Nebraska History

In a land of open fields and apple pie, Southeast Nebraska seemed calm and routine. But in 1958 construction began on a project that was quite the opposite–giant underground bunkers holding long-range Atlas missiles for U.S. defense during the Cold War. In the Summer 2012 issue of Nebraska History, Nicholas Batter reveals the fascinating role Nebraskans played in the arms race.

Two men with two boys hold up their catch of fish. At least forty fish are strung on a cane pole and stringer for this trophy shot. A lake and row boat are behind the people. The same fish are in 141-8.


On this day in 1861, one man shoots another and a legend is born.

Nebraska Statesman

Perhaps the most memorable thing about the Nebraska Statesman, published in Broken Bow from 1885 through the end of 1890, was Solomon D. Butcher's arresting photograph, taken in 1886 when the town was booming. The Statesman may not have been one of Nebraska's most notable newspapers, but because of this iconic photograph, it is one of the most visually recognizable.

Dan Desdunes

Dan DesdunesJazz critic and historian George Lipsitz has observed that "established histories of jazz tend to focus on a select group of individual geniuses in only a few cities." This group includes figures such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Charlie Parker; and those few cities are New Orleans, Kansas City, Chicago, and New York.

Photo of Lakotas dressed for a post-harvest dance


RG2063-50-1 Dressed for a post-harvest dance, Lakotas pose at the Burlington depot in Alliance in the 1930s. NSHS RG2063-50-1


The Death of Crazy Horse as portrayed by Amos Bad Heart Bull

The medicine bundle of Oglala Lakota leader Crazy Horse is six feet deep somewhere in Minatare, Nebraska. A medicine bundle was a package that contained a man’s most sacred things – perhaps special stones, herbs, beads, or hair. The bundles were believed to have special power, and were guarded carefully by their owners.

In one decade, the South Omaha stockyards went from a single farm to a major meat center. The 1880s were a time of explosive growth for South Omaha, yet surprisingly few photographs document its expansion. In the Winter 2013 issue of Nebraska History, historian John Carter presents a photographic essay of photos that do remain, showing the birth of a huge industry.

Erwin Barbour’s family was very interested in old bones! From discovery to display, the family was a central part of Nebraska paleontology, expanding knowledge of the state’s fossils and making possible the University of Nebraska State Museum at Morrill Hall. In the Winter 2013 issue of Nebraska History, author Lois B. Arnold explores the family that had such a large impact on Nebraska paleontology as we know it.

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