Today in Nebraska-August


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August 1

1859 — Homestead land was first sold in Nebraska City.

August 2

1985 — Five and a half inches of rain fell at Kimball, putting a campground under water.

August 3

1969 — Still spry of heart and mind at 88, John G. Neihardt, Nebraska's poet laureate, came home to Bancroft, a village he once wrote of as a poet's town.

August 4

1904 — The cornerstone was laid in Kimball for Fraternal Hall, now the Plains Historical Society Museum.

August 5

1873 — A war party of Sioux Indians routed a group of Pawnee Indians on a buffalo hunt near present-day Trenton. The fight, known as the Battle of Massacre Canyon, left 60 to 75 Pawnees dead and more than 100 wounded or captured.

August 6

1867 — A group of Cheyenne Indians led by Chief Turkey Leg set up a barricade on railroad tracks near Lexington. Two trains smashed into the barricade and derailed. The Indians attacked and killed several people before troops ran them off.

August 7

1864 — Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians attacked settlers and travelers across much of Nebraska. One of the worst attacks during the uprising was at Plum Creek near Lexington. Oglala Sioux attacked a wagon train on the Oregon Trail, killing 11 people.

August 8

1859 — The first homestead land was sold at Brownville.

1961 — Two men robbed a branch of the Westside Bank of Omaha of $71,000 and held the bank manager and his wife hostage overnight.

1970 — Nine people were killed in a car wreck in Grand Island.

1976 — A Sunday school bus collided with a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train in Stratton, killing nine people.

August 9

1881 — Fire roared through Pawnee City, nearly destroying the town.

1921 — Former U.S. Sen. Jim Exon, D-Neb., was born at Geddes, South Dakota

August 10

1979 — The State Patrol blocked off traffic on Interstate 80 near Kearney's Elm Creek exchange as a Rockford, Illinois, pilot left Nebraska the same way he arrived when he was forced to land two weeks earlier — via the highway.

August 11

1859 — By this date, 128 steamboats had arrived at Omaha-Council Bluffs during the Colorado gold rush.

August 12

1877 — The city of Omaha issued permit No. 1336 to the New York Life Insurance Co. to erect a 12-story building, now known as the Omaha Building.

1982 — Actor Henry Fonda, who was born in Grand Island, died in Los Angeles.

August 13

1720 — Indians decimated a Spanish expedition traveling in modern-day Nebraska.

1859 — Lawyer Abe Lincoln of Illinois, who as president would choose Omaha as the eastern terminus of the drive to complete the first transcontinental railroad, gazed at the young city from a bluff on the Iowa side of the Missouri River.

August 14

1867 — A commission of state officials charged with finding a site for the capitol announced its choice of land in Lincoln.

August 15

1969 — The Interstate Commerce Commission criticized the Burlington Railroad for halting a train at Hemingford and ordering passengers to continue to their destination on a chartered bus.

August 16

1955 — About 200 inmates rioted at the state penitentiary in Lincoln, setting fire to building and doing more than $100,000 in damage. National Guard troops quelled the disturbance.

August 17

1864 — Troops drove back Indians in the Battle of the Little Blue in southeast Nebraska, ending a major Indian uprising that summer.

1950 — The Superior-Cortland diversion dam was dedicated.

August 18

1983 — Temperatures across Nebraska soared past 100 for a third day with highs reaching 107 at Grand Island, 103 at Lincoln and 101 at North Platte.

August 19

1804 — Sgt. Charles Floyd died in Nebraska on the Lewis and Clark expedition. He was the only person to die during the expedition.

August 20

1875 — Cattleman Tom Lonergan received the first homestead patent in Ogallala.

1953 — Karen Talbot, 13, disappeared while walking home from a movie in Rushville. Seven weeks later, Rushville High School student Duane McLain confessed to killing her after she refused his attempts to kiss her.

August 21

1873 — After drought and a grasshopper plague had afflicted the state, Gov. Robert Furnas issued a statement saying crops were not failing.

August 22

1865 — Gen. S.R. Curtis left a cannon at the fortified O.K. Store in Grand Island, where settlers congregated to discourage Indian attacks.

August 23

1983 — The Henry Doorly Zoo received a tiger from Moscow, but not the female Siberian tiger promised. Instead, the Omaha zoo received a male Siberian tiger that had been intended for the Bronx Zoo in New York.

August 24

1804 — The Lewis and Clark expedition came upon a Missouri River bluff that appeared to be on fire.

August 25

1967 — Reacting to a Chicago plan, Charles A. Peters, president of the Omaha Board of Education, called transportation of children from their neighborhood schools a "false approach" to improving education in poverty areas.

August 26

1864 — Settlers in the Elkhorn River Valley, fearing an Indian attack that never materialized, headed to Omaha for safety.

1881 — Osceola incorporated.

August 27

1943 — Former U.S. Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., was born in Lincoln.

August 28

1952 — Nebraska state government expenditures were running along at the record-breaking clip of $90 million a year, according to the tax commissioner's monthly report.

August 29

1854 — Richard Brown arrived at the site of the town that would later bear his name, Brownville.

1949 — WOW-TV began regular operation as the first television station in the state.

August 30

1873 — Hitchcock County was organized.

August 31

1890 — Gov. John M. Thayer dedicated the Sugar Palace in Grand Island, a building made and decorated in large part with sugar beets.

1949 — KMTV in Omaha began regular broadcasts, signing on just two days after WOW became the state's first TV station.

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