Kansas Timeline

1500s - 1600s
  • (1541) Explorers, searching for gold, claimed Kansas for Spain
  • (1682) French explorer LaSalle claimed all of the Kansas territory for France
  • (1803) U.S. acquired most of Kansas from France in the Louisiana Purchase
  • (1822) Captain W. H. Becknell pioneered the Santa Fe Trail
  • (1827) Fort Leavenworth established
  • (1830s) Settlers arrived by the thousands
  • (1854) Kansas Territory was organized
  • (1855-1859) The Kansas-Nebraska Act caused bloody fighting over slavery; Kansas was called "Bloody Kansas."
  • (1860) First railroad reached Kansas
  • (1862) Kansas became a state
  • (1867) The railroad arrived in Abilene, and the first cattle were driven up the Chisholm Trail
  • (1887) Susanna Salter elected mayor of Argonia, Kansas; became the first woman mayor in the country
  • (1894-1895) The state's oil and gas fields went into production
  • (1930s) Severe dust storms destroyed acres and acres of crops
  • (1951) Floods struck the state causing wide-spread damage
  • (1952) Dwight David Eisenhower, Kansas' adopted favorite son, became U.S. President
  • (1952) U.S. Supreme Court declared segregation in public school illegal, in the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education case of Topeka
  • (1961) The world's largest wheat elevator was built in Hutchinson
  • (1969) President Dwight David Eisenhower died
  • (1976) Famed Kansas politician Bob Dole ran for Vice President
  • (1978) Nancy Landon Kassebaum became the first women from Kansas elected U.S. Senator
  • (1988) Kansas Jayhawks won the NCAA Tourney
  • (1996) Bob Dole (Russell, Kansas) ran for President
  • (2002) Maiden flight of Airborne Laser, designed to destroy missles during early stage launch, took off from McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita
  • (2003) Tornadoes killed seven people
  • (2005) BTK (bind, torture, kill) serial killer, Dennis Rader, arrested
  • (2009) Abortion doctor, George Tiller, killed in church in Wichita
  • (2009) Huge winter storm caused road closures, flight cancellations
  • (2011) US soldier, Bradley Manning, involved in Wikileaks scandal, moved to Fort Leavenworth military prison
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