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Kansas Trivia

The TV comedy show "Gilligan's Island" aired on CBS from 1964 to 1967.
KPR Staff Fri, 07/22/2016 - 09:15

Q: On the TV show Gilligan's Island, the fictional farm girl Mary Ann Summers was said to be from this small Kansas town. What's the name of Mary Ann's hometown - a very real place in south-central Kansas?

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)
KPR Staff Fri, 07/15/2016 - 00:00

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

KPR Staff Fri, 07/08/2016 - 00:00

Q: The first African-American woman to serve as mayor in Kansas is still on the job. In fact, she's been the mayor in Stockton, in northwest Kansas, for nearly 15 years. What's her name?

On June 29, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act, also known as the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act. Essentially, this legislation ushered in the age of the interstate, which connected major cities across the country.
KPR Staff Fri, 07/01/2016 - 00:00

Q: Sixty years ago this week, President Dwight Eisenhower - who grew up in Abilene - signed legislation forever altering the landscape of the United States. What was it?

(Photo Illustration by Joanna Fewins)
KPR Staff Thu, 06/23/2016 - 09:46

Q: According to the National Weather Service, two Kansas communities share the record for the hottest temperature in state history. Fredonia, in southeast Kansas, reached 121 degrees on July 18, 1936. What other Kansas community reached 121 degrees just six days later?

Daniel Read Anthony, (1824-1904), brother of suffragist Susan B. Anthony. He migrated to the Kansas territory in 1854 as a member of the New England Emigrant Aid Company and settled in Leavenworth, Kansas, where he established a long and successfull career as a newspaper editor and publisher. (Photo Courtesy of Kansas Historical Society /
KPR Staff Fri, 06/17/2016 - 09:42

Q: Daniel Anthony was one of the more colorful figures in the early days of Kansas. He was an abolitionist, a newspaper publisher, a gunfighter and the one-time mayor of Leavenworth. And while he was fairly famous in his day, his older sister became much more famous. Who was his sister, whose name is still recognized today?

This is a postcard showing coal mine no. 1 at the Kansas State Penitentiary in Lansing, Kansas, 1920s. (Photo Courtesy of Kansas Historical Society /
KPR Staff Fri, 06/10/2016 - 09:09

Today's Kansas Trivia Question comes to us courtesy of Ted Heim, KPR's all-time trivia champ!  

Q: At one time, the state of Kansas owned and operated a coal mine. Where was it located?

First draft of Basket Ball rules, which hung in the gym so that the boys might learn the rules.  (Photo Courtesy of KU University Archives/Spencer Library)
KPR Staff Fri, 05/20/2016 - 09:17

Q: In the earliest version of basketball, there was no dribbling, dunking, three-pointers or shot clocks. The original rules of the game are now on display at the DeBruce Center at the University of Kansas. Those rules were typed up by the inventor of the game, Dr. James Naismith, who became KU’s first basketball coach. In what year did Naismith first publish his rules of the game?

Wilt Chamberlain with other Hall of Fame inductees, 1979. From left to right: Don Baker, A.C. "Dutch" Lonborg, John McLendon, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Johnson, and Ted Owens. (Photo Courtesy of Spencer Research Library/KU)
KPR Staff Fri, 05/13/2016 - 00:00

Q: Born in Hiawatha, this man became the first men’s basketball coach to win three consecutive national championships. He was also the first African-American coach to win a national basketball championship. What's the name of this Kansan who's enshrined as both a contributor and a coach in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame? 

Bluemont College building in Manhattan, Kansas. The photograph was taken by Alexander Gardner as part of the series Across the Continent on the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division, 1867. (Photo Courtesy of Kansas Historical Society /
KPR Staff Fri, 04/29/2016 - 09:17

Q: It was on this date (April 29) back in 1861 that a special committee of the Kansas Legislature recommended that the state take over Bluemont Central College and make it the basis for a new state university. What university did Bluemont College become? Give us the name of the school as we know it today!

  Senator James Lane of Kansas, ca. 1860-1870. (Photo Courtesy of Library of Congress)
KPR Staff Fri, 04/22/2016 - 09:21

Q: This week, back in 1861, the so-called "Frontier Guard" from Kansas was called into action. WHAT and WHO was this group of volunteers guarding at the time?

Plane crash in which Knute Rockne was killed, 1931. (Flickr Photo Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection)
KPR Staff Fri, 04/01/2016 - 00:00

Q: Air travel was THE most dangerous method of travel in 1931. It's now become the SAFEST way to travel. Aviation historians say this transformation came mostly as the result of a single airplane crash in Kansas. Which famous person's death led to a series of airplane improvements and new safety measures in air travel?

This is a postcard showing the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad bridge over the Cimarron River during the flood of 1938. The bridge is near Arkalon, Kan., and was soon replaced with the Samson of the Cimarron, which was completed in 1939. (Photo Courtesy of / Kansas Historical Society)
KPR Staff Fri, 03/25/2016 - 09:15

Q: The mighty “Samson of the Cimarron” turns 77 years old this year. What IS the Samson of the Cimarron?

KPR Staff Fri, 03/18/2016 - 00:00

Q: More Kansas county names begin with this letter than any other. Indeed, the names of 12 Kansas Counties begin with this same letter. Which letter is it?

This is a postcard with a bird's eye view of Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas. The postcard was addressed to Miss Laura Wolverton in Batavia, Illinois, April 12, 1909. (Photo via Kansas Historical Society /
KPR Staff Fri, 03/11/2016 - 00:00

Q: Originally called Palmyra, this northeast Kansas town now shares a name with a college in Ohio.

(Gavel Photo by Jason Morrison/
KPR Staff Fri, 03/04/2016 - 00:00

Q: As we all know, public radio is full of smart and talented people!

General John Sedgwick and his staff on the steps of the headquarters of the 6th Army Corps. [photographed between 1861 and 1864] (Photo via Library of Congress)
KPR Staff Fri, 02/19/2016 - 09:07

Q: Right before he was killed by a Confederate sharpshooter, this man reportedly said: "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." He became the highest-ranking Union soldier killed in the American Civil War. Today, there's a Kansas town and a major county named after him. What's the name of this Union general?

KPR Staff Fri, 02/12/2016 - 09:15

Q: This blues musician, who’s made numerous appearances on A Prairie Home Companion, was born in Kansas City and raised in Emporia. This highly-acclaimed singer-songwriter and piano player is holding a benefit concert, Saturday night (Feb. 13), in Lawrence for Just Food, the local food pantry. What’s her name?

(Football Photo by Nikki Johnson/
KPR Staff Fri, 02/05/2016 - 09:11

Q: On Sunday, the Carolina Panthers will take on the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50. Two Broncos teammates played college football at the University of Kansas. Who are they?

Dr. Brewster Higley wrote a poem titled “My Western Home” to describe the beauty of the site he had chosen for his Kansas Homestead in 1871. He penned this now-famous work on the bank of the West Beaver Creek in Smith County, Kansas, where along with the help of a few friends, he also constructed a cabin on July 4, 1872. (Flickr Photo by Jody Halsted)
KPR Staff Fri, 01/29/2016 - 00:00

Q: Happy Kansas Day! On this date (January 29) in 1861, Kansas was admitted to the Union as the 34th state! Every REAL Kansan knows the official state song is “Home on the Range.” But do you know WHO wrote the words to that song? Do tell!


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