During the winters of 1846-47 and 1847-48, more than six hundred members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints died in their encampment, called Winter Quarters, on the banks of the Missouri River near Omaha’s present-day Florence neighborhood. These men, women, and children were among the large group of church members immigrating westward to the valley of the Great Salt Lake under the leadership of Brigham Young.
Cass School students in Omaha plant trees as part of an Arbor Day program in 1901. NSHS RG2991-11-2
To mark the approach of Christmas in 1889 the Omaha Bee published brief recollections by some of the city’s earliest settlers about their first observances of the holiday in Omaha. The Bee’s account, published on December 22, said: “The celebrations were crude. In the absence of homes, churches and social organizations, the male population of the village celebrated the day in a method that made up in vigor what was lacking in decorum.”
More than a month before the official Thanksgiving holiday in 1909, the Omaha Daily News on October 24 published the plea of mayor James C. Dahlman for what he called a "sane Thanksgiving." Dahlman, the colorful “perpetual mayor of Omaha,” said: "Unquestionably, men, women and children go to extremes in an observance of Thanksgiving day in some instances and it is about time their attention should be called to it.”
Omaha in 1886 boasted about 150 saloons manned by a host of bartenders who ministered to the city’s thirst for beer and hard liquor. The Omaha Bee on September 26, 1886, noted the “many things, interesting and curious, that might be written about the Omaha bartenders.”