Melanie Glinsmann

Writing my way through the cubicle jungle one day at a time

Happy 150th Birthday, Nebraska

On March 1, 1867, Nebraska was officially granted statehood. Today, we celebrate the past 150 years.

 

Dear Nebraska,

Today you turn 150 years old. You’ve come a long way.

The Pawnee, Sioux, Ponca, and Oto called you home. They gave you your name long before you even thought about being a state.

For hundreds of years, you’ve welcomed countless Sandhill cranes to the Platte River basin on their journey to northern feeding grounds.

Chimney Rock National Historic Site near Bayard – one of the most frequently mentioned landmarks from diaries of travelers on the Oregon Trail. (photo credit: Kathy Glinsmann)

 

Your open spaces and wide rivers brought pioneers west on the Oregon Trail. Chimney Rock called them onward to explore western territories. 

My great-great-grandparents came from Germany in search of new opportunities, and made you their home. Willa Cather told the immigrants’ story. She told your story. 

Willa Cather’s childhood home in Red Cloud. Cather’s most well-known works tell the story of European immigrants in Nebraska. (My photo)

Trains crossed your land, carrying people and goods to their destinations. And during times of war, your people met every train carrying servicemen at the North Platte Canteen, providing food and a moment’s rest for those leaving to fight on the front lines.

Your capitol building stands tall as a reminder of your one-of-a-kind state government system. One house for all.

Today, from east to west, from north to south, your history lives on as we look to the future.

Your schools strive to give students a great start in life. Your colleges and universities strive to develop future leaders and innovators.

Miles of sunflowers fill the gentle rolling Sandhills. Sunsets turn the horizon orange, with windmills, old barns, and haystacks as sentinels watching over the land.

On Nebraska football Saturdays, Memorial Stadium unofficially becomes the third-largest city in Nebraska. Nebraska boasts the ongoing NCAA record for consecutive sell out games. (my photo)

On Friday nights, small towns gather at football fields to cheer for their schools. And on Saturdays, red-clad fans from all corners of the state gather in Memorial Stadium to cheer for the Huskers. United for one team. 

You roll out the red carpet for college baseball every summer. Fans from across the country gather to share in your hospitality at the College World Series.

Your lakes, state parks, and national monuments teach us to respect the land and our past.

Some call you a flyover state. Some say you’re boring. Some only pass through on their way to other places.

But don’t listen to them.

You might not have theme parks, mountains, or white sand beaches. What you do have is worth more.

You have a history filled with different cultures. You have been home to entrepreneurs, athletes, astronauts, authors, musicians, doctors, farmers, and teachers. You have served your country when called upon. You provide food to the world. With large cities and small towns, you are the best of both worlds.

Now go blow out those 150 candles, and enjoy some cake.

The old Union Pacific train depot in Omaha has been restored as a museum. The Durham Heritage Museum highlights the history of Omaha and Nebraska. (my photo)

 

Pony Express Station – Gothenburg (my photo)

Scotts Bluff National Monument is another famous landmark along the Oregon Trail. (photo credit: Kathy Glinsmann)

 

For more information on the sights and events in Nebraska, visit the Nebraska Tourism website.

**What are some favorite historical or cultural sites in your state?**

 

 

 

 

 

 

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