1. Kansas became the 34th state in the Union on May 30, 1854. The territory was opened for settlement with the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which allowed settlers to determine whether Kansas would be a free or slave state through a popular vote.
2. In 1911, the first running of the Indianapolis 500 took place, with Kansas native Ray Harroun winning the race. Harroun was born in Spartansburg, Pennsylvania but raised in Kansas and attended the University of Kansas. He designed the car that would eventually win the race and was the first driver to use a rearview mirror.
3. On May 30, 1934, notorious criminal and bank robber Bonnie Parker was killed in a shootout with law enforcement in Louisiana. Parker and her partner, Clyde Barrow, had ties to Kansas, as they had robbed banks in several towns in the state and were eventually apprehended in a shoot-out in Dexfield Park, Iowa.
4. On May 30, 1901, the first official tornado forecast was issued by pioneering meteorologist Dr. Isaac Cline. Cline was a Kansas native who had experienced firsthand the devastating effects of tornadoes, having survived the 1896 tornado that destroyed his home and killed his wife and children.
5. In 2013, on May 30, the last remaining portion of the historic "Rainbow Bridge" in Baxter Springs, Kansas was destroyed in a tornado. The bridge had been built in 1923 and was a popular tourist attraction, but had fallen into disrepair over the years. The tornado that destroyed it was part of a larger outbreak in the region that caused widespread damage and loss of life.
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