Wednesday, 07/29/09, Public Square


Kansas was the 34th state admitted to the union on January 29, 1861.

Population: 2,688,418 (2000 – US census report that comes out every 10 years. Largest Cities: Wichita, Kansas City, Overland Park, Topeka. Major Industries: Aircraft Manufacturing, Agriculture, and Education.  Geographic Size: 82,282 square miles–ranked 15th in geographic size.  Geographic Center of Continental US: Near Lebanon in Smith County. And, (drumroll!) one of the reddest of the red states where Republicans don’t even have to show up to be elected!



Filed under The Public Square

25 responses to “Wednesday, 07/29/09, Public Square

  1. Oooh and don’t forget coming soon… $700 million research facility for highly infectious diseases. Which ever way the wind blows 🙂 .

    • wicked

      LOL Loon! My daughter who buys up every book on bio warfare she can is about to come unglued.

    • Speaking of wind blowing — late afternoon yesterday a storm blew through. Our weather “STARS” take to the air if a cloud appears over the state — interrupting programming you may have wanted to watch or listen to. Yesterday’s storm was to have the potential for large hail, strong winds…

      I have nurtured my pretty plants and my patio looks so inviting and nice. I paid attention to the storm warnings with the intent of moving many plants to safer places if need be.

      Once the weather STARS made the initial reports there was a scroll at the bottom of the television screen telling where these storms were, where they were moving to… This info was given by county! Kansas has 105 counties and I think I know where maybe ten are located with respect to Sedgwick County where I live.

      That’s how we got this graphic for our Public Square Open thread. I’m gonna learn those counties. I think I can, I think I can…

      btw, the weather STARS were wrong again. They are right just often enough that you can’t completely ignore them, and wrong often enough you want to.

  2. wicked

    And, (drumroll!) one of the reddest of the red states where Republicans don’t even have to show up to be elected!

    Or even show evidence of active brain activity.

  3. Here are many Kansas ‘facts,’ some you may already know, some you may never want to know. 🙂

    Kansas Facts and Trivia

    1. A ball of twine in Cawker City measures over 38′ in circumference and weighs more than 16,750 pounds and is still growing.

    2. A grain elevator in Hutchinson is 1/2 mile long and holds 46 million bushels in its 1,000 bins.

    3. South of Ashland the Rock Island Bridge is the longest railroad bridge of its kind. It measures 1,200 feet long and is 100 feet above the Cimarron River.

    4. At Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine waterbeds for horses are used in surgery.

    5. Kansas won the award for most beautiful license plate for the wheat plate design issued in 1981.

    6. Dodge City is the windiest city in the United States.

    7. At one time it was against the law to serve ice cream on cherry pie in Kansas.

    8. The first woman mayor in the United States was Susan Madora Salter. She was elected to office in Argonia in 1887.

    9. The first black woman to win an Academy Award was Kansan Hattie McDaniel. She won the award for her role in “Gone with the Wind.”

    10. Kansas inventors include Almon Stowger of El Dorado who invented the dial telephone in 1889; William Purvis and Charles Wilson of Goodland who invented the helicopter in 1909; and Omar Knedlik of Coffeyville who invented the first frozen carbonated drink machine in 1961.

    11. Smith County is the geographical center of the 48 contiguous states.

    12. Amelia Earhart, first woman granted a pilot’s license by the National Aeronautics Associate and first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean was from Atchison.

    13. Dwight D. Eisenhower from Abilene was the 34th President of the United States.

    14. Silent comedian Buster Keaton, of early film success, was from Piqua, Kansas.

    15. The three largest herds of buffalo (correctly called bison) in Kansas are located on public lands at the Maxwell Game Preserve (McPherson), Big Basin (Ashland), and Buffalo Game Preserve (Garden City).

    16. Fort Riley, between Junction City and Manhattan, was the cradle of the United States Cavalry for 83 years. George Custer formed the famed 7th Cavalry there in 1866. Ten years later, at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, the 7th was virtually wiped out. The only Cavalry survivor was a horse named Comanche.

    17. Wyatt Earp, James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok and William B. “Bat” Masterson were three of the legendary lawmen who kept the peace in rowdy frontier towns like Abilene, Dodge City, Ellsworth, Hays, and Wichita.

    18. The public swimming pool at the Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City occupies half a city block and holds 2 1/2 million gallons of water.

    19. Cedar Crest is the name of the governor’s mansion in Topeka, the state capital.

    20. Barton County is the only Kansas County that is named for a woman; the famous volunteer Civil War nurse Clara Barton.

    21. The Arkansas River may be the only river whose pronunciation changes as it crosses state lines. In Kansas, it is called the Arkansas (ahr-KAN-zuhs). On both sides of Kansas (Colorado and Oklahoma), it is called the Arkansaw.

    22. Civil War veteran S.P. Dinsmoor used over 100 tons of concrete to build the Garden of Eden in Lucas. Even the flag above the mausoleum is made of concrete.

    23. Handel’s Messiah has been presented in Lindsborgeach at Easter since 1889.

    24. A monument to the first Christian martyr on United States Territory stands along Highway 56 near Lyons. Father Juan de Padilla came to the region with the explorer Coronado in 1541.

    25. Hutchinson is nicknamed the Salt City because it was built above some of the richest salt deposits in the world. Salt is still actively mined, processed and shipped from Hutchinson.

    26. There are 27 Walnut Creeks in the state.

    27. There are more than 600 incorporated towns in the state.

    28. Morton County sells the most trout fishing stamps of all the Kansas counties.

    29. Fire Station No. 4 in Lawrence, originally a stone barn constructed in 1858, was a station site on the Underground Railroad.

    30. The Hugoton Gas Field is the largest natural gas field in the United States. It underlies all or parts of 10 southwestern Kansas counties as well as parts of Oklahoma and Texas. The gas field underlies almost 8,500 square miles, an area nearly 5 times as large as the state of Rhode Island.

    31. The Kansas Speleological Society has catalogued at least 528 caves in 37 Kansas counties. Commanche County has at least 128 caves and Barber County has at least 117 caves.

    32. Kansas has the largest population of wild grouse in North America. The grouse is commonly called the prairie chicken.

    33. Milford Reservoir with over 16,000 acres of water is the state’s largest lake. The reservoir is located northwest of Junction City.

    34. The Geodetic Center of North America is about 40 miles south of Lebanon at Meade’s Ranch. It is the beginning point of reference for land surveying in North America. When a surveyor checks a property line, he or she is checking the position of property in relation to Meade’s Ranch in northwest Kansas.

    35. In Italy the city of Milan is 300 miles northwest of Rome. In Kansas, Milan is less than 25 miles northwest of Rome, in Sumner County.

    36. Between 1854 and 1866, 34 steamboats paddled up the Kaw River (Kansas River). One made it as far west as Fort Riley.

    37. In 1990 Kansas wheat farmers produced enough wheat to make 33 billion loaves of bread, or enough to provide each person on earth with 6 loaves.

    38. Holy Cross Shrine in Pfeifer, was known as the 2 Cent Church because the building was built using a 2 cent donation on each bushel of wheat sold by members of the church.

    39. Kansas produced a record 492.2 million bushels of wheat in 1997, enough to make 35.9 billion loaves of bread.

    40. The American Institute of Baking is located in Manhattan.

    41. A 30 foot tall statue of Johnny Kaw stands in Manhattan. The statue represents the importance of the Kansas wheat farmer.

    42. The graham cracker was named after the Reverend Sylvester Graham (1794-1851). He was a Presbyterian minister who strongly believed in eating whole wheat flour products.

    43. The rocks at Rock City are huge sandstone concretions. In an area about the size of two football fields, 200 rocks, some as large as houses, dot the landscape. There is no other place in the world where there are so many concretions of such giant size.

    44. George Washington Carver, the famous botanical scientist who discovered more than 300 products made from the peanut, graduated from high school in Minneapolis in 1885.

    45. The First United Methodist Church in Hutchinson was built in 1874 during the time of the grasshopper plagues. The grasshoppers came during the construction of the churches foundation but the pastor continued with the work. As a result, thousands of grasshoppers are mixed into the mortar of the original building’s foundation.

    46. A hailstone weighing more than one and a half pounds once fell on Coffeyville.

    47. The Oregon Trail passed thru six states, including Kansas. There were no Indian attacks reported on the Oregon Trail as the travelers passed through the state.

    48. Russell Springs located in Logan County is known as the Cow Chip Capital of Kansas.

    49. The world famous fast-food chain of Pizza Hut restaurants opened its first store in Wichita.

    50. Sumner County is known as The Wheat Capital of the World.

  4. wicked

    50. Sumner County is known as The Wheat Capital of the World.

    That’s because there’s not a whole helluva lot else in Sumner Co. And I know that family that farms the majority of it.

  5. “Turns out that Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. may actually be related through Irish ancestry to the police officer who arrested him in his own house earlier this month, according to ABC News. No, really!”

    If we had this kind of digging into important matters, what improvements could we potentially gain? Ya know, accountability of elected officials and such??

  6. Pingback: Dwight Eisenhower | All Days Long

  7. Bad Biker

    Random thoughts on the Crowley – Gates – Obama controversy………..

    Well, this has been building up inside of me (for oh I don’t know how long?) (catch that one if you can) but I am getting pissed off, seriously pissed off, about this very fashionable talking point from the conservatives:

    It is the Democrats, African Americans and liberals that are racist!


    You see this on TV, (Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin) in print (Cal the Cadaver Thomas and OL) and all over the blogs (the nameless one in particular.)

    For me, it is maddening. One anti-American blogger on the WE accused me of having “white guilt” because I defended Gates’ outrage.

    More bullshit!

    Most of you know me – I “pass” for white – while being multi-cultural. I don’t no refer to myself as being from any minority group, but I have heritage from several minority groups.

    But this occurred to me today, have race relations DETERIORATED since Barack Obama became president or did his presidency just bring the inherent racism of American society out in the open?

    My opinion? The later. What’s yours?

  8. To me it’s just further proof they have nothing — no ideas, no solutions, just complaints. They have nothing valid to complain about so they’re limited to petty bickering. And not smart enough to recognize it in themselves! Like small inconsolable children they’re throwing temper tantrums!

    I say it’s all good! The Party of NO is winning no new converts! They don’t have numbers to win at the national level and all their complaining is keeping them from attracting any new people.

    They may not recognize what they’ve become, but the rest of us do.

  9. It’s along the same lines we saw during the confirmation hearings for Sonia Sotomayor — the Republican Party of old white men made themselves well known to women and minorities. We listened and we heard!

    • wicked

      Yes, but I worry about those who are waiting to for the Republican party to be saved. Obama’s approval is slipping, thanks especially to rightwing radio rants, stirring people up with untruths. Hawaii has again done a check on the birth certificate thing and pronounced it as legal, yet there are still those who swear it’s a conspiracy.

      Hearing too much news makes me sad. At least I can deal with downs in my own little world, one at a time, but throw in the country and the world, and if I had half a brain, I wouldn’t crawl out of bed in the morning.

  10. tosmarttobegop

    The only Cavalry survivor was a horse named Comanche.

    After his death Comanche was stuffed and is displayed at the University of Kansas.
    FYI part of Einstein’s brain is kept at U.K. too.

  11. tosmarttobegop

    Biker I was not naive enough to think that racism does not still exist. But the reactions I witnessed at work the morning after the election shocked me. Openly, without concern for their words several others spoke using the “N’ word. Some saying that President Obama was planning on enslaving the White race in revenge of the Slavery of the history of the U.S. The list of unrealistic statement goes on.

    One woman after going on a racist rant, qualified her stance as not being a racist by saying “I am not a racist, I had a neg** mammy growing up!”. This same woman just a week before, I had showed her a picture of my granddaughters who are mixed.

    I do think that the election did bring to the open the racism that has been tamped down over the years.
    I am so concerned for the future of my granddaughters, never did I see them as anything less then angels on Earth. But I also realize that the future they face is not what I would wish for them. The chances are the race of their mother will not accept them for who they are. The race of their natural father will accept them but not for the right reasons.

    Mixed girls are targeted by pimps more often as they can demand a higher rate and get it.
    Some Black men will only want them for a status symbol since their skin color is lighter because of the White Blood. In the end if the circumstances are not right, they will fall into a neither world where they do not belong to either race and both will not see them as less then a whole and valuable person.

    I am troubled by what to do, I love them with all my heart and my view of them is more beautiful then any could see. But simple things like gifts? A doll, there are the choices of White or Black to surround them with White dolls when their own color is neither White or Black? Black Dolls have the same problem?
    Toys where the color does not matter is different and they are only five at this time so the color may not matter at this point. But as they get older they will become more aware of themselves and the world.
    We will all strive to help them see themselves for being themselves and color is not a matter.
    But for them it will become a matter, others will see the differences and point them out.

    They are wonderful, loving without shame, giving without thought, brighter then the sun and warmer too.

    • wicked

      The upside of this is that as society ages, we’ll see less and less. More mixed-race people will make the difference, as will the younger generation, which I hold out hope for.

      But then I thought the same during the 60’s, and look at all of them who became the current species of old white men. Shameful.

    • Bad Biker

      My oldest grand daughter is half and a dash NA. She is often mistaken for Hispanic. (I guess that is logical because Hispanics are generally a mix of European and NA.)

      Of course, finding a NA doll for her to play with that doesn’t look like a caricature of Pocahontas is impossible.

      So, she plays with all sorts of dolls, black, white, whatever.

      But addressing your concerns for your grandchildren – there is much to be hopeful about.

      The population of mixed race children is large and growing. Racial attitudes among younger people are far better than they are among older folks. Most of the 18-35 year olds that I know are accepting of all races. Yes, the redneck element still exists in some areas, but the mixing of races, both in reproduction and socially is much, much more prevalent than it was even 30 -40 years ago.

      In my view, we still have a long way to go, but as a society, we have already come a long, long way.

  12. wicked

    My oldest granddaughter is 1/4 Middle Eastern, either Lebanese or Syrian. Her father was adopted with a full mother of whichever. I never noticed it until she got to be about 2, when I learned, but it’s there if you look. Darker cast under her eyes, and she tans like a dream. Blue/green eyes and brown hair. She’s stunning.

    I learned a little French when I was 4 from a French-Egyptian man, a friend of my parents. Kids don’t notice the differences nearly as much as adults. Racism is taught, not inherent. The more we can teach that we’re all the same inside, the better we’ll be.

  13. wicked

    My dad was not a racist, but he had a problem with mixed-race marriages. I compare it to bluejays and robins not mating. 🙂 They’re all birds, but there are different kinds. It’s one of those things I’ve had to work to overcome, only because it’s what I grew up with. The problem I had was with what tstbgop mentioned, which is the fact that each “race” of a mixed child might have problems, leading to a person who feels they have no heritage to claim. Other than that, lead on, MacDuff.

    • wicked

      I shouldn’t have used the word “problem.” More apt would be concerns, and those for the child. Adults need to loosen up and get real. If one of my daughters married someone of a different race, I still might have concerns for their child(ren) on a social level, but I see brighter horizons in the future for all.

  14. Sarah Palin’s farewell address—which included such gems as “In the winter time it’s the frozen road that is competing with the view of ice fogged frigid beauty, the cold though, doesn’t it split the Cheechakos from the Sourdoughs?” —might not exactly scream “talk radio,” but the former Alaska governor is apparently looking into launching her own show anyway. Inside Radio reports that “While not exactly shopping the GOP’s 2008 vice presidential candidate, sources say Palin representatives have been quietly testing the waters to see how much interest radio syndicators have for her.”

  15. “Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s (R-Texas) announcement that she will resign her seat this fall sets off a rare Senate special election next spring.

    “The actual leaving of the Senate will be sometime — October, November — that, in that time frame,” Hutchison told Mark Davis, a conservative talk radio host in Dallas, this morning.

    Hutchison had long been expected to resign from the Senate to focus full time on her challenge to Gov. Rick Perry (R) in next March’s primary although some national Republicans held out hope that she might stay in the Senate.

    A source close to Perry predicts the special election will be held before May, noting that the governor has the sole authority to decide when the race will be run and believes the state needs a full time senator sooner rather than later.”

    • wicked

      Do I hear laughter from the former Texas contingency among us? Ironic laughter, at that.

      I have a friend who will be tickled about KBH leaving the Senate. Not sure if she’s all that much better than Mr. Hair, but it couldn’t get much worse.

  16. PrairiePond

    Hey, just a personal note…

    If any of you read or post at DU, you may know this guy. And yeah, we really do call him Hobbit in real life. Because, well, he LOOKS like a Hobbit. hehehe.

    I got an email this morning telling me about his wife. It was a shocker. She was a very special person, and I cant even imagine Hobbit without Donna. She really was the love of his life.

    I was at their wedding, but I’m not in the picture. If any of you post or read at DU, I know he would be touched by your comments. I knew he was a DU’er but I had no idea he was so well known and loved at DU. I just know I love him dearly. I ‘m so glad I went to see them when I was in Austin last.×6179966

  17. Bad Biker

    “Well, this has been building up inside of me (for oh I don’t know how long?) ”

    Properly, the line is “Well, it’s has been building up inside of me for, oh, I don’t know how long?”

    This is the first line from the Beach Boys 1964 hit single “Don’t Worry, Baby.”

    • wicked

      Now you have me singing. Believe me, that’s not something you want to hear.

      Ah, the Beach Boys. ::happy sigh::