By Ralph Hipp
I just replaced my old almanac with a new one, and though I hardly ever need one for a story, I sure like having one on my desk!
You know what? I found a good use for it in looking up Kansas for the big one-five-oh, and wondered if you knew these facts.
Our population is now about 2.85 million people, from the Census just released a month ago.
We are 82,277 square miles in total area, and 81,815 of that is actual land area.
Our big industries are still manufacturing, finance, insurance, real estate. Our big manufactured goods benefit aviation and aerospace, the petroleum and plastics industries, and we're good at printing and making navigational instruments.
Kansas' chief crops are wheat, corn, soybeans, hay, sorghum, cotton, potatoes, and oh yeah, sunflowers.
On a good year of timber and lumber production, Kansas cranks out more than 8 million board feet of oak and walnut.
Kansas produces about 36.5 billion kWh of electricity through coal, 10.5 billion kWh from nuclear power, and a whopping 55 billion kWh of power from petroleum.
My almanac lists Heartland Park as one of the state's top tourist attractions! Along with that is the Eisenhower Library and Museum in Abilene; Boot Hill in Dodge City; Fort Scott and Fort Larned; and Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson.
Tell your friends about our 150-year old state. Now we'll know what to tell 'em! Ralph