Although dating from the 1870s, the city of Lincoln’s preoccupation with the prohibition issue quickened in the first decade of the twentieth century. With the failure of efforts to add a prohibitory amendment to the state constitution in 1890, prohibitionists focused their attention on counties and cities, where they were more successful. The spring election of 1902 in Lincoln resulted in the establishment of a progressive excise, or tax, policy for the city’s saloons, which provided for a gradual reduction in their numbers and limited hours of operation from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Todd Storz, owner of Omaha’s KOWH, saw music as opportunity. He showed the world how to harness music and make it profitable in a world more interested in visual stimulation than audio. Largely because of his invention and business efficiency, American radio was shaped into a form that is still popular today: Top 40.
The Library/Archives division holds a small collection of materials related to noted musician, August Hagenow. Born in Germany in 1859, Hagenow studied the violin in Hamburg. His first tour of the United States came in 1878 with the Red Hussar band. After several tours of the U.S., Hagenow eventually made his way to Nebraska where he became the leader of the Funke Opera House in Lincoln. From 1889-1893 he served as violin instructor and orchestra director of the Nebraska Conservatory of Music. Here is a concert program from the Library/Archives collection (click to enlarge).