The Kansas Portal

Kansas (/ˈkænzəs/ ) is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States. Kansas is a landlocked state which borders Nebraska to the north; Missouri to the east; Oklahoma to the south; and Colorado to the west. Kansas is named after the Kansas River, in turn named after the Kansa people. Its capital is Topeka, and its most populous city is Wichita, however the largest urban area is the bi-state Kansas City, MO–KS metropolitan area.

For thousands of years, what is now Kansas was home to numerous and diverse Indigenous tribes. The first settlement of non-indigenous people in Kansas occurred in 1827 at Fort Leavenworth. The pace of settlement accelerated in the 1850s, in the midst of political wars over the slavery debate. When it was officially opened to settlement by the U.S. government in 1854 with the Kansas–Nebraska Act, conflict between abolitionist Free-Staters from New England and pro-slavery settlers from neighboring Missouri broke out over the question of whether Kansas would become a free state or a slave state, in a period known as Bleeding Kansas. On January 29, 1861, Kansas entered the Union as a free state, hence the unofficial nickname "The Free State". Passage of the Homestead Acts in 1862 brought a further influx of settlers, and the booming cattle trade of the 1870s attracted some of the Wild West's most iconic figures to western Kansas.

As of 2015, Kansas was among the most productive agricultural states, producing high yields of wheat, corn, sorghum, and soybeans. In addition to its traditional strength in agriculture, Kansas possesses an extensive aerospace industry. Kansas, which has an area of 82,278 square miles (213,100 square kilometers) is the 15th-largest state by area, the 36th most-populous of the 50 states, with a population of 2,940,865 according to the 2020 census, and the 10th least densely populated. Residents of Kansas are called Kansans. Mount Sunflower is Kansas's highest point at 4,039 feet (1,231 meters). (Full article...)

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

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

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The European honey bee Kansas' state insect.

Important dates in Kansas' history

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


State facts

State symbols:

The American Bison, Kansas' state mammal.

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McDaniel in 1939

Hattie McDaniel (June 10, 1893 – October 26, 1952) was an American actress, singer-songwriter, and comedienne. For her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind (1939), she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, becoming the first African American to win an Oscar. She has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1975, and in 2006 became the first Black Oscar winner honored with a U.S. postage stamp. In 2010, she was inducted into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame.

In addition to acting, McDaniel recorded 16 blues sides between 1926 and 1929 and was a radio performer and television personality; she was the first Black woman to sing on radio in the United States. Although she appeared in more than 300 films, she received on-screen credits for only 83. Her best known other major films are Alice Adams, In This Our Life, Since You Went Away, and Song of the South. (Full article...)
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