Kansas Facts: Essential Information About the Sunflower State

Kansas, in the U.S. heartland, is known for its Great Plains, agriculture, and as the historic Bleeding Kansas battleground.

The Heart of America: Kansas Overview

Geography and Landmarks

Kansas, located in the heart of America, is the 15th largest state in terms of area, covering approximately 213,000 square kilometers.

The state’s capital is Topeka, while its largest city is Wichita.

Its landscape consists mainly of the Great Plains, which gradually rise in elevation towards the Colorado border and the Rocky Mountains.

Kansas features several natural landmarks, such as the Flint Hills – a region consisting mainly of native tallgrass prairie – and Mount Sunflower, the state’s highest point.

Additionally, the Kansas River, formed from the confluence of the Smoky Hill and Republican rivers, flows through impressive limestone bluffs.

Statehood and History

Kansas became the 34th state to join the union on January 29, 1861.

Its borders are shared with Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.

The state’s history is marked by the violent period battles of Bleeding Kansas from 1855 to 1858, which preceded the US Civil War and are considered a major spark that ignited America’s worst internal war.

Economy and Agriculture

With a population of around 2.94 million people, Kansas has a diverse economy.

The state is known for its agricultural output, particularly in wheat production, earning it the nickname “The Wheat State”.

Culture, Symbols, and Notable Facts

A wheat field with a sunflower, a buffalo, and a Native American headdress, with a state outline and "Kansas" text

Flora and Fauna

Kansas is often referred to as the Sunflower State, due to the abundance of sunflowers that grow in the region.

Additionally, Kansas is known for its vast wheat fields, so much so that it has been nicknamed the “Wheat State.” The state animal is the buffalo, more specifically, the American Bison.

Another popular symbol associated with Kansas is the Western Meadowlark, designated as the state bird.

Famous Personalities and Innovations

Several famous personalities with roots in Kansas include the iconic pilot Amelia Earhart, who was born in Atchison.

The state is also home to the Kansas City Chiefs, a professional football team with a strong following of dedicated fans across the nation.

Interestingly, Kansas was the birthplace of Pizza Hut, which started in Wichita.

Another impressive innovation that came out of Kansas is the world’s longest grain elevator, located in Hutchinson.

Interesting State Trivia

Kansas plays a significant role in American history, from the population of Native American tribes, such as the Pawnee, to its impact during the Civil War.

As a result, Kansas became the 34th state to join the United States in 1861.

One of the unusual facts about Kansas is its connection to the beloved story “The Wizard of Oz.” Notably, the fictional protagonist, Dorothy, is from Kansas.

The state also holds the geographical center of the lower 48 states and the world’s largest easel, located in Goodland.

Kansas’ motto, “Ad Astra Per Aspera,” meaning “To the Stars Through Difficulties,” symbolizes the state’s commitment to resilience and the pursuit of progress.

Today, Kansas is the largest city in the state, with a diverse and growing population of Kansans.