This Rare Footage In The 1930s Shows Nebraska Like You’ve Never Seen Before

Today we think nothing of whipping out our phones to record every moment of life, from the mundane to the momentous. But back in the first part of the 20th century, filming an event was much more involved. The equipment wasn’t just lying around in every pocket, much less in every home. Luckily for us, some of the films recorded in Nebraska way back in the 1930s have survived years of storage and been converted to digital videos by individuals or institutions like the Nebraska State Historical Society. These films from the 1930s all show a very different Nebraska from the one we know today.

1. Educated Goose in Fremont, 1930s

This “educated goose” was pretty entertaining back in the ’30s.

2. US Air Mail, Grand Island, 1930s

This sweet home movie shows the delivery of some important mail. The uploader believes the video was taken at Arrasmith Field in Grand Island.

3. Raising the Golden Sower, Lincoln, 1930

This is how the iconic Golden Sower statue got to the top of the capitol building. It took three days to rig up the 35-foot, 8.5-ton statue for its upward journey, and just 15 minutes to get it up there.

4. Omaha Air Races, 1931

This footage from the first Omaha Air Races shows an amazing autogyro aircraft, the first one to be demonstrated west of the Mississippi River.

5. Ford’s 20 Millionth Car, Lincoln, 1931

In celebration of the 20 millionth car to roll off of their production line, Ford did a national tour with “The Car.” This footage shows the Lincoln stop of the tour.

6. A 1930s Parade, Omaha

The uploader added music and sound effects to this home movie of a 1930s parade. Although the title mentions that it might have been shot in Lincoln, the buildings in the background give away the fact that the video was actually shot in Omaha.

7. An Archaeological Dig at Signal Butte, 1934

This footage of an archaeological dig comes from the home movies of John Leland Champe, who was a University of Nebraska anthropologist.

8. The Last Great Gathering of the Sioux Nation, Crawford, 1934

This footage comes from home video shot by Arthur P. Howe, a prominent civic leader in Crawford. The gathering was held to celebrate the dedication of two monuments at Fort Robinson to the memories of Lt. Levi Robinson and Oglala Chief Crazy Horse. More than 1000 Native Americans from nearby reservations attended the gathering.

9. Raymond School, Raymond, 1935

This sweet movie, shot by school superintendent L.E. Wilson, shows the students and teachers of the Raymond school. Do you recognize any of these youthful faces?

10. US Army Equestrian Team Training, Fort Robinson, 1935

This short 8mm home movie gives us a look at the equestrian training that was a necessary part of military training decades ago.

Although these films don’t have the benefit of sound, the pictures are an incredible look back through history at a very different era in Nebraska. Do you have pictures or video of Nebraska life in the 1930s? Feel free to share with us on our Facebook page.

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