Posts Tagged With: Nebraska History Museum

Terrific Tuesdays: Hands-On History at the Nebraska History Museum

Next Tuesday is the beginning of the Nebraska History Museum’s History Hour for Kids.  The day after Memorial Day and the following ten weeks from 10:00 to 11:00 on Tuesday mornings, you can attend a free kids event at the museum that correlate to various Nebraska topics.  We are really excited about these as they will add to what we have been studying all year!  To take a look at the themes, click here.

Here are the details you need to know to visit the Nebraska History Museum.


9 – 4:30 Monday – Friday

1 – 4:30 Saturday and Sunday
closed on state holidays
Investigation Station ( a hands-on learning room )
1 – 4  Each day the museum is open.


Nebraska History  Museum
15th and P Streets
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508

Driving directions:

Exit I-80 onto I-180.
Proceed south into Lincoln.
Pass the Nebraska football stadium on your left, then turn left on P or O Street.
Proceed six blocks to 15th Street, (Centennial Mall).

Categories: Lincoln, Nebraska History, Region or City | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Flashback: Displaying Nebraskans in World War Two: Exhibit Closing Soon at the Nebraska History Museum

Writing about Nebraska’s part in World War 2 has been a part of upcoming blog post plans.  But I had to accelerate the timing due to the fact that I found out the Nebraska History Museum is closing this formerly permanent exhibit.

photo of World War II living room exhibit

Photo taken directly from Nebraska History site

Now they have their reasons, and they are pretty good ones.  Due to increased funding, they are doing some restructuring. Here is the official announcement that I received in an e-mail from the Nebraska State Historical Society.  (No, I did not receive special notice – I am simply a part of their e-mail list! 🙂

“What Did You Do in the War? Nebraska in World War II” will close to the public on Sunday, March 2, 2014. Artifacts in the Nebraska History Museum exhibit in Lincoln will be stored away and exhibit components disassembled as the museum prepares for a major infrastructure renovation funded by the Nebraska Legislature. The museum at 131 Centennial Mall North ( 15th & P Streets) in Lincoln is open Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 1:00-4:30 p.m.  Closed state holidays. Admission is free.

 A variety of resources about Nebraska in World War II is available on the Nebraska State Historical Society website, including articles from Nebraska History Magazine, veterans’ stories, photographs, a newspaper aimed at 4th-graders, a teacher’s guide, and more. Visit and type World War II into the search box.  

 For more information call 402-471-4782 or visit

We actually used many of the Nebraska State Historical Society’s resources to have our own “Living out World War 2 in Nebraska” day last spring.  In an upcoming post, I will share what our family did to learn more about those who lived here during the mid-century war.  For now, I simply wanted to encourage you to check out this great World War 2 exhibit.  This area has been a favorite one for my kids to explore every time we visit.   Hopefully we will make it back one last time before the display is gone.

Categories: Family Outings, Flashback Fridays, Lincoln, Metro, Military and Memorials, Nebraska History, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flashback Friday: Learning About Cowboys in Early Nebraska at the Nebraska History Museum

To my regret, we ended up almost sprinting through the exhibit.  At least it felt like there was A LOT more to absorb than we had time.  But as I mentioned earlier, I thought that the exhibit was only to happen for a few more days.  Since we discovered we have another year to peruse, we will definitely be back!  Especially when we actually study cowboys in the next few months.  I think I learned enough and took at least adequate pictures to give you a glimpse into “Nebraska Cowboys: Lives, Legacies and Legends.”

In our haste to get into the main area, we walked right past the opening display.  But this is definitely the place to start!

Cowboy Exhibit Lift-the-Flaps

They had an area where you could test your knowledge on cowboy terms and symbols before you look at the display.  One of the words: buckaroo.  Do you know how this word came to be a cowboy term?  I will give you a hint – the butchering of another language was the cause.

They have many displays of items with explanation.  This is great when you have younger kids because they may not be quite patient enough to stand there and let you read all you want.  (Not that I know this from personal experience 🙂 ).  For instance, a replication of an old-time bunkhouse was fabricated.  This does give even the young ones a glimpse into cowboy life.

Cowboy Exhibit bunkhouse room

At every section, layers of possible learning exist.  You can see the campfire and pictures of what they might have cooked.

Cowboy Exhibit Campfire

You can see a picture of actual cowboys eating on the range.

Cowboy Exhibit Chuckwagon2

And you can read more about what is pictured: the infamous chuckwagon.

Cowboy Exhibit Chuckwagon Explanation2

Having cowboy guns on display is a “hit” with the boys (couldn’t resist! 🙂 )  And the girls will like seeing all of the pretty horse pictures.

Cowboy Exhibit Guns 2

Since this whole display is based on cowboy life in the “Good Life” state, you can learn about specific people who lived the history.  This book is by James Cook (no, not the Australia explorer).  But he did live on the range and journal about his experiences.

Cowboy Exhibit antique book2

For those who are visually oriented, you can map out the paths of the various cattle drives.  Including the famous Chisholm Trail.

Cowboy Exhibit maps

You can also learn about the impact that the windmill had on ranches, especially in Western Nebraska.

Cowboy Exhibit windmill2

My goal this time is definitely to inspire you to go see and learn about Nebraska cowboys for yourselves.  But if you cannot wait or are too far away, here are two links where you can begin your “Nebraska cowboy” education.  First, you can read an excerpt from the Nebraska History Fall 2013 issue.  This is from an article by James E. Potter entitled “A Peculiar Set of Men”: Nebraska Cowboys of the Open Range.”  I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Potter earlier in the fall – he is SO knowledgeable about Nebraska history.  You can purchase the magazine, which has several cowboy articles, at the museum or order it to be delivered to your home.

Second, if you do have kids, a link is available to the Nebraska Trailblazer magazine.  Issue number eight has to do with ranching in Nebraska.  How I wish we would  have discovered this before we went to the exhibit the first time.  We will definitely be completing this before we go next time – my kids will really enjoy all of the pictures and learning how to read “cattle brands.”  Definitely worth taking the time to download!

Cowboy Exhibit boot hat Well, good night, pardner!

Categories: Flashback Fridays, Lincoln, Metro, Nebraska History, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

For the Girls

Place at a Glance

Name/Location Nebraska History Museum
Website/Facebook; Nebraska History Museum on Facebook
Open hours 9 – 4:30 Monday – Friday; 1 – 4:30 Saturday &Sunday ; closed state holidays;Investigation Station: open from 1-4 daily: excellent hands-on learning room
What to Know Both set & rotating exhibits; must check large bags; no food/drink
Cost Suggested donation of $2; great Museum store – items for kids too
Parking Meters for $1/hour; Area garages: $1/hour; first hour is free
Group Tours Schedule 2 weeks to year in advance; field trip cards available; Tours
Museum Manners While there are certain parts that are interactive, much of the museum is “no touch, no climb”; parental supervision is definitely necessary
Recommended Ages Investigative Room: ages 3 and up; rest of museum: ages 6 & up

After visiting the museum, I determined that there is too much information for just one blog entry.  So to start, I thought I would just tell about two special displays currently at the Nebraska History Museum that are for girls!

Exhibit # 1

Miss America exhibit sign

When I saw this exhibit information on our Lincoln Passport page, I was determined to take my daughter there before the display was done.  Along with many other Nebraskans, I celebrated when I heard that Miss Nebraska Teresa Scanlan had won the Miss America Pageant in 2011.  And as more information was told about her, I was even more delighted as she seemed to be a young woman of character (and she was even homeschooled for the majority of her education!)

Miss America Display

While I have to admit that the display was smaller than I expected it to be, the information presented was very interesting.  And with the display boards being concentrated, I found that I had time to actually read the information without my kids getting overly restless.  I definitely learned a lot of information about the pageant process, as well as about Teresa’s part in it.  A Gering, Nebraska native, she was the youngest Miss America since 1937.

Miss Nebraska dress and shoe

My 6 year old girl definitely enjoyed seeing the dresses and shoes on display.  I enjoyed reading the behind the scene details.  We all enjoyed listening to her musical recordings (including her rendition of “White Water Chopped Sticks” which won her the preliminary talent award in the competition).  I also found it interesting to see her unusual hobby – you’ll have to go see the small special display.  (If you are not going to make it there before September 3rd, please e-mail me at – I can give you the details 🙂 .)  To learn more, you can visit Teresa’s own site (although from my observation, the site is still very much in progress.  She is a busy college student now!)

Note: My three boys tolerated the display and did enjoy the music.  I think it helped that the World War 2 display was directly adjacent to hers.  Since we were the only ones upstairs at the time, I let them go ahead and start looking at the World War 2 exhibit.  Everyone left happy!

At this point, we left the History Museum and went across the street to the Children’s Museum for awhile.  When we came back, the Investigative Room was open.  My kids (especially my youngest two) really enjoyed playing around in that room.  I told my daughter that I wanted her to look at the 2nd display with me.

Terri Lee dolls

Terri Lee dolls were all the rage in the late 1940’s to 1960’s.  Similar to the current American Girl dolls, she had her own wardrobe and accessories, as well as doll friends.

2 dolls + wardrobe

She began and was made for many years in the Lincoln, Nebraska area, so this was a rather large display.  Unlike Miss Nebraska, Terri Lee does have a hint of scandal.  Two of the Terri Lee factories burned down under suspicious circumstances (one in NE and one in CA).  I found that a bit intriguing, although I obviously chose not to read that part out loud to my children.

Interestingly enough, my daughter, who loves her American Girl doll, was far more interested in the Investigative Room than the dolls.  Maybe because she could play in that room and the dolls were only on display?  If I were to recreate the experience, I would arrive at 12:40 to show her the dolls, then stay and let her play in the next room.  Note: the Terri Lee dolls will be on display through September 1st, 2013.

Categories: Lincoln, Lincoln "Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown", Metro, Nebraska History, Panhandle, Passport Pursuit Programs | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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