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5 Fun Facts About December 26 In Kansas History

---Learn Every Day: KS Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history ks To: 618-270-4005---

1. Battle of the Little Blue River: On December 26, 1861, Union and Confederate forces clashed near the Little Blue River in Missouri, which is just across the state line from Kansas. The Confederates, under the leadership of General Sterling Price, attacked a Union supply train but were ultimately repelled by the Union troops. This battle was part of the larger Civil War campaign in the Trans-Mississippi Theater.

2. Dwight D. Eisenhower: December 26 marks the birthday of Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was born in Texas in 1890 but spent much of his youth in Abilene, Kansas. Eisenhower would go on to become a Five-Star General and Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II, and later the 34th President of the United States.

3. Sunflower Ordnance Works Explosion: On December 26, 1944, an explosion at the Sunflower Ordnance Works near De Soto, Kansas killed 15 people and injured dozens more. The blast was caused by an accident during the production of ammonium nitrate, which was being used to make explosives for the war effort. This was one of several such accidents at munitions plants during World War II.

4. Tornado Outbreak: In 1982, a large tornado outbreak swept across the Midwest on December 26, affecting several states including Kansas. The outbreak produced over 30 tornadoes and resulted in 3 deaths and dozens of injuries. One tornado, which struck the town of Marion, Kansas, was rated F4 on the Fujita scale and caused significant damage.

5. First African American Legislator: On December 26, 1888, William Henry Harrison, a barber from Leavenworth, Kansas, was elected to the Kansas State Legislature as a Republican. Harrison was the first African American to serve in the state legislature and one of only a handful of black legislators in the country at the time. He went on to introduce several bills during his two-year term, including one that sought to establish a state university for black students.
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