Nebraska gets set to throw a big party and state official invite every Nebraskan to take part.
Nebraska celebrates its sesquicentennial next year with activities centered on the theme of 150 years, including volunteerism, a fitness challenge, education, and collecting stories.
First Lady Susanne Shore said she has learned a lot planning the celebration, including much more about Nebraska pioneers as well as Native Americans.
“I unfortunately did not know as much about Standing Bear as I should have and Bright Eyes and all of those different individuals who have made such a contribution to this state,” Shore said during a news conference held in the Governor’s Hearing Room at the state Capitol.
The history of the state has come alive to Shore, but perhaps a bit too close for comfort as she stood by her husband, Gov. Pete Ricketts.
“But, then some of the crazy facts. I mean, the governor being impeached. I have a lot of that junk in my head,” Shore said, only to have her husband object to her pointing his direction when she answered the question.
“Sorry,” she said, adding, “The other governor being impeached.”
For the record, it was Gov. David Butler who was impeached and removed from office in 1871. Legislators filed 11 articles of impeachment against him, according to the Nebraska State Historical Society, shortly after winning his third term in office. An accusation that he misused $16,000 from the state school fund stuck during his trial before the state Senate. The Nebraska Supreme Court removed him from office.
Shore announced four of the 13 signature projects planned for 2017. The year-long celebration begins on New Year’s Day.
The four programs kicking off the sesquicentennial celebration include the Nebraska Impact Initiative, the Nebraska150 Challenge, Now You Know Nebraska, and I Am Nebraska.
The Nebraska Impact Initiative challenges residents to volunteer at least 150 hours of service next year individually or through groups, such as schools and non-profit organizations. The website nebraskaimpact.com will provide details.
A web-based fitness challenge is being called The Nebraska150 Challenge. It challenges Nebraskans to move 150 miles or more in 2017. Its interactive website is ne150challenge.com.
Nearly 200 video shorts have been produced as the Now You Know Nebraska Videos, telling some of the most compelling and appealing stories of Nebraska. Go to ne150.org/nowyouknow to watch the videos. They will be incorporated in school lessons.
Finally, the I Am Nebraska Oral History Project invites Nebraskans to share their Nebraska experience by posting short videos on social media on their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts under the hash tag “I Am Nebraska” (#IAMNEBRASKA). Some will be featured on the iamnebraska.com website.
For more on the celebration, log onto ne150.org as well as on Facebook at facebook.com/nebraska150 and Twitter @ne150.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [1 min.]