1. Cinco de Mayo: May 5 is celebrated as Cinco de Mayo across the country, but it has a special significance in Kansas. The state has a significant Mexican-American population, and Cinco de Mayo celebrations are popular in cities like Wichita, Kansas City, and Topeka.
2. Brown v. Board of Education: On May 5, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which declared that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. The case was brought by a group of parents in Topeka, Kansas, who sought to challenge the "separate but equal" doctrine that had been used to justify segregated schools.
3. Tornadoes: May is the peak month for tornado activity in Kansas, and May 5 has seen its fair share of twisters over the years. In 2007, a massive tornado ripped through Greensburg, Kansas, destroying 95% of the town and killing 11 people.
4. Wild West: The Wild West was a key part of Kansas history, and May 5 was a day when gunslingers and lawmen alike were active. On May 5, 1865, Wild Bill Hickok shot and killed his first man in McCanles Ranch, Nebraska, just over the border from Kansas. Hickok would later become a legendary figure in western folklore.
5. Space travel: May 5, 1961, marked a major milestone in space travel, as astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American to travel into space. Shepard piloted the Freedom 7 spacecraft on a suborbital flight that lasted just over 15 minutes, reaching an altitude of 116 miles above the earth. The launch took place from Cape Canaveral, Florida, but the mission had extensive connections to Kansas. The Atlas rocket that carried Shepard into space was manufactured by the Martin Company in Denver, Colorado, which at the time was a subsidiary of the Glenn L. Martin Company, which had a large aerospace facility in Kansas City, Kansas.
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