1. Kansas became an official state on January 29, 1861, but on December 25 of that same year, the state was experiencing its first Christmas as a state.
2. In 1833, John Emerson, a doctor stationed at Fort Leavenworth, recorded in his journal that he celebrated Christmas with other soldiers and their families in the barracks. This is one of the earliest known mentions of a Christmas celebration in Kansas.
3. In 1864, tensions were high in Kansas due to the ongoing Civil War. Union troops stationed at Fort Zarah, near Great Bend, celebrated Christmas with a feast and music. However, a group of Confederate guerrillas attacked the fort, causing a brief skirmish before they were driven off.
4. In 1911, a Christmas blizzard hit Kansas, dropping up to three feet of snow in some areas. Many towns were cut off from the rest of the state due to snow drifts on the roads and railroads. The storm caused numerous deaths and widespread damage.
5. In 1945, soldiers stationed at Fort Riley were unable to return home for Christmas due to transportation issues. Instead, the post held a Christmas party for the soldiers, complete with gifts, food, and entertainment. The event helped boost morale among the troops during the difficult holiday season.
- Tags: KS