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Labor Day Parade

Lincoln’s Labor Day parade of 1890 was a joint effort by members of Lancaster County labor organizations and the Farmers Alliance, with some state, county, and city officials among the marchers. The Lincoln Daily Call of September 1, 1890, reported, “There were represented in the procession five brass bands, one drum corps, one company militia, eleven secret labor organizations and all the alliances in Lancaster county. The entire city was on the streets and 5,000 people from the country joined these to help celebrate.



“At 10:15 the line of march began. A representative of THE CALL stationed himself at J and Eleventh street and counted by standing and moving to N the following procession: Marshal Melick and 18 policemen, mounted, nine on white horses, and nine on black horses. The Capital City band, 12 pieces. United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, 51 in line. They have three organizations in the city with 800 members.



“Painters and Decorators union, 84 men in line. Cigarmaker’s union, 15 men in line. Clipper band, 18 pieces. Plasterer’s union, 24 men. Stone Cutter’s union, 22 men. Bohemian Society C.S.P.S., 85 men. Jackson’s juvenile band, 11 pieces. . . . Governor Thayer and staff. City council, four members. Following this was a large banner on one side of which was painted a large ship which had sprung a leak and sailers were manning the pumps. The following motto explained the situation: ‘Wall Street Ship, Full of Holes. Help! Help! Pump! Pump!'”



A long procession of plain and decorated farm wagons followed. Typical entries: “A large corn float . . . with the following banner ‘We will plow monopoly under.’ The wagon was beautifully festooned with flowers, corn, wheat and bunting. Seventeen wagons containing 107 persons. A wagon with broom stating on banner ‘A Clean Sweep.’ A wagon beautifully decorated with sunflowers. . . . Cherry Alliance showed up well with decorated wagon with motto Usury to None.”te youth to a knowledge of nature’s resources and to the value of the 

The Call concluded with the schedule of an afternoon Labor Day program at Cushman Park and the observation that many wagons did not arrive in Lincoln in time to participate in the parade.

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Other Publications

The Bachelors’ Protective Union of Kearney

When the Bachelors' Protective Union gave a gala reception for two of its newly married, former members and their brides in March of 1890, the social club for young, ...

U.S. Weather Bureau in 1890s Nebraska

The U.S. Weather Bureau was established by an act of Congress on October 1, 1890. It took over the weather service that had been established in the office of the Chief ...

Canning the Way to Victory

During American participation in World War I the U.S. Food Administration, under the direction of Herbert Hoover, launched a massive campaign to persuade Americans to ...

The Shoemaker’s Ashes

"Edward Kuehl, one of the most peculiar characters that ever lived in Omaha, or anywhere else, was found dead in his bed last night in the back room of his place of ...

Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger Foreward

Red Dog, an Oglala Lakota who lived at the Red Cloud Agency, Nebraska, 1876-77 (Nebraska State Historical Society RG2955.ph).   In the summer of 1876, following the ...

Darryl F. Zanuck

Darryl F. Zanuck Darryl F. Zanuck (1902-1979), a native Nebraskan, produced some of Hollywood's most important and controversial films. He helped found 20th Century Fox ...

The Burlington’s Profitable Pork Special

Nebraska railroads were much concerned with developing an adequate economy in the areas they served. The Burlington, for example, had a long history of caring for the ...

Bungalow Filling Stations

After the giant Standard Oil Company was broken into thirty-four separate companies in 1911, the newly independent Standard Oil of Nebraska dominated the state's market ...

The Bull Fight

This is the perfect time of year for a visit to the old fishin' hole. But a group of fisherfolk from Plainview discovered that this bucolic pastime sometimes has ...

Buffalo Soldiers West

African-American soldiers on the western frontier are the focus of an exhibit at the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln. Buffalo Soldiers West, on loan from the Colorado ...

Protection for Buffalo

The extermination of the buffalo on the Plains occurred largely between 1870 and 1885. The Nebraska State Journal of Lincoln on February 1, 1874, editorialized in vain ...

Buffalo Hunting

In late October 1877 young Rolf Johnson and three friends left their homes in Phelps County, Nebraska, for a buffalo hunt in northeastern Colorado. The hunt was not very ...
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