Congratulations to Kansas on celebrating 156 years of statehood.
Also known as the Sunflower State, Kansas was admitted to the Union on Jan. 29, 1861 as the 34th state.
Kansas’ beginnings were somewhat chaotic; known as “Bleeding Kansas,” her birth was host to battles between pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces.
In 1859, John Brown led a group of Kansans to Harper’s Ferry, Va., which helped foster the Civil War.
From the beginning, Kansans have been known for their individualism, home not only to John Brown, but also the man who bailed Carrie Nation out of jail: publisher Nick Chiles.
In 1901 The Topeka Daily Capital writes that temperance “chieftess” Carrie Nation was still incarcerated in a Topeka jail for her acts defying alcohol laws of the time. However, according to the newspaper clipping, Nation’s bail was to be posted by Chiles, publisher of the nation’s most successful African American newspaper – 1899-1958 – The Plaindealer.
Individuality and strong principals are part and parcel of Kansas history.
But this year, Kansas’ birthday passed by quietly, like an old lady sitting quietly in her rocking chair, simmering.
There’s much more here than meets the eye.