1. In 1861, Kansas was admitted as the 34th state of the United States. This came after a long period of conflict between pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers in the territory, known as "Bleeding Kansas." Kansas ultimately became a beacon of progressivism and agricultural production in the Midwest.
2. In 1909, William Allen White, a prominent Kansas journalist and editor, published an editorial in his newspaper, the Emporia Gazette, advocating for a strong federal government role in regulating big business. The editorial, titled "What's the Matter with Kansas?" became famous as a rebuke to Kansas voters who had supported conservative politicians and policies.
3. In 1923, the Ku Klux Klan marched through the streets of Lawrence, Kansas, sparking a confrontation with anti-Klan protesters. The Klan had gained a significant presence in Kansas during the early 20th century, but their influence began to decline by the end of the decade due to both external opposition and internal divisions.
4. In 1978, Dennis Rader, also known as the "BTK Killer," murdered his first victim in Wichita, Kansas. Rader would go on to kill 10 people over the course of several decades, with his crimes not being solved until 2005. He is currently serving 10 consecutive life sentences in prison.
5. In 1989, the Kansas City Chiefs set the NFL record for most sacks in a game, with 11 sacks against the Seattle Seahawks. The Chiefs won the game 20-13, thanks in large part to their dominant defensive performance. The record still stands today.
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