We’re Number One!

Over the years, Nebraska has been “number one” in a lot of categories. We’ve had the nation’s highest-rated football team, we’ve produced more popcorn than anyone else, we’ve had more school districts, and our state boasts the largest stabilized sand dune formation in the western hemisphere.

Nebraska also ranks number one in Czech immigration. Between 1856 and World War I, some 50,000 Czechs chose Nebraska as their new home. By 1910, first and second generation Czechs made up about fourteen percent of Nebraska’s foreign-born population. Per capita, we had more first and second generation Czechs than any other state in the Union. Along with clothing, tools, and household goods, Czechs brought their “cultural baggage” with them to their new home. Czech food, language, literature, art, social organizations and institutions found fertile fields on the Nebraska prairie. Some of the old country ways of Bohemia and Moravia faded as immigrants became “American.” But many legacies of Czech heritage remain.

Today the most obvious place to see Czech ethnic culture presented is at the numerous festivals in Czech communities across the state. But Czech culture is much more than polka bands and prune kolaches. Czechs have made many contributions to the history and culture of Nebraska. These “immigrant gifts” to Nebraska life were the focus of a traveling History Nebraska exhibit in 1993.

 

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About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

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Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

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History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

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Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.