“To the Stars through Difficulties.” The motto of my home state, Kansas. Or, as I’ve often referred to it since moving away, “The Motherland.” It’s where I’m from. It has shaped my history and influenced my life in every possible way. Admittedly, I am more fond of the place since being away from it, but the distance has allowed me to truly appreciate the fact that I was raised in such a grounded place, surrounded by salt-of-the-earth people. So, in honor of Kansas Day, the state’s 156th birthday, I give you some fun facts about one of my favorite places.
Did you know…
- The word Kansas comes from a Sioux word that means “people of the south wind.”
- State symbols include the sunflower, the Western Meadowlark, the Buffalo, and the Cottonwood tree.
- Famous Kansans include: Dwight D. Eisenhower, Amelia Earhart, Walter Chrysler, Carrie Nation, William Allen White, Gordon Parks, Bob Dole, etc.
- The land that would later form the state of Kansas was part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803
- The very first Pizza Hut was opened in Wichita
- Kansas was the first state to ratify the 15th Amendment
- The inventors of the dial telephone and the helicopter were from Kansas
Finally, I would be remiss if I did not include a list of some of my favorite Kansas things. In no particular order…
- Kansas State Fair
- Kansas Cosmosphere
- The Kansas Jayhawks
- Pretty Prairie Skating Rink
- Walter’s Pumpkin Patch
Happy Kansas Day!