From the tallgrass prairies to the Flint Hills, Kansas is a state with a rich history and diverse landscape. Here are 5 interesting facts about the Sunflower State.
Checkout this video:
Kansas is home to the world’s largest ball of twine
In 1953, artist and retired telephone lineman Frank Stoeber began winding twine around a baseball in his back yard in Cawker City, Kansas. The ball continued to grow in size over the next four decades, eventually becoming the largest ball of twine in the world. Today, the massive twine ball weighs in at more than 17,000 pounds and is nearly 12 feet in diameter. Visitors can see the world’s largest ball of twine at Cawker City’s Twine Ball Park.
2. You can walk across the state of Kansas in just eight minutes.
The state of Kansas is located right in the middle of the continental United States, making it a prime spot for cross-country travel. In fact, if you walk due east from the westernmost point in Kansas (near Liberal), you’ll eventually end up on the Atlantic coast of Maine. And if you walk due west from the easternmost point in Kansas (near Atchison), you’ll end up on California’s Pacific coast.
3. There’s a town in Kansas called resolution… because that’s what it takes to live there.
Resolution is an unincorporated community located on the border between Cherokee and Crawford counties in southeastern Kansas. The town gets its name from the fact that it was founded by a group of Cherokee Indians who were looking for a place to resolve their differences and live together peacefully. Today, Resolution is home to a small population of just over 100 people.
4. You can find real dinosaur bones in Kansas… and then take them home with you!
Kansas is one of only a handful of states where you can legally collecting fossils, including those from dinosaurs. One of the best places to look for fossils is at Gove County’s Mammoth Site, where more than 60 mammoths have been unearthed since 1971 (hence its name). If you find a fossil while exploring one of Kansas’ state parks or public lands, you’re free to keep it as long as you obtain a permit first. However, all fossils found on private property belong to the landowners and cannot be removed without their permission.
5. You can experience all four seasons… sometimes all in one day!
Due to its location in the heart of Tornado Alley, Kansas is no stranger to extreme weather conditions. The state experiences an average of 50 tornadoes each year, more than any other state except Texas. But tornadoes aren’t the only type of extreme weather that Kansas residents have to deal with — they also have to contend with heat waves, blizzards and thunderstorms on a regular basis!
The first successful powered flight took place in Kansas
On December 17, 1903, two brothers from Wichita, Kansas made history when they took to the skies in their powered airplane. The Wright brothers’ feat was the first of its kind, and it would change the world forever.
Since that fateful day over a century ago, Kansas has been home to many aviation milestones and accomplishments. Today, the state is home to over 100 public and private airports, making it a hub for air travel. Here are five interesting facts about Kansas and its rich aviation history.
1. The first successful powered flight took place in Kansas.
2. Wichita is known as the “Air Capital of the World” because it is home to numerous aircraft manufacturing companies.
3.Kansas is home to over 100 public and private airports.
4. The state has produced many famous aviators, including Amelia Earhart and Eileen Collins.
5. Kansas is also home to the National Museum of Aviation and Space Education, which houses one of the largest collections of aircraft in the world.
The world’s largest hand-dug well is located in Kansas
1. The world’s largest hand-dug well is located in Greensburg, Kansas. It is 109 feet deep and was completed in 1887.
2. The first air-conditioned office building was the former candymaker’s office building in Wichita, Kansas.
3. The first satellite to be launched into orbit was Explorer 1, which was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on January 31, 1958.
4. The first Burger King restaurant opened in Miami, Florida on December 4, 1954.
5. The first atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 during World War II.
The first woman to be elected to the US Congress was from Kansas
The first woman to be elected to the US Congress was from Kansas. In 1920, Jeanette Rankin became the first woman to hold national office in the United States when she was elected as a Representative from Montana. She served two terms in Congress, and during her second term, she voted against declaring war on Japan following the attack on Pearl Harbor. After she left Congress, Rankin became an outspoken pacifist and helped found the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
Kansas is also home to one of the world’s largest ball of twine. The Cawker City Twine Ball began in 1953 when a local farmer started winding up spare pieces of twine into a large ball. The ball has since been passed on to other caretakers, and as of 2014, it weighed more than 17,000 pounds and had a circumference of more than 24 feet.
In neighboring Missouri, there is a city called Liberal that nicknamed itself “America’s Most Patriotic City.” In 2013, they even held a parade to celebrate an “Act of Repeal Day” commemorating the day (June 7) when the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution, which established Prohibition, was repealed.
Kansas is also home to two of America’s most iconic brands: Waldo Pepper’s Ginger Ale and Wheaties cereal. Waldo Pepper’s Ginger Ale was created in 1920 by Claude A. Swanson and Frank W. Fleischer in Atchison, Kansas. The company was later bought by Canada Dry which continues to produce the popular soda today. Wheaties cereal was invented in 1922 by Ambrose Bierce Stevens in Minneapolis, Minnesota but it was later made famous by a series of advertisements featuring top athletes that started running in 1934.
Kansas is the only state with two official songs
1. The sunflower is the official state flower of Kansas.
2. Kansas is the only state with two official songs: “Home on the Range” and “The Wayfaring Stranger.”
3. Kansas is home to the world’s largest ball of twine, which weighs in at 9,388 pounds and was made by a man named Frank Stoeber.
4. The first helium-filled balloon flight took place in Atchison, Kansas in 1893.
5. There are more than 80 documented instances of tornadoes touching down in Kansas on a single day.