Hit the Road with Nebraska History

Nebraska History Fall 2012 cover: 1909 auto tour near KearneyWe have fun selecting photos for Nebraska History, our quarterly magazine. The cover photo on the new Fall 2012 issue is one of our favorites. It shows Jean Bemb and John Machesky and companions in their Chalmers cars outside Kearney, Nebraska, during the 1909 Glidden Tour, a Detroit-to-Denver-to-Kansas City driving contest that tested automobile reliability. Bemb, driving number 105, would go on to win the Detroit Trophy. (Photo courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection, Detroit Public Library.)

As we do with every issue, over the next few weeks we’ll post specifically about each article (and excerpts are available here). We hope you’ll then want to read the complete articles. The way to do that is to contact the Landmark Store for an individual copy, or subscribe ($29/year for a subscription-only membership; $40/year for a full NSHS membership.)

Here’s what you’ll find in the Fall 2012 issue:

The Gliddenites are Coming! Nebraska and the 1909 Glidden Tour, by John T. Bauer

In July 1909, Nebraskans witnessed firsthand the most popular and spectacular Glidden Tour. This multi-state driving tour was not a race; it was a reliability run meant to challenge the driving skills of early automobilists and the reliability of their machines. The event promoted the automobile as a practical and desirable means of travel-a message that Nebraskans were already primed to accept.

Kate Martin and Lincoln’s Historic St. Charles Hotel, by Patricia C. Gaster

Located in what is now known as Lincoln’s Haymarket District, the St. Charles Hotel served city residents and the traveling public from the 1860s until 1918, during which time Lincoln grew from a frontier settlement to a mature capital city. The hotel’s story is intertwined with that of Catherine “Kate” Martin, an Irish immigrant whose career spanned four decades, three husbands, and two fires.

“Wearing the Hempen Neck-Tie”: Lynching in Nebraska, 1858-1919, by James E. Potter

Whether the victims were accused of horse theft, murder, or rape, lynching is often viewed as frontier vigilantism that operated before the establishment of courts and law enforcement. This notion, however, does not square with the historical record of the more than fifty Nebraskans who died at the hands of lynch mobs.

—David Bristow, Associate Director / Publications



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