The state of Kansas, center of the Great Plains, is one often overlooked or ridiculed, but it has been a center of massive battles, turmoil, and struggles throughout its history.
Blessed and cursed by its location in the Wheat Belt, Kansas has seen tornadoes, blizzards, drought, hail, floods, and grasshoppers, and was the center of the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, forcing many farmers to leave the state and go west to California for salvation!
It is the territory and state where the Civil War began over slavery in the 1850s, before that war erupted nationally, and it was the center of struggles between Indians and whites from 1860-1890.
It was also the original home of the prohibition movement against liquor, and a center of the Populist movement of the 1890s and the Progressive movement of the early 20th century.
Kansas also became the rare example of a non Southern state which adopted racial segregation legally, and it was a case brought by a young black girl, Linda Brown, in Topeka, Kansas, which led to the famous Brown V. Board of Education Supreme Court decision in May, 1954.
And abortion has become a major controversy in Kansas, with Dr. George Tiller, an abortion doctor, murdered in Wichita a few years ago by an anti abortion fanatic.
Now the state government, under right wing conservative Republican Sam Brownback, former Senator, has passed restrictions on abortion, which has led to only ONE abortion center being available in the entire state, a major victory by the so called Pro Life movement, and a major blow to the Roe V. Wade decision of the Supreme Court in 1973.
So the abortion debate rages on in many states, with Kansas again being the center of controversy, as it often has been in its history over the past 160 years!