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Kansas (/ˈkænzəs/ (listen)) is a state in the Midwestern United States. Its capital is Topeka, its most populous county is Johnson County and its largest city is Wichita. Kansas is a landlocked state bordered by Nebraska to the north; Missouri to the east; Oklahoma to the south; and Colorado to the west. Kansas is named after the Kansas River, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native Americans who lived along its banks. The tribe's name (natively kką:ze) is often said to mean "people of the (south) wind" although this was probably not the term's original meaning. For thousands of years, what is now Kansas was home to numerous and diverse Native American tribes. Tribes in the eastern part of the state generally lived in villages along the river valleys. Tribes in the western part of the state were semi-nomadic and hunted large herds of bison.

The first Euro-American settlement in Kansas occurred in 1827 at Fort Leavenworth. The pace of settlement accelerated in the 1850s, in the midst of political wars over the slavery debate. When it was officially opened to settlement by the U.S. government in 1854 with the Kansas–Nebraska Act, abolitionist Free-Staters from New England and pro-slavery settlers from neighboring Missouri rushed to the territory to determine whether Kansas would become a free state or a slave state. Thus, the area was a hotbed of violence and chaos in its early days as these forces collided, and was known as Bleeding Kansas. The abolitionists prevailed, and on January 29, 1861, Kansas entered the Union as a free state, hence the unofficial nickname "The Free State".

By 2015, Kansas was one of the most productive agricultural states, producing high yields of wheat, corn, sorghum, and soybeans. Kansas, which has an area of 82,278 square miles (213,100 square kilometers) is the 15th-largest state by area and is the 36th 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 is Kansas's highest point at 4,039 feet (1,231 meters). (Full article...)

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Tinker with the Chicago Cubs in 1908

Joseph Bert Tinker (July 27, 1880 – July 27, 1948) was an American professional baseball player and manager. He played from 1902 through 1916 for the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Chicago Whales of the Federal League.

Born in Muscotah, Kansas, Tinker began playing semi-professional baseball in Kansas in the late 19th century. He began his professional career in 1900 in minor league baseball and made his MLB debut with the Cubs in 1902. Tinker was a member of the Chicago Cubs dynasty that won four pennants and two World Series championships between 1906 and 1910. After playing one season with Cincinnati in 1913, he became one of the first stars to jump to the upstart Federal League in 1914. After leading the Whales to the pennant in 1915, he returned to the Cubs as their player-manager in 1916, his final season in MLB. (Full article...)

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Riley (Kansas) County Courthouse 1.jpg
Credit: Kevin Zollman
Riley County Courthouse in Manhattan, Kansas.

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
Exodusters
February 19, 1881
First state to Constitutionally prohibit alcohol
1890s
Populist Revolt
July 1951
Great Flood of 1951
May 17, 1954
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

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State facts


State symbols:

The American Bison, Kansas' state mammal.

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Riley County Courthouse (2005)

Manhattan is a city and county seat of Riley County, Kansas, United States, although the city extends into Pottawatomie County. It is located in northeastern Kansas at the junction of the Kansas River and Big Blue River. As of the 2020 census, the population of the city was 55,045.

The city was founded by settlers from the New England Emigrant Aid Company as a Free-State town in the 1850s, during the Bleeding Kansas era. Nicknamed "The Little Apple" as a play on New York City's "Big Apple", Manhattan is best known as the home of Kansas State University and has a distinct college town atmosphere. (Full article...)
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General images

The following are images from various Kansas-related articles on Wikipedia.
(from Kansas)
  • Image 17Map of Indian territories, 1836 (from History of Kansas)

    Map of Indian territories, 1836 (from History of Kansas)

  • Image 18Quantrill's 1863 raid burned the town of Lawrence and killed 164 townspeople. (from History of Kansas)

    Quantrill's 1863 raid burned the town of Lawrence and killed 164 townspeople. (from History of Kansas)

  • Image 20Kansas State Capitol in Topeka (from Kansas)

    Kansas State Capitol in Topeka (from Kansas)

  • Image 21Boosterism: cover of a promotional booklet published in 1907 by the Rock Island railroad (from History of Kansas)

    Boosterism: cover of a promotional booklet published in 1907 by the Rock Island railroad (from History of Kansas)

  • Image 22David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium is the oldest football stadium west of the Mississippi River, and one of the oldest standing football stadiums in the country. Built in 1921, it is home to the Kansas Jayhawks football team (from Kansas)

    David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium is the oldest football stadium west of the Mississippi River, and one of the oldest standing football stadiums in the country. Built in 1921, it is home to the Kansas Jayhawks football team (from Kansas)

  • Image 23Kansas summer wheat and storm panorama (from Kansas)

    Kansas summer wheat and storm panorama (from Kansas)

  • Image 24Farmland and the Great Plains in central Kansas (from Kansas)

    Farmland and the Great Plains in central Kansas (from Kansas)

  • Image 25Tyler Field in Eck Stadium at Wichita State University in Wichita (from Kansas)

    Tyler Field in Eck Stadium at Wichita State University in Wichita (from Kansas)

  • Image 26John Brown about 1856 (from History of Kansas)

    John Brown about 1856 (from History of Kansas)

  • Image 27Fox Theater, Hutchinson (from Kansas)

    Fox Theater, Hutchinson (from Kansas)

  • Image 28A population density map of Kansas (from Kansas)

    A population density map of Kansas (from Kansas)

  • Image 29A festival in Lindsborg, Kansas (from Kansas)

    A festival in Lindsborg, Kansas (from Kansas)

  • Image 30Köppen climate types of Kansas, using 1991-2020 climate normals. (from Kansas)

    Köppen climate types of Kansas, using 1991-2020 climate normals. (from Kansas)

  • Image 31Reverend Charles Sheldon, Topeka resident and coiner of the phrase "What would Jesus do?" (from Kansas)

    Reverend Charles Sheldon, Topeka resident and coiner of the phrase "What would Jesus do?" (from Kansas)

  • Image 32Gove County Badlands (from Kansas)

    Gove County Badlands (from Kansas)

  • Image 33Children's Mercy Park, Kansas City (from Kansas)

    Children's Mercy Park, Kansas City (from Kansas)

  • Image 34The Great Plains of Kansas (from Kansas)

    The Great Plains of Kansas (from Kansas)

  • Milky Way over Monument Rocks, Kansas, USA (from Kansas)

    Kansas's Monument Rocks at night

  • Image 36Frank Bond's illustration of the Louisiana Purchase (from History of Kansas)

    Frank Bond's illustration of the Louisiana Purchase (from History of Kansas)

  • Image 37Clouds in northeastern Kansas (from Kansas)

    Clouds in northeastern Kansas (from Kansas)

  • Image 38The Kansas Pacific main line shown on an 1869 map (from History of Kansas)

    The Kansas Pacific main line shown on an 1869 map (from History of Kansas)

  • Image 39George Armstrong Custer led U.S. troops against Native Americans in western Kansas. (from History of Kansas)

    George Armstrong Custer led U.S. troops against Native Americans in western Kansas. (from History of Kansas)

  • Image 40Kanopolis State Park (from Kansas)

    Kanopolis State Park (from Kansas)

  • Image 41The Rio Theatre, Overland Park (from Kansas)

    The Rio Theatre, Overland Park (from Kansas)

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