160th birthday

Today is the 160th celebration of Kansas Day.

Kansas was accepted into the Union in 1861. 

Kansas Day can be traced back to 1877 when it was first celebrated by about 20 children in Paola. These students were studying the history of the United States on January 8, 1877, when they began learning about the Battle of New Orleans. This sparked an intense interest in the children and made them feel very patriotic about their state. 

So the afternoon on January 29, 1877 was set aside so the class could spend the day learning about Kansas; Everything from its history to its geography and its natural resources. The teacher at the time was Alexander LeGrande Copley and he took the celebration of this holiday with him when he became superintendent of the schools in Wichita. Eventually, news of Kansas Day had spread all throughout the state and both students and their families began celebrating the holiday.

Kansas facts:

• Dodge City is the windiest city in the US

• Cawker City has a ball of twine that weighs more than 16,760 pounds

• Kansan Hattie McDaniel was the first black woman to win an Academy Award

• The 34th President of the US Dwight D. Eisenhower was from Abilene, Kansas

• At one time, it was illegal to serve ice cream on cherry pie in this state

• Buster Keaton was from Piqua Kansas

• Kansas has the largest population of prairie chickens in North America

• This state is named The Sunflower State

• This state’s nicknames include The Free State and The Wheat State

• It’s illegal to hunt whales in Kansas

• It’s illegal to shoot rabbits from motorboats in this state

• This state has the second most instances of tornadoes in the US

• Helium was discovered at the University of Kansas in 1905

• There are over 528 caves in the state

• 88 percent of the land in Kansas is farmland

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