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Nebraska Description

This land we now call Nebraska was long the sacred home of Native American Indians tribes; they raised their children and crops; hunted the buffalo that roamed the Great Plains, and for the most part, lived in peace.

coronado In an aggressive and relentless search for gold and other treasures, the Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado claimed the central and southwestern areas of America for Spain in 1541; in the late 1600s the French claimed all the land drained by the Mississippi for France; they named it the "Louisiana Territory" in honor of their King, Louis XIV.

The French continued to expand their claims, much to the dismay of the Spanish; conflicts followed, but with local Indian support, the French defeated the Spanish military response. For the next century this land was fought over by France and Spain, as well as the English.

In 1800, when Napoleon Bonaparte's armies moved across Europe, pressing Spain into a corner, the Territory of Louisiana (New Orleans) and a huge slice of land in the now central United States (including Nebraska) was ceded to France by Spain via a treaty.

In 1803, with war pressures mounting, Napoleon approved the sale of the entire area to the United States in a transaction named the Louisiana Purchase and the United States doubled in size almost overnight.

The face of Nebraska changed forever when the Lewis and Clark expedition explored this land as it wound its way up the Missouri River on their epic journey across middle-America to the Pacific Northwest.

oregon trail As tales of these (lands of opportunity) spread east, the Oregon Trail was the route the pioneers followed; building small farms and settlements along the way. Soon steam boats from Saint Louis arrived in Omaha on a regular basis, and the territory began to grow.

Nebraska became a US territory in 1854, and in 1867, it became the 37th U.S. State. Nebraska's seemingly endless acres of fertile lands and wide-open spaces, and the Homestead Act of 1862, encouraged widespread settlement into the new state. The Indians of course rebelled (and fought back) as their lands were stolen, but they were eventually defeated in the late 1800s, when the proud Sioux Nation surrendered.

Because of the railroads, Nebraska boomed, and quickly became a major shipping point for beef cattle. In the 1870s growth was stunted as massive swarms of grasshoppers damaged all farms crops so severely that many of the original settlers returned to the east; most were soon replaced by a new wave of settlers.

At the end of World War I, and after a severe drought and the stock market crash of 1929, Nebraska farmers, like those in many other states, were close to economic ruin. It all turned around during World War II, as the demand for cattle, corn and wheat brought a new-found prosperity to the state and Nebraska never looked back.

nebraska cornhuskers Located in the heart of America, Nebraska is famed for endless fields of corn, oats and wheat, huge cattle raising operations, idyllic small towns and farms, and of course, the legendary football teams from the University of Nebraska - the Cornhuskers!

Nebraska Cities, Counties & Area Codes

City County Area Code
Hastings Adams 402
Neligh Antelope 402
Arthur Arthur 308
Harrisburg Banner 308
Dunning Blaine 308
Albion Boone 402
Alliance Box Butte 308
Spencer Boyd 402
Ainsworth Brown 402
Kearney Buffalo 308
Tekamah Burt 402
David City Butler 402
Plattsmouth Cass 402
Hartington Cedar 402
Imperial Chase 308
Valentine Cherry 402
Sidney Cheyenne 308
Sutton Clay 402
Schuyler Colfax 402
West Point Cuming 402
Broken Bow Custer 308
South Sioux City Dakota 402
Chadron Dawes 308
Lexington Dawson 308
Chappell Deuel 308
Wakefield Dixon 402
Fremont Dodge 402
Omaha Douglas 402
Benkelman Dundy 308
Geneva Fillmore 402
Franklin Franklin 308
Curtis Frontier 308
Cambridge Furnas 308
Beatrice Gage 402
Oshkosh Garden 308
Burwell Garfield 308
Elwood Gosper 308
Hyannis Grant 308
Spalding Greeley 308
Grand Island Hall 308
Aurora Hamilton 402
Alma Harlan 308
Palisade Hayes 308
Culbertson Hitchcock 308
Oneill Holt 402
Mullen Hooker 308
Saint Paul Howard 308
Fairbury Jefferson 402
Tecumseh Johnson 402
Minden Kearney 308
Ogallala Keith 308
Springview Keya Paha 402
Kimball Kimball 308
Crofton Knox 402
Lincoln Lancaster 402
North Platte Lincoln 308
Stapleton Logan 308
Taylor Loup 308
Norfolk Madison 402
Tryon McPherson 308
Central City Merrick 308
Bridgeport Morrill 308
Fullerton Nance 308
Auburn Nemaha 402
Superior Nuckolls 402
Nebraska City Otoe 402
Pawnee City Pawnee 402
Grant Perkins 308
Holdrege Phelps 308
Pierce Pierce 402
Columbus Platte 402
Stromsburg Polk 402
McCook Red Willow 308
Falls City Richardson 402
Long Pine Rock 402
Crete Saline 402
Bellevue Sarpy 402
Wahoo Saunders 402
Scottsbluff Scotts Bluff 308
Seward Seward 402
Gordon Sheridan 308
Loup City Sherman 308
Harrison Sioux 308
Stanton Stanton 402
Hebron Thayer 402
Thedford Thomas 308
Winnebago Thurston 402
Ord Valley 308
Blair Washington 402
Wayne Wayne 402
Blue Hill Webster 402
Bartlett Wheeler 308
York York 402

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on July 10, 2020.