1854 May 30, The
Kansas-Nebraska Act, designed by Sen. Stephen A. Douglas of
Illinois, was passed by the US Congress. It allowed people in the
territories of Kansas and Nebraska to decide for themselves whether
or not to allow slavery within their borders. The governor of the
Kansas Territory was James William Denver. Pres. Pierce kept
appointing proslavery governors. The Kansas-Nebraska Act repealed
the Missouri Compromise and opened the north to slavery. This period
of Kansas history was incorporated into the 1998 novel "The All-True
Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton," by Jane Smiley.
5/30/97)(WSJ, 2/11/03, p.A10)(ON, 4/08, p.1)
1855 Sep 3, General William
Harney defeated Little Thunder's Brule Sioux at the Battle of Blue
Water in Nebraska.
1861 Mar 2, US Congress created
the Dakota & Nevada Territories out of the Nebraska & Utah
(LVRJ, 11/1/97, p.1B)(SFEC, 7/9/00, DB p.67)(SC,
1862 The Homestead Act
officially opened the Nebraska territory for settlement, leading to
statehood in 1867. The US government passed the Homestead Act to
stop the spread of slavery to the Western territories. Public land
was awarded to any head of a family on condition that the settlers
improve the land and live there for 5 years.
(Hem., 5/97, p.20)(HNQ, 12/3/00)
1862-1906 Bitters bottles were manufactured in
Tiffin, Ohio and Omaha, Neb. to hold “American Life Bitters," an
alcoholic concoction of herbs and gin that was marketed as medicine.
(SFC, 6/3/98, Z1 p.6)
1867 Mar 1, Most of Nebraska
became the 37th state. It was expanded later.
(AP, 3/1/98)(SC, 3/1/02)
1869 A greater influx of
settlers came to Nebraska with the completion of the Union Pacific
1870 Feb 17, Nebraska, the last
state needed to secure ratification, approved the 15th Amendment to
the US Constitution, guaranteeing the right to vote regardless of
(AH, 2/05, p.17)
1873 Kearney, Neb., was
founded. A typographical error kept the name misspelled. It was
named after Stephen Watts Kearny, a US Army hero of the Mexican War.
(SFC, 8/11/98, p.A7)
1874 Sep 18, The Nebraska
Relief and Aid Society was formed to help farmers whose crops were
destroyed by grasshoppers swarming throughout the American West.
1875 A Nebraskan estimated a
grasshopper swarm to be 1,800 miles long and 110 miles wide. In 2004
Jeffrey A. Lockwood authored “Locust: The Devastating Rise and
Mysterious Disappearance of the Insect that Shaped the American
(SSFC, 5/16/04, p.M3)
1876 May 17, The 7th US Cavalry
under Custer left Ft. Lincoln.
1876 Jul 17, At Warbonnet
Creek, Nebraska, Buffalo Bill Cody took the scalp of Cheyenne Chief
Yellow Hair (Yellow Hand) following a duel.
(http://tinyurl.com/a4ja2)(WSJ, 12/13/05, p.D8)
1877 May 6, Chief Crazy Horse
surrendered to U.S. troops in Nebraska. Crazy Horse brought General
Custer to his end.
1877 Sep 5, The great Sioux
warrior Crazy Horse, a cousin of Kicking Bear, was fatally bayoneted
at age 36 by a soldier at Fort Robinson, Nebraska. In 1975 Stephen
Ambrose authored "Crazy Horse and Custer." In 2002 Ambrose was
accused of plagiarizing from the 1955 book "Custer" by Jay Monaghan
(d.1980). In 1999 Larry McMurtry authored the biography "Crazy
Horse" for the Penguin Lives series. In 2004 Joseph M. Marshall III
authored “The Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History." In 2006
Kingsley M. Bray authored “Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life."
(SFEC, 2/7/99, Par p.14)(HN, 12/24/99)(SFC,
1/9/02, p.A2)(SSFC, 12/5/04, p.E5)(AH, 10/07, p.62)
1883 May 17, Buffalo Bill
Cody's 1st wild west show premiered in Omaha.
1883 Jul 4, One of the first
Wild West shows was performed in North Platte, Nebraska, and was
organized by Buffalo Bill (William F. Cody), who took the show on
the road the following year.
(IB, Internet, 12/7/98)
1891 Apr 7, Nebraska introduced
an 8 hour work day.
1892 Jul 4, The Omaha Platform
was adopted at the formative convention of the Populist (or
People's) Party held in Omaha, Nebraska. The People's party, more
commonly known as the Populist party, was organized in St. Louis to
represent the common folk, especially farmers, against the
entrenched interests of railroads, bankers, processors,
corporations, and the politicians in league with such interests. At
its first national convention in Omaha in July 1892, the party
nominated James K. Weaver for president and ratified the so-called
Omaha Platform, drafted by Ignatius Donnelly of Minnesota.
1892 Bankers Manifesto: “At the
coming Omaha Convention to be held July 4th (1892), our men must
attend and direct its movement, or else there will be set on foot
such antagonism to our designs as may require force to overcome.
This at the present time would be premature. We are not yet ready
for such a crisis. Capital must protect itself in every possible
manner through combination (conspiracy) and legislation."
Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr. revealed the Bankers Manifesto
of 1892 to the US Congress somewhere between 1907 and 1917.
1896 Oct 28, Howard Hansen,
composer, was born in Wahoo, Nebraska. He became the director of the
Eastman School of music.
(HN, 10/28/00)(MC, 10/28/01)
1899 May 10, Fred Astaire
(d.1987), movie musical star, was born in Omaha, Neb. His films
included “Easter Parade" (1948).
(AP, 5/10/99)(HN, 5/10/99)
1900 Willa Cather published
“Eric Hermannson’s Soul" in Cosmopolitan. In 1998 an opera based on
the story was composed by Libby Larson with libretto by Chas
Rader-Shieber. It was commissioned to celebrate the 40th anniversary
of the Omaha Opera.
(WSJ, 11/30/98, p.A20)
1904 Aug 16, Roman Hruska
(d.1999 at 94), later Senator, was born in David City.
(SFC, 4/27/99, p.A17)
1905 May 16, Henry Fonda
(d.1982), actor, was born in Grand Island, Nebraska. He starred in
"Grapes of Wrath" and "On Golden Pond."
(HN, 5/16/99)(AP, 5/16/07)
1907 Sep 3, Loren Eiseley,
professor of Anthropology (Animal Secrets), was born in Lincoln,
1909 Mar 8, Anthony Donato
(d.1990), composer, was born in Nebraska.
1910 Jan 6, Wright Morris
(d.1998 at 88), author, was born in Central City. In 1981 he won an
American Book Award for his novel “Plains Song." He wrote 33 books
over his career.
(SFC, 5/1/98, p.D7)
1911 Aug 5, Robert Taylor,
actor (Death Valley Days), was born in Filley, Neb.
1913 Mar 23, A strong tornado
swept through Omaha, Neb., on Easter Sunday leaving over 100
fatalities and millions of dollars in damage.
(SFC, 3/23/09, p.D8)
1913 Jul 14, Gerald Ford
(d.2006), 41st vice-president and 38th president of the United
States, was born as Leslie King, Jr. in Omaha, Nebraska, and
achieved his highest prominence as the 38th president of the Untied
States. He became president upon Richard Nixon's resignation from
office. Gerald Rudolph Ford was age two when his mother divorced his
father and moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan. She remarried Gerald
Ford, Sr., who adopted the young boy and gave him his name. Ford
assumed the presidency on August 9, 1974, upon the resignation of
Richard M. Nixon.
(HN, 7/14/99)(HNQ, 11/24/99)(AP, 12/27/06)
1915 Willa Cather published her
novel “The Song of the Lark." It was about an opera singer and the
birth and development of the artistic spirit.
(WSJ, 11/30/98, p.A20)
1916 Joe Saunders of Nebraska
launched the first car hire business when he began lending his ford
Model T to traveling salesmen.
(Econ, 10/9/10, p.91)
1917 Dec 1, Boys Town founded
by Father Edward Flanagan west of Omaha Neb. [see Dec 12]
1917 Dec 12, Father Edward J.
Flanagan (31) founded Boys Town outside Omaha, Neb. A half-dozen
boys entered to seek a better life. [see Dec 1]
(AP, 12/12/97)(MC, 12/12/01)
1919 Jan 16, Nebraska, Wyoming
and Missouri became the 36th, 37th and 38th states to ratify
Prohibition, which went into effect a year later. Prohibition became
law in the US with the passage of the Volstead Act on Oct 28, which
enforced and defined the 18th Amendment. It was passed over
President Wilson's veto with the necessary two-thirds majority of
(WSJ, 8/22/96, p.A14)(AP, 1/16/98)
1920 Oct 17, Montgomery Clift,
actor (From Here to Eternity), was born in Omaha, Neb.
1924 Apr 3, Marlon Brando,
actor (On the Waterfront, The Godfather), was born in Omaha, Neb.
(HN, 4/3/01)(MC, 4/3/02)
1925 May 19, Malcolm X,
(Malcolm Little) militant black Muslim leader, was born in Omaha,
Neb. He spoke of racial pride and black nationalism and was
assassinated in 1965. "You can't separate peace from freedom because
no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom."
(AP, 2/21/99)(HN, 5/19/99)(SFC, 9/8/99, p.A7)
1928 Aug 31, James Coburn
(d.2002), actor (Our Man Flint, Magnificent Seven), was born in
(YN, 8/31/99)(SFC, 11/19/02, p.A2)
1931 Mar 27, David Janssen
(d.1980), later TV star ("Fugitive," "Harry O"), was born as
(David Harold Meyer) in Naponee, Nebraska.
1931 Jul 27, Grasshoppers in
Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota destroyed thousands of acres of
1934 Mar 2, Union Pacific
tested a light-weight high-speed passenger train in Omaha.
1934 Stephen Edward Epler
(1909-1997) invented six-man football at Chester High School in
(SFC, 7/25/97, p.A18)
1936 Nov 19, Dick Cavett, talk
show host, was born Kearney, Neb.
1937 Apr 27, Sandy Dennis,
actress (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), was born in Nebraska.
1941 The people of the small
town of Lemoyne, Nebraska, were told to move ahead of the damming of
the Platte River, which created Lake McConaughy. In 2004 a drought
left 75% of the lake empty.
(USAT, 11/5/04, p.8A)
1941 Jan 30, Dick Cheney was
born in Lincoln, Neb. He served as chief of staff for Pres. Ford
from 1975-1977. He was a US Rep. From 1979-1989 and served as the
Sec. of Defense for pres. George H.W. Bush from 1989-1993. From 1995
to 2000 he served as the CEO of Halliburton Corp. and in 2000 was
chosen by Gov. George W. Bush as a running mate.
(WSJ, 7/26/00, p.A28)
1942 Jul 12, Richard Stoltzman,
clarinetist (Tashi), was born in Omaha, Nebraska.
1948 Wright Morris
(d.1998 at 88), author, published his photo-text: “The Home Place,"
a work of 90 photographs taken at a family member’s farm in rural
(SFC, 5/1/98, p.D7)
1951 Jul 19, In Omaha a
trenching machine sliced through the main transcontinental telephone
cable and disrupted coast-to-coast communication.
(SFC, 7/13/01, WBb p.6)
1952 Roman Hruska was elected
to the House of Representatives from Omaha.
(SFC, 4/27/99, p.A17)
1954 Dec, Swanson and Sons
introduced the TV Dinner. The turkey, sweet potatoes and peas
package was priced at 98 cents and could be cooked in 25 minutes. It
was invented by Gerry Thomas (d.2005), a salesman for Nebraska based
C.A. Swanson, following an oversupply of turkey from the 1953
Thanksgiving holiday season. Campbell Soup acquired control of
Swanson’s in 1955.
(PC, 1992 ed, p.943,952)(WSJ, 1/7/04, p.B1)(SFC,
1954 Roman Hruska (d.1999 at
94) resigned his House seat to serve the remaining 4 years of
Senator Hugh Butler. Hruska was re-elected in 1958, 1964 and 1970.
(SFC, 4/27/99, p.A17)
1956 A Univ. of Nebraska
researcher proposed that “free radicals" caused aging, indicating
that antioxidants may slow the process.
(WSJ, 10/30/06, p.A11)
1958 Jan 21, Charles
Starkweather, 19, killed the mother, stepfather and half-sister of
his 14-year-old girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate, at her family's home
in Lincoln, Neb. Starkweather, who had also killed a gas station
attendant the previous November, and Fugate went on a road trip
which resulted in seven more slayings. Starkweather was executed in
1959; Fugate, who maintained she had been Starkweather's hostage,
was convicted of murder and sentenced to life; she was paroled in
1976. His slaying spree inspired the 1973 film “Badlands" starring
Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek.
(SFEM, 2/8/98, p.8)(AP, 1/21/08)
1958 Cliff Hillegass (d.2001 at
age 83) began publishing Cliffs Notes, condensed studies of literary
works, in Lincoln, Nebraska.
(WSJ, 7/5/00, p.B1)(SSFC, 5/6/01, p.A27)
1961-1967 Frank Morrison (d.2004) served as the
Democratic governor of Nebraska. He opposed the war in Vietnam and
(SFC, 4/20/04, p.B7)
1965 May 10, Warren Buffett of
Omaha, Nebraska, took control of Berkshire-Hathaway, a New England
textile company that closed at $18 per share. Buffet later closed
down the company and called it his dumbest stock. The name was
retained and in 2006 shares of Berkshire-Hathaway passed $100,000
per share. By 2014 BH owned over 80 companies.
(WSJ, 10/24/06, p.C1)(Econ, 4/26/14, p.73)
1966 Jul 5, National Guard was
mobilized in Omaha after a 3rd night of rioting.
1967 Nebraska stopped offering
final salary pensions to new hires.
(Econ, 7/27/13, p.9)
1967 The Becton Dickinson plant
in Holdredge, Nebraska, began manufacturing insulin syringes.
(BD Calendar, 7/97)
1967 Stanley Milgram, American
social scientist, conducted an experiment in Omaha, Nebraska, that
showed there were but six degrees of separation between any two
people there. In 2011 a Facebook analysis found that on average 4.7
hops could link any two people on the social networking site via
(Economist, 9/1/12, TQ p.8)
1969 Feb 25, In Vietnam Navy
Lt. Bob Kerry (25) took part in a SEAL raid in the Mekong Delta
where over a dozen women, children and old men were killed in the
village of Thanh Phong. Kerry received a Bronze Star for the raid
and later strongly regretted his actions. Soon after the raid Kerry
lost a leg at Hon Tam Island and was later awarded a Congressional
medal of Honor. In 2001 Kerry, former Gov. and Senator from
Nebraska, made public his participation in the raid. In 2001 Bui Thi
Luom of Thanh Phong, the only survivor from her hut of 16, said 20
people were killed "Only civilians, women and children." Kerry
described the event in his 2002 memoir "When I Was a Young Man." In
2002 Gregory L. Vistica authored: "The Education of Lieutenant
(SFC, 4/26/01, p.A1)(SFC, 4/27/01, p.A3)(SSFC,
4/29/01, p.A12)(SFC, 6/1/02, p.A12)(WSJ, 1/23/03, p.D14)
1970 Jim Exon was elected
governor of Nebraska. He served 2 terms and was then elected to the
(SFC, 6/11/05, p.B4)
1972 Exxon Corp. was registered
in Nebraska after it paid an undisclosed amount to Gov. Exon in
order get a license.
(SFC, 6/11/05, p.B4)
1975 May 6, A tornado swept
through Omaha, Nebraska, along 72nd St. the site of many motels on a
weekday noon. All sorts of folks had to explain just how they wound
up in a state of dishabille in a roofless motel room.
(www.crh.noaa.gov/oax/archive/may1975/may675.php)(Nat. Hist., 3/96,
1978 Jim Exon (1922-2005),
former Nebraska governor, was elected to the US Senate. He served
(SFC, 6/11/05, p.B4)
1985 Sep 12, In Nebraska
Michael Ryan (1948-2015), a cult leader, was convicted and sentenced
to death in the 1984 torture and killing of James Thimm (26) and in
the 1982 beating death of Luke Stice, the 5-year-old son of a cult
member. Ryan's son, Dennis Ryan, and cult member Timothy Haverkamp
were sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder in Thimm's
1993 Dec 24, In Nebraska
Brandon Teena (21), a female (born as Teena Brandon) passing as a
male, was raped and beaten by John Lotter and Tom Nissen. A week
later they shot and killed Teena for pressing charges. In 1996 the
book "All She Wanted" was based on Brandon. The 1997 novel ""The
Illusionist" was also based on Brandon. A 1999 documentary film,
"The Brandon Teena Story," was made by Susan Muska and Greta
Olafsdottir. Kimberly Pierce made her 1999 film "Boys Don't Cry"
based on Brandon Teena. In 2001 the state supreme Court ruled that
the sheriff was negligent in protecting Brandon and awarded her
family $80,000 plus damages for emotional suffering.
(SFC, 2/19/99, p.D3)(SFC, 10/20/99, p.D1)(SFC,
1994 The Winnebago nation gave
Lance Morgan $9.7 million from its Iowa casino to start a new
venture. Morgan formed Nebraska-based Ho-Chunk Inc.
(Econ, 4/5/08, p.71)
1996 In Nebraska Bishop Fabian
Bruskewitz ruled that membership in Call To Action and 10 other
organizations was "perilous to the Catholic faith and most often is
totally incompatible with the Catholic faith." Other groups cited
include the abortion-rights groups Planned Parenthood and Catholics
for a Free Choice, the Hemlock Society, which supports
physician-assisted suicide, and several Masonic organizations. In
2006 a Vatican official upheld the mass excommunication in the
1997 Rev. Jimmy Creech, a
United Methodist pastor, performed a union ceremony for a lesbian
couple in Omaha. Creech was defrocked in 1999 for marrying 2 men in
North Carolina in violation of Church law.
(SFC, 11/18/99, p.A6)
1997 In Nebraska a state
trooper pulled over William Arthur Kirkpatrick for doing 7 mph over
the limit and found evidence of bank robbery and $1.8 million in
cash. Kirkpatrick and his partner Ray Lewis Bowman were tried in
1998. The FBI suspected them for some 28 robberies that netted $8
million dating back to 1982.
(SFC, 11/4/98, p.C18)
1998 Sep 2, The Univ. of
Nebraska promised to return the bones of 1,702 Indians to tribes for
reburial. It also agreed to build a memorial on a campus field where
bones were burned over 30 years ago in an incinerator used to
dispose diseased animal parts.
(SFC, 9/3/98, p.A10)
1999 Mar 16, The Nebraska
Cornhuskers beat Chicago State 50-3 in an NCAA baseball game.
1999 Mar 17, In Nebraska a
large prairie fire around Thedford burned tens of thousands of acres
and killed one volunteer firefighter.
(SFC, 3/18/99, p.A2)
1999 Apr 26, Roman Hruska,
former US Senator (1954-1976), died at age 94.
(SFC, 4/27/99, p.A17)
1999 May 20, The Legislature
passed a measure to impose a 2-year moratorium on the death penalty
27-21. Gov. Mike Johanns (R) was expected to veto it and did.
(SFC, 5/21/99, p.A10)(SFC, 5/27/99, p.A4)
2000 Jan 24, Ralph Quador, a
disliked rich rancher in Taylor, was found shot to death. His money
was suspected to have been siphoned from the steel business of A.H.
Voss in Northern California. His murder remained unsolved in 2001.
(WSJ, 6/13/01, p.A1)
2000 Jul 16, The Great Platte
River Road Archway over I-80 was dedicated near Kearney. It was here
that the pioneer Oregon, Mormon and California trails converged to
form the Great Platte River Road.
(SFEC, 7/23/00, p.T3)
2000 Jul 19, George Bibins
(35), an African American suspected of car stealing, was shot and
killed by Jerad Kruse, (31) a white police officer, following a high
speed chase. Kruse was charged with manslaughter on July 26.
(SFC, 7/27/00, p.A5)
2000 Nov 5, In Scottsbluff 15
Burlington Northern Santa Fe train cars derailed and spilled some
80,000 gallons of benzene. 15,000 residents were ordered to evacuate
(SFC, 11/6/00, p.A3)
2000 Some 70% of Nebraska
voters approved an amendment limiting the state-recognized
institution of marriage to heterosexual couples.
2001 Jan 2, Former state
governor and Sen. Bob Kerrey (1992-2000) began working as president
of the New School in NYC.
(SFC, 1/2/01, p.B2)
2001 Oct 10, Tornadoes hit the
US plains and caused heavy damage in Oklahoma and Nebraska.
(SFC, 10/11/01, p.C16)
2001 Oct 13, In Nebraska a
school bus carrying a high school band in Douglas County overturned
and 3 people were killed.
(SSFC, 10/14/01, p.A17)
2002 May 4, Five pipe bombs
were found in rural Nebraska mailboxes.
(SSFC, 5/5/02, p.A6)
2002 May 6, Two mailbox pipe
bombs were found in Colorado and another one in Nebraska.
(SFC, 5/7/02, p.A3)
2002 May 22, Dust bowl
conditions, the worst since the 1930s, caused a 10-vehicle pileup
that killed 2 men.
(WSJ, 5/24/02, p.A1)
2002 Jul 18, It was reported
that drought in western US states was causing the biggest
grasshopper invasion in 50 years. Nebraska was among the hardest
(SFC, 7/18/02, p.A2)
2002 Sep 26, In Norfolk,
Nebraska, 3 men shot and killed 4 bank employees and a customer at a
US Bank branch. Jose Sandoval, Jorge Galindo and Erick Fernando Vela
were arrested after a few hours 75 miles away. A 4th suspect was
arrested later. 3 were convicted of first-degree murder while a
fourth pleaded guilty.
(SFC, 9/27/02, p.A4)(AP, 9/26/07)
2003 Nov 5, President Bush
signed a bill outlawing the procedure known by its critics as
''partial-birth abortion.'' Less than an hour later, a federal judge
in Nebraska issued a temporary restraining order against the ban. In
2007 the US Supreme Court upheld the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.
(WSJ, 11/6/03, p.A1)(AP, 11/5/08)
2004 May 11, A drought in
western Nebraska continued and threatened the fishery at Lake
(USAT, 5/11/04, p.10A)
2004 Aug 12, Ted Kooser of
Lincoln, Nebraska, replaced Louise Gluck as US poet laureate.
(SFC, 8/13/04, p.E20)
2005 May 12, A US federal judge
struck down a Nebraska gay-marriage ban that barred benefit sharing
and same-sex foster parents.
(WSJ, 5/13/05, p.A1)
2005 Jun 10, Jim Exon (83),
former governor of Nebraska (1971-1979) and US Senator (1979-1996),
(SFC, 6/11/05, p.B4)
2005 Aug 16, Nebraska Gov. Dave
Heineman secured a deal for his state to export $17 million in
agricultural goods to communist Cuba. The first US shipment of great
northern beans to the island since Fidel Castro came to power in
2005 Nebraska gave all its
ex-prisoners the right to vote.
(Econ, 7/25/05, p.23)
2006 Feb 18, Eight workers at a
meat processing plant in Nebraska won a record $365 million
2006 Feb 22, In Lincoln,
Nebraska, 8 workers at a meat processing plant claimed the record
$365 million Powerball jackpot.
2006 Apr 19, Cuba agreed to buy
another $30 million in food from Nebraska, strengthening trade
relations with the US farm state already selling corn, wheat,
soybeans and other products to the communist island.
2006 Jul 14, A US federal
appeals court reversed a ruling that struck down Nebraska's same-sex
marriage ban, which was approved by voters in 2000.
2007 Nov 19, California Sec. of
State Debra Bowen sued Election Systems and Software, a Nebraska
voting machine company, for allegedly selling nearly 1,000
uncertified machines to San Francisco and 4 other counties. Bowen
sought reimbursements of nearly $15 million.
(SFC, 11/20/07, p.D1)
2007 Dec 5, In Omaha, Nebraska,
Robert A. Hawkins (19) sprayed the third floor of the Von Maur
department store in Westroads Mall with gunfire. When the shooting
was over, Hawkins killed himself. His victims included six store
employees and two customers. An autopsy report later indicated that
only some Valium in his system.
(AP, 12/6/07)(SFC, 1/2/08, p.A3)
2008 Feb 8, The Nebraska
Supreme Court declared the electric chair unconstitutional.
(Econ, 2/16/08, p.39)
2008 Feb 9, Sen. Barack Obama
swept the Louisiana primary and caucuses in Nebraska and Washington
state, slicing into Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's slender delegate
lead in their historic race for the Democratic presidential
nomination. Obama also won almost 90% in the Virgin Islands. McCain
narrowly won Washington while Huckabee took Kansas along with a
narrow win in Louisiana.
(AP, 2/10/08)(SSFC, 2/10/08, p.A1)
2008 Jul 18, Nebraska’s new
safe-haven law went into effect allowing parents to abandon unwanted
children, under age 19, at state-licensed hospitals with no
questions asked. The law was later amended after parents and
guardians, some from out of state, dropped off children as old as
(SFC, 8/23/08, p.A4)(SFC, 10/21/08, p.A3)
2008 Aug 8, Nebraska Beef, an
Omaha meat packer, recalled 1.2 million pounds of beef after
products were linked to illnesses in 12 states. In July the company
had recalled over 5 million pounds of beef due to an outbreak of E.
coli in 7 states.
(SSFC, 8/10/08, p.A4)
2008 Sep 19, In Nebraska at
least 86 workers were fired at the JBS Swift & Co. Grand Island
meat packing plant after they walked off their jobs amid a dispute
over Ramadan prayers.
(SFC, 9/20/08, p.A4)
2008 Sep 29, Kelsey Peterson
(26), a former 6th grade math teacher in Nebraska, was sentenced to
6 years in federal prison for having sex with a 13-year-old boy
student beginning in Nov, 2006. In 2009 Peterson was sentenced to
8-10 years after pleading guilty to 2 state counts of 1st-degree
sexual assault of a minor.
(SFC, 10/2/08, p.A6)(SFC, 4/24/09, p.A5)
2008 Oct 20, Nebraska’s Gov.
Dave Heineman and state lawmakers agreed to amend the new safe-haven
law so as to protect only parents of new-born children from
(SFC, 10/21/08, p.A3)
2008 Nov 4, President-elect
Barack Obama won one of Nebraska's electoral votes, the first time
in history that the state has split its votes and the first time in
44 years that it had given a vote to a Democrat. The result was not
known until Nov 14. Nebraska voters did away with racial
(AP, 11/15/08)(Econ, 12/6/08, p.37)
2008 Nov 21, The Nebraska
Legislature voted 43-5 to make abandonment of children legal only
for infants up to 30 days old. Gov. Dave Heinemen signed the
emergency bill effective after midnight.
(SFC, 11/22/08, p.A2)
2008 In Nebraska Thomas Hunter
(11), the son of Dr. William Hunter, a faculty member of Creighton
Univ. School of Medicine, was fatally stabbed. The family's
housekeeper Shirlee Sherman (57) was also killed. The case went cold
until 2013 when another pair of murders were tied to Anthony Garcia,
a former resident doctor at Creighton.
(SFC, 9/15/18, p.A8)
2009 May 20, Nebraska Gov. Dave
Heinemen signed a bill to prevent registered sex offenders from
using social networking sites such as Facebook.
(SFC, 5/21/09, p.A4)
2009 May 28, Nebraska Gov. Dave
Heineman signed a bill to change the state’s method of execution
from electrocution to lethal injection. In February the state
Supreme Court ruled the electric chair was unconstitutional.
(SFC, 5/29/09, p.A4)
2009 Jun 17, The number of
Nebraska cattle herds quarantined because of bovine tuberculosis
concerns jumped to 42 and Colorado and South Dakota were warned the
disease may have already spread there.
2009 Dec 19, Sen. Ben Nelson of
Nebraska agreed to provide the 60th and deciding vote for sweeping
health care legislation in the Senate, capping a year of struggle
and a final burst of deadline bargaining on President Barack Obama's
top domestic priority.
2010 Apr 12, Nebraska
Republican Gov. Dave Heineman signed into law a bill requiring
doctors to screen women for possible mental and physical problems
before performing abortions and a 2nd law that would ban abortions
after 20 weeks, based on the assertion that fetuses feel pain.
(SFC, 4/13/10, p.A4)
2010 May 24, Brian Thomas
Mettenbrink of Nebraska was sentenced to one year in federal prison
for his role in a cyber attack on the Church of Scientology.
(SFC, 5/25/10, p.A4)
2011 Jan 5, In Nebraska Robert
Butler Jr. (17) opened fire at Millard South High School in Omaha
wounding his principal and killing the vice-principal before killing
(SFC, 1/6/11, p.A4)
2011 Jan 15, Nebraska's Teresa
Scanlan (17) was named Miss America becoming the youngest winner
ever in the pageant's history after a night of being judged for
poise, talent, fitness and knowledge.
2011 Aug 31, Nebraska governor
Dave Heineman urged Pres. Obama's administration to deny a key
permit for TransCanada's Keystone XL crude oil pipeline from
Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas on the grounds that the
line could put the Ogallala Aquifer at risk.
2011 Nov 16, The Nebraska
legislature voted 45-0 to advance a proposed law that would reroute
the $7 billion TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline, avoiding the
SandHills and Ogallala aquifer that environmental groups and many
residents fear could be polluted by a spill.
2012 Jan 18, The Obama
Administration rejected the Keystone oil pipeline because there was
not enough time to review an alternate route that would avoid a
sensitive aquifer in Nebraska within a 60-day window set by
Congress. Republicans decried the move for sacrificing jobs and
energy security in order to shore up the president's environmental
base before elections. TransCanada quickly said it would re-apply
for the permit, which it first sought in 2008.
2012 Apr 15, In the area of
Woodward, Oklahoma, tornadoes killed at least 5 people and left at
least 29 injured. At least 8,000 were without power in the region.
About 75 tornadoes touched down in Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa and
(AP, 4/14/12)(SFC, 4/17/12, p.A6)
2012 Aug 6, Thousands of fish
were reported dying in the Midwest as the hot, dry summer dries up
rivers and causes water temperatures to climb in some spots to
nearly 100 degrees. About 40,000 shovelnose sturgeon were killed in
Iowa last week as water temperatures reached 97 degrees. Nebraska
fishery officials said they've seen thousands of dead sturgeon,
catfish, carp, and other species in the Lower Platte River. Illinois
biologists said the hot weather has killed tens of thousands of
large- and smallmouth bass and channel catfish. Kansas has seen
declining water levels that pulled younger, smaller game fish away
from the vegetation-rich shore lines and forced them to cluster,
making them easier targets for predators. In South Dakota there have
been reports of isolated fish kills in its manmade lakes on the
2013 Jan 22, Nebraska Gov. Dave
Heineman approved a revised route for the Keystone XL pipeline
(SFC, 1/23/13, p.A6)
2013 Feb 2, Nebraska Lt. Gov.
Rick Sheehy resigned abruptly in a scandal involving thousands of
calls to four women on his state-issued cellphone, including one
woman who said she had a romantic relationship with the politician.
2013 Apr 11, A spring storm
left 3 people dead in the Midwest US. One person died following a
tornado in Kemper County, Mississippi, and another in blinding snow
(SFC, 4/12/13, p.A7)(SFC, 4/13/13, p.A6)
2013 May 12, In Nebraska Dr.
Robert Brumbeck (65), a faculty member of Creighton Univ. School of
Medicine, and his wife Mary were killed in their Omaha home. Suspect
Anthony Garcia was arrested two months later in a traffic stop in
southern Illinois. Prosecutors later argued that these murders two
others in 2008 were motivated by Garcia's long-simmering rage over
being fired in 2001 from the Creighton medical school residency
program. In 2018 Garcia (45) was sentenced to death.
(http://tinyurl.com/ycx3t4yq)(SFC, 9/15/18, p.A8)
2013 Oct 15, The city of
Council Bluffs, Iowa, agreed to pay $6 million to settle a lawsuit
with Terry Harrington and Curtis McGhee of Omaha, who were
wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for 25 years for the 1977
shooting of retired police captain John Schweer.
(SFC, 10/16/12, p.A5)(http://tinyurl.com/9xeb75v)
2013 Dec 11, A $122 million
Powerball lottery draw went to two winners, a couple in Nebraska and
a couple in Massachusetts.
(SFC, 1/3/14, p.A6)
2014 Jan 8, Omaha police said
an African-American toddler, who was cursed at buy adults and
encouraged to curse in return in a posted video, has been placed in
protective custody. Three other children were also removed from the
(SFC, 1/10/14, p.A5)
2014 Jan 15, In Nebraska a
Payton Benson (5) was killed in Omaha after being hit by a stray
bullet while eating breakfast. 4 men later faced charges in the
death of the girl.
(SFC, 1/30/14, p.A6)
2014 Jan 20, In Nebraska there
was an explosion at the Int’l. Nutrition building in Omaha. At least
two people were killed and 10 others injured at the animal feed
(SFC, 1/21/14, p.A7)
2014 Feb 11, Voters in Fremont,
Nebraska, decided to keep an ordnance that requires renters to get a
$5 permit and swear they have legal permission to live in the US.
(SFC, 2/13/14, p.A14)
2014 Feb 19, A Nebraska judge
struck down a 2011 law that allowed the Keystone XL pipeline to
proceed through the state.
(SFC, 2/20/14, p.A6)
2014 Apr 10, In Fremont,
Nebraska, a city ordinance took effect requiring renters to purchase
a $5 permit from the city and swear that they have permission to
live in the US legally. In May the US Supreme Court decided not to
review the ordinance adopted in 2010.
(SFC, 5/8/14, p.A8)
2014 Jun 16, Pilger, Nebraska,
home to about 350 people, took a direct hit from one of an estimated
four tornadoes that the US National Weather Service tracked across
the northeast part of the state. The tornadoes left at least two
people dead. More than half of the town was destroyed.
(AP, 6/17/14)(SFC, 6/17/14, p.A12)
2014 Nov 4, Nebraska approved
an increse in the minimum wage from $7.25 and hour to $9.00 an hour.
(SFC, 11/5/14, p.A10)
2014 Nov 15, Dr. Martin Salia
(44), seriously ill from Ebola contracted in Sierra Leone, arrived
at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha for treatment.
(SFC, 11/16/14, p.A8)
2014 Nov 17, Dr. Martin Salia
(44), seriously ill from Ebola contracted in Sierra Leone, died at
Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha..
(SFC, 11/18/14, p.A6)
2015 Feb 23, In Nebraska
officer Lugod shot Danny Elrod (39) in the back in a confrontation
minutes after Elrod allegedly robbed a Family Dollar store in Omaha.
In early March a grand jury cleared Lugod. On March 24 the Omaha
Police Dept. announced that Lugod has resigned.
2015 May 7, Residents of
Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and northern Texas cleaned up after
overnight storms spawned 51 tornadoes that left at least one person
(SFC, 5/8/15, p.A8)
2015 May 20, In Omaha,
Nebraska, Marcus Wheeler (26) opened fire on officers who were
trying to arrest him for a previous shooting, prompting police to
return gunfire in a shootout that left Officer Kerrie Orozco (29)
and the suspect dead.
2015 May 27, Nebraska’s
lawmakers abolished the state’s death penalty. Their 30-19 vote
overrode the previous days veto by Gov. Ricketts. Nebraska became
the 19th US state to repeal the death penalty.
(SFC, 5/28/15, p.A5)(Econ, 7/4/15, p.50)
2016 Jul 31, In western
Nebraska 5 people died in a fiery car crash the forced the closure
of I-80 for several hours.
(SFC, 8/1/16, p.A5)
2016 Nov 8, California,
Nebraska and Oklahoma voted to reinstate or otherwise support the
death penalty. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts had poured some $400,000
of his family’s money to finance the death penalty referendum.
(SFC, 11/10/16, p.A7)(AFP, 11/12/16)(Econ,
2017 Mar 2, In Nebraska a
prison riot at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution left two
inmates dead. About 40 inmates refused to return to their cells
after staff members reported a fire to one of the housing units.
(SFC, 3/4/17, p.A6)
2017 Jun 5, Zachary Bearheels
(29) a mentally ill Native American from Oklahoma, died after being
shocked 12 times with a Taser, punched and dragged by his hair by
two Omaha police officers, both of whom are black. On July 26 a
Nebraska prosecutor said the two officers will face assault charges.
2017 Nov 16, In Nebraska Sidney
Loofe (24) of Lincoln was reported missing. Her body parts were
found in ditches along a highway weeks after her disappearance.
Bailey Boswell and her boyfriend, Aubrey Trail, were later charged
with first-degree murder and other crimes in the killing. In 2019
Trail was convicted by a Saline County jury and waived his right to
have a jury decide whether he should be eligible for the death
penalty. He maintained that Loofe's death happened accidentally
during rough sex. Bailey requested that her trial be moved and
testimony about rough sex and the occult barred.
2017 Nov 20, Nebraska
regulators approved a Keystone XL oil pipeline route through the
state, but chose an alternate pathway to the one preferred by the
pipeline operator. More time could be required to study the changes
in the delayed $8 billion project.
(SFC, 11/21/17, p.A6)
2018 Apr 27, The European Union
made a key breakthrough to completely ban pesticides that harm bees
and their crop pollination. The ban on the three prevalent
neonicotinoid pesticides will take effect at the end of the year.
The EU banned the outdoor use of neonics clothianidin, imidacloprid
and thiamethoxam. The United Nations says neonics are so hazardous
that they should be “severely" restricted. But in the US, neonics
are widely used. In 2021 it was reported that the company AltEn has
been using seed coated with fungicides and insecticides, including
those known as neonicotinoids, or “neonics", in its Nebraska
production process. Waste from the plant was at levels many times
higher than what is considered safe.
(AP, 4/27/18)(The Guardian, 1/10/21)
2018 Aug 7, A pharmaceutical
company filed a lawsuit to prevent Nebraska from using lethal
injection drugs next week in what would be the state's first
execution in more than two decades. The federal lawsuit could delay
the Aug. 14 execution of Carey Dean Moore, who was sentenced to
death for killing two Omaha cab drivers in 1979. Germany-based
Fresenius Kabi opposes the use of its drugs in executions.
2018 Aug 8, A large US federal
law enforcement operation targeted businesses in Minnesota and
Nebraska that knowingly hired and mistreated illegal immigrants. 17
business owners and managers were indicted for fraud, wire fraud and
(SFC, 8/9/18, p.A6)
2018 Aug 14, Nebraska carried
out its first execution since 1997. Carey Dean Moore (60 was
executed with a drug combination that included the powerful opioid
fentanyl for killing two cab drivers in Omaha in 1979.
(SFC, 8/15/18, p.A5)
2018 Sep 15, Jean Briggs
Watters (92), World War II British codebreaker, died in Nebraska.
She was among about 10,000 people, mostly women, who participated in
the Allied effort to crack German communication codes throughout the
war and was buried on Sept. 24 with British military honors.
2018 Sep 20, In Nebraska about
500 Myanmar refugees were relocated from an apartment complex in
Omaha after units were deemed unlivable.
2019 Feb 4, In Nebraska Lisa
Kwapniowski (49), a former pharmacy director, pleaded guilty to
stealing more than $4.6 million from an Omaha hospital between 2012
(SFC, 2/6/19, p.A5)
2019 Mar 17, The Missouri River
reached a record 30.2 feet in Iowa's Fremont County. Heavy rainfall
and snowmelt caused flooding in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska
with at least two deaths reported.
(SFC, 3/18/19, p.A8)
2019 Apr 11, In the US heavy
snow and strong winds hit Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota and
began moving into the Great Lakes region a day after pummeling
(SFC, 4/12/19, p.A5)
2019 Aug 22, Nebraska's highest
court lifted one of the last major hurdles for the Keystone XL
pipeline when it rejected another attempt to derail the project by
opponents who wanted to force the developer to reapply for state
2020 Feb 26, US officials said
the first clinical trial in the US of a possible coronavirus
treatment is underway in Nebraska and is eventually expected to
include 400 patients at 50 locations around the world. At least two
patient studies are already underway in China, including the other
study involving remdesivir, which is made by Gilead Sciences.
2020 Mar 6, Nebraska reported
its first coronavirus case.
2020 Apr 6, South Dakota, Gov.
Kristi Noem issued a limited stay-at-home mandate that applies only
to people in the two hardest-hit counties who are older than 65 or
who have chronic health conditions. North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and
Arkansas were the only US states where no one is under a
2020 Apr 30, Tyson Foods said
it was temporarily suspending operations at a Nebraska beef
processing plant following a surge of coronavirus cases in the area.
(SFC, 5/1/20, p.A5)
2020 May 30, In Nebraska Jake
Gardner (38), a white bar owner, shot and killed James Scurlock
(22), a Black protester, on the second night of Black Lives Matter
protests in Omaha. Within just 36 hours of the shooting, Douglas
County prosecutor Don Kleine announced that criminal charges would
not be filed, finding that Gardner — a 38-year-old ex-Marine with an
expired concealed carry permit — had shot Scurlock in self-defense.
The move met with backlash, fueling more protests. In
September a grand jury voted to charge a bar owner Jake Gardner with
manslaughter after the slaying outside of his establishment.
(Yahoo News, 7/1/20)(The Grio, 9/16/20)
2020 Aug 15, A Nebraska school
district said it had canceled classes after staff members tested
positive for the new coronavirus, the latest state to see
instruction disrupted after resuming in-person learning.
2020 Aug 26, In Nebraska police
investigator Luis “Mario" Herrera was shot in Lincoln as he sought
to serve an arrest warrant on Felipe Vazquez (17) in the March
stabbing death of Edward Varejcka (36). Herrera died on Sept.
7 and a second degree assault charge against Vazquez was raised to
first degree murder.
2020 Sep 20, The body of Jake
Gardner (38) was found outside of a medical clinic in Oregon, where
he had allegedly fled due to “great risks," such as death threats.
The Nebraska bar owner was charged with manslaughter three months
after shooting a Black man during protests against police violence.
(NBC News, 9/21/20)
2020 Oct 3, Baseball pitcher
Pack Robert Gibson (84), St. Louis Cardinals’ Hall of Fame
right-hander known as Bob, died in Omaha.
(NY Times, 10/5/20)
2020 Nov 3, Residents of
Nebraska and Utah decided to strip their constitutions of
unenforceable provisions that allowed slavery as a punishment for
2020 Nov 19, Omaha police
killed Kenneth Jones (35) late today while responding to a traffic
stop. People gathered outside police headquarters on the next two
nights to protest the killing.
2020 Nov 21, In Nebraska two
employees were shot and killed in an attack at a fast food
restaurant. Two others were wounded and officers responding to a
report of a possible bomb inside a moving truck in the parking lot
arrived to find the vehicle on fire. Roberto Carlos Silva Jr. (23),
of Omaha, was booked into Sarpy County jail early the next day on
suspicion of first-degree murder and first-degree arson.
2020 Nov 25, It was reported
that the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska is creating the nation's
largest tribal national park (444 acres) on a forested bluff
overlooking the Missouri River and a historic site of its people.
The new Ioway Tribal National Park will overlook a historic trading
village where the Ioway people bartered for buffalo hides and
pipestones with other tribes during the 13th to 15th centuries.
2021 Jan 26, A major winter
storm dropped more than a foot of snow on parts of Nebraska and
Iowa, disrupting traffic and shuttering some schools.
2021 Apr 17, In Nebraska
Trequez Swift (21) was shot and killed at the Westroads Mall in
Omaha. Suspect Makhi Woolridge-Jones (16) was arrested the next day.
(SFC, 4/19/21, p.A4)
2021 Apr 17, Thelma Sutcliffe,
of Omaha, became America’s oldest living person and seventh-oldest
in the world when Hester Ford, a 115-year-old woman, died in North