Kansas March 31, 2016
12 Insane Things That Happened In Kansas You Won’t Find In History Books
If you attended school in Kansas, there is a good chance you’ve learned a great deal about the history of the state. The Kansas-Nebraska Act. Dalton Gang. Brown v. Board of Education. You know it all. However, I am willing to bet you’ve never heard the story of White Castle, Hazel Ying Lee, or what’s really hidden within the Kansas Underground Salt Museum. Am I right? Read on to learn more about these forgotten moments in Kansas history:
1. Chinese-American Hazel Ying Lee was a "calm and fearless" pilot who flew for the U.S. Air Force in WWII. During one forced landing in Kansas, she was chased by a farmer with a pitchfork who warned his neighbors of the invading Japanese. Lee stood her ground and eventually the farmer backed off.
2. After a massive tornado hit Kansas State University in June 2008, there were several damaged buildings and one that was completely destroyed... that building, of course, was the Wind Erosion Lab.
3. In 1909, residents of Ulysses (literally) up and moved their town in order to escape high property taxes.
4. White Castle restaurants were founded in Wichita in 1921.
As you have probably noticed, there hasn't been a White Castle in Kansas in the past few decades.
5. The character of Dorothy Gale was inspired by an Irving, Kansas resident (named Dorothy Gale) who was found buried in a mud puddle after a deadly tornado.
6. The Cosmosphere in Hutchinson is home to the largest combined collection of U.S. and Russian spaceflight artifacts in the world.
7. In the early 1900s, Dr. John R. Brinkley of Milford performed “goat gland operations” on impotent men, claiming it would fix the “sexually weak.”
Needless to say, this didn't cure the men and Brinkley was sued dozens of times for preventable infections and wrongful deaths.
8. Sure, Kansas may be flatter than a pancake... but it isn't even one of the top five flattest states.
Fun fact: Florida and Illinois are actually the two flattest states in the country.
9. ...but it should be noted that the highest point in Kansas (Mount Sunflower) sits closely to the lowest point of Colorado.
10. After killing John Wilkes Booth and retiring from the army, Thomas "Boston" Corbett is thought to have grown out his hair (to emulate Jesus), castrated himself with scissors, and lived in a hole near Concordia.
11. In 2010, Kansas State University professor Mark Haub went on a “convenience store” diet to demonstrate that pure calorie counting is what matters most in weight loss.
He lost 27 pounds after two months of eating mostly Twinkies, Oreos and Doritos.
12. The original film negatives for classics such as Ben Hur, Wizard of Oz, and Star Wars are stored in Hutchinson's Kansas Underground Salt Museum.
How many of these interesting tidbits did you already know?