Every year Kansas Day, the state’s elementary schools teach about Kansas. Most of us are aware that Kansas is referred to as the “Sunflower State,” but have we forgotten the other Kansas facts? If it’s been awhile since you learned about Kansas Day, here are a few facts you should know.
The word Kansas comes from a Sioux word which means “People of the South Wind”
Though the full meaning of the word has been long lost, we know that the name Kansas bears reference to the wind, and has been interpreted as “People of the south wind.”
Our state bird is the Western Meadowlark.
This is a pretty common Kansas fact that most of our state’s natives know, but many Kansans cannot properly identify the Western Meadowlark. Can you? Which bird pictured below is representative of our state?
Spoiler alert: It’s the one on the right.
Our state tree is the Eastern Cottonwood.
It is with pride that we endure allergies that would be unparalleled in any other state. Next time you accidentally inhale a piece of cotton floating through the air, accept it as a opportunity to be thankful for the state you're from.
Our state reptile is the Ornate box turtle.
If you’ve never caught a turtle or pulled over to help one across a busy street, you might not be from Kansas at all.
Our state animal is the buffalo.
As I’m sure you know, encounters with buffalo are not common, contrary to what many out-of-staters believe. Nevertheless, we get excited to see buffalo when we’re at the zoo, even if they aren’t doing much.
Our state song is “Home on the Range”
This song is likely the source of the confusion regarding the buffalo. The lyrics were originally a poem written in the 1870’s, and were adopted as the Kansas state song in 1947. It would seem that buffalo were a much more integral part of Kansas’s culture back in the days of the poem’s author, Dr. Brewster M. Higley.