Kansas Sesquicentennial

The State of Kansas celebrated its sesquicentennial (that's a fancy word for "150th birthday") on January 29, 2011. Below is a collection of stories, photos and documents about Kansas history from the Lawrence Journal-World and the Wichita Eagle.

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Lawrence Sesquicentennial

Special coverage of the city's sesquicentennial.

Map: Prelude to War
Experts: In its next 150 years, Kansas to see monumental shifts
December 2, 2011
Kansas in the next 150 years will rely less on agriculture as the backbone fueling its economy and more on the ingenuity and resilience of its urban residents to thrive.
Pony Express riders carry letters from Lecompton to Topeka in commemorative event
October 10, 2011
At this age, it’s OK to celebrate your milestones together.
Little-known facts about Quantrill’s Raid
August 19, 2011
Local author Tom Mach unearths many details about Quantrill’s raid while doing research for his historical novels.
Kansans produce, export wide variety of goods
August 8, 2011
For the 150 years Kansas has been a state, Kansans — with their own hands and know-how — have carved names for themselves.
Auctioneers’ calls beckon Kansas bidders
August 1, 2011
On hot summer days, the cries of auctioneers can be heard in almost any corner of Kansas. In the midst of bawling cattle, clucking chickens, oinking pigs, estate and land sales, the chants and sing-songs go on.
Exhibit detailing life of Lincoln on display at Lecompton’s Territorial Capital Museum
July 6, 2011
A traveling exhibit chronicling the life and times of Abraham Lincoln is on display in Lecompton, the site of a pivotal decision that helped clear the way for his election as president.
Kansas was the cradle of cowboy culture
July 4, 2011
Sure, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado all have their mountains. Texas has its big cities and big-name ranches. But Kansas gave the Old West everything iconic that westerners hold dear.
Buffalo helped shape culture of Kansas
June 27, 2011
Buffalo dot the prairie like a scene from Frederic Remington’s Old West. The 2,000-pound giants walk across ridges and clearings, noses to the ground, biting blades of grass, bellowing primordial sounds, deep and guttural. Dust rises with each step. Could this be what the first Kansans saw and heard?
Kansas has been a stronghold of faith since its early days
June 12, 2011
Since its beginnings, Kansas has often been the center for fiery, passionate strongholds of religious faith and freedom. In Kansas’ 150 years as a state, the waves of its religious tides have rippled throughout the nation — from abolitionists and prohibitionists to anti-abortion demonstrators, each making headlines along the way.
Legislators plan visit Friday to Lecompton to underscore community’s contribution to Kansas’ history
04:44 p.m., May 17, 2011 Updated 06:25 p.m.
Lecompton will be the center of state government on Friday.
More than $25,000 raised to help restore Kansas cabin
May 16, 2011
An effort to save the rural Kansas cabin where “Home on the Range” was written in 1872 is attracting attention and money.
Home on the Range’ cabin in need of repairs
April 25, 2011
The cabin in north-central Kansas where “Home on the Range” was written is badly in need of repairs, and Kansans are stepping up to try to save it.
Kansas Historical Society looking for pre-statehood buildings
April 18, 2011
The Kansas Historical Society is looking for help from the public as the agency seeks to identify Kansas buildings constructed in 1861 and earlier.
Civil War 150th anniversary inspires host of activities in Lawrence
April 11, 2011
When news broke of shots fired on Fort Sumter and the proclamation of war that followed, the residents of Lawrence greeted it with excitement — and as a call to action.
Watkins Museum to feature discussion on Kansas during the Great Depression
April 11, 2011
The Watkins Community Museum of History will present a discussion by Lorraine Madway, “Struggle and Resilience: Kansas During the Great Depression,” at 2 p.m. April 23 in the Community Room at the museum.
Exhibit showcases unique side of Kansas history
April 11, 2011
Kansas has been highlighting its 150th anniversary with plenty of exhibits detailing the long march from shallow Permian sea to agri-industrial state.
Drive to save cabin on the range
March 28, 2011
Orin Friesen has launched a campaign to raise money for Brewster Higley’s cabin in Smith County where the frontier doctor wrote in 1872 what eventually became the Kansas state song.
Santa Fe Trail leaves a lasting impression in Kansas
March 20, 2011
Steve Schmidt searched for years before finding that piece of land in Marion County with a ribbon of historic highway stretching across it. More than anything, he wanted to own a piece of history along the Santa Fe Trail.
Cattle drive to mark Kansas’ 150th birthday
March 18, 2011
A long-abandoned cattle trail through central Kansas will be bustling once again late this summer.
Art in Kansas has a long and varied history
March 13, 2011
Describing Kansas art in generalities is difficult, even for the most esteemed art historians in the state. It shares geography — and some would say a general spirit.
Wild horses again find a home on the range
March 13, 2011
A thousand horses come pounding, thundering across the prairie, nostrils flared and snorting, manes and tails flying in the wind.
Kansas’ 150th birthday concert won’t be televised
09:46 a.m., March 1, 2011 Updated 10:57 a.m.
A concert to celebrate Kansas’ 150th birthday will go on, but Kansans won’t be able to see it on television.
Sacred Places
February 20, 2011
There are various sacred places and worship sites scattered across the state.
Goal: Bring treaties back to Kansas
February 20, 2011
Pickup trucks and cars daily whoosh past the intersection of 61st North and Seneca near the northern edge of Wichita.
Native Americans: the first Kansans
February 20, 2011
Go anywhere in Kansas and the influence of the Native American tribes who lived on this land is there.