Author Archives: pgaster

Nebraska’s Semicentennial Arbor Day

Nebraskans celebrated the semicentennial of the state’s admission into the Union in 1917 on several dates, including March 1, Statehood Day; February 12, Lincoln’s birthday; and in churches, February 25, the Sunday nearest Washington’s birthday. The citizens of Nebraska City, … Continue reading

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The Missouri River Flood of 1881

Snowfall in the winter of 1880-81 was unusually heavy, not only in Nebraska but in the states to the east, with the first snow falling during the last week in October. From January through most of March there was particularly … Continue reading

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100 Years of the Federal Income Tax

As April 15 approaches, American taxpayers may note that this year marks the100th anniversary of the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution empowering Congress to impose a federal income tax. Proposed by Republican Senator Norris Brown of … Continue reading

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Nebraska’s Gold, the Goldenrod

April 4 marks the anniversary of the designation of the goldenrod as Nebraska’s state flower in 1895. A legislative resolution giving the state a floral emblem was introduced by Representative L. P. Judd of Cedar Rapids and later signed into … Continue reading

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Sweet Treats at Easter

What is Easter without eggs, if not the genuine article, then at least egg-shaped candy? By the early twentieth century, the use of the modern chocolate-making process and improved mass manufacturing methods meant that the chocolate Easter egg was fast replacing … Continue reading

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Nebraska Roundups in the 1870s

By the mid-1870s Nebraska’s open-range cattle industry, centered in the western Platte Valley and the Panhandle, was experiencing growing pains. Concerns included introduction of Texas cattle to supply the Indian agencies, unregulated “round-ups” that caused ownership disputes (in winter, long … Continue reading

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Nebraska’s Honey Creek Coal Mine

Many of the early searches for coal in Nebraska were prompted by the settlers’ pressing need for fuel, but they also realized that a supply of coal could be a big economic boost for the state. By the early 1870s … Continue reading

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Ashland, the First Saunders County Seat

An unusual feature of the boundary of Nebraska’s Saunders County is Ashland Precinct, which forms a wedge on the southeast corner, projecting down between Lancaster County on the west and a small piece of Cass County that extends northward between … Continue reading

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Nebraska’s Miss America: Teresa Scanlan

The first Miss Nebraska to be crowned Miss America, Teresa Scanlan, will be featured in a new exhibit to open March 1, 2013, Nebraska Statehood Day, at the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln. The Gering, Nebraska, resident was the ninetieth … Continue reading

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Harrison Johnson’s History of Nebraska

“Our work is done,” wrote Harrison Johnson (1822-1885) as he concluded his History of Nebraska, published in 1880. “The volume is completed, and only awaits the Introduction. The printers are clamoring for this, and only a few more lines and … Continue reading

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