With February being American History month, we thought it might be pretty good idea to pay homage to our home state, right here in Nebraska. And that’s with all due respect and props to our many friends and customers in Iowa.
So here, and just for the pure fun and education of it, are several tempting morsels from the pages of Nebraska’s proud history, and as found on the History Channel And US50 websites:
- Nebraska, the 37th state in the union, achieved its statehood on March 1, 1867 following a proclamation by President Andrew Johnson.
- The Nebraska state motto is “Equality Before the Law”, and our state tree is the Cottonwood.
- Fur trading played an important role in Nebraska’s early and pre-territorial history. French traders and trappers, including the Mallett brothers who named the Platte River, were the first known white visitors. They traveled through Nebraska from 1700 to 1760. In 1804, the Lewis and Clark expedition mapped the eastern boundary of Nebraska. In 1806, Lt. Zebulon M. Pike visited south central Nebraska as part of a government program to explore the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase.
- In 1854, the Nebraska Territory was created when Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act. This single event opened lands west of the Missouri to settlement which once were the exclusive domain of Indians. Later, The Homestead Act, signed in 1862, allowed settlers to claim 160 acres of free land in the eastern part of the state.
- The first “Arbor Day” was held on April 10, 1872. On that date, proposed and organized by J. Sterling Morton, an estimated 1 million trees were planted throughout the state. By 1920, an additional 44 states had adopted and continue to celebrate Arbor Day.
- The largest mammoth skeleton ever exhibited was discovered in Lincoln County in 1922. Originating from the Late Pleistocene Era, “Archie” is on display at the University of Nebraska State Museum.
- Kool-Aid was invented by Edwin Perkins in Hastings in 1927 and remains our state’s official soft drink.