Official Nebraska Government Website Nebraska State Historical Society

Nebraska History
Current Issues

Here's what you'll find in our current and most recent issues of Nebraska History.

Members receive four issues a year of NH, plus four issues of Nebraska History News.

To join, or to order back issues, call us toll free at 1-800-833-6747.

Back issues are available at the prices listed. If you'd prefer to order by mail, note the volume, number, date, and price of the issue(s) you would like, then follow the instructions on the order form. 


Summer 2016 cover Summer 2016 Vol. 97, No. 2:    $7.00 (members, $6.30)

See excerpts from this issue.

Photographer C. W. Bonham’s North Platte Valley David L. Bristow

Clarence W. Bonham’s photos are some of the finest early views of the North Platte Valley in the Scottsbluff-Gering vicinity, and document a crucial moment in the valley’s history: the beginning of large-scale irrigation projects that would soon transform the region’s economy.

The Wayfaring Judge: Woodrough and Organized Crime in the U.S. District Court ∙ Nick Batter

Joseph William Woodrough’s service on the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska coincided with the Prohibition era. Woodrough sought to crack down on organized crime, but was also committed to protecting people’s constitutional rights against unlawful search and seizure. This put him at odds both with crime bosses and with law enforcement officials.

“Uncle Sam’s Sharpshooters”: Military Marksmanship at Fort Omaha and Bellevue, 1882-1894 James E. Potter 

Between 1882 and 1894 U.S. soldiers fired lead bullets by the ton into the butts of the Department of the Platte’s target ranges first located near Fort Omaha and later near Bellevue. Their story reveals how a system of target practice initiated in the last quarter of the nineteenth century helped produce an “army of marksmen” by the early years of the twentieth.


Spring 2016 cover Spring 2016 Vol. 97, No. 1:    $7.00 (members, $6.30)

See excerpts from this issue.

“Gentle River Goes Mad”: The Republican River Flood of 1935 and its New Deal Legacy Stacey Stubbs

After years of drought, a deadly flood marked a new era for the Republican River Valley, one in which the federal government and its “New Deal” programs played a significant role in the aftermath of natural disaster.

“The Greatest Gathering of Indians Ever Assembled”: The 1875 Black Hills Council at Red Cloud Agency, Nebraska James E. Potter

For a month in late summer 1875 the nation’s gaze was drawn to proceedings at the remote Red Cloud Agency in northwestern Nebraska, where the federal government sought unsuccessfully to convince Lakota leaders to cede ownership of the Black Hills. The council was noteworthy for the issues involved, its effect on the future of Indian-white relations, and because it was among the largest such gatherings in American history.

“The Best War I Ever Expect to Have”: Hall County Doughboys’ Letters Home Daryl Webb

During World War I the Grand Island Daily Independent published over two hundred letters from military personnel. Its “Letters from Our Lads on the Front” provide a window into the lives of Hall County military personnel in almost real time. Most were written within days or even hours of the events about which they comment, so the memories and emotions were still fresh and sometimes raw.


Winter 2015 cover Winter 2015 Vol. 96, No. 4:    $7.00 (members, $6.30)

See excerpts from this issue.

Lifting Our People Out of the Mud: The Good Roads Movement in Nebraska L. Robert Puschendorf

Nebraska’s early roads were unmarked trails across the countryside and were seen as the concern of individual locales rather than of the state or federal government. A nationwide “Good Roads” movement began in the 1880s with an alliance of bicycle enthusiasts and then gained momentum with the coming of the automobile. Nebraskans followed the national movement even as they struggled to build support for it in their own state.

Pen Pictures and Prose Poems: Walt Mason in Nebraska Patricia C. Gaster

At the time of his death in 1939, humorist Walt Mason was considered to be one of the most widely read—if not the most polished—of living poets. Before gaining national fame, Mason spent twenty years in Nebraska writing for the Daily Nebraska State Journal and other papers.

An Issei on the Plains: The Story of Richi Ugai Griffen Farrar

Nebraska’s Japanese remained a small percentage of the population and generally tried to avoid publicity. Richi Ugai of North Platte was an exception. The restaurateur and hotel owner became a locally-prominent businessman in the early twentieth century, prospering even through World War II.


Fall 2015 cover Fall 2015 Vol. 96, No. 3:    $7.00 (members, $6.30)

See excerpts from this issue.

Plains Crusader: C. A. Sorensen’s Assault on Organized Crime and the Political Machine in Omaha ∙ Juliet Sorensen

Crime boss Tom Dennison ruled Omaha for the first three decades of the twentieth century. Starting in 1929, an idealistic new attorney general was determined to bring him down.

Thomas B. Hord: From the Open Range to “The Largest Live Stock Feeding Enterprise in the United States” ∙ James E. Potter

A century later, a description of Hord’s cattle-feeding operation in Central City still sounds modern, both in its massive scale and its use of technology. But Hord began in the era of the open range cowboy; in his career we see the birth of the modern livestock industry.

From the Pulpit to the Press: Frank Crane’s Omaha, 1892-1896 ∙ Paul Emory Putz

Few remember Frank Crane today, but as a syndicated columnist he became one of America’s most popular and oft-quoted writers. Earlier, as a dynamic young Methodist minister in Omaha, he threw himself into local politics with a reformer’s zeal, sharpening his ability to market himself and to communicate effectively with common men and women.


Summer 2015 coverSummer 2015 Vol. 96, No. 2:    $7.00 (members, $6.30)

See excerpts from this issue.


“Everything Seems to be Going Backwards These Days”: The Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben in Omaha ∙ Thomas M. Spencer

Founded in 1895 to promote Omaha, Ak-Sar-Ben was modeled after organizations in St. Louis and Kansas City, but soon followed its own path, leaving a legacy of elite society, community philanthropy, political influence, and, of course, horse racing.

1,733 Miles from Where? Kearney, Nebraska’s 1733 Identity John T. Bauer

Kearney has long promoted itself as the “Midway City” located halfway between the coasts, exactly 1,733 miles from both Boston and San Francisco. That mileage, however, long appeared to match no known historical route—until now.

“One Can Be an Influence”: Nebraska Farm Wife Doris Royal’s Successful Campaign Against the Widow’s Tax Amy Helene Forss

“Do you realize I haven’t contributed a dime to this farm today according to the IRS?” Doris Royal told her husband after a twelve-hour day of pitching hay and feeding cattle. Starting in 1975, Royal launched a prolonged but ultimately successful campaign to reform federal inheritance tax laws.

The 1890 Lincoln Giants: Professional Baseball’s Unlikely Return to Nebraska’s Capital City Kent Morgan

Though it sounds unlikely, an all-black team, led by a black manager and owned largely by a consortium of black entrepreneurs, played a season in an otherwise all-white league which was itself formed under the influence of two enterprising young black men from Omaha.


Spring 2015 coverSpring 2015 Vol. 96, No. 1:    $7.00 (members, $6.30)

See excerpts from this issue.


“In the biting stage”: The 1955 Nebraska State Penitentiary Riots and Violent Prison Activism • Brian Sarnacki

On the evening of August 16, 1955, Lincoln residents were startled to see smoke rising from the Nebraska State Penitentiary. Rioting inmates had set fire to their workplaces, and police and national guardsmen gathered to take back the prison by force if necessary. The event culminated in a series of violent protests meant to draw attention to inhumane conditions and abuse by guards.

A Gentleman’s Game: Nineteenth-Century Soccer in Omaha Bruce Gerhardt

Soccer arrived surprisingly early in Nebraska’s largest city, with the first public match played in 1880. Even as American collegiate football was gaining popularity, local soccer aficionados (many of whom were immigrants) argued that their sport was “a game of science, skill, and gentlemanliness” destined to become “the national winter game of America.”

The Nebraska Commission on Mexican-Americans at the Crossroads: The Dilemma of False Expectations – Neither Service nor Power, 1973-1980 Roger P. Davis

Nebraska was the first state to establish a statutory agency to advocate on behalf of its Latino population. During the commission’s turbulent early years, conflicting expectations and interpersonal issues undermined the agency’s reputation despite a clear record of success in providing direct services to the people.


Winter 2014 coverWinter 2014 Vol. 95, No. 4:    $7.00 (members, $6.30)

See excerpts from this issue.


“Lum’s Boy”: The World War II Recollections of John R. “Dugie” Doyle Samuel Van Pelt, edited by James E. Potter

Shot down over the Pacific and stranded on a Japanese-held Philippine island, Lincoln resident John Doyle found himself in desperate circumstances in late 1944. Decades later, he told his story to fellow Lincoln resident Sam Van Pelt. This remarkable interview is published here for the first time.

Prairie Imperialists: The Bureau of Insular Affairs and Continuities in Colonial Expansion from Nebraska to Cuba and the Philippines Katharine Bjork

Three Nebraskans—John J. Pershing, Charles E. Magoon, and George D. Meiklejohn—did much to shape U.S. colonial policy in the wake of the Spanish-American War. Their views were shaped by their western frontier background, “which strongly conditioned their understanding of the relations between land and political power.”

Mapping Nebraska, 1866-1871: County Boundaries, Real and Imagined Brian P. Croft

How is it that four non-existent western Nebraska counties could appear on maps in 1866 and remain on virtually all territorial and state maps for nearly a decade? The story of how this happened reveals the evolving process of county formation during Nebraska’s transition to statehood, and also shows how publishers of maps gathered information about the development of remote areas.


Fall 2014 coverFall 2014 Vol. 95, No. 3:    $7.00 (members, $6.30)

See excerpts from this issue.



Ann Lowe and the Intriguing Couture Tradition of Ak-Sar-Ben ∙ Margaret Powell

Following their tradition of hiring top New York designers for their coronation ball gowns, in 1961 Ak-Sar-Ben turned to Ann Lowe, the first African American designer to establish a couture salon on Madison Avenue. Though it’s difficult to imagine a designer of Lowe’s caliber remaining virtually unknown, that is exactly what happened. Fortunately, her association with Ak-Sar-Ben provides “a treasure chest of information about the work of this mysterious fashion personality.”

William Jennings Bryan, Billy Sunday, and the Prohibition Party Ticket of 1920 ∙ Patricia C. Gaster

Although prohibition was the law of the land by 1920, many prohibitionists feared that the next presidential administration might not enforce the law vigorously, and they tried to persuade three-time Democratic nominee William Jennings Bryan and revivalist Billy Sunday to accept nominations at the party’s national convention in Lincoln.

The 1968 Nebraska Republican Primary ∙ Gene Kopelson

In the spring of 1968 the campaigns of Michigan Governor George Romney, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, and former Vice President Richard Nixon all set their sights on Nebraska’s “all-star primary” as an important early test of strength.

The Curious Candidacy of Americus Liberator ∙ Gene Kopelson

Promising to graze his horse on the White House lawn, a memorably named Nebraska cowboy waged a colorful campaign during the turbulent 1968 presidential election season.

Avard T. Fairbanks and the Winter Quarters Monument ∙ Kent Ahrens

Completed in 1936, Fairbanks’s monument is perhaps one of America’s most moving displays of public sculpture paying tribute to pioneers as they moved westward, often suffering great personal losses along the way.


Summer 2014 cover Summer 2014 Vol. 95, No. 2:    $7.00 (members, $6.30)

See excerpts from this issue.


The Father of Lincoln, Nebraska: The Life and Times of Thomas P. Kennard ∙ Thomas R. Buecker

During his lifetime Kennard was widely known as the “Father of Lincoln,” and he had a strong claim to the title. Not only was he part of the three-man commission that selected the tiny village of Lancaster as the new state capital, but during his long and varied career he exercised a broad influence in both politics and business.

The Death and Burial of Big Elk, the Great Omaha Chief ∙ John Ludwickson

The year of Big Elk’s death has long been misreported. New research not only corrects the date, but also provides new details about the circumstances surrounding the powerful chief’s death and burial at Bellevue in 1848.

The Long Journey of White Fox ∙ Dan Jibréus

Traveling with two Swedish entrepreneurs, in 1874 three Pawnee men from Nebraska became the first Native Americans to tour Scandinavia, performing native dances and customs for the public. One of the three, White Fox, died in Sweden, where a scientist claimed his body and had his head and torso taxidermied and mounted. The author follows the story from the arrival of the Swedish men in the United States to the return of White Fox’s remains to the Pawnee Nation in 1996.




Spring 2014 cover Spring 2014 Vol. 95, No. 1:    $9.95 (members, $8.95)

See excerpts from this issue.


Featuring papers from the Ninth Fort Robinson History Conference, April 25-27, 2013

Introduction • David L. Bristow

Fort Robinson, Custer, and the Legacy of the Great Sioux War Paul L. Hedren

 “Pretty Well Fixed for Defense”: Enclosed Army Posts in the Northern Plains, 1819-1872 Thomas R. Buecker

Charles Young and the Buffalo Soldiers after the Indian Wars • Brian G. Shellum

The Changing Image of George Armstrong Custer Brian Dippie

On the Brink: The Pre-Wounded Knee Army Deployment of 1890 Jerome A. Greene

The Crazy Horse Medicine Bundle Thomas Powers



Winter 2013 cover Winter 2013 Vol. 94, No. 4:    $7.00 (members, $6.30)

See excerpts from this issue.


“Grandma Gable, she brought Ralph”: Midwifery and the Lincoln, Nebraska, Department of Health in the Early Twentieth Century · Rebecca J. Anderson

By the early twentieth century most American births were attended by physicians, but Lincoln’s Germans from Russia preferred their traditional midwives. Unable to persuade women to switch to physicians, the local health department instead provided medical training for midwives—an example of a public health agency attempting to work within the value system of a community.

The Barbours: A Family in Paleontology · Lois B. Arnold

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries one family was instrumental in all aspects of Nebraska paleontology, from discovery to identification, interpretation, and display. In one way or another they were all related to the eminent paleontologist Erwin H. Barbour: his sister Carrie Barbour, son-in-law Harold Cook, and daughter Eleanor Barbour Cook.

The Birth of the South Omaha Stockyards: A Photographic Essay · John E. Carter

The sprawling stockyards that once defined South Omaha developed rapidly in the 1880s, but only a handful of photographs document their origins. The three earliest known images have never before been published as a set; one of the three has not been previously published at all. A careful look at the photos reveals how the stockyards were built using the earth-moving technologies of the time.

What Can Be Gained by Sitting Down, Shutting Up, and Listening · Roger Welsch

“Indians . . . to a remarkable degree remain invisible today,” said Roger Welsch at the Eighth Annual Chief Standing Bear Breakfast earlier this year. His keynote address—a call for non-Indians to enrich their own lives through contact with Native Americans and their history and culture—is reprinted here.


Fall 2013 cover Fall 2013 Vol. 94, No. 3:    $7.00 (members, $6.30)

See excerpts from this issue.


“Scopes Wasn’t the First”: Nebraska’s 1924 Anti-Evolution Trial - Adam Shapiro

Darwin and Genesis fought out a battle in District Judge Broady’s court in Lincoln,” reported the Fremont Tribune on October 22, 1924, “and . . . Genesis lost and Darwin won.” Nebraska had its own antievolution trial nearly seven months before the famous Scopes trial opened in Tennessee. But how did the Nebraska case remain obscure while the Tennessee case became a national sensation?

Ed Creighton’s $100,000 Loan to Brigham Young - Dennis N. Mihelich

Whether or not Omaha businessman Edward Creighton loaned Mormon leader Brigham Young a sum of $100,000 has long remained historically contentious. We can now verify the loan’s existence, the culmination of a long-term business relationship between the future namesake of a Catholic university and the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“A Peculiar Set of Men”: Nebraska Cowboys of the Open Range - James E. Potter

The cowboy has been called “the predominant figure in American mythology,” but the real-life era of the great cattle drives and the open range lasted just a few decades, and most of these hard-working, underpaid, transient laborers on horseback remain anonymous. This is their story.

Summer 2013 cover Summer 2013 Vol. 94, No. 2:    $7.00 (members, $6.30)

See excerpts from this issue.


A Church for the People and a Priest for the Common Man: Charles W. Savidge, Omaha’s Eccentric Reformer (1882-1935) ∙ Paul Putz

 Though he is little remembered today, the Rev. Charles Savidge was a modern innovator, a religious entrepreneur whose product was an idealized version of the old-time Methodism of America’s recent past, applied in practical ways to problems in the emerging industrialized city of Omaha.    


“Definitely Representative of Nebraska”: Jeanine Giller, Miss Nebraska 1972, and the Politics of Beauty Pageants ∙ David C. Turpie and Shannon M. Risk

Jeanine Giller competed in the Miss America pageant at a time when protestors accused the event of oppressing and commodifying women. Her story illuminates the continuing controversy over pageants and their attempt to portray the ideal American woman. 

“A Celestial Visitor” Revisited: A Nebraska Newspaper Hoax From 1884 Patricia C. Gaster

Today we would call it a UFO sighting—a blazing aerial object that crashed in rural Dundy County and scattered metal machinery over the prairie. This vividly written hoax came from the fertile brain of newspaper editor James D. Calhoun, who believed that an artistic lie was “one which presents an absurd impossibility so plausibly that people are betrayed into believing it.”


Spring 2013 coverSpring 2013 Vol. 94, No. 1:    $7.00 (members, $6.30)

See excerpts from this issue.


Frank H. Shoemaker, Self-Made Naturalist and Photographer - Mary Ellen Ducey, Elaine Nowick, and Rebecca Bernthal

Through photography and extensive field notes, Shoemaker created a significant record of Nebraska landscapes, flora, and fauna during the early twentieth century.


Folkways of a One-House Legislature - State Senator Bill Avery (LD-28)

The Nebraska Unicameral has two sets of rules that govern how its members behave, one written and the other unwritten. The informal norms of behavior are at least as important as the formal rules. They are the folkways to which every senator must conform if he or she is to be an effective legislator.


“Send a Valentine to Your Valentine from Valentine, Nebraska”: The Cachet Program - Mary Ann May-Pumphrey

In 1941, the Valentine Post Office introduced a special Valentine’s Day postal cachet inspired by the town’s name. With thousands of people sending Valentines to be postmarked, the cachet program soon grew into a community volunteer effort.


The Folk Songs of Great Plains Homesteading: Anthems, Laments, and Political Songs - Dan Holtz

Homesteading songs illustrate the mindset of settlers, expressing their hopes, hardships, and demands for political action.

NH Winter 2012 cover - Trans-Miss at night  Winter 2012 Vol. 93, No. 4:    $7.00 (members, $6.30)

See excerpts from this issue.

The Best-Dressed Doll in the World: Nebraska’s Own Terri Lee ∙ Tina Koeppe

Founded and run by women, the Terri Lee Company of Lincoln, Nebraska, was ahead of its time, introducing plastic dolls, including several black dolls, as early as 1947. With high-quality production standards and clever marketing materials that promoted Terri Lee as a companion and not just a doll, the toy caught the hearts and imaginations of little girls in a revolutionary way.

Illuminating the West: The Wonder of Electric Lighting at Omaha’s Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition of 1898 ∙ Amanda N. Johnson

Electric lighting was as important to the Omaha fair as the Ferris Wheel was to Chicago’s 1893 Columbian Exposition: a focal point that garnered publicity and gate receipts while demonstrating the West’s technological and economic progress. The fair’s extensive use of outdoor incandescent lighting was unprecedented and an object of wonder to fairgoers.


Fall 2012 cover  Fall 2012 Vol. 93, No. 3:    $7.00 (members, $6.30)

See excerpts from this issue.

The Gliddenites are Coming! Nebraska and the 1909 Glidden Tour - 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 - 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 - 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.

summer 2012 cover  Summer 2012 Vol. 93, No. 2:    $7.00 (members, $6.30)

See excerpts from this issue.

"Big, Ugly Red Brick Buildings": The Fight to Save Jobbers Canyon - Daniel D. Spegel

Omaha city leaders touted the Jobbers Canyon warehouse district as a key to downtown redevelopment. But that was before a major employer decided it wanted the land. The ensuing struggle pitted the leverage of a Fortune 500 company against a vision of economic development through historic preservation. The result was the largest ever demolition of a district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Shoulders of Atlas: Rural Communities and Nuclear Missile Base Construction in Nebraska, 1958-1962 - Nick Batter

Base construction for America's first intercontinental ballistic missile, the Atlas, pushed several rural Nebraska communities to the front lines of the Cold War. The project brought needed jobs to residents struggling through a sharp economic recession, but it also drew protestors who questioned the wisdom and morality of the nuclear program.

cover, spring 2012   Spring 2012 Vol. 93, No. 1:    $7.00 (members, $6.30)

See excerpts from this issue.

The Illustrator's Pencil: John Falter from Nebraska to the Saturday Evening Post - Deb Arenz

Born in Plattsmouth and raised in Falls City, John Falter became one of the nation's most successful illustrators because he knew how to capture the spirit of the times. His illustrations for ads, articles, and magazine covers provide a window into mid-twentieth century American culture.

Vox Populi of Omaha: Todd Storz and the Top 40 Radio Format in American Culture - Chris Rasmussen

Omaha radio station owner Todd Storz played a key role in pioneering the Top 40 format in the 1950s. He was a figure of national significance, permanently changing radio programming with an approach that was "vibrantly populist, crassly commercial, and undeniably young."

 Nebraska History cover, winter 2011  Winter 2011 Vol. 92, No. 4:    $7.00 (members, $6.30)

See excerpts from this issue.

Horses: The Army's Achilles' Heel in the Civil War Plains Campaigns of 1864-65 - James E. Potter

Civil War armies relied heavily on horses. Armies in the field equipped with artillery, cavalry, and supply trains required one horse or mule, on average, for every two men. Horses fit for service became scarce by the war's final years. Far from the major eastern battlefields, regiments such as the First Nebraska Volunteer Cavalry felt the brunt of the equine shortage.

"How Shall We Make Beatrice Grow!": Clara Bewick Colby and the Beatrice Public Library Association in the 1870s - Kristin Mapel Bloomberg

For a young frontier town like Beatrice, a library wasn't just about books. It was also a means for propagating social values, and it created pathways for women to exercise leadership in the community. The town's first privately funded library faced challenges of censorship, public indifference, and competition from an unexpected rival.

"The Kingdom of Heaven at Hand": Rev. Russel Taylor and the Struggle for Civil Rights in 1920s Omaha - Todd Guenther

In the racially charged atmosphere of 1920s Omaha, Russel Taylor-a minister, teacher, musician, activist, and former homesteader-threw himself into the struggle for dignity and civil rights. His story illustrates some of the difficulties facing black leaders during the generations between the end of slavery and the civil rights victories of the 1950s and 1960s.

Nebraska History cover   Fall 2011 Vol. 92, No. 3:    $7.00 (members, $6.30)

See excerpts from this issue.

Dan Desdunes: New Orleans Civil Rights Activist and "The Father of Negro Musicians of Omaha" - Jesse J. Otto

Dan Desdunes lived a remarkable life as a bandleader, educator, and civil rights activist. In his native New Orleans, he played a key role in an unsuccessful legal challenge to railway segregation that led to the U.S. Supreme Court's infamous Plessy v. Ferguson decision. In Omaha, he became a successful bandleader who also volunteered at Father Flanagan's Boys Home, where he trained the boys for fundraising musical tours.

The Nebraska Statesman: The People Behind the Picture - Patricia C. Gaster

An iconic Solomon Butcher photograph portrays a frontier newspaper office in Broken Bow. But the story of the two men who founded the short-lived paper has not been told until now. They came to central Nebraska full of ambition, but their lives soon went in very different directions.

"I Don't Know What We'd Have Done Without the Indians": Non-Indian and Lakota Racial Relationships in Box Butte County's Potato Industry, 1917-1960 - David R. Christensen

A labor shortage during World War I left western Nebraska potato farmers facing the loss of their crop. They brought in Lakota (Sioux) Indians as harvesters, beginning a tradition that lasted from 1917 through the 1950s. The story is one both of prejudice and understanding, cooperation and conflict--and of long-lasting relationships forged by economic necessity.

Nebraska History cover   Summer 2011 Vol. 92, No. 2:    $7.00 (members, $6.30)

See excerpts from this issue.

Main Street Empire: J. C. Penney in Nebraska - David Delbert Kruger

"For me, innately, cities were places to keep away from," said J. C. Penney. "Small towns were where I was at home." By the late 1920s, the company had stores in more than fifty Nebraska communities-more than any retailer before or since. Later the company evolved into a suburban shopping mall anchor, following a national trend toward larger (and fewer) stores serving larger regions.

Courtship of Two Doctors: 1930s Letters Spotlight Nebraska Medical Training - Martha H. Fitzgerald

Joe Holoubek and Alice Baker were medical students, he in Omaha and she in New Orleans. Holoubek's training assumed that most Nebraska doctors would make rural house calls and handle a variety of situations without timely access to hospitals or colleagues. Baker faced different challenges working in an overcrowded urban hospital. Their correspondence reveals the risks and day-to-day triumphs of 1930s medicine.

Postcards from Long Pine

Picture postcards from Nebraska's Hidden Paradise-and the brief messages on the back-provide glimpses of recreational travel in the 1910s and '20s.

Intersections of Place, Time, and Entertainment in Nebraska's Hidden Paradise - Rebecca A. Buller

What did rural Nebraska travel and recreation look like in the early-to-mid twentieth century? A forested canyon at Long Pine became popular at a time when ordinary Americans saw expanding opportunities for leisure and travel. Hidden Paradise drew travelers, first by rail and later by automobile, to stay in little cabins beside a creek and enjoy a mixture of outdoor recreation and live entertainment.

 Nebraska History cover  Spring 2011 Vol. 92, No. 1:    $7.00 (members, $6.30)

See excerpts from this issue.

The Early Years of Talk Radio: WJAG, Norfolk, Nebraska - Mark Smith and Larry Walklin

Political talk dominates the AM airwaves today, but in 1946 an '47, Norfolk station WJAG found its broadcast license in jeopardy due to controversial on-air commentary.

"Painting the Town": How Merchants Marketed the Visual Arts to Nineteenth-Century Omahans - Jo L. Wetherilt Behrens

How does one build an art community in a frontier town? As Omaha grew, local merchants used their wealth and influence to promote art appreciation and the concept of art patronage.

The Political and Journalistic Battles to Create Nebraska's Unicameral Legislature - Thomas Irvin

Though Sen. George Norris was the unicameral's best-known promoter, he had important allies during the campaign of 1934.

Nebraska History cover   Fall / Winter 2010 Vol. 91, No. 3 & 4:    $7.00 (members, $6.30)

See excerpts from this issue.

African Americans in Nebraska: A Special Double Issue

Due to the great demand for this issue, we've posted it online in PDF documents. (If you can't open these files by clicking the links, download a free copy of Adobe Reader here.)


Introduction - David L. Bristow

"Equality Before the Law": Thoughts on the Origin of Nebraska's State Motto - James E. Potter

Always on My Mind: Frederick Douglass's Nebraska Sister - Tekla Ali Johnson, John R. Wunder, and Abigail B. Anderson

"A Double Mixture": Equality and Economy in the Integration of Nebraska Schools, 1858-1883 - David J. Peavler Trowbridge

Lest We Forget: The Lynching of Will Brown, Omaha's 1919 Race Riot - Orville D. Menard

The New Negro Movement in Lincoln, Nebraska - Jennifer Hildebrand

Mildred Brown and the De Porres Club: Collective Activism in Omaha, Nebraska's Near North Side, 1947-1960 - Amy Helene Forss

Postscript: Mocking the Klan - Deb Arenz


   Summer 2010 Vol. 91, No. 2:    $7.00 (members, $6.30)

See excerpts from this issue.

Letters from Home: Prisoner of War Mail at the Fort Robinson Camp during World War II - Thomas R. Buecker

A 1943 envelope illustrates the long and complicated process of sending and receiving mail between Nazi Germany and the Fort Robinson Prisoner of War Camp in Nebraska.

Signing the Pledge: George B. Skinner and the Red Ribbon Club of Lincoln - Patricia C. Gaster

From 1877 until well after 1900, Lincoln was the home of a vigorous temperance reform club that was said to surpass "in point of numbers, influence, and power any temperance club known in this country."

Camp Sheridan, Nebraska: The Uncommonly Quiet Post on Beaver Creek - Paul L. Hedren

Fort Robinson's early history is a narrative of one significant or calamitous event after another. Why was nearby Camp Sheridan so relatively quiet? Lakota leader Spotted Tail deserves the credit.

Nebraska Football and Michael Oriard's Bowled Over: A Review Essay - Russ Crawford

A recent book examines the politics and social changes of big-time college football during the past fifty years. Our reviewer examines issues of race, power, and money in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's storied football program.

    Spring 2010 Vol. 91, No. 1:    Sold Out. Articles are available for free download here.

See excerpts from this issue.

The Plains Forts: A Harsh Environment - John D. McDermott

The United States Army had an almost impossible task to perform during the last half of the nineteenth century. Fewer than 15,000 men guarded some 3,000 miles of frontier and an equal length of seacoast. Making the mission more difficult on the western plains was an environment that could be frustrating, unrelenting, noxious, infectious, and lethal.

Soldiering in the Platte Valley, 1865: A Nebraska Cavalryman's Diary - August Scherneckau; Edited by James E. Potter and Edith Robbins, Translated by Edith Robbins

After serving for much of the Civil War in Missouri and Arkansas, in August 1864 the First Nebraska Volunteer Cavalry was transferred to the Platte valley to guard the transcontinental telegraph line and overland stagecoach stations. Pvt. August Scherneckau's diary, the richest and most detailed record of a Nebraska soldier's Civil War service that has come to light, tells of duty marked by exhausting riding, billowing dust, tormenting insects, chilling winds, numbing boredom, and an occasional dash after Indians, whom the soldiers rarely caught.


NSHS Home  |  Search  |  Index  |  Top
Last updated 23 June 2016

For questions or comments on the website itself, email
Nebraska State Historical Society - P.O. Box 82554, 1500 R Street, Lincoln, NE 68501
Nebraska State Government Homepage
 |  Website Policies  |  © 2013 All Rights Reserved