TOPEKA (KSNT) – Kansas will be 161 years old on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022.

“Pretty much everything in our gallery represents the people of Kansas. Who we are, where we have been and where we want to go. Just going into that gallery makes you proud to be a Kansans.” Trae Johnson, Kansas Museum of History Educator.

On Jan. 29, 1861, Kansas was admitted to the Union as a free state. It was the 34th state to join the Union.

The Kansas Museum of History contains several artifacts that depict the history of Kansas:

  • Native American culture
  • Bison that roamed the prairie
  • Covered wagons that crossed Kansas on their way to the west coast
  • Log cabins that the first settlers built
  • The first plow that opened up the vast prairies
  • General Custer’s leather boots
  • The birthplace of the civil war
  • William Allen White’s printing press
  • The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad.

The Kansas Historical Society celebrates Kansas Day with several events, including online activities and videos about Kansas History. Click here to learn more about the Kansas Museum of History.

By the 1850s immigration, the pressure was increasing, and so was the desire to organize into a Territory. The Territory of Kansas was an incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 30, 1854, until Jan. 29, 1861, when it was admitted to the United States.

The land that would become Kansas Territory was considered infertile by 19th-century American pioneers. It was called the Great American Desert, for it lacked trees and was dryer than land in the east. Technically, it was part of the vast grasslands that make up the North American Great Plains and supported giant herds of American bison.

Links to more information on the Kansas Day activities at the Kansas Museum of History,

  • Kansas Day in the Classroom (resources mentioned): Kansas Historical Society
  • Kansas Day Edventure 2022 website
  • Main Kansas Historical Society YouTube
    • Happy Birthday, Kansas! Student Photo Contest Virtual Celebrations:
      • Kansas Historical Society website
      • Kansas Historical Society YouTube playlist