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Silver Anniversary of Nebraska

The silver anniversary of the admission of Nebraska into the Union was celebrated in Lincoln on May 25 and 26, 1892. According to Transactions and Reports, published by the Nebraska State Historical Society in 1893, "the general plan agreed upon was to make the celebration historical and industrial, and to that end the general plan followed was to have literary exercises at the Lansing theatre on the evening of the 25th, and at the capitol grounds on the evening of the 26th, with the living ex-governors of the state as presiding officers for the meetings.

"Complete arrangements were made for the reunion of Nebraskans who had been residents of the state during its twenty-five years of statehood, and also for the organization of the sons and daughters of Nebraska. The industrial part of the program consisted of a grand street pageant on the afternoon of the 26th, typifying Nebraska in its early days, its growth and industrial achievements represented by floats from the different cities and towns in the state illustrating the particular industries of the different places. The evening of the 26th was given over to a grand electric illumination of the city, with band concerts at different parks and stations in the city. . . .

"The literary and historical meetings taxed the capacity of the theatres and capitol buildings, and the industrial pageant was over four miles in length, as it moved along its way on the afternoon of the 26th. Some twenty towns were represented by magnificent floats, including Kearney, Beatrice, Nebraska City, Fremont, Tecumseh, Pawnee City, Seward, and Grand Island. Fifteen bands were in the line, and under the guidance of Chief Marshal R. H. Oakley the people of the state saw a most triumphant exposition of the marvelous growth and development of Nebraska in its first twenty-five years of existence. To the city of Kearney with its float representing its great cotton mill was awarded the prize offered by the committee for the handsomest float in line, the prize being a richly engraved silver tablet costing $150.00. The electrical display and general illumination in the evening was the most complete and elaborate ever witnessed in the state. It was estimated that upward of 7,500 people attended the silver anniversary celebration from outside the city of Lincoln."

(March 2005)



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