Facts About Topeka
Charles 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, 1928-1932.
The name “Topeka” is a Kansa-Osage word that means “place where we dug potatoes”, or “a good place to dig potatoes”.
As a placename, Topeka was first recorded in 1826 as the Kansa name for what is now called the Kansas River.
Topeka’s founders chose the name in 1855 because it “was novel, of Indian origin, and euphonious of sound.” Mixed-blood Kansa Native American, Joseph James, called Jojim, is credited with suggesting Topeka’s name.
In 1857, Topeka was chartered as a city.
Topeka was recognized by the Guinness World Records as the starting point for the costliest hailstorm ever, known as the Tristate Hailstorm. Hailstones as large as 2.75 inches in diameter caused up to an estimated US$3 billion in overall economic damage.
The U.S. Navy has named three ships USS Topeka after the city.
In 2010, Topeka temporarily changed its name to Google, Kansas, in order to curry favour with the powerful search engine giant. Google responded on that April Fool’s Day by saying it would rename the company “Topeka.”
Topeka is the capital city of the United States of America state of Kansas and the seat of Shawnee County.
The city is well known for the landmark United States Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, which overturned Plessy vs. Ferguson and declared segregation in public schools on account of race to be unconstitutional.
In 1989, Topeka became a motorsports mecca with the opening of Heartland Park Topeka.
Cedar Crest, where the governor lives, is the smallest occupied governor’s residence in the country, according to the Topeka Chamber of Commerce.
The city of Topeka has a total area of 61.47 square miles, of which, 60.17 square miles is land and 1.30 square miles is water.
The iconic mascot of MAD Magazine, Alfred E. Neuman with his “What, me worry?” grin, originated in Topeka.
Topeka is sometimes cited as the home of Pentecostalism, as it was the site of Charles Fox Parham’s Bethel Bible College, where glossolalia was first claimed as evidence of a spiritual experience referred to as the baptism of the Holy Spirit in 1901.
Topeka was the site of the historic class-action lawsuit filed by 13 African-American parents against Topeka’s Board of Education protesting the school policy of segregating their children. As a result, Chief Justice Earl Warren ruled on May 17, 1954 that schools were no longer to be segregated by race.
In 1931, Topeka High School was erected, and it was the first high school ever to cost at least $1 million to build. The total cost was $1.75 million.
Topeka’s biggest employer is the State of Kansas.
Topeka is at 39°03′N 95°41′W, in northeast Kansas at the intersection of I-70 and U.S. Highway 75.
Topeka is home to the Santa Fe Railroad founded by Cyrus Holiday.