Great Depression

People sleeping on the lawn of the Nebraska State Capitol

During the Great Depression Nebraskans became accustomed to living under trying conditions. People had to cope not only with hard economic times but with the intense heat accompanied by a drought that plagued this state and much of the rest of the country.

Kool Aid

One of the favorite ways to cool off was to visit an air conditioned movie theater or soda fountain.

Image of a corner drug store

Good historical photos can give amazing glimpses into the daily lives of people in the past. This 1934 photo of Rasmussen Drugs in downtown Lincoln does exactly that, with fascinating historic ads and a surprise hidden in a window reflection.

man in Spanish armor on horseback in city street

man in Spanish armor on horseback in city street

Historians long believed that in 1541, Francisco Vázquez de Coronado became the first European explorer to reach the Platte River in Nebraska. By the 1890s, historical and archeological evidence pointed toward central Kansas as Coronado’s farthest north, but the story lived on in popular culture.

In a previous post on the NSHS blog, we told you about Nebraska’s twelve post office murals, as presented in Robert  Puschendorf’s new book Nebraska’s Post Office Murals: Born of the Depression, Fostered by the New Deal. One of the murals with a fascinating story and intense attention to detail is the mural on display in Minden: Military Post on the Overland Trail.

In an earlier post we we recalled the effects of the 1890s drought in Nebraska. Unfortunately, it would not be the last.

In 1936, Nebraska farmers were facing similar hardship. The ongoing drought (or “drouth” as it was often spelled) was unrelenting, and continued to produce record-breaking temperatures. The Grand Island Independent (perhaps exaggerating a bit) called it the “worst drouth in climatological history.”

Thrive in the Thriving ThirtiesThe designer of this 1930 advertising stationery didn’t know it yet, but the expression “Thriving Thirties” was not going to catch on. Printed by the Epsten Lithographing Co.

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