www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

Today's fierce urgency is voter mobilization -1/25/2015, 5:02 PM

Duke, Muslims and politics of intimidation -1/25/2015, 5:02 PM

Right to hunt -1/25/2015, 5:02 PM

Pipeline: Foreign profits, American risk -1/23/2015, 7:47 AM

Social Darwinist 'Christianity' -- Chapter 3 -1/23/2015, 7:47 AM

Kiwanis generosity -1/23/2015, 7:47 AM

The state economy -1/22/2015, 10:23 AM

Restate of the union -1/22/2015, 10:23 AM

France needs our First Amendment -1/22/2015, 10:23 AM

Repurposing Washington -1/20/2015, 9:31 AM

March for Life -1/20/2015, 9:31 AM

Brownback, the budget and schools -1/20/2015, 9:31 AM

Sensible checks are no assault on gun rights -1/19/2015, 9:50 AM

Jeb Bush chooses expedience on marriage issue -1/19/2015, 9:50 AM

The State of the State Address and the legislative session -1/19/2015, 8:47 AM

Spending's not the culprit in budget woes -1/18/2015, 3:32 PM

Pilgrim's paradise -1/18/2015, 3:32 PM

Spring elections -1/18/2015, 3:23 PM

Kobach is back -1/16/2015, 3:04 PM

More with Les -1/16/2015, 10:03 AM

Understanding Hooper -1/16/2015, 10:02 AM

Basic economics -1/16/2015, 10:01 AM

Female governance -1/15/2015, 9:37 AM

2015 energy policy -- a unique opportunity -1/15/2015, 9:37 AM

The better option -1/15/2015, 9:36 AM

'Wall Street' a waste -1/14/2015, 2:50 PM

Trade already -1/14/2015, 2:49 PM

No media bias? -1/14/2015, 2:48 PM

Retirement funds -1/14/2015, 2:47 PM

Redefining public education in Kansas -1/13/2015, 10:06 AM

What the future holds -1/13/2015, 10:06 AM

Efficient education -1/13/2015, 10:06 AM

Terrorists usher in the 'End of Satire' -1/12/2015, 9:14 AM

Sexuality, lame logic, substandard science -1/12/2015, 9:14 AM

A tragic family story -1/11/2015, 12:11 PM

For freedom, LGBT rights, a year of decision -1/11/2015, 12:11 PM

Roberts' promotion -1/11/2015, 12:11 PM

FHSU campaign -1/11/2015, 12:11 PM

Fairness in U.S. -1/9/2015, 3:05 PM

Liberals' use of black people -- Part II -1/9/2015, 9:09 AM

Social Darwinist 'Christians' -- Chapter 2 -1/9/2015, 9:09 AM

Taxing situation -1/9/2015, 9:09 AM

Trust: Society depends on it -1/8/2015, 9:55 AM

Education schools lack a paradigm -1/8/2015, 9:55 AM

Congress convenes -1/7/2015, 10:07 AM

Simple way to fix gridlock: change committees -1/7/2015, 10:06 AM

Kansas is your customer -1/7/2015, 10:06 AM

Large budget shortfalls await solution -1/6/2015, 10:06 AM

The state and funding K-12 education -1/6/2015, 10:06 AM

Tree removal -1/6/2015, 10:06 AM

Republicans won -- now what? -1/5/2015, 9:13 AM

Social Darwinist religion, Chapter 1 -1/5/2015, 9:13 AM

Liberals' use of black people -1/2/2015, 9:53 AM

Ignorance abounds -1/2/2015, 9:53 AM

Superbug dilemma -1/2/2015, 9:53 AM

Thanks North Korea -12/31/2014, 1:26 PM

Sony gets the last laugh -12/31/2014, 1:26 PM

Free speech -12/31/2014, 1:16 PM

New Year's resolutions -- sort of -12/31/2014, 9:22 AM

A flat-footed backflip for Wall Street -12/31/2014, 9:22 AM

Dim the lights -12/31/2014, 9:22 AM

Some near-sure bets for the new year -12/31/2014, 9:21 AM

Adios, Rick Perry -12/30/2014, 8:20 AM

Budget strife means high-anxiety session -12/30/2014, 8:20 AM

Time for caution -12/30/2014, 8:20 AM

-12/29/2014, 10:01 AM

Court's raw deal -12/29/2014, 10:01 AM

Chris Christie's pork barrel politics -12/29/2014, 10:00 AM

A Festivus Miracle -12/27/2014, 4:18 PM

Faith, not politics, keeps Christ in Christmas -12/27/2014, 4:18 PM

EPA rule falls short -12/27/2014, 4:18 PM

2014: The year in Kansas higher education -12/26/2014, 9:39 AM

Methane from cattle -12/26/2014, 9:39 AM

Black progression and retrogression -12/26/2014, 9:38 AM

Up-Lyft-ing Christmas tale -12/25/2014, 1:22 PM

Terrorism on soft targets -12/25/2014, 1:22 PM

Story of Christmas -12/25/2014, 1:22 PM

Fabricated column -12/24/2014, 8:21 AM

The Christmas spirit dwells in us all -12/24/2014, 8:21 AM

Celebrating life -12/24/2014, 8:21 AM

A visit from St. Nicholas -12/24/2014, 8:21 AM

A look ahead to the Legislature -12/23/2014, 9:34 AM

There is a Santa Claus -12/23/2014, 9:34 AM

Cuban sanctions need to be lifted -12/23/2014, 9:33 AM

2016 presidential campaign already boring -12/22/2014, 9:08 AM

A rainbow coalition of protests -12/22/2014, 9:07 AM

Budget needs dynamic leadership, not scoring -12/21/2014, 1:06 PM

Sure, you can say that -- but please don't -12/21/2014, 1:06 PM

Holiday travel -12/19/2014, 10:16 AM

ALEC's starring role in the 'Wrecking Crew' -12/19/2014, 10:17 AM

Should profiling be banned? -12/19/2014, 10:06 AM

No right to misbehave -12/18/2014, 10:09 AM

Pompeo deserves thanks -12/18/2014, 10:00 AM

Executive orders -12/18/2014, 10:00 AM

Attack on Pearl Harbor -12/18/2014, 10:00 AM

Christ's role -12/18/2014, 9:59 AM

Governing vs. giving -12/18/2014, 9:58 AM

Adapting to change -12/17/2014, 10:30 AM

Brownback's 'vision' -12/17/2014, 10:30 AM

Young at heart -12/17/2014, 10:29 AM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Famous Kansans

Published on -1/29/2014, 10:10 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

What do the sunflower, buffalo, barred tiger salamander, ornate box turtle, cottonwood, honeybee, Western meadowlark and "Home On the Range" all have in common? All are official symbols of the state of Kansas.

Such trivia is taught in Kansas schools as early as preschool. Students throughout the state likely are recognizing Kansas Day today as well. It was on Jan. 29, 1861, that Kansas was the 34th state admitted to the Union.

On this 153rd anniversary of that date, we salute some of the influential men and women who have made their home on this range. It is the people of Kansas, after all, who make this state great.

Do Kansas natives Amelia Earhart, Dwight D. Eisenhower, William Allen White or Bob Dole need any biographical information? Probably not. Again, most children learn about these famous figures in class.

There are multitude other Kansans who might not show up on a syllabus, but they should. In their own way, each was transformative and memorable. We applaud the Kansas State Historical Society for keeping their stories alive and accessible.

There was Laura Ingalls Wilder, who fictionalized her stay in the Kansas Territory in "Little House on the Prairie." "The Learning Tree" was based on the Fort Scott childhood memories of Gordon Parks. Writer Langston Hughes grew up in Topeka and Lawrence.

There was Charlie Parker, the great jazz alto saxophonist who developed bebop by focusing on harmony instead of melody. He hailed from Kansas City, Kan. The father of the tenor sax, Coleman Hawkins, played in the Topeka High School band.

The women's temperance movement would not have been the same without the hatchet-wielding Carry Nation destroying saloons in Medicine Lodge. The first basketball coach at the University of Kansas was the game's inventor, James Naismith. Movie star Dennis Hopper was born in Dodge City.

White Castle restaurants began in Wichita with co-founders Walter Anderson and Bill Ingram. Psychiatric treatment was forever advanced by Karl Menninger and the family namesake clinic and foundation in Topeka. Had George Sternberg not been born in Lawrence, the Fish-Within-a-Fish might still be buried in Gove County and the Sternberg Museum of Natural History in Hays might have a different name.

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks was from Topeka. Osawatomie discovered John Brown was not above using violence to end slavery in the territory. Emmett Kelly, the sad clown known as Weary Willie, was from Sedan. Peanut expert George Washington Carver homesteaded in Ness County. Automobile titan Walter Chrysler was born in Wamego and raised in Ellis.

Thomas Corbett homesteaded near Concordia and gained fame for killing John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln's assassin. Russell Stover Candies traces its namesake lineage to Alton. The first woman mayor in the United States was Susanna Salter, elected to the post in Argonia after some men jokingly nominated her.

Samuel Dinsmoor wasn't born in Kansas but you still can view his body in Lucas at the Garden of Eden, which he built before dying in 1932. St. Francis' Ron Evans was among the crew of Apollo 17, the last U.S. mission to the moon. Microchip inventor Jack Kilby graduated high school in Great Bend. The "Potato King of the World," Junius Groves, farmed near Edwardsville. Not surprisingly, aviation-renowned Wichita was home to William Lear Sr., Clyde Cessna and Walter and Olive Beech.

The list is not intended to be all-inclusive. Far from it. With each passing generation, a few more names get added. Kansas has its place in history because of the people who do historic deeds. All of them did -- just like all of us can -- get to the stars through difficulties.

Happy birthday, Kansas. Ad astra per aspera.

Editorial by Patrick Lowry

plowry@dailynews.net

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos

AP Breaking News
AP Nation-World News

View this site in another language.