publications

T. R. Tours Nebraska

President George Bush’s recent trip to Nebraska was a logistical tour-de-force. The

presidential advance team, scads of Secret Service men, state and local police, the

presidential helicopter, limousine, and Air Force One were just some of the elements

coordinated for the two hour visit.



Bush’s campaign for the presidency required the same sort of mobilization of people and

machines. What a contrast to Theodore Roosevelt’s 1900 whistle-stop across the state! Like

Bush, “T.R.” was a very popular Republican. Like Bush, he was enthusiastically received by

huge crowds of Nebraskans. But there the similarity ends.



Instead of two hours, Roosevelt spent four days crisscrossing the state. Wearing a sprig of

goldenrod, “the Colonel” traveled from Falls City to McCook his first day, passing through

thirteen different counties and making thirteen speeches. No public address systems or

satellite up-links here! “His voice had at that time begun to show signs of wear and he

limited his speeches to five minutes,” one reporter noted.



Yes, the press corps was in evidence, but instead of hundreds of reporters, photographers, and

videographers, fourteen newspaper correspondents accompanied the train. Still, they created

a 1900-style media blitz, sending out “over 50,000 words by wire each day.”



Seventy thousand greeted T. R. in Lincoln the second day. The “demonstration that

surpassed all hope or expectation” was the highlight of a day including stops at Plattsmouth,

Ashland, Seward, York, Aurora, Grand Island, Kearney, Lexington, and North Platte.



The third day’s journey took Roosevelt through the Sandhills to the Pine Ridge. “At Chadron

occurred one of the most pleasant features of the trip, when Colonel Roosevelt was present

with a handsome pair of gold spurs. The presentation took place in the presence of a large

gathering of cowboys and rough riders who had greeted the visitor with characteristic

demonstrativeness. While in Chadron Colonel Roosevelt met some of his former comrades

in arms and was treated to a touch of the strenuous, in being conveyed about the place in a

vehicle driven at breakneck speed, but even that feature of the visit he seemed to enjoy,

although some of those who rode with him were somewhat nervous.”



By the time soon-to-be-vice-president Roosevelt left the state, he’d covered over 9,000 miles

and visited forty-four Nebraska counties. His next trip to Nebraska would be as President

(after McKinley’s assassination) in the fall of 1902.

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

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 ...
About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

History Nebraska Education

Learn more about the educational programs provided at our museums, sites, and online.

History Nebraska Programs

Learn more about the programs associated with History Nebraska.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Listen to our Podcast

Listen to the articles and authors published in the Nebraska History Magazine with our new Nebraska History Podcast!

Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.