Kansas Day

Today is Kansas' Sesquicentennial Anniversary, which is 150 years for those of you not familiar with the term sesquicentennial.

Here are some "fast facts" about the Sunflower State...learning is fun!

A ball of twine in Cawker City measures over 38' in circumference and weighs more than 16,750 pounds and is still growing.
A grain elevator in Hutchinson is 1/2 mile long and holds 46 million bushels in its 1,000 bins.

South of Ashland the Rock Island Bridge is the longest railroad bridge of its kind. It measures 1,200 feet long and is 100 feet above the Cimarron River.

At Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine waterbeds for horses are used in surgery.

Kansas won the award for most beautiful license plate for the wheat plate design issued in 1981.

Dodge City is the windiest city in the United States.

At one time it was against the law to serve ice cream on cherry pie in Kansas.

The first woman mayor in the United States was Susan Madora Salter. She was elected to office in Argonia in 1887.

The first black woman to win an Academy Award was Kansan Hattie McDaniel. She won the award for her role in "Gone with the Wind."

Kansas inventors include Almon Stowger of El Dorado who invented the dial telephone in 1889; William Purvis and Charles Wilson of Goodland who invented the helicopter in 1909; and Omar Knedlik of Coffeyville who invented the first frozen carbonated drink machine in 1961.

Smith County is the geographical center of the 48 contiguous states.

Amelia Earhart, first woman granted a pilot's license by the National Aeronautics Associate and first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean was from Atchison.

Dwight D. Eisenhower from Abilene was the 34th President of the United States.

Silent comedian Buster Keaton, of early film success, was from Piqua, Kansas.

The three largest herds of buffalo (correctly called bison) in Kansas are located on public lands at the Maxwell Game Preserve (McPherson), Big Basin (Ashland), and Buffalo Game Preserve (Garden City).

Fort Riley, between Junction City and Manhattan, was the cradle of the United States Cavalry for 83 years. George Custer formed the famed 7th Cavalry there in 1866. Ten years later, at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, the 7th was virtually wiped out. The only Cavalry survivor was a horse named Comanche.

Wyatt Earp, James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok and William B. "Bat" Masterson were three of the legendary lawmen who kept the peace in rowdy frontier towns like Abilene, Dodge City, Ellsworth, Hays, and Wichita.

The public swimming pool at the Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City occupies half a city block and holds 2 1/2 million gallons of water.

Cedar Crest is the name of the governor's mansion in Topeka, the state capital.

Barton County is the only Kansas County that is named for a woman; the famous volunteer Civil War nurse Clara Barton.

The Arkansas River may be the only river whose pronunciation changes as it crosses state lines. In Kansas, it is called the Arkansas (ahr-KAN-zuhs). On both sides of Kansas (Colorado and Oklahoma), it is called the Arkansaw.

Civil War veteran S.P. Dinsmoor used over 100 tons of concrete to build the Garden of Eden in Lucas. Even the flag above the mausoleum is made of concrete.

Handel's Messiah has been presented in Lindsborgeach at Easter since 1889.

A monument to the first Christian martyr on United States Territory stands along Highway 56 near Lyons. Father Juan de Padilla came to the region with the explorer Coronado in 1541.

Hutchinson is nicknamed the Salt City because it was built above some of the richest salt deposits in the world. Salt is still actively mined, processed and shipped from Hutchinson.

There are 27 Walnut Creeks in the state.

There are more than 600 incorporated towns in the state.

Morton County sells the most trout fishing stamps of all the Kansas counties.

Fire Station No. 4 in Lawrence, originally a stone barn constructed in 1858, was a station site on the Underground Railroad.

The Hugoton Gas Field is the largest natural gas field in the United States. It underlies all or parts of 10 southwestern Kansas counties as well as parts of Oklahoma and Texas. The gas field underlies almost 8,500 square miles, an area nearly 5 times as large as the state of Rhode Island.

The Kansas Speleological Society has catalogued at least 528 caves in 37 Kansas counties. Commanche County has at least 128 caves and Barber County has at least 117 caves.

Kansas has the largest population of wild grouse in North America. The grouse is commonly called the prairie chicken.

Milford Reservoir with over 16,000 acres of water is the state's largest lake. The reservoir is located northwest of Junction City.

The Geodetic Center of North America is about 40 miles south of Lebanon at Meade's Ranch. It is the beginning point of reference for land surveying in North America. When a surveyor checks a property line, he or she is checking the position of property in relation to Meade's Ranch in northwest Kansas.

In Italy the city of Milan is 300 miles northwest of Rome. In Kansas, Milan is less than 25 miles northwest of Rome, in Sumner County.

Between 1854 and 1866, 34 steamboats paddled up the Kaw River (Kansas River). One made it as far west as Fort Riley.

In 1990 Kansas wheat farmers produced enough wheat to make 33 billion loaves of bread, or enough to provide each person on earth with 6 loaves.

Holy Cross Shrine in Pfeifer, was known as the 2 Cent Church because the building was built using a 2 cent donation on each bushel of wheat sold by members of the church.

Kansas produced a record 492.2 million bushels of wheat in 1997, enough to make 35.9 billion loaves of bread.

The American Institute of Baking is located in Manhattan.

A 30 foot tall statue of Johnny Kaw stands in Manhattan. The statue represents the importance of the Kansas wheat farmer.

The graham cracker was named after the Reverend Sylvester Graham (1794-1851). He was a Presbyterian minister who strongly believed in eating whole wheat flour products.

The rocks at Rock City are huge sandstone concretions. In an area about the size of two football fields, 200 rocks, some as large as houses, dot the landscape. There is no other place in the world where there are so many concretions of such giant size.

George Washington Carver, the famous botanical scientist who discovered more than 300 products made from the peanut, graduated from high school in Minneapolis in 1885.

The First United Methodist Church in Hutchinson was built in 1874 during the time of the grasshopper plagues. The grasshoppers came during the construction of the churches foundation but the pastor continued with the work. As a result, thousands of grasshoppers are mixed into the mortar of the original building's foundation.

A hailstone weighing more than one and a half pounds once fell on Coffeyville.

The Oregon Trail passed thru six states, including Kansas. There were no Indian attacks reported on the Oregon Trail as the travelers passed through the state.

Russell Springs located in Logan County is known as the Cow Chip Capital of Kansas.

The world famous fast-food chain of Pizza Hut restaurants opened its first store in Wichita.

Sumner County is known as The Wheat Capital of the World.
And here are some strange Kansas Laws:
Strange Kansas Laws
Rabbits may not be shot from motorboats.

Pedestrians crossing the highways at night must wear tail lights.

No one may catch fish with his bare hands.

The state game rule prohibits the use of mules to hunt ducks.

If two trains meet on the same track, neither shall proceed until the other has passed.

Strange City Laws
It is illegal to urinate on the side of a building.

Hitting a vending machine that stole your money is illegal.

Persons may not “screech” their tires while driving.

Riding an animal down any road is against the law.

Dodge City
It is illegal to spit on a sidewalk.

All cars entering the city limits must first sound their horn to warn the horses of their arrival.

No one may wear a bee in their hat.

Overland Park
One may not picket a funeral.

Musical car horns are banned.

It is against the law to leave your car running unattended.

It is illegal to drive one’s car through a parade.
No one may sing the alphabet on the streets at night.

Spitting on sidewalks is expressing forbidden.

Snowball fights are illegal.

Dead chickens may not be hauled across Kansas Avenue.

The ‘Wild West’ is long gone it seems, for driving your herd of cattle through this town is now outlawed.

No matter how nice it may be, a pet Pit Bull is not allowed within the city limits.

No one may scream at a haunted house.

The installation of bathtubs is prohibited.

One can be sent to jail for up to a year for making lewd comments over the telephone.

Don’t get carried away in the city parks.

One must get a permit from the city if they wish to take dirt from the airport.

Hopefully everyone in the city has a trash can, because dumping their waste in a city pool is against the law.

Before proceeding through the intersection of Douglas and Broadway, a motorist is required to get out of their vehicle and fire three shot gun rounds into the air. : )

Any person caught using or carrying bean snappers or the like shall upon conviction, be fined.


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  1. Wait?! Is the picketing a funeral law true? I guess FP has never made it out to OP??

  2. I think he's the reason for the law, actually. :)