Nebraska in the early 1890s suffered from protracted drought, and farm prices fell to new lows. Conditions were so unfavorable that immigration, which had more than doubled the state's population in the 1880s, almost ceased. Nebraska's population only increased by seven thousand persons between 1890 and 1900. Some became so discouraged that they sold or gave up their property and left the state.
Arbor Day began inauspiciously as one of a number of efforts to encourage the planting of trees in barren Nebraska. The State Board of Agriculture had offered a prize of $50 for the best and largest grove of timber planted in 1870, and $25 for the second best and largest.
The history of modern greeting cards began in 1843 in England with the design of the first Christmas card. Easter cards were introduced somewhat later, but by 1887 Omahans had a wide variety of "these pretty souvenirs of the season" from which to choose. The Omaha Daily Bee on March 25, 1887, described the Easter cards then available in Omaha. The Bee said: "The designs for Easter cards this year are more unique and elaborate than ever before.