Naismith among 8 Wonders of Kansas People
Inman — A world-renowned scientist, the inventor of the game of basketball and an ax-wielding temperance crusader are among the newly announce 8 Wonders of Kansas People.
Results were announced Thursday morning by the Kansas Sampler Foundation after six weeks of voting by the public.
The top 8 vote-getters, in alphabetical order, are:
• Amelia Earhart (1897-1937, Atchison) was the first woman aviatrix to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She set many other aviation records but disappeared in a record-setting attempt around the equator in 1937.
• Buffalo Soldiers (1866, Fort Leavenworth) were members of an all-black regiment in the U.S. Army. The first unit to be given the name Buffalo Soldiers, the 10th Cavalry, was formed on Sept. 21, 1866.
Carry A. Nation (1846-1911, Medicine Lodge, Kiowa) was a hatchet-wielding crusader in the early 1900s and part of the Womens Christian Temperance Union campaign to prohibit alcohol.
Emil J. Kapaun (1916-1951, Pilsen) was a priest and military chaplain and is being considered by the Vatican for sainthood because of his exemplary service and dedication while being held in a Korean prisoner of war camp in 1950-1951.
George Washington Carver (1864-1943, Minneapolis, Beeler), an agri-scientist, botanist, educator, humanitarian and inventor, was best known for discovering hundreds of uses for peanuts, soybean, sweet potatoes and pecans and for developing crop-rotation methods.
James Naismith (1861-1939, Lawrence) was the man who invented basketball and started Kansas University’s basketball program in 1898.
Martin and Osa Johnson (1884-1937; 1894-1953, Chanute) were pioneering wildlife filmmakers, photographers, authors and explorers who traveled to Africa, Borneo and the South Seas recording cultures (that no longer exist).
William Allen White (1868-1944, Emporia) was known as the “Sage of Emporia.” From defending the 1st Amendment to fighting the Ku Klux Klan, the Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper editor was the primary voice of the American heartland for almost five decades.
The Kansas Sampler Foundation said 13,000 online and paper ballot votes from every state in the union determined the outcome.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was not eligible for the contest because he was already chosen to be one of the overall 8 Wonders of Kansas.
“The results show a colorful range of people that have called Kansas home,” foundation director Marci Penner said. “There were quite a number of lesser known people on the list, and we hope that the contest has helped the public learn more about who we are as a state.”
Other finalists were: Amazon Army, Crawford County; Arthur Capper, Garnett, Topeka; Bernhard Warkentin, Newton, Halstead; Buster Keaton, Piqua; Clyde V. Cessna, Rago, Kingman; Cyrus K. Holliday, Topeka; Frederick Funston, Iola; Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence; Jack Kilby, Great Bend; John Brown, Osawatomie; Joseph McCoy, Abilene, Wichita; Mary Ann “Mother” Bickerdyke, Bunker Hill, Ellsworth; Olive Ann Beech, Wichita, Waverly; Walter Chrysler, Ellis, Wamego; Walter Johnson, Humboldt, Coffeyville; William Inge, Independence.
The contest was the last in a series of contests organized by the Kansas Sampler Foundation to encourage travel in Kansas and to educate the public about the Architecture, Art, Commerce, Cuisine, Customs, Geography, History and People of Kansas. Part of the contest criteria was that the nominee be connected with something to see. The contest that kicked-off the series in June 2007 featured the overall 8 Wonders of Kansas. To see all contest results and learn more about each entry, go online to 8wonders.org.