The midwestern state of Kansas is the 15th largest state in the nation, and it’s located right in the middle of the United States.
The state’s landscape includes grassland hills, sand dunes, woodlands, fields of wheat, and more.
It’s one of the top farming states in the nation, and it’s also home to thousands of oil wells.
Population: 3 million
Nickname: The Sunflower State, The Wheat State
Key Cities: Wichita, Overland Park, Kansas City, Topeka, Olathe, Lawrence
Postal Abbreviation: KS
Major Industries: Agriculture, cattle production, energy, aviation, industrial minerals
How did Kansas get its name: The name “Kansas” comes from a native Sioux tribe called the Kaws or Kansa people. The tribe’s name is said to mean “people of the Southwind.”
Date admitted to the Union: Tuesday, January 29, 1861
Size: 82,278 sq. miles
Lowest point: Verdigris River at 679 feet
Highest point: Sunflower at 4,039 feet
Famous locations: Botanica, Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, Boot Hill, Monument Rocks, Lake Scott State Park, Spencer Museum of Art, Museum of World Treasures
Amelia Earhart- pilot
Martina McBride- singer
Jeff Probst- television host/producer
Melissa Etheridge- singer
Bob Dole- politician
Kirstie Alley- actress
The world’s first Pizza Hut opened in Wichita, Kansas in 1958.
Two brothers named Dan and Frank Carney, who were students at Wichita State University, borrowed $600 from their mother to start their pizza business.
The first White Castle hamburger restaurant was also opened in Wichita in 1921.
No state in the country grows more wheat than Kansas. In a single year, Kansas produces enough wheat to bake 36 billion loaves of bread. That could feed the entire world for two weeks!
If you love adventure, try visiting the world’s tallest water slide at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City. The slide is even taller than Niagara Falls.
The windiest city in the United States is Dodge City, Kansas, where the average wind speed is 14 miles per hour.
Kansas has an average of 61 tornadoes each year. In 2007, a tornado destroyed 95% of Greensburg, Kansas.
It was the first tornado to be rated EF5 (that’s really strong!). A 1928 tornado in Kansas was so strong that it plucked the feathers off several chickens.
People often describe Kansas as “flatter than a pancake.” In 2003, geographers tested this theory using a digital model of an IHOP pancake.
It turns out that Kansas really is flatter than a pancake! (But several states are even flatter than Kansas, including Florida and Illinois.)