The Kansas Sampler Foundation announced the 24 finalists for the 8 Wonders of Kansas People. The public will have until October 22 to vote to determine the top 8.
In alphabetical order, the finalists are:
Amazon Army, Pittsburg
Amelia Earhart, Atchison
Arthur Capper, Garnett, Topeka
Bernhard Warkentin, Newton, Halstead
Buffalo Soldiers, Fort Leavenworth
Buster Keaton, Piqua, Iola
Carry A. Nation, Medicine Lodge, Kiowa
Clyde V. Cessna, Rago, Kingman
Cyrus K. Holliday, Topeka
Emil J. Kapaun, Pilsen
Frederick Funston, Iola
George Washington Carver, Minneapolis, Beeler
Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence
Jack Kilby, Great Bend
James Naismith, Lawrence
John Brown, Osawatomie
Joseph McCoy, Abilene, Wichita
Martin & Osa Johnson, Chanute
Mary Ann "Mother" Bickerdyke, Bunker Hill, Ellsworth
Olive Ann Beech, Wichita, Waverly
Walter Chrysler, Ellis, Wamego
Walter Johnson, Humboldt, Coffeyville
William Allen White, Emporia
William Inge, Independence
Some notable Kansas people are not on the list. Famous Kansans such as Dwight Eisenhower, Gordon Parks, John Steuart Curry and others are not on the list because they were involved in previous 8 Wonders contests. Contest criteria also stated that there had to be some kind of display or something to see to make a nominee eligible. The selection committee chose not to include any living candidates.
A person may vote online three times from one e-mail address at 8wonders.org or vote once by paper ballot. Places that represent the finalists will have paper ballots or call 620.585.2374. Voting will end October 22 at midnight.
The People contest is the last in a series organized by the Inman-based Kansas Sampler Foundation to help educate the public about Kansas and to inspire travel throughout the state. Previous contests featured the Foundation's eight rural culture elements: Architecture, Art, Commerce, Cuisine, Customs, Geography, and History. The overall 8 Wonders of Kansas contest was the first contest that started in June 2007.
Foundation director Marci Penner said, "It seems fitting to end with a promotion of outstanding Kansans. The list shows great diversity from the gripping story of evolution at Haskell Indian Nations University to the man, Jack Kilby, who literally made the computer age possible. On the website (8wonders.org), we have more information and also list places where a person can go to learn more about these people."
The top 8 Wonders of Kansas People will be announced on October 27th. The Eisenhower Library will host an 8 Wonders exhibit from Kansas Day (Jan. 29, 2011) through the summer and the Kansas Sampler Foundation will publish an 8 Wonders of Kansas book that will come out April 2011.