Portal:Kansas

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The Kansas Portal

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Map of USA KS.svg

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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Kansas State University, officially named "Kansas State University of Agriculture and Applied Science" but commonly shortened to K-State, is an institution of higher learning located in Manhattan, Kansas, in the United States. A branch campus, including the College of Technology and Aviation, is located in Salina, Kansas. Kansas State has an official enrollment of 23,332 students for the 2007–2008 school year.

Kansas State University, originally named Kansas State Agricultural College, was founded on February 16, 1863 as a Land Grant institution under the Morrill Act. The school was the first Land Grant college newly created under the Morrill Act although several other universities claim to be the oldest Land Grant school. K-State is the fourth-oldest school in the Big 12 Conference and the oldest public university in the state of Kansas. The institution was initially located on the grounds of the old Bluemont Central College, which was incorporated in Manhattan by the Kansas Territorial legislature in 1858. The early years of the institution witnessed debate over whether the college should provide a focused agricultural education or a full liberal arts education. During this era, the tenor of the school shifted with the tenure of the Presidents. University President John A. Anderson (1873-1879) was in favor of a limited education while on the other hand President George T. Fairchild (1879-1897) favored a classic liberal education. Also during this era, in 1882, the study of home economics originated at Kansas State. Currently, the university offers a full range of majors and many graduate programs.

Spotlight city

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Topeka (Kansa: Tó Ppí Kˀé) is the capital city of the U.S. state of Kansas and the county seat of Shawnee County. It is situated along the Kansas River in the central part of Shawnee County, located in northeast Kansas, in the Central United States. The population was 122,377 at the 2000 census, and it was estimated to be 122,647 in the 2007 census. The Topeka Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Shawnee, Jackson, Jefferson, Osage, and Wabaunsee counties, had an estimated population of 226,268 in the year 2003. Three ships of the US Navy have been named USS Topeka in honor of the city.

In the 1840s, wagon trains made their way west from Independence, Missouri, on a 2,000 miles (3,000 km) journey following what would come to be known as the Oregon Trail. In the early 1850s, traffic along the Oregon Trail was supplemented by trade on a new military road stretching from Fort Leavenworth through Topeka to the newly-established Fort Riley. After a decade of Bleeding Kansas abolitionist and pro-slavery conflict, the Kansas territory was admitted to the Union in 1861 as the 34th state. Topeka was finally chosen as the capital, with Dr. Charles Robinson as the first governor. In 1862, Cyrus K. Holliday donated a tract of land to the state for the construction of a state capitol. Construction of the Kansas State Capitol began in 1866. It would take 37 years to build the capitol, first the east wing, and then the west wing, and finally the central building, using Kansas limestone. Home to the first African-American kindergarten west of the Mississippi River, Topeka became the home of Linda Brown, the named plaintiff in Brown v. Board of Education which was the case responsible for eliminating the standard of "separate but equal", and requiring racial integration in American public schools.

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

Orval Leroy Grove (August 29, 1919 – April 20, 1992) was an American right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for ten seasons in the American League with the Chicago White Sox. In 207 career games, Grove pitched 1,176 innings and posted a win–loss record of 63–73, with 66 complete games, 11 shutouts, and a 3.78 earned run average (ERA).

Grove was born in West Mineral, Kansas, on August 29, 1919, and was raised in Maywood, Illinois. By eighth grade, Grove developed a fondness for baseball and began pitching for the Proviso East High School baseball team. The only freshman on the Proviso East High School varsity baseball team, Grove's pitching ability attracted the attention of the White Sox. After signing with the team in 1937, Grove moved between the major leagues and minor leagues for a few seasons until 1943, when he found a solid place in the White Sox's pitching rotation. Grove had a career-year in 1943, finishing the season with career-bests in ERA, wins, and complete games; in 1944, he made his only All-Star appearance.

Grove spent four more full seasons with the White Sox, and after pitching one game in 1949, was sent to the Sacramento Solons of the Pacific Coast League. After playing four seasons with them, he formally retired from professional baseball. After retirement, he worked with his uncle in a trucking business in Chicago while continuing to pitch at the semi-pro level. In 1992, Grove died at the age of 72.

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