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History of Kansas | Facts & Photos

Updated on February 11, 2013

Kansas: The Sunflower State

Fast facts about the State of Kansas, for an overview of Kansas history, geography, and landmarks. Every week in our homeschool, we choose a "state of the week". This lens is a record of what we learned and useful for periodic review. We hope you enjoy learning something new about Kansas!

Welcome to Kansas
Welcome to Kansas

Kansas was named after the Native American KANSA tribe.

Kansas Flag
Kansas Flag

Map of Kansas

Click on the map markers to discover more!

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A markerThe Capital -
Topeka, KS
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B markerFIrst Fort West of the Mississippi River -
Ft. Leavenworth, KS
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C markerThe Wild West -
Dodge City, KS
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D markerAir Force Base -
Wichita, KS
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E markerGeodesic Center Of the United States -
Osborne, KS
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F markerGeographic Center of the United States -
Lebanon, KS
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Do you know??

What states border Kansas?

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Kansas FREE Outline Maps

Kansas FREE Outline Maps
Kansas FREE Outline Maps

d-maps.com

is my favorite place on the web to get FREE custom outline maps!

Choose between borders, counties, cities, roads and/or water.

Kansas State Symbols

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Kansas State Mammal: American Bison (Photo by Ryan Hagerty, USFWS)Kansas State Tree: Cottonwood (Photo courtesy of Kansas Historical Society)Kansas State Flower: Sunflower (Photo by Bruce Fritz, USDA, ARS)Kansas State Bird: Western Meadowlark (Photo by Will Elder, NPS)Kansas State Amphibian: Barred Tiger Salamander (Photo Wikimedia Commons)
Kansas State Mammal: American Bison (Photo by Ryan Hagerty, USFWS)
Kansas State Mammal: American Bison (Photo by Ryan Hagerty, USFWS)
Kansas State Tree: Cottonwood (Photo courtesy of Kansas Historical Society)
Kansas State Tree: Cottonwood (Photo courtesy of Kansas Historical Society)
Kansas State Flower: Sunflower (Photo by Bruce Fritz, USDA, ARS)
Kansas State Flower: Sunflower (Photo by Bruce Fritz, USDA, ARS)
Kansas State Bird: Western Meadowlark (Photo by Will Elder, NPS)
Kansas State Bird: Western Meadowlark (Photo by Will Elder, NPS)
Kansas State Amphibian: Barred Tiger Salamander (Photo Wikimedia Commons)
Kansas State Amphibian: Barred Tiger Salamander (Photo Wikimedia Commons)
Click to Play!
Click to Play!

Kansas Symbol Game

 

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Kansas State Seal and Motto

On May 25, 1861, the Kansas State Legislature adopted the state's seal with this design:

  1. The east is represented by a rising sun in the right-hand corner of the seal.
  2. To the left of it, commerce is represented by a river and a steamboat.
  3. In the foreground, agriculture is represented as the basis of the future prosperity of the state by a settler's cabin and a man plowing with a pair of horses.
  4. Beyond this is a train of ox-wagons going west.
  5. In the background is a herd of buffalo, retreating, pursued by two Indians on horseback.
  6. Around the top is the motto, "Ad astra per aspera," meaning "To the stars through difficulties".
  7. Beneath is a cluster of thirty-four stars that identify Kansas as the 34th state to enter the Union.
  8. The circle is surrounded by the words, "Great Seal of the State of Kansas January 29, 1861."

Kansas is the Geographic Center of the USA! - Located 2 miles northwest of Lebanon, KS

Kansas Center of USA
Kansas Center of USA

In 1918, the Coast and Geodetic Survey declared this location "the Geographic Center of the United States". A stone monument with a brass plaque

was installed in 1940, before Alaska and Hawaii joined the union.

Osborne, KS is the Geodetic Center of the United States - The Geodetic Center is the point at which all measurements for North America are taken.

Roadside marker of  the Geodetic Center of the United States
Roadside marker of the Geodetic Center of the United States

The plaque is in Osbourne, the official marker is on Meade's Ranch, off the highway.

Weather in Kansas

Tornado Alley
Tornado Alley

Kansas is in Tornado Alley because it has many strong, violent tornadoes.

Kansas Agriculture - #1 Wheat and grain Sorghum producer in the nation!

Wheat harvesting
Wheat harvesting

Kansas State Song Lyrics

"Home On the Range" formerly "My Western Home."

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam,

Where the deer and the antelope play,

Where seldom is heard a discouraging word

And the sky is not clouded all day.

Chorus:

A home, a home where the deer and the antelope play,

Where seldom is heard a discouraging word

And the sky is not clouded all day.

Oh, give me the gale of the Solomon vale,

Where life streams with buoyancy flow,

On the banks of the Beaver, where seldom if ever

Any poisonous herbage doth grow.

Oh, give me the land where the bright diamond sand

Throws its light from the glittering stream

Where glideth along the graceful white swan,

Like a maid in a heavenly dream.

I love the wild flowers in this bright land of ours;

I love too the wild curley's scream,

The bluffs and white rocks and antelope flocks

That graze on the hillsides so green.

How often at night, when the heavens are bright

With the light of the glittering stars,

Have I stood here amazed and asked as I gazed

If their glory exceeds this of ours.

The air is so pure, the breezes so free,

The zephyrs so balmy and light,

I would not exchange my home here to range

Forever in azure so bright.

Words by Dr. Brewster Higley, music by Dan Kellyin c 1871 or 1872.

Come back again real soon!

Leaving Kansas Sign
Leaving Kansas Sign

What do YOU like best about Kansas? - Did you learn something new?

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    • lovetolink profile image
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      lovetolink 5 years ago

      @eccles1: I agree! No tornado alley for me! I'm sure it's a wonderful place to visit :)

    • eccles1 profile image

      eccles1 5 years ago

      I didn't know Kansas was in the middle of the usa it looks beautiful but the fact it is in the Tornado Alley ? I would not sleep well ! :) I know what happened to Dorothy and Toto !