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Monday, January 29, 2018

Every State Has A Birthday

Image result for free image Happy  Kansas Day

Kansas became a state in 1861. That's 157 years ago. She looks pretty good for having survived so long. 

I learned the date of our state's birthday, 2 years after we moved here. My daughter was in kindergarten and on January 29th, she arrived home from school with all kinds of information about Kansas and its birthday bubbling up and out. Nonstop! She showed me a picture she'd colored of the shape of the state. "Look," she said, "Kansas is a rectangle with a bite taken out of the top." She pointed to the far northeast corner, and sure enough, it did look as though someone had bitten a chunk out. She was excited about her state having a birthday just like she did. 

Kansas does a good job of making people aware of its birthday. It will be noted in the newspapers, on news shows on tv, and the teachers in the schools do a good job of teaching their students about our state and its inclusion into the United States. Missouri and Kansas were both ready to become states just at the drums were beating at the beginning of the Civil War. Would they join as a slave state or a free one? Missouri went slave state and Kansas chose to be a free state. 

If you're not from Kansas, you probably don't care much about our history or celebration. Nevertheless, you can gather facts and stories about your own state and write something about same. Write a short piece for your op-ed column in the local newspaper. Or for a state magazine. Or for an educational publisher. Or for a teacher friend to use in the classroom. 

I imagine many writers in the 50 states would have to do some research, that they would not know what day their state celebrates or how old it is. My home state is Illinois and I don't remember its birthday being a big deal anywhere when I was growing up. 

What information would be helpful?
  • When it became a state--month, day, and year
  • If there was any significance to it becoming a state at that time
  • Peacetime or during a war
  • How the state celebrates its birthday
  • State bird, flower and motto
  • What the state is known for
Writers are always looking for a good topic to write about. Put this one on your list.

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