Kansas is located in the Midwestern United States. The state is well
known for its role in the classic movie "The Wizard of Oz," where the
main character Dorothy longs to be back with her family on their Kansas
farm after being hurtled to a strange world of Oz via a tornado. She
eventually wakes up in her Kansas home after clicking her heels
together and chanting the phrase "there's no place like home."
The land that Kansas now occupies was the home to many Native American
tribes for thousands of years. Kansas is one of the most productive
agricultural states, with some of its largest production items being
wheat and sunflowers. A large part of Kansas was obtained by Europeans
through the Louisiana Purchase.
Kansas is divided into 105 counties, with the most populous being
Johnson followed by Sedgwick. Kansas has the sixth highest numbers of
counties in the United States, and none of the counties have more than
word in their name.
People in Kansas have legal trouble just like everywhere else. The
incarceration rate of Kansans is 305 out of every 100,000 residents,
which is below the national rate of 502. A recent concern is that the
incarceration rate in Sedgwick County is higher than the national
average. The main contributing factor is thought to be legislation that
requires jail time for certain offenses. Sedgwick County is trying to
identify ways to decrease their incarceration rate to levels that match
or fall below national rates.
Kansas has a significant place in civil rights history. The famous
Supreme Court case Brown vs. the Board of Education originated in
Topeka. The plaintiffs of this class action suit were thirteen African
American parents on behalf of their twenty children. The parents had
tried to enroll their children in the schools that were closest to
their homes, but were denied based on their race.
A landmark decision was reached by the Supreme Court in 1954 declaring
that state laws establishing separate public schools for black and
white children were unconstitutional. This decision paved the way for
integration in schools and the civil rights movement.
The laws pertaining to alcohol in Kansas are some of the strictest in
the United States. Kansas had statewide prohibition from 1881-1948.
Although this is not the case today, the state still has 25 dry
counties that prohibit the sale of on-premise liquor, but do allow the
sale of beer. Alcohol legislation is enforced by the Kansas Division of
Alcoholic Beverage Control.
Weird Kansas Laws
Most states have some crazy laws on their books, and Kansas is no
exception. If you plan to go fishing, you should know that it is
illegal to catch a fish with your bare hands. If you are in a
motorboat, don't even think about shooting a rabbit because you will be
breaking the law.
Pedestrians crossing the highway at night must wear tail lights. And if
two trains meet on the same track, neither shall proceed until the
other has passed. If you are a train conductor who is dead set on
following the law, you will be sitting there for a long time.