Kansas’ 148th birthday finds the 34th state taking the economic bumps along with the rest of the nation and wondering how to pay its bills and seed its future. Fortunately, the moment bears no resemblance to the painful, bloody period that led up to statehood and made Kansas’ chosen motto, “Ad astra per aspera” (To the stars through difficulties), so apt. And Kansas’ past provides reason for optimism about its ability to rebound. As poet Harry Kemp wrote in 1912, “Kansas glories in her days to be, in her horizons limitless and vast. . . .”
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