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Kansas

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State of Kansas
State flag of Kansas State seal of Kansas
(Flag of Kansas) (Seal of Kansas)
State nickname: The Sunflower State
Missing image
Map_of_USA_highlighting_Kansas.png
Map of the U.S. with Kansas highlighted

Other U.S. States
Capital Topeka
Largest city Wichita
Governor Kathleen Sebelius
Official languages None
Area 82,277 mi²; 213,096 km² (15th)
 - Land 81,815 mi²; 211,900 km²
 - Water 462 mi²; 1,196 km² (0.56%)
Population (2000)
 - Population 2,688,418 (32nd)
 - Density 32.9/mi²; 12.7 /km² (40th)
Admission into Union
 - Date January 29, 1861
 - Order 34th
Time zoneCentral : UTC-6/-5
Mountain: UTC-7/-6
Counties are Central except for
4 counties on western border.
Latitude37?N to 40?N
Longitude94?38'W to 102?1'34"W
Width 211 mi; 340 km
Length 400 mi; 645 km
Elevation
 - Highest 4,039 feet; 1,231 m
 - Mean 2000 feet; 600 m
 - Lowest 679 feet; 207 m
Abbreviations
 - USPS KS
 - ISO 3166-2 US-KS
Web site www.accesskansas.org

Kansas, derived from the Siouan word Kansa meaning "People of the south wind", is a midwestern state in the United States. The U.S. postal abbreviation for the state is KS.

Contents

History

Main article: History of Kansas

Kansas, as part of the Louisiana Purchase, was annexed to the United States in 1803 as unorganized territory. Kansas then became part of the Missouri Territory until 1821. The Kansas-Nebraska Act became law on May 30, 1854 and established the U.S. territories of Nebraska and Kansas.

Fort Leavenworth was the first community in the area around 1827. To travellers enroute to Utah, California, or Oregon, Kansas was a waystop and outfitting place. On March 30, 1855 "Border Ruffians" from Missouri invaded Kansas during the territory's first election and forced the election of a pro-slavery legislature.

Kansas became the 34th state of the Union on January 29, 1861. Civil War veterans constructed homesteads in Kansas following the war. On February 19, 1861 it became the first U.S. state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages.

On August 21, 1863, William Quantrill led Quantrill's Raid into Lawrence destroying much of the city and killing many people.

Wild Bill Hickok was a deputy marshal at Fort Riley and a marshal at Hays and Abilene.

Kansas was home to President Eisenhower, presidential candidates Bob Dole and Alf Landon, Amelia Earhart, and Carrie Nation. Famous sport athletes from Kansas include Barry Sanders, Gale Sayers, Wilt Chamberlain, Jim Ryun, Walter Johnson, Maurice Greene and Lynette Woodard.

Law and government

Template:MetaSidebar The state capital is Topeka.

The top executives of the state are Governor Kathleen Sebelius and Lieutenant Governor John E. Moore. Both are elected on the same ticket to a maximum of two consecutive 4-year terms. Their current term will end in January of 2007, and they are able to run for re-election in 2006.

The state's current delegation to the United States Congress includes Senators Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts and Representatives Jerry Moran (District 1), Jim Ryun (District 2), Dennis Moore (District 3), and Todd Tiahrt (District 4). Moore is the only Democrat in the delegation; all others are Republicans.

Kansas had a reputation as a progressive state with many firsts in legislative initiatives?it was the first state to institute a system of workers compensation (1910). The council-manager government was adopted by many larger Kansas cities in the years following World War I while many American cities were being run by political machines or organized crime. Kansas schools both public and private continue to have some of the highest standards in the nation. Kansas was first among the states to ban the concept of separate but equal schools. Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka banned racially segregated schools throughout the U.S.

Since the early 1990s, Kansas has grown more socially conservative. The decade brought new restrictions on abortion, the defeat of prominent Democrats, including Dan Glickman, and the Kansas State Board of Education's infamous 1999 decision to eliminate the theory of evolution from the state teaching standards, a decision that was later reversed. In 2005 voters accepted a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, and the Kansas State Board of Education resumed hearings to determine if evolution should once again be removed from state science standards.

See also: List of Governors of Kansas; U.S. Congressional Delegations from Kansas

Geography

Missing image
National-atlas-kansas.PNG
Map of Kansas

Kansas is bordered by Nebraska on the north, Missouri on the east, Oklahoma on the south, and Colorado on the west. It is located equidistant from the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean. The geographic center of North America is located in Osborne County. This spot is used as the central reference point for all maps produced by the government. The geographic center of the 48 contiguous states is located in Smith County near Lebanon, Kansas, and the geographic center of Kansas is located in Barton County.

The state is divided up into 105 counties with 628 cities.

Kansas is one of the six states located on the Frontier Strip.

Topography

The state, lying in the great central plain of the United States, has a generally flat or undulating surface. Its altitude above the sea ranges from 750 feet at the mouth of the Kansas River to 4000 feet on the western border. (Mount Sunflower is the highest point.) The rivers flow through bottomlands, varying from ¼ to 6 miles in width, and bounded by bluffs, rising 50 to 300 feet. The Missouri River forms nearly 75 miles of the state's northeastern boundary. The Kansas River, formed by the junction of the Smoky Hill and Republican rivers, joins the Missouri at Kansas City, after a course of 150 miles across the state. The Arkansas River, rising in Colorado, flows with a tortuous course, for nearly 500 miles, across three-fourths of the state. It forms, with its tributaries, the Little Arkansas, Walnut, Cow Creek, Cimarron, Verdigris (which is the lowest point in Kansas at 680 feet), and the Neosho, the southern drainage system of the state. Other important rivers are the Saline and Solomon, tributaries of the Smoky Hill River; the Big Blue, Delaware, and Wakarusa, which flow into the Kansas River; and the Marais des Cygnes, a tributary of the Missouri River.

Landmarks

Major highways

The state is served by two interstate highways with six spur routes. I-70 is a major east/west route connecting to St. Louis, Missouri, in the east and Denver, Colorado, in the west. Cities along this route (from east to west) include Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka, Junction City, Salina, Hays, and Colby. I-35 is a major north/south route connecting to Des Moines, Iowa, in the north and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in the south. Cities along this route (from north to south) include Kansas City (and its suburbs), Ottawa, Emporia, El Dorado and Wichita.

Spur routes serve as connections between the two major routes. I-135, a north/south route, connects I-70 at Salina to I-35 at Wichita. I-335, a northeast/southwest route, connects I-70 at Topeka to I-35 at Emporia. I-335 and portions of I-35 and I-70 make up the Kansas Turnpike. I-435 and I-635 serve a dual purpose as connections between the major routes and bypasses around the Kansas City metropolitan area. Other bypasses are I-235 around Wichita and I-470 around Topeka.

In January 2004, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) announced the new Kansas 511 traveler information service.[3] (http://www.ksdot.org/offtransinfo/News04/511_Release.htm) By calling 511, callers will get access to information about road conditions, construction, closures, detours and weather conditions for the state highway system. Weather and road condition information is updated every 15 minutes.

See also: KDOT road condition information (http://www.kanroad.org)

Economy

The 2003 total gross state product of Kansas was $93 billion. Its per-capita income was $29,438. The agricultural outputs of the state are cattle, wheat, sorghum, soybeans, hogs and corn. The industrial outputs are transportation equipment, commercial and private aircraft, food processing, publishing, chemical products, machinery, apparel, petroleum and mining.

Demographics

As of 2003, the population of Kansas was 2,723,507.

Racially, the state is:

The five largest ancestries in the state are German (25.9%), Irish (11.5%), English (10.8%), American (8.8%), and African American (5.7%).

Religion

Kansas is mostly Protestant, although there are some Roman Catholics.

  • Protestant ? 71%
  • Roman Catholic ? 17%
  • Other Christian ? 2%
  • Other religions ? 1%
  • Non-religious ? 5%

The three largest Protestant denominations in Kansas are Baptist (16% of the total state population), Methodist (15%) and Lutheran (5%).

"Rural flight"

Kansas, as well as five other Mid-West states (Nebraska, Oklahoma, North and South Dakota and Iowa), is feeling the brunt of falling populations. 89% of the total number of cities in those states have fewer than 3000 people; hundreds have fewer than than 1000. Between 1996 and 2004 almost half a million people, nearly half with college degrees, left the six states. "Rural flight" as it is called has led to offers of free land and tax breaks as enticements to newcomers.

Major cities and towns

Population > 10,000 (urbanized area) Population > 100,000 (urbanized area)
Important Suburbs (of Kansas City, Missouri)

See also: List of cities in Kansas

Education

Main article: Education in Kansas

Colleges and universities

The Kansas Board of Regents governs or supervises thirty-seven public institutions. It also authorizes numerous private and out-of-state institutions to operate in the state. In Fall 2004 the state?s six public universities reported a combined enrollment of 88,270 students, of which almost a quarter were non-resident students and a tenth were off-campus enrollments.

Among the state-funded universities, the University of Kansas (KU) is the largest in terms of enrollment, with 26,980 at its Lawrence campus, KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park, and Public Management Center (formerly the Capitol Complex) in Topeka. The total university enrollment, which includes KU Medical Center, was 29,590. About 31% were non-resident students.

Kansas State University (KSU) has the second largest enrollment, with 23,151 students at its Manhattan and Salina campuses and Veterinary Medical Center. About 19% were non-resident students. Wichita State University (WSU) ranks third largest with 14,298 students; about 12% were non-resident students. Fort Hays State University (FHSU), Pittsburg State University (PSU), and Emporia State University (ESU) are smaller public universities with total enrollments of 8500, 6537, and 6194, respectively. FHSU has the fastest growing enrollment in Kansas with most of it coming from non-resident and off-campus enrollment. The composition of FHSU's enrollment includes 35% non-resident students and 44% off-campus enrollments. PSU also has almost a quarter of enrollment from non-residents.

For more on the universities and colleges in Kansas, see the complete list.

Professional sports teams

See also

Clip Art and Pictures

State Maps

State Flags

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