Kansas is a midwestern state that’s located squarely in the middle of the United States. The capital of Kansas is Topeks. The largest city in the state is Wichita. Kansas is one of the top farming states in the nation, and it’s also home to thousands of oil wells.
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. The Native American tribes that once lived in Kansas included the Sioux, the Osage, the Comanche, the Arapaho, the Kiowa and the Pawnee. Many of the Native Americans hunted buffalo, also know as American Bison. When the Europeans arrived and brought horses, buffalo hunting became much easier and so it became an even bigger part of the lives and culture of the Native Americans.
The first European to arrive in Kansas was Spanish explorer Francisco de Coronado in 1541. Coronado was searching for gold, but he never found it. Later , the French arrived and claimed control of the land. Throughout the 1700s and early 1800s only a few Europeans visited the region, mostly to trade for furs with the natives. So, the land was largely inhabited by the Native American tribes.
Kansas Was Part of the Louisiana Purchase
In 1803, the United States purchased the area we know as Kansas from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase. And we have a whole podcast on that bargain basement real estate transaction, so check it out. Shortly after President Thomas Jefferson helped engineer the deal, he sent explorers Lewis and Clark through Kansas, on their way out west to report on the land that America had purchased. The 8,000-mile journey of the Lewis and Clark Expedition was considered to be a huge success and provided lots of new information about previously uncharted areas of North America.
Notable Cities and Towns in Kansas
- Wichita is the largest city in Kansas. Wichita is known as the Air Capital of the World because five major aircraft manufacturers are located there: Beechcraft, Cessna, Airbus, Bombardier/Learjet, and Spirit.
- Topeka is the capital of Kansas.
- Lawrence, Kansas is the home of the University of Kansas, which is famous for its men’s basketball teams.
- Manhattan, Kansas is home to Kansas State University, the first public institution of higher learning in the state.
- Atchison, Kansas is the birthplace of Amelia Earhart, one of the most famous pilots in aviation history.
Fact #1: Fact #1: The geographical center of the 48 contiguous state in the USA is located near Lebanon, Kansas, in Smith County.
Fact #2: Wichita, Kansas has secured its place in fast food history because both the first Pizza Hut and the first White Castle opened their doors in Wichita.
Fact #3: The largest cities in Kansas are Wichita, Overland Park, and Kansas City.
Fact #4: The major industries in Kansas include agriculture, car manufacturing, and the aircraft industry.
Fact #5: The Kansas’s state song is, appropriately, “Home on the Range.”
Just for fun, see if you can answer these questions.
What is the capital of Kansas? Is it Topeka, Wichita, Overland Park, or Kansas City?
Topeka is the capital of Kansas.
What's the Kansas State song? Is it "Happy Trails" ""Don't Fence Me In" or "Home on the Range?"
It’s “Home on the Range.”
Is Kansas famous for manufacturing cars, boats, or airplanes?
Which large land mammal did the Native Americans hunt? Was it the buffalo, the grizzly bear, or elephants?
They hunted buffalo, which are also called bison.
If you have time, you can write a story of your own.
Here are a couple of story ideas you can choose from.
Idea #1: You can write a brief story about some of the cool things you learned about Kansas.
Idea #2: If you were an airplane designer in Wichita, what kind of new plane would you like to invent? Write a description of the plane you’ll like to build and fly.
To help you write a great story, we have some helpful hints and timely tips.
Check out “10 Tips for Writing Better Essays.”
Here's a riddle for you:
What did the mother buffalo say to her teenage boy when he went off to college?