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Nebraska, US (Population: 1,768,331)
State Capitol: Lincoln

Major Cities: Omaha, Bellevue, Grand Island, Kearney, Fremont, Hastings, North Platte, Norfolk, Columbus

State Nickname/Motto: Cornhusker State – Equality Before the Law

Statehood Granted: March 1, 1867

History: Nebraska has been inhabited for as long as 15,000 years by various American Indians of the plains—most recently and notably the Omaha, Pawnee, Ponca, Santee Sioux, and Winnebago. They devoted themselves to hunting buffalo and gathering the wild foods the area had to offer. The Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and his men were the first Europeans to visit the region around 1541.

Geography: Highest point: Panorama Point 5,424 feet. Nebraska is bordered by South Dakota to the north; Iowa to the east and Missouri to the southeast, across the Missouri River; Kansas to the south; Colorado to the southwest; and Wyoming to the west. Nebraska has 93 counties and occupies the central portion of the Frontier Strip. Nebraska is composed of two major land regions: the Dissected Till Plains and the Great Plains. The easternmost portion of the state was scoured by Ice Age glaciers; the Dissected Till Plains were left behind after the glaciers retreated. The Dissected Till Plains is a region of gently rolling hills; Omaha and Lincoln are located within this region.

Ethnic Diversity: One Race (98.5%), White (89.6%), Black or African American (4.0%), American Indian and Alaska Native (0.8%), Asian (0.6%), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (0.1%), Some other race 2.6), Two or more races (1.5%), Hispanic or Latino (7.2%)*

Famous State People:

  • Grace Abbott (1878 - 1939) Social reformer who helped to write the Social Security Act; born in Grand Island.
  • Fred Astaire (1899 - 1987) Actor famous for his dance steps; born in Omaha.
  • Marlon Brando (1924 - ) Actor who won an Academy Award for The Godfather; born in Omaha.
  • Johnny Carson (1925 - ) Entertainer and host of the Tonight Show; grew up in Norfolk.
  • Henry Fonda (1905 - 1982) Actor who won an Academy Award for On Golden Pond; born in Grand Island.
  • Gerald R. Ford (1913 - ) 38th President of the United States; born in Omaha.
  • Warren Buffett (1930 - ) Successful stock investor; born in Omaha.
  • Joyce C. Hall (1891 - 1982) Founder of Hallmark Cards; born in David City.
  • Malcolm X (1925 - 1965) Civil rights leader; born in Omaha.
  • J. Sterling Morton (1832 - 1903) Secretary of Agriculture and founder of Arbor Day; from Nebraska City.
  • Red Cloud (1822 - 1909) Oglala Lakota leader who defeated the U.S. Army in many battles; born in Nebraska.
  • Grover Cleveland Alexander (1887 - 1950) One of the greatest pitchers in baseball history; born in Elba.

  • Major Colleges/Universities: University of Nebraska System, Chadron State College, Peru State College, Wayne State College Bellevue University, Clarkson College, College of Saint Mary, Concordia University, Dana College, Doane College, Grace University, Midland Lutheran College, Nebraska Christian College, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Summit Christian College, Union College, York College

    National Parks: Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, California National Historic Trail, Chimney Rock National Historic Site, Homestead National Monument of America, Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail, Missouri National Recreational River, Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail, Niobrara National Scenic River, Oregon National Historic Trail, Pony Express National Historic Trail, Scotts Bluff National Monument

    Misc: Nebraska has the largest Czech-American population (as a percentage of the total population) in the nation. German-Americans are the largest ancestry group in most of the state, particularly in the eastern counties. Thurston County (comprised entirely of the Omaha and Winnebago reservations) has a American Indian majority, and Butler County is one of only two counties in the nation with a Czech-American plurality.

    *U.S. Census - 2005