Kansas The greatest state that ever was or will be

Kansas is known as the "Sunflower State", probably because the "Sad State" just doesn't have the same ring to it

HOW TO MAKE A KANSAS

During the period of expedition and expansion in American history, various settlers and explorers stumbled into Kansas and gave the state some glowing reviews.

Noted geographer, Edwin James, said of Kansas,

"[THIS LAND] IS ALMOST WHOLLY UNFIT FOR CULTIVATION, AND OF COURSE, UNINHABITABLE BY A PEOPLE DEPENDING UPON AGRICULTURE FOR THEIR SUBSISTENCE."

Residents of Kansas, Mr and Mrs Haldeman-Julius said that the people of Kansas

"...HAD BEEN FAR TOO ABSORBED IN THE BITTER STRUGGLE FOR A LIVELIHOOD TO HAVE TIME TO THINK OF HAPPINESS."

Famed author, Mary Molek, described her enchanting visit to Kansas like so-

"ONLY WHEN I LOOKED OUT AND SAW THE PASTURE LANDS FENCED IN BARBED WIRE AND COWS GRAZING HERE AND THERE DID I COME TO 'IT MUST ALL BE A HORRIBLE NIGHTMARE.'

Clearly, Kansas earned its reputation at an early age and impressed even the most skeptical of critics.

Once America entered its phase of Manifest Destiny, intrepid adventures began looking to the western frontier for new opportunities of wealth, happiness, and fame.

Here is a man who has found gold in the hills of San Francisco and now lives an extravagant life with his wife and nine children. Notice the man's exquisitely fashioned suspenders and his jubilant smile: he has clearly found his Nirvana.

Some people arrived in California only to discover that the west was a monopoly and that the well of opportunity had run dry. These people quickly turned around and tried to head back east as fast as possible. Kansas had grown scornful, though, after watching so many people pass her by on their way to "bigger and better things". As retribution, Kansas killed the mules and oxen of these caravans through sheer boredom, forcing their owners to stake their claim in Kansas.

This is a man who never made it to San Francisco and never became a wealthy gold mogel. His suspenders are not exquisite and his smile is not jubilant. Instead, he lives in Kansas and collects dirt, which is why he has but a modest shovel.

KANSAS NEBRASKA ACT OF 1854

(history lesson incoming)

By 1854, Kansas had a population that was large enough to warrant the idea of joining the union. The continental US was fond of the idea of admitting both the Nebraska and Kansas territories in order to build a railroad that would extend all the way west to the Appalachian Mountains. At the time, though, there were an equal number of slave and free states in the union, and both territories lay above the Mason-Dixon line. To remedy this, Stephen A. Douglas devised the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which introduced the idea of Popular Sovereignty, which would allow the people of the states to vote on whether to enter the union as free or slave states.

Stephen A. Douglas, the man who drafted the Kansas- Nebraska Act, pulls off the popped-collar beautifully

Once it came time to vote, people from neighboring states began flocking to Kansas in order to cast their votes in favor of their own beliefs. Those who came to vote in favor of slavery were known as "Border Ruffians" and those who came to vote against it were called "Jayhawkers".

A casual Jayhawker on route to practice his God-given right to vote

Eventually, the tension between the two groups boiled over into violence, led by abolitionist John Brown who incited attacks on pro-slavery groups. A virtual war then ensued, resulting in the deaths of 56 people in what would later have the state known as "Bleeding Kansas". This outright violence was the catalyst for mounting hostilities all around the country, until violence finally came to the continental US at the Battle of Ft. Sumter.

Here we have a painting of John Brown in the midst of his "Holy War"

DUST BOWL

Once Kansas grew weary of shaping the United States of America as we know it, the state went back to doing what it does best: punishing those who would dare challenge God's desire to create an uninhabitable desert.

AND HOW DID KANSAS GO ABOUT THIS PUNISHMENT?

BY BURYING EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING ALIVE.

The hubris of man is a fickle thing, and Kansas was quick to punish this insolent behavior. Technology had given man the power to create life where none once existed. Through the use of new plowing techniques and gasoline-powered tractors, Kansan farmers had finally achieved a cultivation of farmland that yielded bountiful harvests of crops. But this angered Kansas, who soon threw all of the dust and soil that had been thrown into the air back at the farmers in vicious storms. Many inhabitants died and over 500,000 people in the Midwest were displaced after their homes and livelihoods were destroyed. These refugees were forced to move elsewhere and seek new employment. Kansas' timing could not have been more unfortunate, though, as the Dust Bowl took place during the 1930's, the height of the Great Depression.

Lesson learned. Do not anger Kansas.

NOTABLE ENTERPRISES AND PEOPLE

Now that we know what Kansas has achieved as a state, we must ask what it has produced through its proud citizens and businesses. Surely, you must be thinking to yourself that whatever succeeds in emerging from Kansas must be tested, weathered, and of the utmost quality. And you would be correct. Here, we will peruse those very products, people, and ideas.

BROWN V BOARD OF EDUCATION

BROWN V BOARD OF EDUCATION

In 1954, the Topeka Board of Education ruled unanimously that the segregation of schools based on color was unconstitutional, a major victory for the Civil Rights Movement.

DR JAMES NAISMITH

In 1898, Dr James Naismith became the Athletic Director of the University of Kansas, where he also became the first basketball coach in history. Naismith invented the game some years earlier as a gymnastics teacher, and brought the game to Kansas, where it became a national pastime. Naismith is buried in Lawrence, Kansas and Basketball has become the second most popular sport in the world behind soccer/football.

PIZZA HUT

Pizza Hut was created in 1958 by two Wichita State students looking to achieve the pinnacle of cuisine. Looking back, the Pizza Hut brand has fulfilled this goal by becoming the greatest eateries in the world.

DWIGHT D EISENHOWER

Raised in Abilene, Kansas, Dwight D Eisenhower was a five-star general in WWII and was the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during the war. After the war, Eisenhower became the 34th President of the United States.

B-29 Bomber

The majority of the B-29 bombers used throughout WWII were manufactured in Wichita, Kansas at a production rate so high that other airline manufacturers moved production to Kansas, causing Wichita to become known as the "Aviation Capital of the World." The B-29 was the model of plane used to drop the atomic bombs on both Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

THE WIZARD OF OZ

If you didn't already know that The Wizard of Oz took place in Kansas, then there's really nothing I can do to help you.

"We're not in Kansas anymore"

SUPERMAN

Yes, the Man of Steel himself is from Kansas. Though technically from Krypton, Superman was sent to Earth as an infant to avoid his planet's destruction. He landed in the fictional town of Smallville, Kansas, where he eventually learned to harness his powers.

He came to Kansas as Kal-El, but he left Kansas as Superman.

BRENT VENABLES

That's right. The man, the myth, the legend himself hails from Salina, Kansas. He attended Kansas State University and now serves as Defensive Coordinator for the Clemson Tigers.

RECAP

Now, let us look back on what we've learned about Kansas today. We've learned that Kansas is responsible and is a champion for:

  • Freedom and Equality
  • Democracy
  • Basketball
  • The Pinnacle of Pizza (Pizza Hut)
  • The Pinnacle of Cinema (The Wizard of Oz)
  • The Outcome of the Second World War
  • The Savior of Mankind
  • Clemson Football as We Know It
What more could you want?

by Clayton Crowley

Credits:

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