1. Kansas celebrates its statehood on June 12. On June 12, 1861, Kansas became the 34th state to join the US. At the time, the state was emerging from a period of political conflict, known as “Bleeding Kansas,” which saw violent clashes between pro- and anti-slavery groups.
2. Amelia Earhart was born on June 12, 1897, in Atchison, Kansas. Earhart became a pioneering aviator and, in 1932, became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She is also famous for attempting to fly around the world, a journey that ended in her mysterious disappearance in 1937.
3. The Topeka tornado of 1966 occurred on June 8-12. The tornado was part of a larger outbreak that affected parts of the Midwest, causing extensive damage and claiming the lives of 16 people in the Topeka area.
4. On June 12, 1908, a coal mining disaster occurred in Cherry, Illinois, that killed 259 men, including many Kansas miners who had migrated to the area in search of work. The tragedy was one of the worst mining disasters in US history and led to increased safety regulations and better working conditions for miners.
5. The Brown v. Board of Education decision was announced on May 17, 1954, but it wasn't until June 12 that it actually went into effect. The ruling declared that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional and paved the way for desegregation throughout the US. The decision was a major victory for civil rights and helped to spark the broader civil rights movement of the 1960s.
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