Nebraska

Nebraska

Nebraska, which was admitted to the union as the 37th state on March 1, 1867, two years after the end of the American Civil War, contains some of the nation’s best ranchland and farmland. Prior to its statehood, the Nebraska Territory had been sparsely settled but saw growth during the California Gold Rush in 1848, with a larger wave of settlers arriving as homesteaders in the 1860s. Although the territorial capital of Nebraska was Omaha, when it achieved statehood the seat of government was moved to Lancaster, which was later renamed Lincoln after President Abraham Lincoln, who had recently been assassinated. Nebraska is bounded by South Dakota to the north, Kansas and Colorado to the South, Wyoming to the West and Iowa and Missouri to the East.

Date of Statehood: March 1, 1867

Capital: Lincoln

Population: 1,826,341 (2010)

Size: 77,349 square miles

Nickname(s): Cornhusker State

Motto: Equality Before the Law

Tree: Cottonwood

Flower: Goldenrod

Bird: Western Meadowlark

Interesting Facts

  • In 1872, J. Sterling Morton proposed a holiday to promote the planting of trees in Nebraska. The first “Arbor Day”—in which an estimated 1 million trees were planted—was celebrated on April 10, 1872. By 1920, 45 states had adopted the holiday.
  • The world’s largest exhibited mammoth skeleton was found on a farm in Lincoln County in 1922. Originating from the Late Pleistocene Era, “Archie” is on display at the University of Nebraska State Museum.
  • Nebraska is the only state with a nonpartisan, unicameral legislature. Promoted by Senator George Norris for its efficiency, cost-effectiveness and ability to eliminate secretive conference committee meetings common in bicameral legislatures, Nebraska has been governing by a single-house legislature since 1937.
  • On June 22, 2003, a record-setting hailstone with a circumference of 18.75 inches fell in Aurora. The storm left craters of up to 14 inches in the ground and caused roughly $500,000 in property damage and one million dollars in crop damage.
  • Bailey Yard in North Platte is the world’s largest train yard, situated on 2,850 acres of land spanning eight miles. It manages as many as 10,000 rail cars each day and can repair up to 20 cars per hour in its immense locomotive repair shop.
  • The Ogallala Aquifer, which lies beneath 174,000 square miles of eight states extending from South Dakota down to western Texas, provides almost all of the water for residential, industrial and agricultural use in the High Plains region. Two-thirds of the Ogallala’s total supply comes from Nebraska.

PHOTO GALLERIES


History Nebraska

History Nebraska, formally the Nebraska State Historical Society is a Nebraska state agency, founded in 1878 to "encourage historical research and inquiry, spread historical information . and to embrace alike aboriginal and modern history." It was designated a state institution in 1883, and upgraded to a state agency in 1994. The agency rebranded and announced their name change to History Nebraska on April 30, 2018.

The agency's mission statement is "[to] collect, preserve, and open to all, the histories we share."

Facilities and operations of the society include:

Site name Image Nearest city County Remarks
Chimney Rock Bayard Morrill The formation served as a landmark along the Oregon Trail, the California Trail, and the Mormon Trail during the mid-19th century. The trails ran along the north side of the rock, which remains a visible landmark for modern travelers along U.S. Route 26 and Nebraska Highway 92.
Fort Robinson Crawford Dawes and Sioux Former U.S. Army fort in the Pine Ridge region of northwest Nebraska. Fort Robinson played a major role in the Sioux Wars from 1876 to 1890. The Battle of Warbonnet Creek took place nearby in July 1876. Crazy Horse surrendered here with his band on May 6, 1877.
John G. Neihardt State Historic Site Bancroft Cuming Features museum exhibits about Nebraska Poet Laureate John Neihardt. The one-room study that Neihardt used from 1911 through 1920 as the place where he wrote many of his works is preserved at the site, and also features the Sacred Hoop Prayer Garden, designed by Neihardt, and a library with materials about Neihardt's life and legacy.
Museum of Nebraska History Lincoln Lancaster The Society's headquarters features a library and archives, and administration and the research and publications operations of the Society. Located on the campus of University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Neligh Mill State Historic Site Neligh Antelope Museum commemorating the importance of flour mills to Nebraska and the West as a whole. Exhibits relating to the operation of the mill and its history are located in the original warehouse from 1866, as well as the 1915 addition where the power plant was once housed. The Society has restored the mill's office building, which has original furnishings. It reconstructed the 1919 flume to the south. The remnants of the dam that collected water for the mill are still visible on the Elkhorn River nearby.
Senator George Norris State Historic Site McCook Red Willow Home of U.S. Senator George W. Norris (1862–1944), a Nebraska politician who championed the New Deal of the 1930s and the Rural Electrification Act.
Thomas P. Kennard House Lincoln Lancaster Built in 1869, the Italianate house belonged to Thomas P. Kennard, the first Secretary of State for Nebraska, and one of three men who picked the Lincoln site for the new state's capital in 1867.

History Nebraska also operates the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha.


Contents

Nebraska's name is the result of anglicization of the archaic Otoe words Ñí Brásge, pronounced [ɲĩbɾasꜜkɛ] (contemporary Otoe Ñí Bráhge), or the Omaha Ní Btháska, pronounced [nĩbɫᶞasꜜka] , meaning "flat water", after the Platte River which flows through the state. [14]

Indigenous peoples lived in the region of present-day Nebraska for thousands of years before European colonization. The historic tribes in the state included the Omaha, Missouria, Ponca, Pawnee, Otoe, and various branches of the Lakota (Sioux), some of which migrated from eastern areas into this region. When European exploration, trade, and settlement began, both Spain and France sought to control the region. In the 1690s, Spain established trade connections with the Apaches, whose territory then included western Nebraska. By 1703, France had developed a regular trade with the native peoples along the Missouri River in Nebraska, and by 1719 had signed treaties with several of these peoples. After war broke out between the two countries, Spain dispatched an armed expedition to Nebraska under Lieutenant General Pedro de Villasur in 1720. The party was attacked and destroyed near present-day Columbus by a large force of Pawnees and Otoes, both allied with the French. The massacre ended Spanish exploration of the area for the remainder of the 18th century. [15] [16] [17]

In 1762, during the Seven Years' War, France ceded the Louisiana territory to Spain. This left Britain and Spain competing for dominance along the Mississippi by 1773, the British were trading with the native peoples of Nebraska. In response, Spain dispatched two trading expeditions up the Missouri in 1794 and 1795 the second, under James Mackay, established the first European settlement in Nebraska near the mouth of the Platte. Later that year, Mackay's party built a trading post, dubbed Fort Carlos IV (Fort Charles), near present-day Homer. [15] [18] [19]

In 1819, the United States established Fort Atkinson as the first U.S. Army post west of the Missouri River, just east of present-day Fort Calhoun. The army abandoned the fort in 1827 as migration moved further west. European-American settlement was scarce until 1848 and the California Gold Rush. On May 30, 1854, the US Congress created the Kansas and the Nebraska territories, divided by the Parallel 40° North, under the Kansas–Nebraska Act. [20] The Nebraska Territory included parts of the current states of Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. [21] The territorial capital of Nebraska was Omaha.

In the 1860s, after the U.S. government forced many of the Native American tribes to cede their lands and settle on reservations, it opened large tracts of land to agricultural development by Europeans and Americans. Under the Homestead Act, thousands of settlers migrated into Nebraska to claim free land granted by the federal government. Because so few trees grew on the prairies, many of the first farming settlers built their homes of sod, as had Native Americans such as the Omaha. The first wave of settlement gave the territory a sufficient population to apply for statehood. [22] Nebraska became the 37th state on March 1, 1867, and the capital was moved from Omaha to the center at Lancaster, later renamed Lincoln after the recently assassinated President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The battle of Massacre Canyon, on August 5, 1873, was the last major battle between the Pawnee and the Sioux. [23]

During the 1870s to the 1880s, Nebraska experienced a large growth in population. Several factors contributed to attracting new residents. The first was that the vast prairie land was perfect for cattle grazing. This helped settlers to learn the unfamiliar geography of the area. The second factor was the invention of several farming technologies. Agricultural inventions such as barbed wire, windmills, and the steel plow, combined with good weather, enabled settlers to use Nebraska as prime farming land. By the 1880s, Nebraska's population had soared to more than 450,000 people. [24] The Arbor Day holiday was founded in Nebraska City by territorial governor J. Sterling Morton. The National Arbor Day Foundation is still headquartered in Nebraska City, with some offices in Lincoln.

In the late 19th century, many African Americans migrated from the South to Nebraska as part of the Great Migration, primarily to Omaha which offered working-class jobs in meat packing, the railroads and other industries. Omaha has a long history of civil rights activism. Blacks encountered discrimination from other Americans in Omaha and especially from recent European immigrants, ethnic whites who were competing for the same jobs. In 1912, African Americans founded the Omaha chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to work for improved conditions in the city and state.

Since the 1960s, Native American activism in the state has increased, both through open protest, activities to build alliances with state and local governments, and in the slower, more extensive work of building tribal institutions and infrastructure. Native Americans in federally recognized tribes have pressed for self-determination, sovereignty and recognition. They have created community schools to preserve their cultures, as well as tribal colleges and universities. Tribal politicians have also collaborated with state and county officials on regional issues.

The state is bordered by South Dakota to the north Iowa to the east and Missouri to the southeast, across the Missouri River Kansas to the south Colorado to the southwest and Wyoming to the west. The state has 93 counties and is split between two time zones, with the state's eastern half observing Central Time and the western half observing Mountain Time. Three rivers cross the state from west to east. The Platte River, formed by the confluence of the North Platte and the South Platte, runs through the state's central portion, the Niobrara River flows through the northern part, and the Republican River runs across the southern part.

The first Constitution of Nebraska in 1866 described Nebraska's boundaries as follows (Note that the description of the Northern border is no longer accurate, since the Keya Paha River and the Niobrara River no longer form the boundary of the state of Nebraska. Instead, Nebraska's Northern border now extends east along the forty-third degree of north latitude until it meets the Missouri River directly.):

The State of Nebraska shall consist of all the territory included within the following boundaries, to-wit: Commencing at a point formed by the intersection of the western boundary of the State of Missouri, with the fortieth degree of north latitude extending thence due west along said fortieth degree of north latitude, to a point formed by its intersection with the twenty-fifth degree of longitude west from Washington [the Southern border] thence north along said twenty-fifth degree of longitude, to a point formed by its intersection with the forty-first degree of north latitude thence west along said forty-first degree of north latitude to a point formed by its intersection with the twenty-seventh degree of longitude west from Washington thence north along said twenty-seventh degree of west longitude, to a point formed by its intersection with the forty-third degree of north latitude [the Western border, which is the Panhandle] thence east along said forty-third degree of north latitude to the Keya Paha river thence down the middle of the channel of said river, with its meanderings, to its junction with the Niobrara River thence down the middle of the channel of said Niobrara River, and following the meanderings thereof to its junction with the Missouri River [the Northern border] thence down the middle of the channel of said Missouri River, and following the meanderings thereof to the place of beginning [the Eastern border, which is the Missouri River]. [25]

Nebraska is composed of two major land regions: the Dissected Till Plains and the Great Plains. The easternmost portion of the state was scoured by Ice Age glaciers the Dissected Till Plains were left after the glaciers retreated. The Dissected Till Plains is a region of gently rolling hills Omaha and Lincoln are in this region. The Great Plains occupy most of western Nebraska, with the region consisting of several smaller, diverse land regions, including the Sandhills, the Pine Ridge, the Rainwater Basin, the High Plains and the Wildcat Hills. Panorama Point, at 5,424 feet (1,653 m), is Nebraska's highest point though despite its name and elevation, it is a relatively low rise near the Colorado and Wyoming borders. A past tourism slogan for the state of Nebraska was "Where the West Begins" (it has since been changed to "Honestly, it's not for everyone"). [26] Locations given for the beginning of the "West" in Nebraska include the Missouri River, the intersection of 13th and O Streets in Lincoln (where it is marked by a red brick star), the 100th meridian, and Chimney Rock.

Federal land management Edit

Areas under the management of the National Park Service include:

Areas under the management of the National Forest Service include:

Climate Edit

Two major climatic zones are represented in Nebraska. The eastern two-thirds of the state has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa), although the southwest of this region may be classed as a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) using the −3 °C or 26.6 °F boundary. The Panhandle and adjacent areas bordering Colorado have a semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk). The entire state experiences wide seasonal variations in both temperature and precipitation. Average temperatures are fairly uniform across Nebraska, with hot summers and generally cold winters. However, chinook winds from the Rocky Mountains provide a temporary moderating effect on temperatures in the state's western portion during the winter. [27] [28] Thus, average January maximum temperatures are highest at around 43 °F or 6.1 °C in southwestern Dundy County, and lowest at about 30 °F or −1.1 °C around South Sioux City in the northeast.

Average annual precipitation decreases east to west from about 31.5 inches (800 mm) in the southeast corner of the state to about 13.8 inches (350 mm) in the Panhandle. Humidity also decreases significantly from east to west. Snowfall across the state is fairly even, with most of Nebraska receiving between 25 to 35 inches (0.64 to 0.89 m) of snow each year. [29] Nebraska's highest-recorded temperature was 118 °F (48 °C) in Minden on July 24, 1936. The state's lowest-recorded temperature was −47 °F (−44 °C) in Camp Clarke on February 12, 1899.

Nebraska is located in Tornado Alley. Thunderstorms are common during both the spring and the summer. Violent thunderstorms and tornadoes happen primarily during those two seasons, although they also can occur occasionally during the autumn.

Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for selected cities in Nebraska [30]
Location July (°F) July (°C) January (°F) January (°C)
Omaha 87/66 30/19 33/13 1/−10
Lincoln 89/66 31/19 35/14 2/−10
Grand Island 87/64 31/17 36/14 2/−10
Kearney 90/63 32/17 36/12 2/−11
North Platte 88/60 31/16 39/11 4/−11
Papillion 87/66 31/19 32/12 0/−11

Population Edit

Historical population
Census Pop.
186028,841
1870122,993 326.5%
1880452,402 267.8%
18901,062,656 134.9%
19001,066,300 0.3%
19101,192,214 11.8%
19201,296,372 8.7%
19301,377,963 6.3%
19401,315,834 −4.5%
19501,325,510 0.7%
19601,411,330 6.5%
19701,483,493 5.1%
19801,569,825 5.8%
19901,578,385 0.5%
20001,711,263 8.4%
20101,826,341 6.7%
20201,961,504 7.4%
Source: 1910–2020 [31]

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Nebraska was 1,934,408 on July 1, 2019, a 5.92% increase since the 2010 United States Census. [32] The center of population of Nebraska is in Polk County, in the city of Shelby. [33]

The table below shows the racial composition of Nebraska's population as of 2016.

Nebraska racial composition of population [34]
Race Population (2016 est.) Percentage
Total population 1,881,259 100%
White 1,655,708 88.0%
Black or African American 88,388 4.7%
American Indian and Alaska Native 15,739 0.8%
Asian 39,794 2.1%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 1,305 0.1%
Some other race 36,672 1.9%
Two or more races 43,653 2.3%
Nebraska historical racial composition
Racial composition 1990 [35] 2000 [36] 2010 [37]
White 93.8% 89.6% 86.1%
Black 3.6% 4.0% 4.5%
Asian 0.8% 1.3% 1.8%
Native 0.8% 0.9% 1.0%
Native Hawaiian and
other Pacific Islander
0.1% 0.1%
Other race 1.0% 2.8% 4.3%
Two or more races 1.4% 2.2%

According to the 2016 American Community Survey, 10.2% of Nebraska's population were of Hispanic or Latino origin (of any race): Mexican (7.8%), Puerto Rican (0.2%), Cuban (0.2%), and other Hispanic or Latino origin (2.0%). [34] The five largest ancestry groups were: German (36.1%), Irish (13.1%), English (7.8%), Czech (4.7%), and American (4.0%). [38]

Nebraska has the largest Czech American and non-Mormon Danish American population (as a percentage of the total population) in the nation. German Americans are the largest ancestry group in most of the state, particularly in the eastern counties. Thurston County (made up entirely of the Omaha and Winnebago reservations) has an American Indian majority, and Butler County is one of only two counties in the nation with a Czech-American plurality.

In recent years, Nebraska has become home to many refugee communities. In 2016, it welcomed more refugees per capita than any other state. [39] Nebraska, and in particular Lincoln, is the largest home of Yazidis refugees and Yazidi Americans in the United States. [40] [41] [42]

Birth data Edit

As of 2011, 31.0% of Nebraska's population younger than age 1 were minorities. [43]

Note: Births in table don't add up, because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.


History of the Nebraska Capitol Building

In response to westward migration and the call for a trans-continental railroad Franklin Pierce signed the Nebraska-Kansas Act on May 30, 1854 creating the Nebraska Territory. The ensuing controversy over the location of the Territorial Capital in Omaha was not resolved until after Statehood in 1867, when the Legislature voted to move the State Capital south of the Platte River to the western edge of settlement in the new state.

First Territorial Capitol in Omaha

First Territorial Capitol in Omaha

The second State Capitol filled more of Capitol Square.

The second Capitol of Nebraska

Bertram Goodhue designed Nebraska's third Capitol as a monument to Nebraska's heritage

Interior_overall_smaller_1-15.jpg

The new Capital City was to be home to Nebraska’s Capitol, the University, Penitentiary, and State Hospital. Following a scouting trip by the three member Capital Commission to select a new capital site, the village of Lancaster was chosen. The small community was renamed Lincoln and construction of the first State Capitol begun.

Nebraska’s current Capitol stands in contrast to the two territorial and two state capitols to precede it.

The first territorial Capitol was a modest two story brick structure provided by the Omaha business community.

The second territorial Capitol was a large brick structure in the “Federal Style” of architecture.

The first State Capitol in Lincoln was constructed between 1867 and 1868. It was a two story building with a central cupola, made of native limestone. This first State Capitol soon began to crumble, the result of poor construction and inferior building stone.

In 1881 the first wing of a second State Capitol was completed and the entire building finished in 1888. This second Capitol suffered the fate of poor construction and was settling structurally when talk began of building a third State Capitol in 1915.

In 1919 the Legislature passed a bill to provide for the construction of a new Capitol, including provisions for a Capitol Commission to oversee construction.

The Nebraska State Capitol, the product of a nationwide design competition won by New York Architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue in 1920, is described as the nation’s first truly vernacular State Capitol. The present building, the third to be erected on this site, was the nation’s first statehouse design to radically depart from the prototypical form of the nation’s Capitol and to use an office tower. Constructed in four phases over ten years from 1922-1932, the building, with furnishings and landscaping, was completed at a cost just under the $10 million budget and was paid for when finished. To decorate the building, Bertram Goodhue selected Lee Lawrie, sculptor Hildreth Meiere, tile and mosaic designer and Hartley B. Alexander, thematic consultant for inscription and symbolism.

Clad with Indiana limestone, the Capitol has a low, wide base in the plan of a “cross within a square”, creating four interior courtyards. The square base is 437 feet on a side and three levels in height. From the center of this base rises a 400 foot domed tower, crowned with the 19 foot tall bronze figure of “The Sower”. A thematic progression of ornamentation extends from the principal entrance on the north, westward around the exterior of the building and through the building’s interior. The building’s exterior stone carvings represent historic events in the 3000 year evolution of democracy as a form of government. The ornamental interior features numerous marble-columned chambers with vaulted polychrome tile ceilings, marble mosaic floors and murals depicting the natural and social history of Nebraska’s Native American and Pioneer cultures.


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Nebraska

Thanks to spear points discovered in Nebraska, archaeologists know that people have lived here for at least 13,500 years. Native American tribes developed many thousands of years after those first inhabitants arrived, including the Cheyenne, Lakota and Dakota Sioux, Omaha, Oto, Pawnee, Sauk, and Ponca. The Omaha, Ponca, Winnebago, Oglala Sioux, and Santee Sioux still exist in Nebraska today.

French and Spanish explorers tried to claim the land starting in the 1500s but left much of the area unexplored. In 1803 France sold the area to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase.

Some of the first settlers arrived on the Oregon Trail, a rough, 2,170-mile route that people crossed in covered wagons. In 1862, during the Civil War, the Homestead Act offered families 160-acre parcels of land in the west in exchange for building on and farming the land for five years. The Nebraska Territory’s population grew quickly, and the territory became a state in 1867.

WHY’S IT CALLED THAT?

This state’s name comes from Native American words that mean “flat water.” The phrase refers to the Platte River, which runs through the state.

The University of Nebraska gave the state its nickname, since the school’s football team name is the Cornhuskers. Why name it after someone who strips the husk from corn? Because the state grows so much of it! Nebraska is the third-largest corn producer in the United States.

Right: Nebraska state icons

GEOGRAPHY AND LANDFORMS

Nebraska is bordered by South Dakota in the north, Iowa and Missouri in the east, Kansas in the south, Colorado in the south and west, and Wyoming in the west. The area can be divided into two major regions: the Dissected Till Plains and the Great Plains.

The Dissected Till Plains cover the eastern quarter of Nebraska. When glaciers melted in this region at the end of the last Ice Age they left behind till, a mixture of sand, gravel, and boulders. Today the area has low hills and deposits of loess, which is windblown sediment.

The Great Plains spread across the rest of the state. This region is flat with a few canyons and valleys, as well as lakes and wetlands. The area also includes the state’s highest peak, Panorama Point. Want sand dunes? Central Nebraska boasts the biggest spread of the mounds in North America. Called the Sand Hills, the dunes stretch for about 20,000 square miles. The far northwest is home to another unusual area: the Badlands, where the wind has cut sandstone into weird, pointy, and even mushroom-like shapes.

WILDLIFE

Bison were nearly wiped out in the 1800s, but some still roam today at Fort Niobrara Wildlife Refuge in north-central Nebraska. Other native mammals include pronghorns (the second fastest land mammals after cheetahs!), antelopes, coyotes, jackrabbits, and prairie dogs.

More than 400 species of birds fly through the state, including bald eagles, sandhill cranes, violet-green swallows, and western meadowlarks (the state bird).

Snapping turtles and bullsnakes are common reptiles in Nebraska, while the shy, slender glass lizard is rarely seen. Rare Blanding’s turtles can be spotted in the Sand Hills. Amphibians such as American bullfrogs, Great Plains toads, and western tiger salamanders hop and slither through the state.

Eastern cottonwood is Nebraska’s state tree, and it’s commonly found near bodies of water. Other widespread trees include black walnut, red oak, slippery elm, ponderosa pine, and boxelder maple. A few of the state’s many wildflowers are star cucumber, chicory, pink primrose, wild blue flax, and leopard lily.

NATURAL RESOURCES

An underground water supply called the High Plains Aquifer means Nebraska’s fertile soil is perfect for growing crops. That’s one reason why the area is called the “breadbasket of America.” Other natural resources include petroleum and gas.

FUN STUFF

—Former President Gerald Ford, former Vice President Dick Cheney, philanthropist and businessman Warren Buffett, tennis player Andy Roddick, actress Hilary Swank, and dancer Fred Astaire were all born in Nebraska.

—The biggest mammoth skeleton on display is at the University of Nebraska State Museum. It’s nicknamed “Archie”!

—The skinny stone spire of Chimney Rock in Scotts Bluff was a famous landmark for pioneers traveling to the west. Made of volcanic ash and clay, the natural wonder was whittled into shape by erosion.

—About 12 million years ago, a volcanic event killed animals such as saber-toothed deer, raccoon dogs, and giraffe-like camels. Today you can see their fossilized remains at Ashfall Fossil Beds in northeastern Nebraska.

—England has Stonehenge, the famous mystical circle of stones. Alliance has Carhenge, a Stonehenge replica made out of old cars!


25 Neat Facts About Nebraska

From Charles Lindbergh's first flying lessons to Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, a lot of big things have come from small towns in Nebraska—and those are just a couple of the many things you probably didn't know about the Cornhusker State.

1. The city that would become Nebraska’s capital was originally named Lancaster, after the town in Pennsylvania. It was renamed to honor Abraham Lincoln after his assassination, but there was also an ulterior motive. There was talk of moving the state capital from Omaha to Lancaster in 1867, and because much of the state had supported the Confederacy during the Civil War, a Nebraska legislator who wanted to keep the capital in Omaha decided to “honor” Lincoln by renaming Lancaster. He was also counting on Confederate sympathizers to vote against moving the state capital to a town named after the man who ended slavery. His plan failed.

2. Remember that little yellow-and-black booklet that got you through Julius Caesar? You have a Nebraskan to thank for those. Clifton Hillegass was a manager at Nebraska Book Company in 1958, when he bought a series of notes on Shakespeare from a Canadian book company owner named Jack Cole. Hillegass expanded the idea well beyond the Bard and eventually changed the name from “Cole’s Notes” to “CliffsNotes.”

3. Covering 1.5 acres, the eight-story-tall Lied Jungle at the Henry Doorly Zoo is the largest indoor rainforest in the U.S. You’ll find everything from pygmy hippos to Malayan tapirs and capuchin monkeys.

4. The Nebraska Cornhuskers’ football stadium holds more than 90,000 people. On game day, that makes it the third most populated place in the state, second only to Omaha (434,000) and Lincoln (268,000). Coming in a distant fourth is Bellevue, Nebraska, with a population of approximately 54,000.

5. Before their distinctive nickname stuck, the University of Nebraska’s football team was known as the Old Gold Knights, the Antelopes, the Rattlesnake Boys, and the Bugeaters . Apparently tired of referring to his team as “the Bugeaters ," a Nebraska sportswriter borrowed "Cornhusker," a term used by a team in the neighboring state of Iowa. But no hard feelings—Iowa seemed to prefer “the Hawkeyes” anyway.

6. Arbor Day started in 1854 with a pioneer named J. Sterling Morton. An agriculture enthusiast, Morton immediately saw the need for more trees on the prairie when he moved from Detroit to Nebraska. By 1872, he had convinced the State Board of Agriculture to promote a day for everyone to plant trees “both forest and fruit.” The first Arbor Day was celebrated that year with more than a million trees planted in Nebraska alone.

7. You can still see evidence of Oregon Trail travelers. The wagon roadbed is still visible at Scotts Bluff National Monument, though the actual ruts were lost to erosion a long time ago. You can also hike about a half-mile on the actual route.

8. Speaking of Oregon Trail landmarks, one of them seems to be dwindling due to erosion. Chimney Rock, a prominent rock formation near Bayard, Nebraska, was another important marker for the covered wagon set. It’s a good thing the the geologic wonder has been preserved on the state quarter, because it’s not quite as impressive as it once was, having lost more than 30 feet in the past 150 years.

9. If you’ve always wanted to see 39 automobiles arranged like Stonehenge, you’re in luck. Alliance, Nebraska, is home to just such a site. "Carhenge" is the brainchild of artist Jim Reinders, who made the sculpture to honor his deceased father. "It took a lot of blood, sweat, and beers," Reinders said.

10. Berkshire Hathaway and its chairman, Warren Buffett, are both based out of Omaha—and neither will be leaving anytime soon. "There's plenty of other places I like, but the one I love is Omaha," Buffett said . "The weather may be a little better some other place else, but that really doesn't make much difference to me in terms of how I feel about enjoying life."

11. Nebraska doesn’t have an official state food, but if it did, Runzas would be the winner. Runza is a fast food chain whose bread and butter, so to speak, is ground beef and cabbage. The stinky combo is stuffed into a pastry shell and served hot. The whole thing is called a “Runza,” and it's beloved by Nebraskans. Runza's 82 restaurants are almost exclusively in the Cornhusker State, with just one in Colorado, two in Iowa, and two in Kansas.

12. While it doesn’t have an official state food, Nebraska does have an official state soft drink: Kool-Aid. Originally called “Fruit Smack,” Kool-Aid was invented by a man named Edwin Perkins who ran a small mail-order business out of Hastings, Nebraska. Though the Fruit Smack concentrate syrup was one of his most popular products, the glass bottles often broke in transit. Perkins invented a powder concentrate in 1927 to solve the problem, and Kool-Aid was born.

13. First known as the “Old Glory Blowout,” Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show was formed in the little town of North Platte, Nebraska. William “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s home there, Scout’s Ranch, still stands. Buffalo Bill State Historical Park now encompasses 25 of the original 4000 acres Cody owned.

14. Nebraska has the only unicameral legislature in the United States, meaning that it has a single-house system. It’s also nonpartisan—there are no party affiliations listed on voting ballots.

15. If the Ogallala Aquifer was spread evenly across the U.S., it would cover all 50 states with 1.5 feet of water. But the underground reservoir is disappearing fast, and once it’s gone, it’s gone: Scientists estimate it will take more than 6000 years to refill naturally.

16. You can thank Nebraska for the Reuben sandwich. Though its origins are hotly disputed, one of the most likely stories is this: In 1927, chef Bernard Schimmel was working at the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha. Schimmel’s father played poker with some buddies at the hotel every Sunday night, and one night, a player named Reuben Kulakofsky asked the younger Schimmel for a sandwich with sauerkraut and corned beef. Rather than just slapping the requested items on some white bread, Schimmel combined the sauerkraut with Thousand Island dressing, then layered it with corned beef and Swiss cheese sandwiched between dark rye bread. It was such a hit that the Blackstone added it to the menu. Sadly, history remembers the sandwich as a Reuben instead of a Bernard.

17. Charles Lindbergh took his first flying lessons at the Nebraska Aircraft Corporation flying school in Lincoln in 1922. He paid $300 [PDF] for 10 hours of instruction—a small fortune at the time. His instructors realized that Lucky Lindy was a natural, and let him eschew the last few flying lessons for parachute jumping practice.

18. The state is home to Archie, the biggest mammoth on display anywhere. This 14-foot fossil was found in 1922 by a rancher in Lincoln County. He turned Archie over to the University of Nebraska State Museum where he still lives today. The creature's name, by the way, comes from his scientific classification, Archidiskodon imperator maibeni.

19. A law written in the village of Lehigh back in the late 1800s forbade merchants from selling doughnut holes. A chairman of the village board said that “old-timers” considered them waste and believed bakers were selling the middle parts of the doughnut to make undue profit. Though the law was repealed in the 1990s, the delicious treats are still apparently hard to come by in Lehigh.

20. It’s a landlocked state, but Nebraska does, in fact, have a Navy. It was commissioned in 1931 by Lt. Governor T.W. Metcalfe, who wanted to gift his friends with ridiculous and meaningless government appointments. The rank of Admiral is awarded to people who have “contributed in some way to the state, promote the Good Life in Nebraska, and warrant recognition as determined by the governor. Admirals include Queen Elizabeth II, Captain Kangaroo, Big Bird, Dr. J., John Glenn, and Bill Murray (obviously).

21. The whole Navy thing is actually kind of appropriate, because "Nebraska" is derivative of Native American words for "flat water" or "great water." They were referring to the Platte River, a wide, shallow river that spans the length of the state. .

22. Roy Rogers’ faithful horse, Trigger, died of natural causes in 1965—but you can still see him at RFD-TV in Omaha. Not a replica—the real Trigger. The stuffed and mounted horse was displayed at the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum in Branson, Missouri, until 2010, when he was sold at auction where he brought in a whopping $266,500. RFD-TV uses Trigger for promotional events, along with Rogers’ dog, Bullet.

23. It wasn’t just Pearl Harbor that was hit during WWII. On April 18, 1945, a Japanese balloon bomb exploded in the sky over Dundee, a section of Omaha. Fortunately, it didn’t do much damage, and the attempt was kept hush-hush until after the war was over.

24. Leslie Lynch King, Jr. was born in Nebraska. Who? Oh, right—you probably know him better as Gerald Ford. Ford’s mother, Dorothy, left his abusive biological father when the future president was just two weeks old. Dorothy moved from Omaha to live with her parents in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she eventually met her second husband, Gerald Rudolff Ford. In 1935, her son changed his name to Gerald Rudolph Ford to honor the only father he ever knew.

25. There's a six-foot-tall statue of Chef Boyardee in Omaha. No, he’s not from there (and yes, he was a real person ). Until recently, Omaha was home to the headquarters of ConAgra Foods, Inc., a business that includes brands like Healthy Choice, Jiffy Pop, Reddi-Wip , Slim Jim, and Chef Boyardee . The man behind the canned pasta mascot was actually Hector Boiardi , who was a renowned chef long before his face graced cans of Spaghetti-Os .


Nebraska - HISTORY

Welcome students, teachers, and history buffs of all ages! Nebraska Studies puts the history of the state at your fingertips, from its very beginning to the 21st century. On this site you can meet the people and explore the events that have shaped this state, through archival photos, historic documents, personal letters, special video segments, informative maps, supplemental activities, pertinent lessons, and much more.

The Louisiana Purchase
Trial of Standing Bear
Racial Tensions in Nebraska

Criminal History Record Requests

The public may request a Record of Arrest and Prosecution (RAP sheet) for any individual. The Nebraska RAP sheet will include Nebraska arrests where the individual was fingerprinted and the resulting dispositions. Dispositions are the result of the adjudication process and may include convictions, acquittals, decline to prosecute, no charges filed and nullified convictions through set-asides and pardons.

Nebraska Statute 29-3523 requires certain information to be redacted from the public record if certain circumstances apply. These circumstances include the following:

  • In the case of an arrest for which no charges are filed as a result of the determination of the prosecuting attorney the criminal history information shall not be part of the public record after one year from the date of arrest.
  • In the case of an arrest for which charges are not filed as a result of completed diversion, the criminal history information shall not be part of the public record after two years from the date of arrest.
  • In the case of an arrest for which charges are filed, but dismissed by the court on motion of the prosecuting attorney or a result of a hearing not the subject of a pending appeal, or following completion of drug, problem solving court or other approved court order program, the criminal history information shall not be part of the public records immediately upon dismissal or acquittal.

It is important to understand that in our role as the Central Repository for Nebraska Criminal History Records, we only report information as it is provided to us by our criminal justice partners across the state. Think of us as a library. If you find incorrect information in a book, the library cannot correct the information. It is up to the publisher or the author to correct it. If you think there is an error in our information, you would need to contact the source of that information such as the court of record, county attorney or law enforcement agency. We will be happy to assist you in identifying the source of the information and provide you with contact information for that source. If they agree that the information is incorrect they will be able to provide us with the corrected information so that we can update our records.

Types of Criminal History Reports

There are two types of criminal history reports that the Nebraska State Patrol provides.

  1. Name-based criminal history reports - A name-based search is the most accessible method of obtaining a criminal history on an individual. You can request a criminal history report on anyone that you want if you are willing to pay the nominal fee. Nebraska criminal history information is provided based on a search of the name and date of birth provided on a request form. The requestor MUST provide at least the name and date of birth but additional information such as social security number and maiden or previous names is also helpful.
  2. Fingerprint-based national background checks - Fingerprint-based background checks provide a nationwide criminal history record. This information is based on a search of the state and national criminal history database based on the subject's fingerprints. These checks are more costly than name-based checks and are also not available to just anyone. Nationwide fingerprint-based criminal history checks are only available if it is required by a state or federal law. A list of authorized reasons is available here: Authorized List.

Requesting a Nebraska Criminal History Report

There are three ways in which to request a Nebraska criminal history report:


SIT/Frameworks

The Nebraska Department of Education has created two optional educational resources to help with the implementation of the 2019 Nebraska State Social Studies Standards. The first optional resource is the Social Studies Standards Instructional Tool (SIT) which is a spreadsheet containing open educational resources that accompany each K-12 state social studies standard and its indicators. The second optional resource are instructional frameworks that take the social studies standards and put them into a possible structure of a course. Frameworks have been created for 4 th Grade Social Studies, 5 th Grade US History, 6 th Grade Social Studies (Social Studies I), 7 th Grade Social Studies-with three possible approaches (Social Studies II), 8 th Grade US History, High School Government, High School Economics, High School Geography-with two possible approaches, High School US History, High School World History.


Watch the video: UNBOXING NEBRASKA: What Its Like Living in NEBRASKA