Wagon ruts from the trail are still visible in the prairie today.
In 1827, Fort Leavenworth became the first permanent settlement of white Americans in the future state.
Kansas was first settled by European Americans in 1812, in what is now Bonner Springs, but the pace of settlement accelerated in the 1850s, in the midst of political wars over the slavery issue.
Directly presaging the American Civil War, these forces collided, entering into skirmishes that earned the territory the name of Bleeding Kansas.
Kansas was admitted to the Union as a free state on January 29, 1861, making it the 34th state to join the United States.
By that time the violence in Kansas had largely subsided, but during the Civil War, on August 21, 1863, William Quantrill led several hundred men on a raid into Lawrence, destroying much of the city and killing nearly 200 people.
Our Word of the Year choice serves as a symbol of each year’s most meaningful events and lookup trends.
It is an opportunity for us to reflect on the language and ideas that represented each year.