Even before Nebraska had the Husker football team, it had Omaha “foot ball” clubs that played what we now call soccer. The game’s growth in Omaha was similar to its growth in the rest of the United States: introduced by immigrants and spread by word of mouth. In the Spring issue of Nebraska History, author Bruce Gerhardt explores the earliest appearances of this old game in a young state.
The prisoners called it a protest. The guards called it a riot. But on August 16, 1955, fires blazed and smoke billowed out of the Nebraska State Penitentiary…and the inmates’ activism could be called anything but quiet. In the Spring 2015 issue of Nebraska History, Brian Sarnacki writes about the incident and the circumstances that led Nebraska inmates to violently demand prison reform.
Here's an oddball story to kick off your Saturday.
In 1934, a thirty-year-old farmer from South Dakota named John Sourbier wrote the mayor of Omaha with a unique request. "Maybe you can help me out," the farmer wrote. "I can make some nice girl a good husband and home, [but] the girls around here are not the kind like. So let me hear from you, and hoping you can help me."
For a short period of time, cattle drives were big business in Nebraska. After the Civil War ended in 1865, growing demand for beef plus a surplus of longhorn cattle in Texas led to thousands of Texas cattle being herded north to Nebraska, where the Union Pacific railroad transported them to the eastern states. Some cattle drives went even farther north, taking beef to Indian reservations in Dakota Territory. Early on, drives brought cattle to eastern and central parts of the Nebraska. Kearney was common destination in the mid 1870s.
As a result of the Spanish-American war of 1898, the United States was suddenly a colonial power, untested in the administration of overseas territory. George Meiklejohn, Charles Magoon, and John J. Pershing were three men who had seen the “taming” of the American frontier, and as they rose to national power they applied what they had experienced in the Midwest to colonies abroad. In the Winter 2014 issue of Nebraska History, Katharine Bjork explains how these three friends with roots in Nebraska had a lasting impact on U.S. colonial policy.