KANSAS COLLECTION ARTICLES




Kansas Fact and Fancy:  Trivia questions about Kansas history


The following have been archived from the Internet mailing list, Kansas-L. The members are unusually sharp and typically get the answers right away. Can you do as well?

1. The seventh game of the World Series this year went eleven innings. The only one that went longer was in 1924 (twelve innings). The pitcher of the 1924 winning team was from Kansas, and has been called the greatest pitcher in baseball history. Can you name this player, give his nickname, and tell us where he was born in Kansas?

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2. This famous American was commemorated by a $.03 postage stamp in the late 1940s. He attended school, was a member of the Presbyterian Church and its choir, and later operated a laundry in Minneapolis, Ottawa County, Kansas. Name this famous American.

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3. The mobile home didn't originate in the 20th Century. When new townsites were surveyed and plotted, the promoters commonly offered a free lot to the first house in the new "city." The first house in my home town of Hutchinson was built by A.F. Horner, but not in Hutchinson. The same structure had previously won lots in three other towns before being sledged across the plains to its next location. Can anybody name one of the three previous towns?

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4. When Coronado assembled his group to explore America there was a clergyman in the group. Part of that visit brought them to Kansas. After returning home the clergyman requested permission to return to work among the Kivira (Kansas) Indians. While in Kansas his group was set upon by murderous Indians and all of them escaped except for the priest who stayed behind and thereby aided their getaway. However he was murdered.
     Who is this -- the first Christian martyr on Kansas soil -- and can you name one of the three locations where this is a monument erected in his memory?

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5. Judy Garland starred in two movies with "Kansas ties".....name the "other" one.

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6/7. SHE WAS NAMED FOR HER GRANDMOTHER:

Background: When a Kansas high school sophomore once glanced at his classmate named Sarah, there may have been strong chemistry in that classroom regardless of any subject matter being taught. Such interactive physiognomy would eventually lead to something of special significance.
     While the teenage girl dreamed of a career on the stage (theater -- not a horse-drawn carriage), we cannot be sure what the observant student named Frank envisioned for the future. Born right there in Arkansas City, Sarah later assumed a stage name but never quite succeeded in show business after studying her craft in Kansas City.
     A dozen years later, Frank and Sarah sure enough tied the old matrimonial knot, and then they retailed paintings and such in order to sustain their new household. (Art was framed.)
     The first offspring of Frank and Sarah (aka: Francis and Sara) was a boy named Howard. And later their new baby daughter (named for her maternal grandmother) spent a happy first Christmas with adoring relatives (two sets of grandparents) in Arkansas City. This daughter would also try becoming the Thespian her mother had aspired to be, and later she was widowed with children before marrying a successful lawyer.
     Question: Can you also identify that cute little baby girl who first saw Yuletide bright lights and glitter during an Arkansas City, KS, Christmas?

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8. A rodeo clown/animal trainer from southwest Kansas became nationally known in the late '50s, early '60s for successfully training an American Bison. This person and the bison appeared in the Saga of Andy Burnett, the Buffalo Hunter. A TV Guide in 1961 had a two-page color photo of Charlie Wooster, the cook of Wagon Train, riding the bison. The trainer and bison rode an elevator (causing quite a stir) at the Salt Lake City Tribune office. They participated in a three-way race between the bison, a mule and a horse at Denver's Centennial Turf Club which was photographed and published in Life magazine, and participated in the Inauguration Parade of President John F. Kennedy in January, 1961, where they were called back to the viewing stand by Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson until security officials rushed them on. The trainer himself appeared in Marilyn Monroe's Bus Stop and Desert Sands.      Name the trainer and his trusty steed. (The bison had a stage name, and either his original or stage name is acceptable.)

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9. According to at least some of his biographers, Billy the Kid was afraid of only one man. That man, a sometime member of Billy's gang, was a Kansan who left his home in Greenwood County to trail cattle west into Colorado in the early 1870s, then became involved in a train robbery between Kinsley and Dodge City before going on down into New Mexico. He met his end either by being beheaded in Old Mexico, where he was hiding out from U.S. authorities, after cheating in a game of cards (version number 1) or (version number 2) left Mexico with a herd of cattle to the northwest country where he later died an alcoholic in Oregon. Who was he?

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10. We've been talking about early desperadoes, but Kansas had a few public enemies later on as well. What Topeka-born gangster was captured by J. Edgar Hoover, himself, in 1936? He was once part of the Barker gang.

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11. This product's location in Kansas was discovered around 1900 and it has been mined continuously since the teens. Location is somewhere in the northwest quadrant of Kansas. What is the product, what is it used for and name of town where mined?

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12. All the strange El Nino weather got me to thinking about the different natural disasters that have beset Kansas over the centuries. I can think of at least three major ones, and a few more well-known ones. Can you name the major ones? (Extra credit available for well-known answers!)

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13. This trivia is wrapped up within a puzzle. The puzzle is in the form of a poem, and the information comes in the form of puns, allegories, and allusions. Most things have a double meaning, or even triple or quadruple meaning, but they all tell about an early Kansan, rather famous in his time, but almost forgotten now.

      An Early Kansan: A Puzzle
      "Lift your steins.." Oh, no! they say,
      That's untrue. A long time since,
      A plague-maker drops down this way,
      Lives among us with his prince,
      Makes the dark as light as day,

      From first light at menlo park,
      Til dusk first spread o'er the zone,
      His matchless match made a spark,
      Light on unjust things was thrown,
      Leading folks out of the dark,

      How shall we close? "R.I.P.?"
      "May Thy Gentle Spirit Rest?"
      Not for someone such as he,
      Who left this life not quite blest,
      One note short of harmony
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14. It seems that Kansas is blessed with many interesting newspaper editors. This one once said that "Kansans have the box seats of the world's theater and can always see the figures, issues, events, causes, and cataclysms waiting in the wings for the cue from fate. For things start in Kansas that finish in history." Name that editor.

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15. Kansas has the distinction of being the location of the only exorcism in U.S. history to be paid for by the military. Where in Kansas did this occur, and what is the history of the restless spirit that still resides there?

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16. He has all the makings of a good movie. Born, the son of a distinguished New England clergyman, he rose to fame in the 1850's for his great oration and was put in charge of a congregation, the largest and most important in New England. His womanizing brought him shame and he came West to greener pastures. He founded a town but not the Kansas town named for him, (barely a town then, and not even town now). His previous scandal surfaced during his Kansas campaign for Senator and he headed West. It was during his San Francisco campaign for mayor though that his most fame came. Only injured by an assasin's bullet, his son would go on to murder the editor who sought to defame him again about his earlier exploits in the East.

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17. This Fort Scott native, who was offered a scholarship to the Kansas City School of Law for writing the best qualifying exam in U.S. History in his senior year in high school, abandoned his newspaper writing job and a law career to join the management staff of a paper cup vending company. Eventually that company evolved into one which has been famous for decades (a singing group was even named after it!). The company's success was based in the fight against the common use drinking cup -- one cup at a public water fountain used by all comers, over and over. A Kansas pioneer in public health encouraged him, and he campaigned in the East as actively as the pioneer did in Kansas, using lantern slides at speaking events in New York and elsewhere to illustrate the evils of the common use drinking cup. Oddly enough, the organization he helped build is headquartered in the state where the Kansas pioneer who encouraged him was born, Pennsylvania. Who is this Kansan who built an incredibly successful company as a result of these efforts to protect public health?
     Extra credit: Can you guess who the pioneer was? In addition to the fight against the common use drinking cup, he also campaigned against everpresent flies and the common use towel at public facilities. Today, a prestigious consumer protection award is named for this Kansan, and is sponsored by a host of national public health organizations.

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18. A riddle:

      He has pastured the foal where the prairie fowl rest
      and lectured on prose at the hornetís nest.
      Many have known his gleaming knife
      that's wielded in peace; not in strife.

      Of a Kansas long past is his discourse;
      inspiration came from the mouth of a horse.
      Found in a box in a small Kansas town
      just a tiny bit has made his renown.

With apologies to all poets, living & dead, I offer the above as hints to the identity of a living Kansan of some note, whose fame has come from efforts outside his noble profession. Who is he and what is his notable accomplishment? (asked by Jim Bannister)

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19. "I served in our Civil War from June 9, 1861 to March 20, 1865. I was in nineteen hard-fought battles in the departments of the Ohio, Tennessee, and Cumberland armies. I did the work of one, and I tried to do it well." This person moved to Kansas following the war, ran a boarding house, made arrangements with railroads for free transportation for all old soldiers who came to Kansas to settle, and was instrumental in bringing 300 families to Kansas to settle.

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20. What role did the cannon, "Old Sacramento" have in Kansas history?

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Hints

Trivia Question #2: The gentleman was an artist, educator, humanitarian and scientist. Among other things, he developed the most popular lunch food of the 1990s and the crop-rotatation methods for conserving nutrients in the soil.

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Trivia Question #6/7: This question was sent by Dick Taylor, who notes, "I pre-tested this trivia on my sister in Topeka: Had she heard of this notable woman who spent her first Christmas in Arkansas City, KS? Sis replied, 'Oh sure, I know her name about as well as I know my own.' The question is just that easy, and the answer is not hard to find.)"

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