1. On May 7, 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark departed from their camp near present-day Atchison, Kansas, continuing their historic exploration of the newly acquired Louisiana territory.
2. In 1861, Kansas became the 34th state to join the Union, officially entering as a free state and helping to tilt the balance of power in favor of the abolitionist cause during the Civil War.
3. The 1896 tornado outbreak that struck Kansas and other Midwestern states on May 7 is still considered one of the deadliest in U.S. history, with an estimated 305 people killed and over 800 injured.
4. On May 7, 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Neutrality Act, designed to keep the United States out of foreign conflicts by prohibiting American companies from selling weapons or providing loans to belligerent nations.
5. In 1954, the landmark Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional, overturning the "separate but equal" doctrine and laying the groundwork for the modern civil rights movement. The case originated in Topeka, Kansas, and was one of several challenges to segregated education across the country.
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