total Number of employer establishments in 2016: 74,884 The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that Kansas's total gross domestic product in 2014 was billion. In 2015, the job growth rate in was .8%, among the lowest rate in America with only "10,900 total nonfarm jobs" added that year. According to the Kansas Department of Labor's 2016 report, the average annual wage was $42,930 in 2015. As of April 2016, the state's unemployment rate was 4.2%. The State of Kansas had a $350 million budget shortfall in February 2017. In February 2017, S&P downgraded Kansas's credit rating to AA-. Nearly 90% of Kansas's land is devoted to agriculture. The state's agricultural outputs are cattle, sheep,
wheat Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the genus ''Triticum''; the most widely grown is common wheat Common wheat (''Triticum aestivum'') ...

wheat
,
sorghum ''Sorghum'' is a genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer to ...

sorghum
, soybeans, cotton, pig, hogs, maize, corn, and salt. As of 2018, there were 59,600 farms in Kansas, 86 (0.14%) of which are Organic certification, certified organic farms. The average farm in the state is about 770 acres (more than a square mile), and in 2016, the average cost of running the farm was $300,000. By far, the most significant agricultural crop in the state is wheat. Eastern Kansas is part of the Grain Belt, an area of major grain production in the central United States. Approximately 40% of all winter wheat grown in the US is grown in Kansas. Roughly 95% of the wheat grown in the state is hard red winter wheat. During 2016, farmers of conventionally grown wheat farmed 8.2 million acres and harvested an average of 57 bushels of wheat per acre. The industrial outputs are transportation equipment, commercial and private aircraft, food processing, publishing, chemical products, machinery, apparel, petroleum, and mining. The state's economy is also heavily influenced by the aerospace industry. Several large aircraft corporations have manufacturing facilities in Wichita and Kansas City, including Spirit AeroSystems, Bombardier Aerospace (LearJet), and Textron Aviation (a merger of the former Cessna, Hawker Aircraft, Hawker, and Beechcraft brands). Boeing ended a decades-long history of manufacturing in Kansas between 2012 and 2013. Major companies headquartered in Kansas include the Garmin (Olathe, Kansas, Olathe), YRC Worldwide (Overland Park), Payless Shoes (national headquarters and major distribution facilities in Topeka, Kansas, Topeka), and Koch Industries (with national headquarters in
Wichita Wichita ( ) may refer to: People *Wichita people, a Native American tribe *Wichita language, the language of the tribe Places in the United States * Wichita, Kansas, a city * Wichita County, Kansas, a county in western Kansas (city of Wichita is ...
), and Coleman Company, Coleman (headquarters in Wichita). Kansas is also home to three major military installations:
Fort Leavenworth Fort Leavenworth is a United States Army installation located in Leavenworth County, Kansas Leavenworth County (county code LV) is located in the U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known a ...
(Army),
Fort Riley Fort Riley is a United States Army military base, installation located in North Central Kansas, on the Kansas River, also known as the Kaw, between Junction City, Kansas, Junction City and Manhattan, Kansas, Manhattan. The Fort Riley Military Res ...
(Army), and McConnell Air Force Base (Air Force). Approximately 25,000 active duty soldiers and airmen are stationed at these bases which also employ approximately 8,000 civilian DoD employees. The US Army Reserve also has the 451st Expeditionary Sustainment Command headquartered in Wichita that serves reservists and their units from around the region. The Kansas Air National Guard has units at Forbes Field in Topeka and the 184th Intelligence Wing in Wichita. The Smoky Hill Weapons Range, a detachment of the Intelligence Wing, is one of the largest and busiest bombing ranges in the nation. During World War II, Kansas was home to numerous Army Air Corps training fields for training new pilots and aircrew. Many of those airfields live on today as municipal airports.


Energy

Kansas has vast renewable resources and is a top producer of Wind power in Kansas, wind energy in the US, with an installed capacity of about 6,100 Megawatts (MW) from nearly 3,200 wind turbines in 2019. Wind generated the List of power stations in Kansas, largest share of electricity from the state at 41%. An additional 700 MW of capacity was scheduled to come online during 2020. Kansas is also a leading national producer of renewable ethanol and biodiesel fuels at nearly 600 million gallons per year. Kansas is ranked eighth in Petroleum in the United States, US petroleum extraction. Production has experienced a steady decline as the state's limited economical reserves especially from the Anadarko Basin are depleted. Since Price of oil, oil prices bottomed in 1999, oil production in Kansas has remained fairly constant, with an average monthly rate of about in 2004. The Oil price increases since 2003, recent higher prices have made carbon sequestration, carbon dioxide sequestration and other oil recovery techniques more economical. Kansas is also ranked eighth in US natural gas production. Production has steadily declined since the mid-1990s with the gradual depletion of the Hugoton Natural Gas Area, 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 .


Taxes

Tax is collected by the Kansas Department of Revenue. Revenue shortfalls resulting from lower than expected tax collections and slower growth in personal income following a 1998 permanent tax reduction have 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. In 2003, Kansas had three income brackets for income tax calculation, ranging from 3.5% to 6.45%. The state sales tax in Kansas is 6.15%. 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. If there had been no change in sales tax rates or in the economy, the total sales tax collections for 2003 would have been $1,797 million, compared to $805.3 million in 1990. However, they instead amounted to $1,630 million an inflation-adjusted reduction of 10%. The state sales tax is a combined destination-based tax, meaning a single tax is applied that includes state, county, and local taxes, and the rate is based on where the consumer takes possession of the goods or services. Thanks to the destination structure and the numerous local special taxing districts, Kansas has 920 separate sales tax rates ranging from 6.5% to 11.5%. This taxing scheme, known as "Streamlined Sales Tax" was adopted on October 1, 2005, under the governorship of Kathleen Sebelius. Groceries are subject to sales tax in the state. All sales tax collected is remitted to the state department of revenue, and local taxes are then distributed to the various taxing agencies. 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; however, lawmakers can vote to override the rule, and did so during the most recent budget agreement. During his campaign for the 2010 election, Governor Sam Brownback called for a complete "phase out of Kansas's income tax". In May 2012, Governor Brownback signed into law the Kansas Senate Bill Substitute HB 2117. Starting in 2013, the "ambitious tax overhaul" trimmed income tax, eliminated some corporate taxes, and created Flow-through entity, pass-through income tax exemptions, he raised the sales tax by one percent to offset the loss to state revenues but that was inadequate. He made cuts to education and some state services to offset lost revenue. The tax cut led to years of budget shortfalls, culminating in a $350 million budget shortfall in February 2017. From 2013 to 2017, 300,000 businesses were considered to be pass-through income entities and benefited from the tax exemption. The tax reform "encouraged tens of thousands of Kansans to claim their wages and salaries as income from a business rather than from employment." The economic growth that Brownback anticipated never materialized. He argued that it was because of "low wheat and oil prices and a downturn in aircraft sales". The state general fund debt load was $83 million in fiscal year 2010 and by fiscal year 2017 the debt load sat at $179 million. In 2016, Governor Brownback earned the title of "most unpopular governor in America". Only 26 percent of Kansas voters approved of his job performance, compared to 65 percent who said they did not. In the summer of 2016 S&P Global Ratings downgraded Kansas's credit rating. In February 2017, S&P lowered it to AA-. In February 2017, a bi-partisan coalition presented a bill that would repeal the pass-through income exemption, the "most important provisions of Brownback's overhaul", and raise taxes to make up for the budget shortfall. Brownback vetoed the bill but "45 GOP legislators had voted in favor of the increase, while 40 voted to uphold the governor's veto." On June 6, 2017 a coalition of Democrats and newly elected Republicans overrode [Brownback's] veto and implemented tax increases to a level close to what it was before 2013. Brownback's tax overhaul was described in a June 2017 article in ''The Atlantic'' as the United States' "most aggressive experiment in conservative economic policy". The drastic tax cuts had "threatened the viability of schools and infrastructure" in Kansas.


Transportation


Highways

Kansas is served by two Interstate Highway System, Interstate highways with one Ring road, beltway, two spur routes, and three bypass (road), bypasses, with over in all. The first section of Interstate in the nation was opened on Interstate 70 in Kansas, Interstate 70 (I-70) just west of Topeka, Kansas, Topeka on November 14, 1956. I-70 is a major east–west route connecting to
Denver Denver () is a List of municipalities in Colorado#Consolidated city and county, consolidated city and county, the List of capitals in the United States#State capital, capital, and List of municipalities in Colorado#, most populous city of th ...
, Colorado and Kansas City, Missouri. Cities along this route (from west to east) include Colby, Kansas, Colby, Hays, Salina, Kansas, Salina, Junction City, Topeka, Kansas, Topeka,
Lawrence Lawrence may refer to: Education Colleges and universities * Lawrence Technological University Lawrence Technological University (LTU), frequently referred to as Lawrence Tech, is a private university Private universities (and private colleg ...
, Bonner Springs, Kansas, Bonner Springs, and
Kansas City The Kansas City metropolitan area is a bi-state metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories under the same administrative ...
. Interstate 35 in Kansas, I-35 is a major north–south route connecting to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Des Moines, Iowa. Cities along this route (from south to north) include
Wichita Wichita ( ) may refer to: People *Wichita people, a Native American tribe *Wichita language, the language of the tribe Places in the United States * Wichita, Kansas, a city * Wichita County, Kansas, a county in western Kansas (city of Wichita is ...
, El Dorado, Kansas, El Dorado, Emporia, Kansas, Emporia, Ottawa, Kansas, Ottawa, and Kansas City (and suburbs). Spur routes serve as connections between the two major routes. Interstate 135 (Kansas), I-135, a north–south route, connects I-35 at Wichita to I-70 at Salina. Interstate 335 (Kansas), I-335, a southwest–northeast route, connects I-35 at Emporia to I-70 at Topeka. I-335 and portions of I-35 and I-70 make up the Kansas Turnpike. Bypasses include Interstate 470 (Kansas), I-470 around Topeka, Interstate 235 (Kansas), I-235 around Wichita, and Interstate 670 (Kansas), I-670 in downtown Kansas City. Interstate 435 (Kansas), I-435 is a beltway around the Kansas City metropolitan area while Interstate 635 (Kansas–Missouri), I-635 bypasses through Kansas City. U.S. Route 69 in Kansas, U.S. Route 69 (US-69) travels south to north, from Oklahoma to Missouri. The highway passes through the eastern section of Kansas, traveling through Baxter Springs, Kansas, Baxter Springs, Pittsburg, Kansas, Pittsburg, Frontenac, Kansas, Frontenac, Fort Scott, Kansas, Fort Scott, Louisburg, Kansas, Louisburg, and the Kansas City area. Kansas also has the country's third largest state highway system after Texas and California. This is because of the high number of counties and county seats (105) and their intertwining. In January 2004, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) announced the new Kansas 5-1-1, 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.


Interstate Highways

* ** (formerly known as I-35W) ** ** ** ** * ** **


U.S. Routes

* * * * * * * ** * * * ** * * * * ** * ** * ** ** *


Aviation

The state's only major commercial (Airspace class (United States), Class C) airport is Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport, located along U.S. Route 54 (Kansas), US-54 on the western edge of the city. Manhattan Regional Airport in Manhattan, Kansas, Manhattan offers daily flights to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, making it the second-largest commercial airport in the state. Most air travelers in northeastern Kansas fly out of Kansas City International Airport, located in Platte County, Missouri, as well as Topeka Regional Airport in the state's capital. In the state's southeastern part, people often use Tulsa International Airport in Tulsa, Oklahoma or Joplin Regional Airport in Joplin, Missouri. For those in the far western part of the state, Denver International Airport is a popular option. Connecting flights are also available from smaller Kansas airports in Dodge City Regional Airport, Dodge City, Garden City Regional Airport, Garden City, Hays Regional Airport, Hays, Hutchinson Municipal Airport (Kansas), Hutchinson, Liberal Mid-America Regional Airport, Liberal, or Salina Municipal Airport, Salina. Dotted across the state are smaller regional and municipal airports, including the Lawrence Municipal Airport (Kansas), Lawrence Municipal Airport, which houses many aircraft for the city of Lawrence and the University of Kansas, Miami County Airport, Wamego Airport, Osage City Municipal Airport, which is the headquarters of ''Skydive Kansas'', Garden City Regional Airport, Manhattan Regional Airport, and Dodge City Regional Airport.


Rail

The ''Southwest Chief'' Amtrak route runs through the state on its route from Chicago to Los Angeles. Stops in Kansas include Lawrence, Topeka, Newton, Hutchinson, Dodge City, and Garden City. An Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach connects Newton and
Wichita Wichita ( ) may refer to: People *Wichita people, a Native American tribe *Wichita language, the language of the tribe Places in the United States * Wichita, Kansas, a city * Wichita County, Kansas, a county in western Kansas (city of Wichita is ...
to the Heartland Flyer in Oklahoma City,
Oklahoma Oklahoma () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...
. Amtrak is proposing to modify the Southwest Chief from its status as a direct passenger rail operation. Plans call for shortening the route to Los Angeles to Albuquerque. Thruway buses would replace the train on the route between Albuquerque and Dodge City, where train service east to Chicago would resume. Kansas is served by four Class I rail carrier, Class I railroads, Amtrak, BNSF, Kansas City Southern Railway, Kansas City Southern, and Union Pacific, as well as many shortline railroads.


Law and government


State and local politics

Executive branch: The executive branch consists of one officer and five elected officers. The governor and Lieutenant Governor of Kansas, lieutenant governor are elected on the same Ticket (election), ticket. The attorney general, secretary of state, state treasurer, and state insurance commissioner are each elected separately. Legislative branch: The bicameral Kansas Legislature 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. Judicial branch: The judicial branch of the state government is state supreme court, headed by the Kansas Supreme Court. The court has seven judges. A vacancy is filled by the Governor picking one of three nominees selected by the nine-member Kansas Supreme Court Nominating Commission. The board consists of five Kansas lawyers elected by other Kansas lawyers and four members selected by the governor.


Political culture

Since the 1930s, Kansas has remained one of the most socially conservative states in the nation. The 1990s brought the defeat of prominent Democrats, including Dan Glickman, and the Kansas State Board of Education's 1999 decision to eliminate 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. Kansas's path to a solid Republican state has been examined by journalist and historian Thomas Frank in his 2004 book ''What's the Matter with Kansas? (book), What's the Matter with Kansas?''. Many journalists and scholars have pointed out the growing right-wing extremism in Kansas. After the election of Donald Trump in 2016, Kansas has been called a "breeding ground for right-wing extremism." NPR reported that of the 500 insurrectionists charged at the 2021 United States Capitol attack, at least 29 were from Kansas, and had either driven or flown to the Capitol to take part in the insurrection. Max McCoy, a professor of journalism and researcher at Emporia State University reported his findings in an article in ''Kansas Reflector'' magazine, saying, "The road to the January 6th insurrection goes back to Kansas." Prior to the January 6th insurrection, White nationalists at Kansas State University started a political activist group called ''America First Students'', tied to White nationalist Nick Fuentes's AFPAC, America First movement In 2018, far-right extremists hung up anti-feminist posters at University of Kansas. The posters had phrases on them linked to the Unite the Right rally, Unite the Right Charlottesville riots, and phrases such as "Feminism is Cancer." In 2021, a school board candidate in Kansas was exposed as having been part of the neo-fascist group Proud Boys, and shared on social media a post which read, "We are advocates of a pro-western Christian theocracy with a protected white majority status." In early 2021, following the attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters, the ''Kansas City Star'' exposed right wing extremists from the Kansas City metropolitan area who participated in the attacks. Court documents say the six were among a large group that included Proud Boys who were marching toward the Capitol. “The group was engaged in various chants and response calls, including 'fuck antifa'," said a federal affidavit. In late 2018 and early 2019, far-right chalking, chalk messages began to appear on the campus of the University of Kansas. Stickers depicting the Kekistan flag and Pepe the Frog were placed near entrances of several classrooms and dorms, and a giant mural depicting a "Groyper", a white nationalist symbol, was drawn in front of Wescoe Hall with the phrasing "America First" at the end of the spring 2019 semester. Despite the history of far-right extremism, Kansas has a history of many progressive firsts in legislative initiatives - it was the first state to institute a system of workers' compensation (1910) and to regulate the Security (finance), securities industry (1911). Kansas also permitted women's suffrage in 1912, almost a decade before the federal constitution was amended to require it Suffrage in all states would not be guaranteed until ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. The council–manager government model 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, notably the Tom Pendergast, Pendergast Machine in neighboring Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas was also at the center of ''Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, Topeka'', a 1954 Supreme Court decision that banned racially segregated schools throughout the U.S, though, infamously, many Kansas residents opposed the decision, and it led to protests in Topeka after the verdict. The state backed Republican Presidential Candidates Wendell Willkie and Thomas E. Dewey in 1940 and 1944, respectively, breaking ranks with the majority of the country in the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Kansas also supported Dewey in 1948 despite the presence of incumbent president Harry S. Truman, who hailed from Independence, Missouri, approximately east of the Kansas–Missouri state line. Since Roosevelt carried Kansas in 1932, only one Democrat has won Kansas's electoral votes since, Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. In 2008, Democrat Governor Kathleen Sebelius vetoed permits for the construction of new coal-fired energy plants in Kansas, saying: "We know that greenhouse gases contribute to climate change. As an agricultural state, Kansas is particularly vulnerable. Therefore, reducing pollutants benefits our state not only in the short term—but also for generations of Kansans to come." However, shortly after Mark Parkinson became governor in 2009 upon Sebelius's resignation to become Secretary of U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Parkinson announced a compromise plan to allow construction of a coal-fired plant. In 2010, Republican Sam Brownback was elected governor with 63 percent of the state vote. He was sworn in as governor in 2011, Kansas's first Republican governor in eight years. Brownback had established himself as a conservative member of the U.S. Senate in years prior, but made several controversial decisions after becoming governor, leading to a 23% approval rating among registered voters - the lowest of any governor in the United States. In May 2011, much to the opposition of art leaders and enthusiasts in the state, Brownback eliminated the Kansas Arts Commission, making Kansas the first state without an arts agency. In July 2011, Brownback announced plans to close the Lawrence branch of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services as a cost-saving measure. Hundreds rallied against the decision. Lawrence City Commission later voted to provide the funding needed to keep the branch open. Democrat Laura Kelly defeated former Secretary of State of Kansas Kris Kobach in the 2018 Kansas gubernatorial election, 2018 election for Governor with 48.0% of the vote.


National politics

File:United States presidential election in Kansas, 2016.svg, upright=1.4 The state's current delegation to the Congress of the United States includes Republican Party (United States), Republican Senators Jerry Moran of Manhattan, Kansas, Manhattan, and Roger Marshall (politician), Roger Marshall of Great Bend, Kansas, Great Bend. In the House of Representatives, Kansas is represented by Republican Representatives Tracey Mann of Quinter, Kansas, Quinter (1st Congressional District of Kansas, District 1), Jake LaTurner of Pittsburg, Kansas, Pittsburg (2nd Congressional District of Kansas, District 2), Ron Estes of
Wichita Wichita ( ) may refer to: People *Wichita people, a Native American tribe *Wichita language, the language of the tribe Places in the United States * Wichita, Kansas, a city * Wichita County, Kansas, a county in western Kansas (city of Wichita is ...
(4th Congressional District of Kansas, District 4), and Democratic Representative Sharice Davids of
Kansas City The Kansas City metropolitan area is a bi-state metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories under the same administrative ...
(3rd Congressional District of Kansas, District 3) Davids is the second Native American to represent Kansas in Congress, after Republican Charles Curtis (Kaw people, Kaw). Historically, Kansas has been strongly Republican, dating from the Antebellum era, Antebellum age when the Republican Party was created out of the movement opposing the extension of slavery into Kansas Territory. Kansas has not elected a Democratic Party (United States), Democrat to the U.S. Senate since the 1932 election, when Franklin D. Roosevelt won his first term as president in the wake of the Great Depression. This is the longest Senate losing streak for either party in a single state. Senator Sam Brownback was a candidate for the Republican party nomination for president in 2008. Brownback was not a candidate for re-election to a third full term in 2010, but he was elected Governor in that year's general election. Moran defeated Tiahrt for the Republican nomination for Brownback's seat in the August 2010 primary, then won a landslide general election victory over Democrat Lisa Johnston. The only non-Republican presidential candidates Kansas has given its electoral vote to are Populist James Baird Weaver, James Weaver and Democrats Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt (twice), and Lyndon B. Johnson, Lyndon Johnson. In 2004, George W. Bush won the state's six electoral votes by an overwhelming margin of 25 percentage points with 62% of the vote. The only two counties to support Democrat John Kerry in that election were Wyandotte County, Kansas, Wyandotte, which contains
Kansas City The Kansas City metropolitan area is a bi-state metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories under the same administrative ...
, and Douglas County, Kansas, Douglas, home to the University of Kansas, located in
Lawrence Lawrence may refer to: Education Colleges and universities * Lawrence Technological University Lawrence Technological University (LTU), frequently referred to as Lawrence Tech, is a private university Private universities (and private colleg ...
. The 2008 election brought similar results as John McCain won the state with 57% of the votes. Douglas, Wyandotte, and Crawford County, Kansas, Crawford County were the only counties in support of President Barack Obama. Abilene was the boyhood home to Republican president Dwight D. Eisenhower, and he maintained lifelong ties to family and friends there. Kansas was the adult home of two losing Republican candidates (Governor Alf Landon in 1936 United States presidential election, 1936 and Senator Bob Dole in 1996 United States presidential election, 1996). The ''New York Times'' reported in September 2014 that as the Democratic candidate for Senator has tried to drop out of the race, independent Greg Orman has attracted enough bipartisan support to seriously challenge the reelection bid of Republican Pat Roberts: :Kansas politics have been roiled in recent years. The rise of the Tea Party and the election of President Obama have prompted Republicans to embrace a purer brand of conservatism and purge what had long been a robust moderate wing from its ranks. Mr. Roberts has sought to adapt to this new era, voting against spending bills that included projects for the state that he had sought.


State laws

The legal drinking age in Kansas is 21. In lieu of the state retail sales tax, a 10% Liquor Drink Tax is collected for liquor consumed on the licensed premises and an 8% Liquor Enforcement Tax is collected on retail purchases. Although the sale of cereal malt beverage (also known as 3.2 beer) was legalized in 1937, the first post-Prohibition in the United States, Prohibition legalization of alcoholic liquor did not occur until the Kansas Constitution, state's constitution was amended in 1948. The following year the Kansas Legislature, Legislature enacted the Liquor Control Act which created a system of regulating, licensing, and taxing, and the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) was created to enforce the act. The power to regulate cereal malt beverage remains with the cities and counties. Liquor-by-the-drink did not become legal until passage of an amendment to the state's constitution in 1986 and additional legislation the following year. As of November 2006, Kansas still has 29 dry county, dry counties and only 17 counties have passed liquor-by-the-drink with no food sales requirement. Today there are more than 2,600 liquor and 4,000 cereal malt beverage licensees in the state.


Education

Education in Kansas is governed at the primary and secondary school level by the Kansas State Board of Education. The state's public colleges and universities are supervised by the Kansas Board of Regents. Twice since 1999 the Board of Education has approved changes in the state science curriculum standards that encouraged the teaching of intelligent design. Both times, the standards were reversed after changes in the composition of the board in the next election.


Culture


Music

The rock band Kansas (band), Kansas was formed in the state capital of Topeka, Kansas, Topeka, the hometown of several of the band's members. Joe Walsh, guitarist for the famous rock band the Eagles (band), Eagles, was born in Wichita. Danny Carey, drummer for the band Tool (band), Tool, was raised in Paola. Singers from Kansas include Leavenworth, Kansas, Leavenworth native Melissa Etheridge, Sharon, Kansas, Sharon native Martina McBride, Chanute, Kansas, Chanute native Jennifer Knapp (whose first album was titled ''Kansas (Jennifer Knapp album), Kansas''),
Kansas City The Kansas City metropolitan area is a bi-state metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories under the same administrative ...
native Janelle Monáe, and Liberal, Kansas, Liberal native Jerrod Niemann. The state anthem is the American classic Home on the Range, written by Kansan Brewster Higley. Another song, the official state march adopted by the Kansas Legislature in 1935 is called ''The Kansas March'', which features the lyrics, "Blue sky above us, silken strands of heat, Rim of the far horizon, where earth and heaven meet, Kansas as a temple, stands in velvet sod, Shrine which the sunshine, sanctifies to God."


Literature

The state's most famous appearance in literature was as the home of Dorothy Gale, the main character in the novel ''The Wonderful Wizard of Oz'' (1900). Laura Ingalls Wilder's ''Little House on the Prairie (novel), Little House on the Prairie'', published in 1935, is another well-known tale about Kansas. Kansas was also the setting of the 1965 best-seller ''In Cold Blood'', described by its author Truman Capote as a "nonfiction novel". Mixing fact and fiction, the book chronicles the events and aftermath of the 1959 murder of a wealthy farmer and his family who lived in the small West Kansas town of Holcomb, Kansas, Holcomb in Finney County. The fictional town of Smallville, Kansas is the childhood home of Clark Kent/Superman in American comic books published by DC Comics. Also Keystone City is a Kansas city where The Flash works and lives. The science fiction novella ''A Boy and His Dog'', as well as the A Boy and His Dog (1975 film), film based on it, take place in post-apocalyptic Topeka, Kansas, Topeka. The winner of the 2011 Newbery Medal for excellence in children's literature, ''Moon Over Manifest'', tells the story of a young and adventurous girl named Abilene who is sent to the fictional town of Manifest, Kansas, by her father in the summer of 1936. It was written by Kansan Clare Vanderpool.
Lawrence Lawrence may refer to: Education Colleges and universities * Lawrence Technological University Lawrence Technological University (LTU), frequently referred to as Lawrence Tech, is a private university Private universities (and private colleg ...
is the setting for a number of science fiction writer James Gunn (author), James Gunn's novels.


Film

The first film theater in Kansas was the Patee Theater in
Lawrence Lawrence may refer to: Education Colleges and universities * Lawrence Technological University Lawrence Technological University (LTU), frequently referred to as Lawrence Tech, is a private university Private universities (and private colleg ...
. Most theaters at the time showed films only as part of vaudeville acts but not as an exclusive and stand alone form of entertainment. Though the Patee family had been involved in vaudeville, they believed films could carry the evening without other variety acts, but in order to show the films it was necessary for the Patee's to establish a generating plant (back in 1903 Lawrence was not yet fully electrified). The Patee Theater was one of the first of its kind west of the
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the List of longest rivers of the United States (by main stem), second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest Drainage system (geomorphology), drainage system on the North American continent, second only to ...

Mississippi River
. The specialized equipment like the projector came from New York City, New York. Kansas has been the setting of many award-winning and popular American films, as well as being the home of some of the oldest operating cinemas in the world. The Plaza Cinema in Ottawa, Kansas, located in the northeastern portion of the state, was built on May 22, 1907, and it is listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest operating cinema in the world. In 1926, The Jayhawk Theatre, an art-deco movie house in Topeka opened its doors for the first time to movie going audiences, and today, in addition to screenings of independent films, the theatre acts as a venue for plays and concerts. The Fox Theater in Hutchinson was built in 1930, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989. Like the other theaters listed here, The Fox still plays first run movies to this day. * As was the case with the novel, Dorothy Gale (portrayed by Judy Garland) in the 1939 fantasy film The Wizard of Oz (1939 film), ''The Wizard of Oz'' was a young girl who lived in Kansas with her aunt and uncle. The line, "We're not in Kansas anymore", has entered into the English language, English lexicon as a phrase describing a wholly new and/or unexpected situation. * The 1967 feature film In Cold Blood (film), ''In Cold Blood'', like the book on which it was based, was set in various locations across Kansas. Many of the scenes in the film were filmed at the exact locations where the events profiled in the book took place. A In Cold Blood (miniseries), 1996 TV miniseries was also based on the book. * The 1988 film ''Kansas (film), Kansas'' starred Andrew McCarthy as a traveler who met up with a dangerous wanted drifter played by Matt Dillon. * The 2005 film Capote (film), ''Capote'', for which Philip Seymour Hoffman was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of the title character, profiled the author as he traveled across Kansas while writing ''In Cold Blood'' (although most of the film itself was shot in the Canadian province of Manitoba). * The setting of ''The Day After'', a 1983 made-for-television movie about a fictional nuclear attack, was the city of
Lawrence Lawrence may refer to: Education Colleges and universities * Lawrence Technological University Lawrence Technological University (LTU), frequently referred to as Lawrence Tech, is a private university Private universities (and private colleg ...
. * Due to the super hero Superman growing up in the fictional Smallville, Kansas, multiple films featuring the super hero have been entirely or at least partially set in Kansas including ''Superman (1978 film), Superman'' (1978), ''Superman III'' (1983), ''Man of Steel (film), Man of Steel'' (2013), ''Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice'' (2016), and ''Justice League (film), Justice League'' (2017). * The 2012 film Looper (film), ''Looper'' is set in Kansas. * The 1973 film Paper Moon (film), ''Paper Moon'' in which Tatum O'Neal won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (The youngest to win an Academy Award) was based in and filmed in Kansas. The film was shot in the small towns of Hays; McCracken, Kansas, McCracken; Wilson, Kansas, Wilson; and St. Joseph, Missouri. Various shooting locations include the Midland Hotel at Wilson; the railway depot at Gorham, Kansas, Gorham; storefronts and buildings on Main Street in White Cloud, Kansas, White Cloud; Hays; sites on both sides of the
Missouri River The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. Rising in the Rocky Mountains of the Eastern Centennial Mountains of Southwestern Montana, the Missouri flows east and south for before entering the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, ...
; Rulo Bridge; and Saint Joseph, Missouri. * Scenes of the 1996 film Mars Attacks! took place in the fictional town of Perkinsville. Scenes taking place in Kansas were filmed in Burns, Kansas, Burns,
Lawrence Lawrence may refer to: Education Colleges and universities * Lawrence Technological University Lawrence Technological University (LTU), frequently referred to as Lawrence Tech, is a private university Private universities (and private colleg ...
, and
Wichita Wichita ( ) may refer to: People *Wichita people, a Native American tribe *Wichita language, the language of the tribe Places in the United States * Wichita, Kansas, a city * Wichita County, Kansas, a county in western Kansas (city of Wichita is ...
. * The 2007 film ''The Lookout'' is set mostly in Kansas (although filmed in Canada). Specifically two locations; Kansas City and the fictional town of Noel, Kansas. * The 2012 documentary ''The Gridiron'' was filmed at The University of Kansas * The 2014 ESPN documentary ''No Place Like Home (2014 film), No Place Like Home'' was filmed in Lawrence and the countryside of Douglas County, Kansas * The 2017 film ''Thank You for Your Service'' is primarily set in Kansas, including the cities of
Topeka Topeka ( ; Kansa: ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, state, province, or other administrative region, usua ...
and Junction City. * The 2017 documentary ''When Kings Reigned'' was filmed in Lawrence. * The 2019 film ''Brightburn'' took place in the fictional town of Brightburn. As is evident with scenes in the film depicting mountains (Kansas has no mountain ranges), it was filmed in Georgia instead of in Kansas.


Television

* The protagonist brothers of the 2005 TV show ''Supernatural (U.S. TV series), Supernatural'' hail from Lawrence, with the city referenced numerous times on the show. * 2006 TV series ''Jericho (2006 TV series), Jericho'' was based in the fictitious town of Jericho, Kansas, surviving post-nuclear America. * Early seasons of ''Smallville'', about Superman as a teenager, were based in a fictional town of Smallville (comics), Smallville, Kansas. Unlike most other adaptations of the Superman story, the series also places the fictional city of Metropolis (comics), Metropolis in western Kansas, a few hours from Smallville. * ''Gunsmoke'', a radio series western, ran from 1952 to 1961, took place in Dodge City, Kansas. * ''Gunsmoke'', television series, the longest running prime time show of the 20th century, ran from September 10, 1955 to March 31, 1975 for a total of 635 episodes. * The 2009 Showtime (TV channel), Showtime series ''United States of Tara'' is set in Overland Park, a suburb of Kansas City.


Sports


Professional

Sporting Kansas City, who have played their home games at Village West in
Kansas City The Kansas City metropolitan area is a bi-state metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories under the same administrative ...
, since 2008, are the first top-tier Major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, professional sports league and first Major League Soccer team to be located within Kansas. In 2011 the team moved to their new home, a $165m soccer specific stadium now known as Children's Mercy Park. Historically, Kansans have supported the Major professional sports leagues of Canada and the United States, major league sports teams of Kansas City, Missouri, including the Kansas City Royals (Major League Baseball, MLB), and the Kansas City Chiefs (National Football League, NFL), in part because the home stadiums for these teams are a few miles from the Kansas border. The Chiefs and the Royals play at the Truman Sports Complex, located about from the Kansas–Missouri state line. FC Kansas City, a charter member of the National Women's Soccer League, played the 2013 National Women's Soccer League season, 2013 season, the first for both the team and the league, on the Kansas side of the metropolitan area, but played on the Missouri side until folding after the 2017 National Women's Soccer League season, 2017 season. From 1973 to 1997 the Flagship station, flagship radio station for the Royals was WIBW (AM), WIBW in Topeka. Some Kansans, mostly from the westernmost parts of the state, support the professional sports teams of
Denver Denver () is a List of municipalities in Colorado#Consolidated city and county, consolidated city and county, the List of capitals in the United States#State capital, capital, and List of municipalities in Colorado#, most populous city of th ...
, particularly the Denver Broncos of the NFL. Two major auto racing facilities are located in Kansas. The Kansas Speedway located in Kansas City hosts races of the NASCAR, IndyCar Series, IndyCar, and Auto Racing Club of America, ARCA circuits. Also, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) holds drag racing events at Heartland Park Topeka. The Sports Car Club of America has its national headquarters in Topeka.


=History

= The history of professional sports in Kansas probably dates from the establishment of the minor league baseball Topeka Capitals and Leavenworth Soldiers in 1886 in the Western League (original), Western League. The African-American Bud Fowler played on the Topeka team that season, one year before the "Baseball color line, color line" descended on professional baseball. In 1887, the Western League was dominated by a reorganized Topeka team called the Topeka Golden Giants (1887), Golden Giants: a high-priced collection of major leaguer players, including Bug Holliday, Jim Conway (baseball), Jim Conway, Dan Stearns, Perry Werden and Jimmy Macullar, which won the league by 15½ games. On April 10, 1887, the Golden Giants also won an exhibition game from the defending 1886 World Series, World Series champions, the St. Louis Browns (NL), St. Louis Browns (the present-day Cardinals), by a score of 12–9. However, Topeka was unable to support the team, and it disbanded after one year. The first night game in the history of professional baseball was played in Independence on April 28, 1930 when the Muscogee (Oklahoma) Indians beat the Independence Producers 13–3 in a minor league game sanctioned by the Western League of the Western Baseball Association with 1,500 fans attending the game. The permanent lighting system was first used for an exhibition game on April 17, 1930 between the Independence Producers and House of David semi-professional baseball team of Benton Harbor, Michigan with the Independence team winning 9–1 before a crowd of 1,700 spectators.


College

The governing body for intercollegiate sports in the United States, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), was headquartered in Johnson County, Kansas from 1952 until moving to Indianapolis in 1999.


=NCAA Division I schools

= While there are no franchises of the four major professional sports within the state, many Kansans are fans of the state's major college sports teams, especially the Kansas Jayhawks, Jayhawks of the University of Kansas (KU), and the Kansas State Wildcats, Wildcats of Kansas State University (KSU or "K-State"). The teams are rivals in the Big 12 Conference. Both KU and K-State have tradition-rich programs in men's basketball. The Jayhawks are a perennial national power, ranking second in all-time victories among NCAA programs, behind Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball, Kentucky. The Jayhawks have won five national titles, including NCAA tournament championships in 1952, 1988, and 2008. They also were retroactively awarded national championships by the Helms Foundation for 1922 and 1923. K-State also had a long stretch of success on the hardwood, lasting from the 1940s to the 1980s, making four Final Fours during that stretch. In 1988, KU and K-State met in the Elite Eight, KU taking the game 71–58. After a 12-year absence, the Wildcats returned to the NCAA tournament in 2008, and advanced to the Elite Eight in 2010 and 2018. KU is fifth all-time with 15 Final Four appearances, while K-State's four appearances are tied for 17th. Conversely, success on the American football, gridiron has been less frequent for both KSU and KU. However, there have been recent breakthroughs for both schools' football teams. The Jayhawks won the Orange Bowl (game), Orange Bowl for the first time in three tries in 2008, capping a 12–1 season, the best in school history. And when Bill Snyder arrived to coach at K-State in 1989, he turned the Wildcats from one of the worst college football programs in America, into a national force for most of the 1990s and early 2000s. The team won the Fiesta Bowl in 1997, achieved an undefeated (11–0) regular season and No.1 ranking in 1998, and took the Big 12 Conference championship in 2003. After three seasons in which K-State football languished, Snyder came out of retirement in 2009 and guided them to the top of the college football ranks again, finishing second in the Big 12 in 2011 and earning a berth in the Cotton Bowl Classic, Cotton Bowl, and winning the Big 12 again in 2012. Wichita State University, which also fields teams (called the Wichita State Shockers, Shockers) in NCAA Division I, Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, NCAA, is best known for its baseball and basketball programs. In baseball, the Shockers won the College World Series in 1989. In men's basketball, they appeared in the Final Four in 1965 and 2013, and entered the 2014 NCAA tournament unbeaten. The school also fielded a American football, football team from 1897 to 1986. The Shocker football team is tragically known for a Wichita State University football team plane crash, plane crash in 1970 that killed 31 people, including 14 players.


=NCAA Division II schools

= Notable success has also been achieved by the state's smaller schools in football. Pittsburg State University, an NCAA Division II participant, has claimed four national titles in football, two in the NAIA and most recently the 2011 NCAA Division II national title. Pittsburg State became the winningest NCAA Division II football program in 1995. PSU passed Hillsdale College at the top of the all-time victories list in the 1995 season on its march to the national runner-up finish. The Gorillas, in 96 seasons of intercollegiate competition, have accumulated 579 victories, posting a 579–301–48 overall mark. Washburn University, in Topeka, won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, NAIA Men's Basketball Championship in 1987. The Fort Hays State University men won the 1996 NCAA Division II title with a 34–0 record, and the Washburn women won the 2005 NCAA Division II crown. St. Benedict's College (now Benedictine College), in Atchison, won the 1954 and 1967 Men's NAIA Basketball Championships. The Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference has its roots as one of the oldest college sport conferences in existence and participates in the NAIA and all ten member schools are in the state of Kansas. Other smaller school conferences that have some members in Kansas are the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference, the Midwest Christian College Conference, and the Heart of America Athletic Conference. Many junior colleges also have active athletic programs. Emporia State's women's basketball team, under head coach Brandon Schneider, who is now serving as the women's basketball coach at the University of Kansas, has seen success as well. In 2010 the team won the NCAA Division II National Championship. Emporia State and Washburn in Topeka share a heated rivalry in all sports, mostly due to the close proximity of both cities.


=Junior colleges

= The Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference has been heralded as one of the best conferences in all of NJCAA football, with Garden City Community College, Independence Community College, and Butler County Community College all consistently in contention for national championships.


High school

The Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) is the organization which oversees interscholastic competition in the state of Kansas at the high school level. It oversees both athletic and non-athletic competition, and sponsors championships in several sports and activities. The association is perhaps best known for devising the overtime system now used for almost all football games below the professional level (which has also been adopted at all levels of Canadian football).


See also

* Index of Kansas-related articles * Outline of Kansas * List of Kansas landmarks * List of people from Kansas * National Register of Historic Places listings in Kansas


Notes


References


Bibliography

* ; 559 pages. * ; 535 pages. * ; 1204 pages. * ; 5 volumes; 2731 pages;
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Hathi Trust

Internet Archive
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External links


State of Kansas
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Kansas Travel and Tourism Division

Kansas Historical Society

Kansas Memory
documents, photographs, and other primary sources provided by the Kansas Historical Society
Kansas State Agency Databases
Annotated list of searchable databases produced by Kansas state agencies
USGS real-time, geographic, and other scientific resources of Kansas

Kansas State Facts from USDA
Maps
Kansas Department of Transportation maps
:* . :* . * . * * . {{coord, 38.4937, -98.3804, dim:300000_region:US-KS_type:adm1st, name=State of Kansas, display=title Kansas, 1861 establishments in Kansas Midwestern United States States and territories established in 1861 States of the United States U.S. states with multiple time zones Contiguous United States