Last weekend, a birthday went by almost unnoticed. On Jan. 29, 1861, Kansas became the 34th state to join the Union, but outside of Topeka, few events were held.
In the 156 years since gaining statehood, Kansas has built a proud legacy of individualism, freedom and free markets.
Although not a public holiday, statewide observation usually includes activities focused on state history, events and prominent or famous Kansans.
In 2011, on its 150th birthday, there were statewide celebrations including a talk by former Governor John W. Carlin, titled “Kansas at 150: What Looking at the Past Can Tell Us about Moving Forward,” at Washburn University.
This year, if events were planned for area schools, county and cities they were sparse. Inquiries went unanswered, or indicated no events were planned.
“We did have an event at the library planned, but it was canceled because the predictions about the ice storm that were expected that same weekend,” said Sharon Watson, Johnson County public information officer, The event was not rescheduled.”
In Topeka, The Kansas Department of Commerce hosted the first of three Made in Kansas Days, Jan. 31 on the rotunda at the Kansas Statehouse and featured several manufacturers in the state including Mars Chocolate.