65 Fun Facts about Kansas

Are you ready to learn some amazing facts about Kansas? Kansas is a state right in the heart of the United States, and it’s full of surprises and interesting stories. So, let’s put on our adventurer hats and take a trip through Kansas to discover what makes it so special!

Did you know Kansas is known as the “Sunflower State”? That’s right! Sunflowers are everywhere in Kansas, making it super colorful and bright. These tall, yellow flowers are not just pretty to look at; they’re also important because sunflower seeds are a yummy snack and can be used to make oil for cooking.

Kansas is also famous for its flat lands. Some people think Kansas is flatter than a pancake! While that might not be entirely true, it does have a lot of flat countryside, which is perfect for farming. Kansas grows lots of wheat, and that’s why it’s often called the “Breadbasket of the World.” Imagine all the bread, cakes, and cookies that can be made from Kansas wheat!

But Kansas isn’t just flat land and sunflowers. It has a rich history too! Long ago, Native American tribes lived on this land. Later, it became an important path for explorers and pioneers who were moving west. Kansas even played a big role in the history of the United States before it became a state during a time called “Bleeding Kansas,” which was part of the fight over whether new states should allow slavery.

Are you ready to dive deeper into the wonders of Kansas? From its beautiful sunflowers to its vast wheat fields and fascinating history, there’s so much to learn and explore about this wonderful state. Let’s keep our curiosity alive and discover all the amazing facts about Kansas that we can uncover!

For more fun facts, check out facts about Arizona and North Carolina!

Facts about Kansas

  • Dodge City is the windiest city in the United States, with an average wind speed of 14 mph.
  • In Kansas, it is illegal to hunt whales, even though it is located in the middle of the country with no coastline in sight.
  • Kansas ranks second nationally in average number of tornadoes per year (60) and third in tornadoes per 1,000 square miles (44).
  • It’s also illegal to shoot rabbits from motorboats and in Topeka it is illegal to sing the alphabet on the streets at night.
  • In 1919 the first airplane factory in Kansas was built in Wichita, which became one of the nation’s top plane manufacturing cities.
  • It has the geographical center of the lower 48 United States
  • Historians have reported that Native Americans were living in Kansas as early as 12,000 B.C.
  • Opened in 1857, Hays House, in Council Grove, is the oldest continuously operating restaurant west of the Mississippi River.
  • There are 27 Walnut Creeks in the state.
  •  Smith County, Kan. is the geographical center of the 48 contiguous states.
  • KCMO used to be second only to NYC in manufacturing clothing. From 1940-1950, one in seven women in the USA wore an outfit produced in KC. Today, the Garment District still stands — with a museum and a giant needle statue.
  • The Plaza is considered by many to be the nation’s first outdoor shopping center. Planners foresaw the need to accommodate cars (this was in the early 1920s), chose a swath of unattractive land south of the city (around Brush Creek), and modeled its architecture on Seville, Spain.
  • Kansas City is the birthplace of many important inventions, like Mickey Mouse, Bomb Pops, the multiplex movie theater, and of course, the candy coating on M&Ms. 
  • The town is well known for its paranormal activities. It was a booming town in the late 1800s as people migrated to the West.
  • The tallest waterslide in the world is at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kan. It is taller than Niagara Falls.
  • Construction began on the Kansas Pacific railway line in 1869. Texas would later conduct cattle drives north to Kansas where they could be put on trains to deliver to the east.
  • The Frenchman Robert Cavelier de Las Salle came to the Kansas region in 1682, claiming control of the land for France.
  • Kansas is well known for the “Wizard of Oz” movie
  • Kansas City was nearly named “Possum Trot” and “Rabbitville” in 1853 — two animals that were popular barbecue delicacies at the time. We’re glad they stuck with the City of Kansas.
  • The 1954 Brown v. Board of Education was a landmark case that found racial segregation in schools to be unconstitutional.
  • The First United Methodist Church in Hutchinson, Kansas, was built in 1874. This was the year of the grasshopper plague in Kansas too. 
  • Hutchinson is nicknamed the Salt City because it was built above some of the richest salt deposits in the world.
  • The Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed in 1854. The act was passed after settlers from northern and southern states arrived in Kansas and fought over whether slavery should be legal in the territory of Kansas. The violent period is called “Bleeding Kansas” and was partly responsible for the start of the Civil War.
  • Although Union Station is now a staple of downtown, it wasn’t KC’s first major train station. The Union Depot came first — a major rail station in the West Bottoms. The depot oversaw 90% of Kansas City’s booming economy before the flood of 1903 prompted leaders to look for higher ground.
  • Many native peoples from the area were moved south to what is now Oklahoma prior to the act to make room for the settlers.
  • Wichita’s aircraft manufacturing history goes all the way back to 1900, three years before the Wright Brothers made their historic flight.
  • The first woman mayor in the United States was Susan Madora Salter. She was elected to office in Argonia, Kan. in 1887.
  • A hailstone weighing more than one and a half pounds once fell on Coffeyville.
  • In 1976, the honeybee became the state insect after a petition by school children. They collected more than 2,000 signatures from students statewide to support their cause.
  • The largest ball of twine is in Cawker City and it measures over 38 feet in circumference and weighs more than 16,750 pounds.
  • In 1990, Kansas wheat farmers produced enough wheat to make 33 billion loaves of bread, or enough to provide each person on earth with six loaves.
  • Second only to Texas, there have been more meteorites found in Kansas than in any other state west of the Mississippi River.
  • All the wheat grown in Kansas in a single year would fit in a train stretching from western Kansas to the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Kansas was named after one of the Native American Tribes
  • The elevator is in Wichita, Kansas, and it is operated by DeBruce Grain Inc. It is a single-unit grain elevator that is made up of 310 elevators. They are all 2,717 feet long and 100 feet wide.
  • This is the 13th largest state by area in the United States
  • Another nickname for Kansas is “Tornado Alley”
  • Pizza Hut started in Kansas. It was created by Frank and Dan Carney, two students at Wichita University. They opened a small pizza shop on a corner in Wichita.
  • People have lived here for at least 12,000 years.
  • The population of Kansas is more than 2.9 million.
  • The official Kansas nickname comes from the many sunflower species that grow in Kansas. This state produces the most wheat in the US every year.
  • Fort Riley is in the Flint Hills and opened in 1917. Fifteen thousand active duty military members live at the fort with their 18,000 family members. 
  • Amelia Earhart is from Kansas
  • Kansas really is flatter than a pancake. Scientists proved it when they compared the topography of Kansas against that of a pancake from IHOP.
  • A popular fact among locals: KC is said to have more fountains than any other city besides Rome — leading to its nickname, City of Fountains.
  • In 1541, the first European arrived in Kansas: Spanish Francisco de Vasquez Coronado. The explorer went in search of legendary cities of gold, which he didn’t end up finding. When he arrived, it was the first time Plains Indians had seen horses.
  • The first woman to be granted a pilot’s license and fly solo over the Atlantic Ocean was Amelia Earhart of Atchison, Kansas.
  • Mount Sunflower is 4,039 feet above sea level. This point is 3,300 feet above the lowest point in Kansas.
  • In the late 1800s, Kansas resident Adam Strowger invented the dial telephone. He came up with the invention to allow people to contact each other directly rather than through an operator connecting the call.
  • Pluto was discovered by the astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, who grew up in Burdette, Kansas.
  • There are 26 National Historic Landmarks in Kansas, which include a variety of historic homes, battlefields, archaeological sites, forts, an oil well, and even a historic Carousel, the Parker Carousel.
  • In 1909, Charles Wilson and William Purvis built one of the precursors to the modern helicopter in Goodland, Kansas.
  • In 1804, American explorers Lewis and Clark traveled through the Kansas region in their explorations of the newly acquired territory.
  • Kansas City was named before the state of Kansas. KCMO was chartered as the Town of Kansas in 1850, four years before the territory of Kansas was organized. 
  • In 2007, a tornado leveled, or destroyed, 95 percent of Greensburg. It was 26 miles long, nearly two miles wide, and the damage it caused cost $250 million. It was the first tornado to be rated EF5.
  • “Kansas” derives its name from the Kaw nation (Kanza people) living in the area.
  • In Derby County, Kan., a law is in place that makes it illegal for any person to hit or punch a vending machine when it has stolen a person’s money.
  • Kansas won the award for most beautiful license plate for the wheat plate design issued in 1981.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States, was from Abilene.
  • The first national hamburger chain started in Kansas when Walter Anderson opened the first White Castle hamburger restaurant in Wichita in 1921.
  • The motto translates to “to the stars through difficulties.” It was adopted as the motto on May 25, 1861, the same day as the state seal. The state motto is on the state seal. John Brown was an abolitionist in Kansas.
  • Kansas was officially declared the 34th state on January 29, 1861.
  • The official state bird is the western meadowlark.
  • The patent for the helicopter was given to William Purvis and Charles Wilson, who invented the helicopter in 1909.
  • In the town of Liberal, Kan., you can see a house that is an exact replica of Dorothy’s house in the movie “The Wizard of Oz”.

Do you have even more interesting facts about Kansas? Share them with us in the comments!

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