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Known Facts About Topeka
is the home of the first million-dollar high school. Topeka High
School opened in 1931 when Principal Willard Van Slyck proclaimed:
"A million-dollar student body for a million-dollar high school."
Construction costs reached $1.75 million.
is the home of the Santa Fe Railroad, founded by Cyrus K. Holliday
as the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. In 1995, the Santa
Fe merged with the Burlington Northern, becoming the Burlington
Northern Santa Fe Corporation.
is the home of Margaret Hill McCarter, the first woman to speak
at a national political convention (Republican Convention, 1920-Harding).
An English teacher, Ms. McCarter was the author of books about life
on the plains.
is the home of Charles Sheldon author of In His Steps, theoretically
the best-selling book in the world. Dr. Sheldon promoted free kindergarten
for all and was editor of the Topeka Capital for a week, editing
the newspaper in Christian style.
is the home of the smiling character Alfred E. Newman, long recognized
as the logo character for Mad Magazine. The character was the logo
for a Topeka dentist who professed his services "didn't hurt
is the home of Brown V. Board of Education National Historic Site.
The site was designated to commemorate the landmark Supreme Court
decision of May 17, 1954, which ended segregation in public schools.
Topeka's Monroe School, the all-black school cited in Brown V. Board
of Education, will be converted to a national park detailing the
court case and the integral role of the Brown decision in the Civil
Rights Movement. The park is scheduled to open in May 2003.
is the home of Menninger, world renowned for its treatment, prevention
efforts, education and research in the field of mental health. Dr.
Karl A. Menninger, founder, wrote the book Crime of Punishment.
The center building at Menninger, the Tower Building. is fashioned
after Independence Hall.
Rose Garden, located in Gage Park, contains more than 350 varieties
of roses, totaling more than 7,000 bushes. There is a parent-progeny
display garden exhibiting genetically related rose groups. The garden
is one of only 23 official All-American Rose Selection (AARS) Test
Gardens in the country.
Great Smith automobile was built in Topeka from 1906-1912.
Lytle, the second black woman admitted to the practice of law (1897)
called Topeka home. She was admitted to the bar in Kansas and in
Curtis, the only Native American to ever serve as vice president
of the United States, was born in Topeka. He served under President
Herbert Hoover, 1929-1933.
was the home of Alf Landon, the 1936 republican nominee for president
defeated by Franklin D. Roosevelt.
was the home of Dr. Crumbine, an early promoter of good health.
As part of his good health campaign, he is credited for outlawing
the "common drinking cup" at schools and on trains. He
invented the paper cup and the fly swatter and promoted the now
famous bricks "Don't spit on the sidewalk."
Shawnee, in southeast Topeka, is the location of the first and only
fully staked 400-meter dash rowing course in the world. Lake Shawnee
is host to the annual Great Plains Rowing Championships and was
host to the 1993 and 1994 American Rowing National Championships.
The permanent cables and buoys at Lake Shawnee are those used in
the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
is the home of the sparrow. Legend has it that Topeka founder Frye
Giles, in an effort to control the insects he considered a nuisance,
sent away for birds to eat the insects. He nursed the birds to health
after their travels to Topeka, created an environment for them to
live in, and ultimately called Topeka "the home of the
is the boyhood home of Rex Stout, author of the Nero Wolfe novels.
Nero Wolfe's investigator Archie Goodwin is named after a Topeka
policeman from the 1920s who found young Rex Stout's stolen crank-up
Rose Lee gave her first performance in Topeka. Rose's sister, Baby
June, documents in her autobiography the story of Baby June departing
with the stage manager. Their mother dressed Rose in June's costume
and pushed Rose onto the stage. Rose was an instant hit and began
her career "on the road" in Kansas City the very next
University, the only municipally-owned university in the country,
is in Topeka. More than 6,000 students are enrolled in Washburn's
is the home for the world headquarters of Payless ShoeSource, the
largest family footwear chain in North America. Payless currently
operates more than 4,700 stores in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto
Rico, and sells over 200 million pairs of shoes annually.
is home to the Hallmark Cards plant, a producer of greeting cards,
boxed Christmas cards, stationery and envelopes sold in retail stores.
The plant also produces all the writing papers and notes for Hallmark
is home to Tiffany stained-glass windows. Located in the First Presbyterian
Church in downtown Topeka, the windows, made of Favrile glass, were
designed and executed at the Tiffany Studios in New York City under
the supervision of its art director Louis C. Tiffany. They were
installed in the church in 1911.
to the Women's Suffrage Movement in Kansas, the home of John and
Mary Ritchie near downtown Topeka, was the site of the first meeting
of the Women's Suffrage Movement in Kansas.
was home for many years to Carrie Nation, the temperance crusader,
and her hatchet. Mrs. Nation supported herself with income from
her newspaper, The Smasher's Mail, which was published in Topeka.
Kansas Governor's Mansion, Cedar Crest, is the smallest governor's
mansion in the United States; however, it sits on the largest piece
of property. John P. MacLennan, publisher of the Topeka State Journal,
gave the property and house to the state of Kansas. It was updated
and remodeled in 2000.
headquarters for Hill's Pet Nutrition are in Topeka. Hill's produces
Science Diet and Prescription Diet pet food sold internationally
through veterinary offices and pet stores.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. plant is the world's largest producer
of earthmover tires and the corporation's sole North American manufacturer
of earthmover tires for mining and construction operations. The
Topeka plant is also a major manufacturer of radial truck tires