Kansas: A Story of Prohibition, Fried Chicken, and Flat Camp

Well Sister, you’re in Kansas right now visiting one of your best friends, and it got me thinking:  what’s actually in Kansas?  I’m sure that when you return, you’ll fill me in on all the fun coffee joints and late night eateries of Lawrence, as well as some cool trails or places you go to walk the dogs, but until then, I’ve got to satisfy my curiosity in my own way, via a swim through the interweb.

Kansas is right next to Arkansas.  I seriously didn't know this, or at least didn't realize it.  I guess arkansas should have given it away, but then again, we both know I'm not a quick learner, so no surprise here.

Kansas was a place of nasty clashes during the pre Civil War era.  Apparently Free-Staters as well as pro-slavery southerners flocked to the state with plans to either hold the practice from infiltrating the border with Missouri or intentions of welcoming it state-wide.  The confrontation was inevitable, and that's how the state earned the nickname "Bleeding Kansas".

In January of 1861, Kansas entered the Union as a slave-free state.  Unfortunately, two years later, due to still-seething unrest, your destination town was raided, destroying much of the city structure and killing 200+ people.

Because cowboys had a tendency to be so nasty, Kansas adopted alcohol prohibition in 1881.  I wonder how long that lasted.  Wikipedia didn't tell me.

Big Brutus is the largest electric shovel in existence.  It's in West Mineral, Kansas.

Contrary to popular belief, Kansas is not the flattest of the United States.  It ranks between 20 and 30th on the list.  I can't believe there's a list for that.  I wonder if there's a camp for those states on the lower end of that measure.  It could be called "Flat Camp".  

From 1950 to 2006, Kansas reported the second-most tornadoes in the country, bested only by Texas.  This, I suppose, is a good contest to lose.

There's supposed to be more than 6,000 ghost towns in Kansas.  I'd like for you to visit one for me, which doesn't sound like it will be that hard.  There's even a trip guide.

Farmers Insurance employs more than 3,000 people in Kansas.  I wonder if they think that's funny, or if it's just an old joke now.

There is a Kansas portion and a Missouri portion to Kansas City.

Crawford County is the "Fried Chicken Capitol" of the state.  Perhaps Flava Flav should have thought twice about going into business out of business in Iowa.  Wrong state, buddy.  

Lastly, there's Kansas, the band of 6 boys from Topeka.  I hope you are finding a way to mix them into your trip soundtrack somehow.

I hope you're having fun, but remember that Dorothy was just a sheltered and confused little girl.  Sure, there's no place like home, but probably it's not Kansas.  Come home soon.  

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