Thursday, March 19, 2009

Kansas: Not as Flat as People Say, Covered in Blood

1854. Kansas. Strategery.
Kansas is a state in the middle of America. It is equidistant from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It is named after the Kansas River which is kinda named after some Native Americans who used to live there and hunt bison. Mmm, bison. They also have other states' rivers, like the Missouri and the Arkansas. Also, other rivers. It is a riverous state. We acquired Kansas through the Louisiana Purchase mostly but also the Mexican War (thx, Polk-y!). Lewis and Clark cut through there, and so did the Santa Fe Trail. Some awkwardness ensued after 1854's Kansas-Nebraska Act, when Congress was like, "Slavery is too hard for us guys to deal with, so whoever lives in the new states can just decide for themselves." So of course a bunch of people moved to Kansas and starting killing each other over whether to be a free or slave state. Bloody. Ultimately, Kansas entered the Union as a free state in 1861. A few years later, during the Civil War, some rogue Southerner guy, Quantrill, led a raid on the city of Lawrence and killed a couple hundred people. Wikipedia called it domestic terrorism, which is like "domestic" violence in that we pretend it is an isolated incident that reveals no systemic problems and continue to target people of color and/or outsiders as the most likely perpetrators. Post-Civil War, former slaves called Exodusters (awesome name!) settled there. At this time, Kansas was famous for being the gateway to the Wild West. Cowboys lived there and committed shenanigans. In 1881, the state retaliated by passing a constitutional amendment that outlawed alcoholic beverages. Bastards. Kansas still has pretty draconian liquor laws, with a bunch of dry counties and restrictions on the sale of single beverages. As if people in Kansas have anything else going for them. Bastards.
Some guy, apparently in Kansas.
In Kansas, they specialize in agriculture, oil, natural gas, aerospace, and are home to the headquarters of Sprint and Payless Shoes. In 1912, several whole years before the federal Constitutional amendment, Kansas allowed for women's suffrage. The city of Topeka was the home of the famous Brown v. the Board of Education conflict that led to federal desegregation of public schools. Hooray! That sort of worked, anyway. People don't want to live in rural areas anymore, and so apparently Kansas has thousands of ghost towns. Ghosts are fun as well as translucent. The state is also the home of Fort Leavenworth, the oldest active operating Army base on the west side of the Mississippi. Wichita is Kansas' largest city. I don't know anything about Wichita except for that it is in Kansas. The state's one pro sports team is Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards. The 'Pedia authors seemed to think Kansans were satisfied with following the teams from that other Kansas City. Also, they get tornadoes and contrary to popular belief, Kansas is not actually the flattest state ever, it's only like 20th or 30th in the rankings. Some people from Kansas:
  • Former President Dwight "D" Eisenhower
  • Amelia Earhart, before she disappeared to the lost city of Atlantis or whatever
  • George Washington Carver, awesome peanut scientist and frequent Black History Month honoree
  • Paul Rudd, who is hot
  • That guy who hosts "Survivor" (Is that show seriously still going?)
  • Dorothy and Toto, duh.
Oh, and apparently something's the matter with Kansas.

1 comment:

  1. I'm pretty sure learning about the Kansas-Nebraska debacle in 9th grade blew my mind. America really earned its legitimacy as a nation when it shed more blood.