10) When settlers first came they called Nebraska ‘The Great American Desert’ and just rolled on through on the Oregon Trail. NO TREES, just a zillion acres of grass.
About twenty miles from me, where I live, straight east, is a valley they call Lone Tree Valley and it is said that when the first pioneers rolled in, one big cottonwood tree stood there, the first tree after you left the Missouri River.
Turns out that land grows corn, too, and cows.
9) In Nebraska, and most of the Great Plains, if you see trees it means a home or town. In the Eastern United States, if you see a CLEARING it means a home or town.
8) I-80 – The most boring stretch of Interstate imaginable runs right along the old pathway of the Oregon Trail (as did the Transcontinental Railroad)-same path for all three. That stretch is NOT representative of our fascinating state. So when you ask someone if they’ve been in Nebraska they inevitably say, “Yeah, I drove through Nebraska once, it’s so BORING!” Okay, people, get off the Interstate before you judge!
7) The Sand Hills in central and north central Nebraska consist of grass-covered sand dunes and cover one-quarter of the state. And this grass, growing on those sand dunes is different than any grass in the world and cattle who grow up on it have the most tender meat of any cattle anywhere. (You Must Trust Me!)
We’re talking cows now. This is my wheelhouse!
6) The capitol of Nebraska is Lincoln. The story goes that Omaha was set, already the capitol, everyone accepted that but after the Civil War the folks in the southern part of Nebraska, many of whom had southern sympathies, considered voting to join Kansas. To forestall this they moved the state capitol to Lincoln (in the southern part of the state), then called Lancaster. Once the state’s borders were defined, the brilliant men running our government wanted to bring the capitol back to Omaha. So they arranged a vote and to skew the results, they changed the town of Lancaster’s name to Lincoln. Why? Because after the Civil War, a war-weary Nebraska (especially those with Southern Sympathies) were hardily sick of Abraham Lincoln. The men in charge knew they could put the capitol change to a vote and Omaha would win just because so many people disliked the president so much they’d vote against the WORD Lincoln. They printed up the ballots….and Lincoln was assassinated. In a sudden wish to honor him, the state voted overwhelmingly for Lincoln as its capitol.
5) Nebraska is NOT one of those many, many, many big square Midwestern state. Puh-leeeze. We have a totally cool Panhandle. (True the Panhandle is full of cows, but still…)
4) Nebraska is the only state to have a Unicameral Government, one house rather than two. And we are not allowed to list party affiliation on ballots when voting for the house members. (But everybody knows they are ALL Republicans!)