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Wichita, Kansas

HistoryEdit Main articles: History of Wichita, Kansas and Timeline of Wichita, Kansas See also: History of Kansas Archaeological evidence indicates human habitation near the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas Rivers, the site of present-day Wichita, as far back as 3000 B.C.[16] In 1541, a Spanishexpedition led by explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado found the area populated by the Quivira, or Wichita, people. Conflict with the Osage in the 1750s drove the Wichita further south.[17] Prior to American settlement of the region, the site was located in the territory of the Kiowa.[18] Claimed first by France as part of Louisiana and later acquired by the United States with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, it became part of Kansas Territory in 1854 and then the state of Kansas in 1861.[19][20] The Wichita returned in 1864 due to the American Civil War and established a settlement on the banks of the Little Arkansas.[21][22] During this period, traderJesse Chisholm established a trading post at the site, one of several along a trail extending south toTexas which became known as the Chisholm Trail.[23] After the war, the Wichita permanently relocated south to Indian Territory, present-dayOklahoma.[22] In 1868, trader James R. Mead established another trading post at the site, and surveyor Darius Munger built a house for use as a hotel, community center, and post office.[24][25] Business opportunities attracted area hunters and traders, and a new settlement began to form. That summer, Mead and others organized the Wichita Town Company, naming the settlement after the Wichita tribe.[21] In 1870, Munger and German immigrant William "Dutch Bill" Greiffenstein filed plats laying out the city's first streets.[25] Wichita formally incorporated as a city on July 21, 1870.[24] 1915 Railroad Map of Sedgwick County Wichita's position on the Chisholm Trail made it a destination for cattle drives traveling north from Texas to access railroads which led to markets in eastern U.S. cities.[23][26] The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway reached the city in 1872.[27] As a result, Wichita became a railhead for the cattle drives, earning it the nickname "Cowtown".[23][26]Across the Arkansas River, the town of Delanobecame a popular entertainment destination for cattlemen thanks to its saloons, brothels, and lack of law enforcement.[28] The area had a reputation for violence until local lawmen, Wyatt Earp among them, began to assertively police the cowboys.[23][26] By the end of the decade, the cattle trade had moved west to Dodge City. Wichita annexed Delano in 1880.[28] Rapid immigration resulted in a speculative land boom in the late 1880s, stimulating further expansion of the city. Fairmount College, which eventually grew into Wichita State University, opened in 1886; Garfield University, which eventually becameFriends University, opened in 1887.[29][30] By 1890, Wichita had become the third-largest city in the state after Kansas City and Topeka with a population of nearly 24,000.[31] After the boom, however, the city entered an economic recession, and many of the original settlers went bankrupt.[32] In 1914 and 1915, deposits of oil and natural gaswere discovered in nearby Butler County. This triggered another economic boom in Wichita as producers established refineries, fueling stations, and headquarters in the city.[33] By 1917, there were five operating refineries in Wichita with another seven built in the 1920s.[34] The careers and fortunes of future oil moguls Archibald Derby, who later founded Derby Oil, and Fred C. Koch, who established what would become Koch Industries, both began in Wichita during this period.[33][35] The money generated by the oil boom enabled local entrepreneurs to invest in the nascent airplane manufacturing industry. In 1917, Clyde Cessna built his Cessna Comet in Wichita, the first aircraft built in the city. In 1920, two local oilmen invited Chicago aircraft builder Emil "Matty" Laird to manufacture his designs in Wichita, leading to the formation of theSwallow Airplane Company. Two early Swallow employees, Lloyd Stearman and Walter Beech, went on to found two prominent Wichita-based companies, Stearman Aircraft in 1926 andBeechcraft in 1932, respectively. Cessna, meanwhile, started his own company in Wichita in 1927.[36] The city became such a center of the industry that the Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce dubbed it the "Air Capital of the World" in 1929.[37] Boeing B-29 assembly line (1944) Over the following decades, aviation and aircraft manufacturing continued to drive expansion of the city. In 1934, Stearman's Wichita facilities became part of Boeing which would become the city's largest employer.[38] Initial construction of Wichita Municipal Airport finished southeast of the city in 1935. DuringWorld War II, the site hosted Wichita Army Airfield and Boeing Airplane Company Plant No. 1.[39] The city experienced a population explosion during the war when it became a major manufacturing center for the Boeing B-29 bomber.[40] In 1951, the U.S. Air Force announced plans to assume control of the airport to establish McConnell Air Force Base. By 1954, all non-military air traffic had shifted to the new Wichita Mid-Continent Airport west of the city.[39] In 1962, Lear Jet Corporation opened with its plant adjacent to the new airport.[41] The original Pizza Hut building, which was moved to the campus of Wichita State University (2004) Throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries, several other prominent businesses and brands had their origins in Wichita. A. A. Hyde founded health care products maker Mentholatum in Wichita in 1889.[42][43] Sporting goods and camping gear retailerColeman started in the city in the early 1900s.[42][44] A number of fast food franchises started in Wichita in the 1950s and 1960s including Pizza Hut in 1958. In the 1970s and 1980s, the city became a regional center of health care and medical research.[42] Wichita has been a focal point of national political controversy multiple times in its history. In 1900, famous temperance extremist Carrie Nation struck in Wichita upon learning the city was not enforcing Kansas's prohibition ordinance.[42] The Dockum Drug Store sit-in took place in the city in 1958 with protesters pushing for desegregation.[45] In 1991, thousands of anti-abortion protesters blockaded and held sit-ins at Wichita abortion clinics, particularly the clinic of George Tiller.[46] Tiller was later killed in Wichita by an extremist in 2009.[47] Except for a slow period in the 1970s, Wichita has continued to grow steadily into the 21st century.[31]In the late 1990s and 2000s, the city government and local organizations began collaborating to re-develop downtown Wichita and older neighborhoods in the city.[25][28][48] Intrust Bank Arena opened downtown in 2010.[49] Boeing ended its operations in Wichita in 2014.[50]However, the city remains a national center of aircraft manufacturing with other companies including Spirit AeroSystems and Airbus maintaining facilities in Wichita.[24][51] Wichita Mid-Continent Airport was officially renamedWichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport after the Kansas native and U.S. President in 2015.[52]

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