Nebraska August 03, 2015
Some People Don’t Know That Nebraska Was The First To Do These 10 Things
Nebraska is the
home state of lots of famous people and plenty of great inventions, but did you know about these other firsts attributed to our state?
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
The First State Admitted to the Union Over a Presidential Veto
Language in the original state constitution gave the right to vote only to white men. After a "pocket veto" by President Johnson, the Nebraska legislature presented an amended state constitution which stated that it was implied that all men could vote, even if the state hadn't voted on that issue. Johnson vetoed the application, but Congress overrode the veto and Nebraska became a state on March 1, 1867.
Buffalo Bill's First Rodeo
Controversy abounds over where the country's very first rodeo was held, but everyone can agree that Buffalo Bill's famous rodeo was first held in North Platte in 1882.
First State to Complete its Section of the Interstate
I-80, stretching across the entire state from west to east, was completed on October 19, 1974. Nebraska was the first state in the country to finish its stretch of the national mainline Interstate Highway System.
First to Celebrate Arbor Day
J. Sterling Morton brought Arbor Day to America on April 10, 1872 - a day that saw one million trees planted in the state. Every year since, Arbor Day has been celebrated by the planting of trees in the spring.
First State with a Unicameral, Nonpartisan Legislature
The state legislature is composed of one house instead of two like every other state. Then-Senator George Norris observed the unicameral model in action on a trip to Australia in 1931 and brought the idea home. The constitutional amendment was approved in 1934 and took effect with the 1936 election.
World's First College Class on Rush Limbaugh
Bellevue University began offering this class in 1994 with the goal of "teaching the controversy." The course was a study in popular and dissenting views and how critical thinking can elevate a debate past a simple argument between two entrenched opinions.
First State With a Museum Dedicated to a Single Car Line
Chevyland USA in Elm Creek is operated by farmer Monte Hollertz. It features only Chevrolet cars which Hollertz has been collecting since 1972.
First State with a Gubernatorial Election Consisting of Two Female Candidates
In the 1986 gubernatorial election, Kay Orr and Helen Boosalis became the first females to run against each other for the seat of governor. Kay Orr won, becoming Nebraska's first (and, to date, only) female governor.
The Country's First Straw Bale Church
The straw bale church in Arthur is thought to be the first one built in the country - and it is the only one remaining. Other structures - like schools and even houses - were built from hay bales in the first part of the 20th century as well.
First State to Digitize its Homestead Records
History buffs rejoiced in 2014 when the state finished digitizing its entire collection of original homestead records. 76,000 homestead files and some 1.6 million images were digitized to preserve the state's rich history of homesteaders.
Did you know about Nebraska’s famous firsts? Let us know what you think in the comments!