Portal:Kansas

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The Kansas Portal

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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 tribe, 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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The University of Kansas (often referred to as KU or just Kansas) is an institution of higher learning in Lawrence, Kansas. The main campus resides atop Mount Oread. The University was founded in 1865 by the citizens of Lawrence under a charter from the Kansas Legislature. It also received assistance from former Kansas Governor Charles Robinson and his wife Sara, who donated 40 acres (160,000 m²) of Mount Oread land, and philanthropist Amos Adams Lawrence, who made sizable monetary donations.

The University's Medical Center and Hospital are located in Kansas City, Kansas. The KU Edwards Campus is in Overland Park, Kansas in the Kansas City metro area. There are also educational and research sites in Parsons, Topeka and a branch of the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita. Enrollment at the Lawrence and Edwards campuses was 27,875 students; an additional 2,769 students were enrolled at the KU Medical Center for a total enrollment of 30,644 students across the three campuses. The Lawrence campus and KU Medical Center combined employ 2,201 faculty members. KU is home to the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics and Kansas Public Radio station KJHK, the campus radio, has roots back to 1952 and is completely run by students. The university is host to several notable museums including the University of Kansas Natural History Museum, the KU Museum of Anthropology, and the Spencer Museum of Art. The University is one of 60 members of the prestigious Association of American Universities.

Spotlight city

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Greensburg is a city in central Kiowa County, located in Southwest Kansas, in the Central United States. The population was 1,574 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat and most populous city of Kiowa County. Greensburg is also home to the world's largest hand-dug well.

On May 4, 2007, Greensburg was devastated by an EF5 tornado that traveled rapidly through the area, leveling at least 95 percent of the city and killing 11 people. The tornado was estimated to be 1.7 miles (2.7 km) in width and traveled for nearly 22 miles (35 km). Ninety-five percent of the city was confirmed to be destroyed, with the other five percent being severely damaged. The National Weather Service estimated winds of the tornado to reach 205 mph (330 km/h). This was the first tornado to be rated EF5 since the update of the Fujita scale. The tornado had caused EF5 damage to at least one well-built home in Greensburg, and also is the first "5" classification since May 3, 1999, when an F5 tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, as part of the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak.

Greensburg was named for D. R. "Cannonball" Green, who owned a stagecoach company and who helped to form the city.

Selected picture

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Credit: Edwin Olson
A view of the Flint Hills in eastern 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

The state's nickname The Sunflower State.

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...)

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