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.

Civil Rights
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.

Alcohol Laws
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.

Kansas Jails