Nebraska Admission Day 2022

Today is the 155th anniversary of Nebraska Statehood. This is a date that does not receive very much fanfare beyond quick mentions on newscasts; sometimes not even then. The only time our Admission Day was a big deal was in 1967–the Nebraska Centennial. I remember the day as a boy living in Lincoln, the Capital City. Many people were dressed in faux mid-19th century clothing. Also, some men had grown beards or mustaches for the occasion. Anyway, that was about the only memorable hoopla about our Centennial.

Nebraska is considered by many Americans as just another unremarkable, flyover state. Even our official state tourism motto admits as much. “Nebraska: Honestly, it’s not for everyone.” The statement is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but many people interpret it literally as an admission of guilt. The previous slogan was slightly better. “Visit Nebraska, Visit Nice”. It wasn’t even properly punctuated. Also, what is compelling about the adjective “nice”? Personally, I preferred the old, long-lived motto–“Nebraska, where the West begins”. The old motto was a proud, adventurous statement.

The only time Nebraska was truly controversial was during the Civil War Era. This was primarily just before Nebraska Territory became the State of Nebraska. Nebraska and Kansas Territories had been organized in 1854 on the basis of popular sovereignty. That being the right of a territory’s residents to decide whether or not they would allow slavery. This was further complicated by the issue whether Congress was correct to force the future State of Nebraska to grant African Americans the right to vote. All of this was more or less officially resolved when Congress overturned President Andrew Johnson’s veto of the Nebraska Statehood Act. After the Nebraska territorial legislature approved the controversial provisions, President Johnson grudgingly proclaimed official statehood on March 1, 1867.

After that, Nebraska blended into the Great Plains like wallpaper. The only other truly noteworthy official act happened in 1937. That’s when the first session of the Unicameral was convened. Prior to then, we had a standard bicameral system like the other states–a Legislature and a Senate. The Unicameral is comprised of only one house–officially, the Legislature. Each member is a Senator. To this day, Nebraska is the only state with a Unicameral.

Nebraska used to be semi-famous in the sports world because of the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers football team. However, during the past few years, the Cornhuskers are not much of a big deal. Major college football commentators say that the Nebraska football program is pretty much dead. Personally, I don’t lose sleep over this because I’m not a huge football nut anyway.

So, where does this leave average small town dwelling Nebraskans like me? Well, we gripe about the weather; go to work or school without major difficulty; we live our lives reasonably well. In the end, I suppose we have come to own our latest infamous tourism motto proclaiming, “meh”. “Nebraska: Honestly, it’s not for everyone.”

Ciao


The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes media personality and former Nebraskan, Dick Cavett. “I’ll be happy if I can just stay out of Nebraska.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in cultural highlights, Hometown, Meanderings and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Nebraska Admission Day 2022

  1. bloom|time says:

    So much the same here in Wisconsin! When I travel abroad and play the “where are you from” game, it usually ends up as “near Chicago” as the closest thing people have heard of. But honestly it is the most beautiful place on the planet. Don’t tell the others.

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