Behlen Buildings Survive Atomic Bombs

The steel panels used by Behlen Manufacturing, of Columbus, Nebraska, in the construction of their buildings proved their durability in an atomic bomb test at Yucca Flats, Nevada, on May 5, 1955. Exposed to a thirty-kiloton blast alongside two competitors’ metal buildings, two Behlen buildings were the sole survivors still in serviceable condition. Both were returned to Nebraska to be exhibited, one at the state fair and later at the factory, and the other on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln east campus.

Behlen building that withstood the atomic blast

Behlen building that withstood the atomic blast.

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About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
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