A rocky outcrop is covered with small round cacti. Wide dusty badlands look like a backdrop for a Wild West movie. High rocky bluffs make the landscape below look miniature. It may come as a surprise to many (even Nebraskans!) that these pictures were taken in Nebraska: just a few examples of Frank Shoemaker’s stunning photographs featured in the Spring 2013 issue of Nebraska History.
Several other Nebraska localities were named for presidents Lincoln or Washington, the most prominent of which is the state’s capital city, the largest one in the U.S. named for the nation’s sixteenth president.
Although dating from the 1870s, the city of Lincoln’s preoccupation with the prohibition issue quickened in the first decade of the twentieth century. With the failure of efforts to add a prohibitory amendment to the state constitution in 1890, prohibitionists focused their attention on counties and cities, where they were more successful. The spring election of 1902 in Lincoln resulted in the establishment of a progressive excise, or tax, policy for the city’s saloons, which provided for a gradual reduction in their numbers and limited hours of operation from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
In a previous post on the NSHS blog, we told you about Nebraska’s twelve post office murals, as presented in Robert Puschendorf’s new book Nebraska’s Post Office Murals: Born of the Depression, Fostered by the New Deal. One of the murals with a fascinating story and intense attention to detail is the mural on display in Minden: Military Post on the Overland Trail.
In an earlier post we we recalled the effects of the 1890s drought in Nebraska. Unfortunately, it would not be the last.
In 1936, Nebraska farmers were facing similar hardship. The ongoing drought (or “drouth” as it was often spelled) was unrelenting, and continued to produce record-breaking temperatures. The Grand Island Independent (perhaps exaggerating a bit) called it the “worst drouth in climatological history.”