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Twister Tall Tales

Crazy tornado stories are pretty common in Nebraska, but the Columbus Journal published a pair of especially unbelievable ones in the late 1800s. (more…)

Touring Nebraska Orchards in 1872

Even before the emergence of Arbor Day, Nebraska tree enthusiasts would get together. In October 1872, J. Sterling Morton and 100 of his friends went on a huge Nebraska ...

Too Much Beef, a Nebraska Football Story

Early Nebraska football games could be a bit mismatched, but some were a bit more one-sided than others. A December 9, 1895 game between York College and a local high ...

Flashback Friday: Timber Culture Act of 1873

The Timber Culture Act of 1873 was one of many land laws affecting Nebraska in the state's early days. It was also one of the most abused and least successful land laws ...

Texas Cattle Trade in Omaha

Soon after the end of the Civil War, Texas cattle began making their way north to Omaha. At first, the herds were 500 strong but by 1875 a herd of 4000 was fairly ...

Flashback Friday: A Surprising Foot Race

Foot racing was a popular sport in 1890s Nebraska. Sometimes things could get a little shady, like when a local favorite beat a supposedly famous competitor and ...

The Telegraph Arrives at Brownville

When the so-called Lightning Line arrived in Brownville and connected Nebraska to the world, residents celebrated speeches, a parade, and a wine-fueled ...

A Tale of Domestic Woe and Divorce in 1900

Divorce suits can often be ugly. The Pries divorce in 1900s Omaha, which included child theft and a faked death, was especially dramatic. (more…)

Grand Island Sugar Palace

Nebraska's sugar beet production began in Grand Island in 1890. To commemorate the birth of a new industry, they threw a party and erected the Grand Island Sugar ...

J. Sterling Morton’s 1874 State Fair Appeal

J. Sterling Morton really wanted to spice up the 1874 State Fair. His solution? A massive exhibition of crops. (more…)

Should the Government Plant Trees?

The question of government supported tree planting arose a few times after the creation of Arbor Day in 1872. J. Sterling Morton, the holiday's founder, had pretty ...

Sidney, 1877

Sidney, Nebraska was prosperous enough when it was laid out in 1867. But one gold was discovered in the Black Hills, hundreds of people descended on the town, bringing ...

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