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Automobile Odds and Ends - July 15, 2016

The town of Kinsley, in Edwards County, is often referred to as “Midway USA” because it is supposedly the halfway or midway point between New York City and San Francisco. The city of Kinsley even erected a sign reflecting this factoid. (Flickr Photo by Franklin B. Thompson)

Q: From 1965 to 1970, Kansas license plates included a memorable motto on the bottom part of the plate – what was it?


 
A: MIDWAY USA
 
For about six years, Kansas license tags sported this memorable motto: MIDWAY USA. Kansas, of course, is the midway point in the United States between the east and west coasts. While the MIDWAY USA motto only appeared on Kansas license tags from 1965 to 1970, the “Midway USA” moniker never really left the state. The town of Kinsley, in Edwards County, is often referred to as “Midway USA” because it is supposedly the halfway or midway point between New York City and San Francisco. The city of Kinsley even erected a sign reflecting this factoid.
  
From 1949 through 1959, the license plates from Kansas were embossed with the motto THE WHEAT STATE. The 1960 and 1961 Kansas license plates were stamped with CENTENNIAL 61, to indicate 1961 was the centennial of Kansas statehood. Some of the Kansas license plates issued in 1974 and all of the 1975 issues were stamped with WHEAT CENTENNIAL along the bottom.
 
Another factoid: The 1942 Kansas license plates had colorful sunflower decals on the lower right and left corners. And from 1951 through 1955, Kansas license plates were die cut in the shape of the state (with a bite taken out of the upper-right corner, where the Kansas River divides the state with Missouri).

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