State of Nebraska - Genealogy Trails



Facts and Trivia



    Nebraska gets its name from a Native American (Oto) waord maeaning "flat water", after the Platte River that flows through the state.


    Nebraskans are sometimes colloquially referred to as "Cornhuskers" (which is derived from the state nickname.)


    The USS Nebraska was named in honor of this state.


    The American Institute of Architects declared Nebraska's State Capitol to be one of the modern architectural wonders of the world.


    The U.S. Strategic Command, which manages the nation's nuclear forces in order to deter military attacks on the United States, has its headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base near Bellevue.


    Nebraska has the western hemisphere's largest area of sandhill grasslands, one of the most  productive cattle-raising areas in the United States.


    Nebraska was the home or birthplace of William Jennings Bryan, Goerge Norris, Willa Cather, Mari Sandoz, John Neihardt, John L. Pershing, Edward J. Flanagan, William "Buffalo Bill" Cody, Henry Fonda, Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett, Darryl F. Zanuck, Marlon Brando, Fred Astaire, Malcolm X and Gerald Ford.


    Many pioneer and cattle trails crossed Nebraska, with people using such landmarks as Scotts Bluff (now a national monument) and Chimney Rock, both in western Nebraska.  Chimney Rock was the landmark mentioned most frequent in journal entries by travelers on the Oregon Trail..


    Nebraska is divided in two time zones:  Central Time Zone and Mountain Time Zone.  Mountain Time is observed by 18 of 93 counties, primarily located in the western panhandle of the state.  Most of Nebraska Counties is in the Central Time Zone in the United States.  Central Time (CST) is 6 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-6).


    There was  a gasoline war in 1923, gas prices in Nebraska were 16 cents per gallon.


    Kool-Aid was created in 1927 by Edwin Perkins in the city of Hastings.


    The worlds largest train yard, Union Pacific's Bailey Yard, is located in North Platte.


    In the town of Blue Hill, Nebraska, there is a law which states that no female wearing a "hat that would scare a timid person" cam be seen eating onions in public.


    The Vise-Grip was invented and is still manufactured in De Witt.


    Arbor Day was founded by J. Sterling Morton.  The National Arbor Day Foundation has its headquarters near his home in Nebraska City.


    A ranch situated just west of Kearney is located exactly halfway between Boston and San Francisco.


    The swing in the Hebron, Nebraska park at 5th and Jefferson streets is claimed to be the world's largest porch swing, long enough to fit 18 adults or 24 children.


     During the Indian uprising of 1864 and 1865 many Platte Valley settlers fled but the Grand Island settlers remained. They fortified the O.K. Store with a sod stockade which sheltered 68 men and 100 women. To give shelter to 35 more persons, William Stolley built "Fort Independence" about two miles west.   On August 22, 1865, General S. R. Curtis and his troops visited "Fort O.K." Impressed by the settlers' preparations for defense Curtis left a six-pounder cannon, which is still preserved in Hall County. Because

    of the fortifications "Fort O.K." and Grand Island escaped Indian attacks.


    Source:  Various History of Nebraska Books