Kansas is a Midwest US state with a firm place in popular culture, and it’s currently thought to be home to almost three million people at the last count. It borders several other big states in the Midwest, and it has more than a few fascinating pieces of historical trivia to its name!
How much do you know about this state? Let’s dive into a stack of interesting facts about Kansas worth remembering.
Kansas has a couple of nicknames, as do other states in the US. Many people will refer to Kansas either as the ‘Sunflower State’, or as the ‘Jayhawk State’. In fact, the state flower is the sunflower, which you’ll see growing in fields widespread across the Midwest.
Of course, Kansas is famous as the home location of Dorothy Gale from the book and movie ‘The Wizard of Oz’. There is, in fact, a replica of Dorothy’s farm home which fans of the movie can still visit to this day.
While Chicago may hold the title of ‘The Windy City’, Dodge City in fact holds the title for experiencing the biggest, fiercest winds of any city in the US.
Kansas State Flag
Smith County, Kansas, is thought to be the perfect centre of all 48 states on the US mainland. That means the state could be considered the middle of the US to a fault.
Kansas gets its name from the Sioux who once lived in the area. The word ‘Kansas’ is thought to refer to ‘people of the Southwind’.
Famous people who have hailed from Kansas include legendary pilot Amelia Earhart, actor Dennis Hopper, activist Erin Brockovich, and silent comedy legend Buster Keaton.
88% of Kansas is actually farmland – hence all the sunflowers!
However, the state is still the 34th most-populated in all of the US.
The unfavourable title of ‘Bleeding Kansas’ came about as a result of fighting between people who argued on the legitimacy of slavery. The state was offered the chance to vote between keeping slavery or abolishing it. Citizens eventually voted to abolish.
Kansas is the birthplace of the modern helicopter, with inventors Purvis and Wilson having built their first model here in 1909.
The state is also the birthplace of the restaurant chain Pizza Hut, as the first branch appeared in Wichita in 1958. White Castle, the popular US burger chain, has roots in the same area, opening up in 1921.
The first African-American woman to win an Academy Award hailed from Kansas. Hattie McDaniel was lauded for her part in Gone With the Wind.
The amount of farming which takes place in the state is truly staggering. In 1990, records were set when the state produced enough wheat for bread to offer six loaves to every single person worldwide.
Kansas is often under threat from tornadoes, likely to face over 60 of them per year, to often devastating effect. Therefore, homes here are built to be extraordinarily steadfast!
Do you know any interesting or fun facts about Kansas that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!