Monday, January 27, 2014

Kansas Day - January 29

picture courtesy of
On January 29, 1861, Kansas became the 34th state admitted into the Union. Which means this year (2014) Kansas will be celebrating its 153rd birthday. Below is a list of where the public can celebrate our states birthday this year.

Jan 29

  • Re-Dedication of the Kansas Capital Building
    9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Kansas Day will be commemorated at the Kansas State Capitol with a dedication ceremony of the newly restored building. Events are also planned for the Kansas Museum of History in Topeka and several state historic sites.

  • Kansas Day at the Museum of History
    10th and Jackson
    9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
    Kansas became a state on January 29, 1861! Join us as we explore the rich heritage of Kansas and commemorate its 153rd birthday!

    The special exhibit, "Speaking of Quilts: Voices from the Collection and the Community," features timeless beauties to contemporary art quilts from the museum collections and generous lenders. Kansas Day visitors can explore the creativity and skill of Kansans in the exhibit and then speak with other Kansas artisans demonstrating throughout the museum galleries.

    Kansas Day at the Museum features:

    Hands-on standards based activities
    Main Gallery exhibits
    "Speaking of Quilts: Voices from the Collection and the Community" exhibit
    Demonstrations of historic crafts and skills
    Teaching carts with historic objects
    - Kansas State Historical Society

  • Thursday, January 16, 2014


    photo by Kevin Surbaugh

    Before it became the Kansas capital, Topeka was the seat of a free-state government — an alternative to the official pro-slavery territorial legislature elected in 1855. These two bodies represented opposing factions in Kansas’ battle over slavery. Antislavery Kansans refused to recognize the official legislature because the elections had been heavily tainted by fraud: thousands of residents from pro-slavery Missouri crossed the border to cast illegal ballots in Kansas. The antislavery faction elected its own delegates in 1855 to draw up a state constitution. Lest the situation devolve into all-out civil war, President Franklin Pierce ordered federal troops to march into Topeka in July 1856 and shut down the free-state government. But the city remained a hotbed of antislavery agitation. When Kansas finally gained admission to the Union in 1861 - as a free state - Topeka became the lawful capital.

    Topeka was also the birthplace of U.S. Vice President Charles Curtis (b.1860). Curtis was the first American Indian and the first Kansan to hold the office.
    photo by Kevin Surbaugh

    Topeka was founded in 1854 at the site of Papan's Ferry where a branch of the Oregon Trail crossed the Kansas river as early as 1842. Anti-slavery leaders framed the Topeka Constitution, 1855, in the first attempt to organize a state government. The next year their legislature was dispersed by U.S. dragoons under orders from President Franklin Pierce. (So Pierce was omitted when Topeka named streets after the Presidents.) In the late 1850's negroes bound north on the "underground railway" were hidden here by John Brown. Topeka became capital in 1861 when Kansas was admitted to the Union and the slavery conflict flamed into Rebellion.

    After the war, in 1868, the Santa Fe railroad, promoted by C.K. Holliday, a city founder, first started building from Topeka. This was the birthplace, in 1860, of Vice President Charles Curtis; part Kaw Indian, the only "native American" to reach so high an office.

    Roadside turnout,
    at 37th Street and South Topeka Avenue  (U. S. 75)
    photo by Kevin Surbaugh

    Handicapped Accessibility:
    The parking in front of the marker is paved and it can be viewed from the car, so it is fairly accessible.

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

    Sunday, January 5, 2014

    To-pe-ka, The city of my dreams

    To-pe-ka, The city of my dreams,

    To-pe-ka, You're in my heart, it seems.

    To-pe-ka, You've made our Kansas great,

    The fairest flower of the Sunflower State.

    To-pe-ka, No matter where I roam,

    You're still my 'Home Sweet Home,'

    Of all the cities North, South, East and West,

    To-pe-ka, We love you the best."

    The words and music were written by Franz Steininger, a Hollywood and New York musical director who composed several musical pieces for shows in the 1940s, according to the archives of The Topeka Capital-Journal.

    A native of Vienna, Austria, Steininger was hired to direct music for the Topeka centennial pageant, which ran May 22-25, 1954, with a cast of professional and local actors.

    He was quoted at the time as saying his song was patterned after two other songs that honored other cities. They are "Chicago" and "San Francisco."
    according to CJonline

    Saturday, January 4, 2014

    Lyrics to Topeka

    Lyrics to Topeka:
    I found God in a catalytic converter
    In Topeka on a Monday night.
    I taste blood every time I think of summer
    If that's true, I'm in for quite a treat.

    'Cos I'm begging for the sun in a mid-Missouri winter,
    Waiting desperately to get out of town.
    No, you can't keep a good man down.

    You've been known to obsess over the future
    Do you think you'll get away from the past?
    As you starve yourself just to make it through 'til midnight
    Consider what you might have found.
    You think you've got a good thing now.

    I found God in a catalytic converter
    In Topeka on a Monday night.
    Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future
    So you know it keeps me hanging around.
    No, you can't keep a good man down.

    From here on you can count on all things going
    The way they must have from the start.
    All you feel is the current flowing through you
    And seizing your infected heart.

    I found God in a catalytic converter
    In Topeka on a Monday night.
    I found God in a catalytic converter
    In Topeka on a Monday night..
    Every saint has ha past, every sinner has a future,
    Saint has ha past, every sinner has a future,
    Saint has ha past, every sinner has a future,
    Saint has ha past, every sinner has a future,
    Sinner has a future...

    [ These are Topeka Lyrics on ]

    Wednesday, January 1, 2014


    The city of Topeka was founded on December 5, 1854, by nine men who made camp by the Kansas River at what is today the intersection of First and Kansas Avenues. During Kansas' territorial days, Topeka played a leading role in the Free State movement. In 1858, Topeka was voted to be the County seat of Shawnee County, and in 1859 became the State Capital at the final constitutional convention, which took effect when Kansas achieved statehood in 1861. In the century and a half that followed, Topeka grew as America grew, developing a rich history. Now home to 125,000 citizens, Topeka has become one of the leading metropolitan cities in the Midwest. Through this we will celebrates Topeka's rich history and many activities, events, museums, architecture as well as our search for the best burger in Topeka.