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Kansas

In: English and Literature

Submitted By bsmith930
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Kansas is a state that is shaped like a rectangle and is full of plains, grasses, flowers and people who sing the cheerful state song. The story of how Kansas became a free state is very interesting. Home on the Range is the state song and the state bird is the western meadowlark. The big hairy buffalo is the state animal and the state insect is the small stinging honey bee. Also interesting is the worlds biggest recorded pallasite was found in Kansas. Kansas was named after the Native American word Kanza, meaning “people of the south wind.” The people of Kansas were considering whether or not Kansas should become a slave state. There was such a balance of opinion that it took four attempts at writing a constitution by congress. The battle raged on often needing the help of federal troops. In 1850 the people of Kansas approved a constitution prohibiting slavery.
The senate’s refusal to admit Kansas as a state, the issue exploded into a national political problem. In order to be admitted there had to be a big shift in power in the senate and the presidency. It wasn’t until January 29, 1861 that the constitution making Kansas the 34th state reached President James Buchanan’s desk and was signed. This January we will celebrate the 150th birthday of Kansas. Home on the range, the state song of Kansas, was originally a poem called My Western Home by Dr. Brewster M. Higley near 1872. The music was written by a friend of Higleys named Daniel E. Kelly. It was officially adopted as the state song of Kansas on June 30, 1947. In 1925 the Kansas Auburn Society conducted a contest in which the school children of Kansas voted on what bird that they wished to become the state bird. The western meadowlark, the bobwhite quail, the cardinal and the robin were the closest competitive candidates. Out of 121,191 votes cast the western meadowlark received 48,395 votes, about 10,000 more votes than its nearest competitor. The bobwhite quail and the cardinal finished 2nd and 3rd respectively. The magnificent American buffalo was recognized as the official animal symbol of Kansas in 1955. A male bison can weigh over 1800 pounds and is 6 feet tall at the shoulders. Buffalo once roamed the American prairie by the tens of millions and provided a way of life for the plains Indians. European settlers hunted buffalo to the brink of extinction. It is estimated that between 300 to 500 animals remained when the federal government passed stricter game laws in 1880. Kansas designated the honey bee as the official state insect in 1976. Bee pollination is very important to plant and human survival. Beeswax and honey are just surplus gifts from this tiny wonder of nature. The plant world uses a lot of energy attracting bees and other insects with brightly colored flowers and sweet nectar. The honey bee is recognized as the official state symbol for 17 states primarily because honey bees play such an important role in agriculture. In October of 2005 professional meteorite hunter Steve Arnold made one of the greatest meteorite discoveries of modern time in a field in rural Kansas, a site long known for having space rocks. Mr. Arnold found a complete oriented pallasite weighing almost 3 quarters of a ton. It was excavated from its resting place 7 ½ feet under ground and it the largest pallasite ever recorded in the world. As the center of the 48 contiguous states, Kansas has proven to be an attractive and fun location to grow, learn and live.

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