1. In 1855, the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed, which allowed citizens of Kansas to determine whether or not the state would allow slavery. This led to a period of violent conflict between pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces, known as "Bleeding Kansas."
2. In 1929, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, landing in Ireland after a 15-hour flight from Newfoundland. Earhart, born in Atchison, Kansas, went on to set many aviation records and inspire women around the world.
3. On May 15, 1916, the United States National Park Service was established by President Woodrow Wilson. Kansas is home to several national parks, including Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, which preserves a large area of tallgrass prairie ecosystem.
4. In 1961, University of Kansas basketball star Wilt Chamberlain became the first player to score 50 points in a playoff game, scoring 53 points in a game against the Syracuse Nationals. Chamberlain continued to set records throughout his career and is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
5. On May 15, 1975, the National Football League's Kansas City Chiefs traded backup quarterback Mike Livingston to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a first-round draft pick. The pick turned out to be wide receiver Daryl Stingley, who went on to play for the New England Patriots but tragically became paralyzed after a hit in a preseason game against the Oakland Raiders. The incident led to calls for increased safety measures in football.
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