The transcontinental telegraph was a remarkable technological feat that had major consequences for the West and the nation as a whole. Yet relatively little has been written about it.
In the early 1900s, this bell was used on a homestead in Otoe County to call farmhands to meals. In the 1920s, it was used by WJAG radio announcer, and future Nebraska Senator, Karl Stefan to add sound effects to his noon report. WJAG radio of Norfolk was started in 1922 by the Huse family, and is one of the nation’s oldest radio stations.
The mid-1930s saw some of the hottest summer temperatures ever recorded in Nebraska. When Ruth Godfrey Donovan and her family moved to Lincoln in 1934, the Depression and a severe drought were well underway. Donovan, who lived in a small apartment near downtown Lincoln, recalled: “Sleeping was difficult during that heatridden time. Sometimes it would be so hot inside the building we dragged the cushions from the living room couch out on the front porch and slept on them in the cooler outside air.”