2020.064 DT BLM poster (4)

It can be difficult to know what objects in present times will be valued in the future.  However, the staff at History Nebraska actively seeks to build its collection of objects related to current events.  

Communal pre-colonial Indigenous burial site protected in Eugene T. Mahoney State Park.

Since the late 1980s, History Nebraska has repatriated over 1200 sets of human remains and many thousand associated funerary objects to over 35 Indigenous nations and tribes across the Great Plains.

Kool Aid

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

William G Marshall

William G. Marshall arrived in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1879 to set up one of Lincoln’s earliest shoemaking shops. He, like both his parents, was born deaf.

Throughout Nebraska’s history, many figures were credited for shaping the state. Often they are recognized most for their positive influence, but this was not the case for Nebraska’s first governor. David Butler, elected in 1867, served two terms before getting impeached, convicted, and removed from office as a result of fraudulent financial matters. While the public praised him for his accomplishments in office, there were shady dealings behind his success.

Chartered as a Land-Grant institution by the first regular session of the State Legislature on February 15, 1869, the University opened its doors to 20 collegiate students and 110 preparatory school pupils on September 7, 1871.

While Elvis Presley, famed “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” didn’t have direct ties to Nebraska, Omaha and Lincoln were the sites for two of his final performances in the summer of 1977.

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.

Four-story building with tower sitting on edge of sparse town on prairie

The University of Nebraska marks its 150th birthday on February 15. The legislature chartered the university on that day in 1869 (though classes didn’t begin until 1871). What was it like at the early university? We’ll put it this way: if you like leaky roofs, chilly classrooms, and traditional memorize-and-recite pedagogy, you’d love early NU classes. It took time for the university to live up to its name.

Jesse Ishikawa and Rev. Trago T. McWilliams

Jesse Ishikawa and Rev. Trago T. McWilliams

Joseph Ishikawa came to Nebraska from a Colorado internment camp during World War II. As a city employee in 1946 he challenged a longstanding policy barring African Americans from the municipal pool. When a multiracial coalition pressured city leaders, officials claimed they didn’t support the rule… even as they resisted changing it.

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