Portal:Kansas

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Kansas /ˈkænzəs/ is a Midwestern state in the central region of the United States of America, an area often referred to as the American "Heartland". It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa people, who inhabited the area. The tribe's name (natively kką:ze) is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south wind", although this was probably not the term's original meaning.

Historically, the area was home to large numbers of nomadic Native Americans that hunted bison. It was first settled by European Americans in the 1830s, but the pace of settlement accelerated in the 1850s, in the midst of political wars over the slavery issue. When officially opened to settlement by the U.S. government in 1854, abolitionist Free-Staters from New England and pro-slavery settlers from neighboring Missouri rushed to the territory to determine if 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 eventually prevailed and on January 29, 1861, Kansas entered the Union as a free state. After the Civil War, the population of Kansas exploded when waves of immigrants turned the prairie into productive farmland. Today, Kansas is one of the most productive agricultural states, producing many crops, and leading the nation in wheat and sunflower production most years.

Selected article

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Fort Scott National Historic Site is a historical area under the control of the United States National Park Service in Bourbon County, Kansas, United States. Named after Mexican–American War General Winfield Scott, during the middle of the 19th century it served as a military base for army action in what was the edge of settlement in 1850. For the next quarter century, it was used as a supply base and to provide security in turbulent areas during the opening of the West to settlement, a period which included Bleeding Kansas and the American Civil War.

The current national historic site protects 20 historic structures, a parade ground, and five acres (20,000 m²) of restored tallgrass prairie, inside the city of Fort Scott. It is open to visitors most days of the year.

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Spotlight city

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Manhattan is a city located in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Kansas at the junction of the Kansas River and Big Blue River. As of the July 2005 census estimate, its population was 49,462, making it the eighth-largest city in Kansas. Manhattan is the county seat of Riley County. A small part of the town extends into Pottawatomie County. It is the principal town within the Manhattan, Kansas Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Nicknamed The Little Apple in 1977 as a play on New York City's "Big Apple," it is most well known for being the home of Kansas State University. Eight miles (13 km) west of the town is Fort Riley, a United States Army post. In 2007, CNN and Money magazine rated Manhattan as one of the ten best places in America to retire young.

Selected picture

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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.

Selected biography

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Laura Mae Cobb (May 11, 1892–September 27, 1981) was a member of the United States Navy Nurse Corps who served during World War II. She received numerous decorations for her actions during the defense of Manila and her 37 months as a POW of the Japanese, during which she continued to serve as Chief Nurse for ten other imprisoned Navy nurses—some of the "Angels of Bataan." She retired from the Nurse Corps as a Lieutenant Commander in 1947.

Laura Cobb was born in Atchison, Kansas on May 11, 1892, and moved with her family to Mulvane, Kansas (near Wichita) the following year. She graduated from Mulvane High School in 1910, taught school for a time, entered the nursing training program at Wesley Hospital in Wichita in 1915, and graduated from that program in 1918.

Cobb served as a nurse in the United States Navy from July 5, 1918, to July 21, 1921 (including brief service at the Canacao Naval Hospital in Manila at the end of World War I), and then worked in civilian hospitals in Iowa and Michigan for three years. She rejoined the Navy in April 1924 and served in naval hospitals throughout the US in the 1920s and 1930s. After serving for more than a decade in a naval hospital in Washington DC, rumors of war prompted her to request "to go overseas because someone had to go." She was subsequently transferred to the naval hospital on Guam in April 1940, where she received a commendation for "continuous duty for forty-eight hours, during which she repeatedly risked life and limb in her efforts to insure the safety and comfort of the patients..." during the typhoon of November 3, 1940. (Read more...)

Kansas news

Wikinews Kansas portal
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  • Kansas City Chiefs athlete commits murder-suicide
  • Matt Kenseth wins third NASCAR Sprint Cup race of 2012
  • Wikinews Shorts: April 14, 2012
  • US Army sergeant charged with seventeen Afghan murders
  • Deadly tornadoes blast U.S. Midwest leaving 39 dead

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