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Naismith, Kapaun and Earhart among 8 Wonders of Kansas People

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010, at 12:01 a.m.
  • Updated Friday, April 15, 2011, at 10:20 a.m.

A missing aviatrix, a priest, a prohibitionist, two inventors, a journalist, a group of soldiers and a husband-wife team who explored the world have been picked as the all-time favorite Kansans.

After six weeks of voting, the Kansas Sampler Foundation announced today the results of the 8 Wonders of Kansas People contest.

Thirteen thousand votes were received online and by paper ballot.

The People contest is the last in a series organized by the foundation to encourage travel in Kansas and to educate the public about the architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history and people of Kansas. The contests began in June 2007.

Some well-known famous Kansans, such as Dwight D. Eisenhower, were not eligible for the People contest because he had been selected a winner in one of the previous 8 Wonders contests.

A photo guidebook featuring all 216 entries in the nine 8 Wonders of Kansas contests will be available for purchase next April at a grand opening reception of an 8 Wonders exhibit at the Eisenhower Library in Abilene.

The winners of the People contest are:

Amelia Earhart , Atchison — Earhart was the first person to fly from Hawaii to the West Coast and the first woman to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross. She set many other aviation records before disappearing in a record-setting attempt around the equator in 1937.

Buffalo Soldiers, Fort Leavenworth — The term dates to when African-American regiments were formed in 1866 to help patrol the Western frontier and fight in the nation's wars. The first unit, the 10th Cavalry, was formed Sept. 21, 1866, at Fort Leavenworth.

Carry A. Nation, Medicine Lodge and Kiowa — The prohibitionist became famous through the Women's Christian Temperance Union, traveling from town to town wrecking saloons and berating people who sold liquor.

Emil Kapaun, Pilsen — A priest and military chaplain currently being considered by the Vatican for sainthood because of his exemplary service and dedication while being held in a Korean prisoner of war camp. He also has been recommended for the Medal of Honor.

George Washington Carver, Minneapolis and Beeler — An agri-scientist, botanist, educator, humanitarian and inventor. Carver headed the Tuskegee Experiment Station at Tuskegee Institute, which was designed to help Southern agriculture and poor black farmers. He discovered more than 300 products that could be made from the peanut.

James Naismith, Lawrence — The man who invented basketball and started the University of Kansas basketball program in 1898.

Martin and Osa Johnson, Chanute — Legendary Kansas adventurers, the Johnsons were world famous for their films and books about remote locales during the first half of the 20th century.

William Allen White, Emporia — His writing covered almost every subject affecting American life from the 1890s through the first half of the 20th century. He was nicknamed the "Sage of Emporia."

Reach Beccy Tanner at 316-268-6336 or btanner@wichitaeagle.com.

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