As Omaha welcomes eight teams to the NCAA tournament this weekend, some fans might wonder about the history behind one of the visiting team’s mascot; the Kansas Jayhawk. Did you know that a bird with features similar to the Jayhawk has a home at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo?
CLICK HERE to see a video explanation, courtesy of the University of Kansas Alumni Association.
Like the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the University of Kansas mascot is based on something unique about its own state.
It’s widely known that the Jayhawk is a mythical bird based on two very real birds – the blue jay and the sparrow hawk.
The Kansas Territory became a battleground during the 1800’s between those who wanted the state to be free of slavery and those who wanted a state where slavery was legal. Those against slavery picked up the name Jayhawkers.
As it turned out the Jayhawkers won the battle. Kansas became a free state.