Black History

What We Found

Was J. Sterling Morton a racist? Here’s what the Arbor Day founder said and did.

By David L. Bristow, Editor, Nebraska History (Originally posted March 29, 2019)   On one level this is an easy question. Yes. Blatantly. In a loud and ...

Did Claude Nethaway murder his wife and frame an innocent man?

By David L. Bristow, Editor Content Warning: This post quotes offensive, racist language and includes a detailed depiction of a murder scene. His business card ...

Klondike Gold Rush

By Matt Piersol, Researcher, History Nebraska - Collections The Klondike Gold Rush of 1896-99 was truly a 'Children's Crusade'. Thousands of ill-prepared ...

A Nebraskan responds to the abolition of slavery

An 1866 letter shows us something that’s often forgotten when people talk about civil rights history. D.H. Kelsey of Plattsmouth was living in Washington, DC, when ...

Malcolm X in Omaha, 1964

By David L. Bristow, Editor   The Omaha World-Herald reporter seemed surprised that Malcolm X smiled so much. The famous activist was not “the surly, ...

Racial Politics at UNO

By Breanna Fanta, Editorial Assistant African American students fought to seize their “educational destiny” in the 1960s, but history has been slow to acknowledge ...

Nebraska Statehood Launched in Troubled Times

On March 1, 1867, President Andrew Johnson reluctantly signed the proclamation declaring Nebraska’s statehood. The signing ended the life of a territory which ...

Lest We Forget: The Lynching of Will Brown, Omaha’s 1919 Race Riot

A riot-crazed mob stormed the burning Douglas County Courthouse on September 28, 1919, and lynched an African American, Will Brown. The victim, accused of raping a white ...

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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.
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