Kansas is in the middle of the United States. Kansas declared its statehood on January 29, 1861. They named their state Kansas , after an Indian tribe who called them selves the Kansa meaning the people of the south wind. Kansas's state motto is "to the stars through the difficulties." In 1541 Francisco de Coronado and his company discovered Kansas. They were actually looking for the mythical kingdom of Quivira. In 1803 the Indians which first lived in Kansas were forced out so settlers could move in. In 1860 Kansas faced a sever drought. On January 29,1861 Kansas' government took affect.