Officials with the Homestead National Monument are inviting the nation’s chief executive to attend a celebration at the landmark in southeast Nebraska next spring.
Diane Vicars, president of Friends of the Homestead, says the May 20th event will mark the 150th anniversary of the Homestead Act becoming law.
“We believe that the Homestead Act of 1862 has value to the entire country, not only locally and not only in the state of Nebraska but nationally, so we thought, ‘Let’s send an invitation,’ so we did send an invitation to President Obama, to his staff,” Vicars says. “Haven’t heard anything. Don’t know that we will until it gets much closer.”
The event will include putting the original Homestead Act document from the National Archives in Washington D.C. on display at the monument near Beatrice.
Vicars says, “We just think how awesome that would be if President Obama or someone on the national level would come to our community and help us celebrate what really is considered one of the leading laws that changed the look and feel of America.”
The Homestead Act granted most Americans the ability to claim — for free — 160-acres of undeveloped federal land west of the Mississippi River. Claimants had to be at least 21 years old, live on the land for five years and show evidence of making improvements.
Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice