5 Things You Didn't Know About The State of Kansas

On January 29, 1861, Kansas was admitted to the Union as free state. It was the 34th state to join the Union.  Here are five fascinating facts that you probably didn't know about the Sunflower State...

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The Windiest City in the Country Is in Kansas Chicago may be nicknamed the “Windy City,” but Dodge City, Kansas, is the town that should actually have that nickname. The wind speed in Dodge City averages about 14 miles per hour. Chicago’s wind speed is an average of 10.3 miles per hour, so the former frontier town of Dodge comes out ahead. As a state, however, Kansas is only the 10th windiest.

A Town in Kansas Is Near the Exact Center of the Country Lebanon, Kansas, a small town with a population of around 200, holds the distinction of lying closest to the exact geographic center of America. In 1912, the National Geodetic Survey marked the occasion by posting a plaque and a stone monument, along with a picnic table and a tiny chapel for weddings. The location is about 1.74 miles from Lebanon’s town center.

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The State Has Some Interesting Laws Most states have some unusual laws on the books from the old days, and Kansas is no exception. In the state of Kansas, for example, you're not allowed to hunt whales, although they are probably hard to find since the state is landlocked. In the city of Topeka, you are not allowed to sing the alphabet song if you are out on the streets at night. Nor can you shoot rabbits if you happen to be in a motorboat. The American Pie Council has reported that in Kansas it has been against the law to provide ice cream on top of cherry pie when served.

Several Popular Eateries Had Their Start in Kansas White Castle, with its famous tiny hamburger sliders, opened in 1921 in Wichita and is generally credited as the country's first fast-food chain. The company had its 90th birthday celebration in style by returning to Wichita to hold a fundraiser for the state food bank. In 1958, the first Pizza Hut opened in Wichita. It was owned by brothers Frank and Dan Carney, whose company’s name was selected because the sign would only hold nine letters and the building was shaped similarly to a hut.

Kansas Is Flatter Than A Pancake Kansas Is Flatter Than A Pancake—No Really, It’s True. Scientific research has been done to prove that Kansas is in fact flatter than everyone’s favorite breakfast treat. Researchers from the geography departments of Texas State University and Arizona State University used a mathematical analysis to determine the flatness ratio of both Kansas and a pancake purchased from IHOP. So how flat is Kansas, compared to a pancake? Mathematically, a value of 1.000 would indicate “perfect, platonic flatness.” The pancake was scored as 0.957, which researchers said is “pretty flat, but far from perfectly flat.” The value for Kansas, meanwhile was ~0.9997, or “damn flat,” as they said. Simply put, the results show that Kansas is considerably flatter than a pancake”.