Category Archives: Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday: How Shall We Make Beatrice Grow!”: Clara Bewick Colby and the Beatrice Public Library Association in the 1870s

The decade of the 1870s was a period of enormous growth and prosperity for the city of Beatrice. Founded in 1857 in Gage County on the Big Blue River, the “Queen City of the Blue” grew slowly until the arrival … Continue reading

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Flashback Friday: The Army’s Achilles’ Heel in the Civil War Plains Campaigns of 1864-65

On August 18, 1864, after hastily re-mustering at Omaha from their veteran furloughs, the men of the First Nebraska Volunteer Cavalry left for Fort Kearny. Instead of returning to Arkansas where it had spent the first half of 1864, the … Continue reading

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Flashback Friday: The Nebraska Statesman: The People Behind the Picture

Perhaps the most memorable thing about the Nebraska Statesman, published in Broken Bow from 1885 through the end of 1890, was Solomon D. Butcher’s arresting photograph, taken in 1886 when the town was booming. The Statesman may not have been … Continue reading

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Flashback Friday: Dan Desdunes: New Orleans Civil Rights Activist and “The Father of Negro Musicians of Omaha

Jazz critic and historian George Lipsitz has observed that “established histories of jazz tend to focus on a select group of individual geniuses in only a few cities.” This group includes figures such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Charlie … Continue reading

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Flashback Friday: “I Don’t Know What We’d Have Done Without the Indians”

By: David Bristow 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 … Continue reading

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Flashback Friday: Child Labor on the Farm

By: David Bristow I am a little boy ten years old. I go to school when we have school, but we haven’t got any school now. It will begin soon. I helped to farm last spring; I plowed with three … Continue reading

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Flashback Friday: History of the Omahawks

From 1972 until 1975 the Kansas City-Omaha Kings, a member of the National Basketball Association (NBA), played a handful of home games in Omaha’s Civic Auditorium. That three-year span was a rare moment in Nebraska history, a brief time when … Continue reading

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Flashback Friday: The Great Omaha Train Robbery of 1909

By: David Bristow On a night train heading into Omaha, “two men wearing long coats, slouch hats, and dark-blue polka dot handkerchiefs over their faces suddenly appeared over the tender and jumped down to the engine,” writes Tommy R. Thompson. … Continue reading

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Flashback Friday: Building a Log Cabin on the Treeless Plains

By: David Bristow Historian Everett Dick referred to the Great Plains as the “sod-house frontier,” and Nebraska photographer Solomon Butcher made many iconic images of soddies, but frontier Nebraska also saw its share of log cabins. Roger Welsch explored the … Continue reading

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Flashback Friday: The Ruins along Highway 2

 By: David Bristow Highway 2 through the Sandhills is one of Nebraska’s most scenic drives. Deep in the Sandhills lakes country, near the tiny town of Antioch, stand desolate, oddly-shaped concrete ruins visible from the highway—as if Antioch had once … Continue reading

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