Where will you be and what will you be doing on Kansas Day? It's a day worth commemorating, whether you live in one of the state's 627 incorporated cities or are a Sunflower expatriate. On January 29, 1861, Kansas joined the United States as a Free State. Many consider this to be a precursor to […]

Where will you be and what will you be doing on Kansas Day?
It's a day worth commemorating, whether you live in one of the state's 627 incorporated cities or are a Sunflower expatriate.
On January 29, 1861, Kansas joined the United States as a Free State. Many consider this to be a precursor to the Civil War, since our state's admission to the Union upset the balance between Free and Slave States.
In case you don't have any plans for the day, here is a list of five suggestions for how you can celebrate all things Kansas on our state's special day.
1) Visit a museum and learn more about Kansas, or your local, history. You may even want to plan a future trip to some interesting museums you may have never visited before, like the Kansas Museum of History in Topeka.
2) Read a book that covers some interesting facet of Kansas history. I just finished reading Kansas: The History of the Sunflower State, 1854-2000 by Craig Miner. It's a very enjoyable read and will help you to understand how Kansas transformed from a pioneer country with somewhat radical ideas and politics to a progress-oriented, modern state that still has its radical elements.
3) Explore your Kansas roots. While I wasn't born and raised here, many of my ancestors were, including both of my grandmothers. Kansas Day would be a great time to record (audio or video) your grandmother or grandfather's recollections about growing up on the Kansas prairie, farm, or in a city.
4) Buy a bouquet that contains at least one sunflower for that special someone in your life. It's one way to say, 'Thanks for sharing Kansas with me.'
5) Have a Kansas Day barbecue and invite your fellow Kansans over. Here's what your menu might look: grilled bison burgers on homemade whole wheat buns (perhaps with a little Grannie's Mustard), baked beans, corn casserole, coleslaw, and sunflower seed cookies. That's what we'll be having at our house. Before everyone goes home, don't forget to sing 'Home on the Range.'
Perhaps the best way to celebrate Kansas Day is to follow the advice found on a road sign along Highway 400 west of Ford: 'Have a happy Kansas.'