publications

Stunt Travelers

As transportation improved at the end of the nineteenth century, a new class of “stunt travelers” emerged. Probably the best known was Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman), one of Joseph Pulitzer’s best reporters at the New York World. She won international fame in 1889 and 1890 by outdoing Jules Verne’s fictional hero in going around the world in 72 rather than 80 days. (She later visited Nebraska in late 1895 to document drought conditions for a series of World articles.)



Bly’s feat was soon surpassed by George Francis Train, who went around the world in 67 days but received far less attention. Train, who had spent part of his early years in Nebraska helping build the Union Pacific Railroad, made his final around-the-world trip in 1892 in just 60 days.



The Nebraska State Journal of September 17, 1894, included notice of stunt travelers who had recently arrived in Lincoln, registering at a local hotel as “Pedestrians around the world in two years; started from San Francisco June 10, 1894. . . .



“Their little tramp is the result of a wager of $10,000 made between the San Francisco Examiner and some wealthy Golden Gate city people to the effect that one could not go around the world in two years, taking the longest route and not begging, borrowing or receiving money on the way. These young gentlemen expect to do it, however. . . . They make their money by selling their photographs and get lodging from hotels by the advertisement they give them.”

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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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