Kansas, a U.S. state nestled in the Midwest, takes its name from the Kansa Native American tribe that lived in the area. The name's origin is a Sioux word that means "people of the south wind." The state's nicknames are the Sunflower State and the Jayhawk State.
In 1541, Spanish adventurers arrived and explored the state. Explorers from French Canada later roamed the area in 1673. The United States bought Kansas from France in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase.
Reverend Sylvester Graham was a Kansan minister who was the inspiration for the graham cracker. He was a strong supporter of whole-wheat flour food products. Because Kansas is the country's leader in wheat production, the state's city of Wellington became unofficially known as the wheat capital of the world. The state is also the country's second largest producer of beef cattle.
Many famous historical figures were from Kansas. Almon Strowger of El Dorado is the inventor of the dial telephone, while Charles Wilson and William Purvis of Goodland invented the helicopter. Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean and the first licensed female pilot accredited by the National Aeronautics Association, was a native of Atchison, Kansas.
Dodge City, Kansas is the windiest city in the United States. Its average wind speed reaches 14 miles per hour.