The Platte River has guided people across history along its stunning 310 miles, and grown farms and cities along its banks. It begins in Wyoming and Colorado in two separate rivers that merge near the city of North Platte. On Feb. 26, 1998, it was declared Nebraska's official state river.
Less than one quarter of one percent of rivers in America are designated National Scenic Rivers. In 1991, the 76 mile stretch of the Niobrara River that begins east of Valentine, gained that prestigious designation.
In 1902, University of Nebraska botanist Charles Bessey, assisted by Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, convinced President Theodore Roosevelt to set aside two tracts of land in the treeless Nebraska Sandhills as Forest Reserves.
In the landscapes of Nebraska, often with no markings or outsider recognition, lie sacred places. Pahuku, near Fremont, is considered the most sacred site of the Pawnee tribe who lived in Nebraska. Other sacred sites are near Guide Rock, Central City, and Nance County.
Storms have a way of sticking in people's minds, and that is definitely the case with the Hallam tornado in 2004. It was May 22nd. An F4 tornado peaking at 2 1/2 miles wide ripped through the community south of Lincoln.
In 1888, Nebraska faced one of the worst blizzards of its history. One teacher near Ord, Nebraska (about 70 miles north of Kearney) saved her 13 students by tying them to her body with a long length of rope and leading them to shelter.
During the winter of 1948-49, a series of storms paralyzed Nebraska, North and South Dakota and Wyoming. Trains stalled, cattle starved, and people were stranded. Parts of Nebraska received more than 100 inches of snow, and the state depended on the help of others to make it through.
Frank Zybach invented a system that would revolutionize agriculture throughout the world: the center pivot. This revolutionary piece of equipment allows farmers to water their crops quickly, accurately, and remotely. Center pivots remain widely used today.
Nebraska's largest lake, Lake McConaughy, was created when one of the world's largest earthen dams was built on the North Platte River: Kingsley Dam. This 10 story dam cost more than $43 million and was worked on from 1936-1941. The town of Lymone was moved to to make room for the project.