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Kansas Kaleidoscope, February/March 2001

(Volume 4, Number 4)

Real People. Real Stories.

A fun magazine for kids!

Kansas Kaleidoscope, February/March 2001 Trail Blazers

Remember the last time you took a vacation? Before you left, you and your family may have spent many hours planning where you were going, what you would see, where you would stay, preparing clothes for the journey, and packing treats to eat on the way.

Wagons West on the Oregon Trail
Santa Fe Trail painting

In the 1800s, many people had dreams of moving west. The land available for settlement was in the Pacific Northwest. John C. Fremont, a soldier, explorer and politician helped map this area and wrote glowing reports about food, cheap farm land and many opportunities for a better life.

Rut Nuts Rut Nuts: Reconnecting with the Oregon Trail

Have you ever thought what it would be like to travel on the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon? If you have, you are not alone. This historical adventure is one many people today want to experience. The Kansa Rut Nuts, a chapter of the Oregon-California Trail Association (OCTA), is filled with just those type of people.

Freighting on the Santa Fe

Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a city rich in history. Before it became a city in the United States, Santa Fe was one of the northernmost cities in the colony of Mexico held by Spain. Just like America's 13 colonies that broke away from England, Mexico gained independence by winning a war against Spain.

The Fastest Mail in the West

On April 3, 1860, a young man on horseback left from a Pony Express stable in St. Joseph, Missouri. The leather saddlebags he carried with mail, called mochillas, were destined for Sacramento, California, more than 2,000 miles away. His mission was to travel about 75 miles as fast as he could ride then give the mailbag to the next rider.

Stagecoach Trails to Rails

In Kansas, wagon ruts were being replaced by iron rails by the 1860s. The Kansas Pacific Railway was the first to cross the state. Its route closely followed the Smoky Hill Trail used by emigrants. When this railroad reached Denver in 1870, it connected the city of Denver with Kansas City and St. Louis and, as far as Denver's population was concerned, with the world.

Remarkable Records Alexander Gardner

Lecompton was the only official capital of territorial Kansas. Six other towns claimed this title because governmental activities were held there.

Historic Kansas Highway Patrol trooper Blue Highways

Today, driving across the country is relatively easy and convenient. We have President Dwight Eisenhower, from Abilene to thank for the Interstate Highway System.


In This Issue:
Black Kettle

  • Quiz Kaleidoscope
  • Where in Kansas Are You?
  • For Parents and Teachers
  • For Further Reading
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Visit History: The National Frontier Trail Center
  • A Kansan You Should Know: Black Kettle
  • Answers to Puzzles
  • Kaleidoscope Challenge
  • Be a Winner!
  • Coded Communications
  • You've Got Mail
  • Santa Fe Trail Word Search