The geographic center of the continental United States (not counting Alaska and Hawaii) is near the town of Lebanon, Kansas, in Smith County.
Bison — also called buffalo — were once very common in Kansas. And they are getting to be again. They don't get cold outside in the winter. Their big hoofs can paw right through deep snow to find grasses to eat.
Kansas is known for its dramatic weather. It was pounded, once, by the largest hailstones ever weighed — 1.67 pounds apiece! It is also in the string of states — Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas — that gets blasted by one-third of all the tornadoes that hit North America. Remember Dorothy and Toto from The Wizard of Oz? They were from Kansas!
Kansas is partly “Old West.” It has part of the Santa Fe Trail, nine miles west of Dodge City. Pioneers used the trail to go west, and ranchers used it to herd cattle. Stagecoaches, freight wagons, and soldiers used it, too. Some wagon wheel ruts are still there.
Kansas is the thirty-second largest state in population and has just over 2.6 million people. Topeka, the capital, is the fourth largest city and has about 119,000 people.