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Capital Lincoln
Nickname The Cornhusker State
Official Language English
Governor Dave Heineman, R
Senator Ben Nelson, D
(202) 224-6551
Senator Mike Johanns, R
(202) 224-4224
Population 1,796,619
Ratification of Constitution/or statehood March 1, 1867 (37th)
Flag of Nebraska Motto: Equality before the law

Nebraska is the thirty-seventh state to enter into the Union. It is located in the Midwest and borders Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Wyoming, and South Dakota. Its capital is Lincoln, and largest city is Omaha.


Parts of what is now Nebraska lay along the Oregon, Mormon, and California Trails. Fort Kearney in particular was an important stop for those travelers.[1]

On May 30, 1854, Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act [7], which created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, divided at the 40th parallel, and gave them popular sovereignty,[2] that is, the right to decide whether to allow slavery or not. This act had been proposed by Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois, and angered slavery opponents because it allowed for the possibility of slavery north of the line drawn in the 1820 Missouri Compromise. The Kansas-Nebraska Act led to violence in Kansas, known as Bleeding Kansas. Despite the fact that such violence did not take place in Nebraska, Nebraska had to wait until March 1, 1867 to enter the Union.

Elected Officials



Miscellaneous Facts

Nebraska was the only state to use the electric chair as its sole method of execution.[3], although now it uses lethal injection after a ruling by the Nebraska Supreme Court stated the electric chair was unconstitutional [4]

In the world of sports, the football team of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is the state's pride and joy, having won five national championships.[5]

Nebraska is the only state to have a unicameral Legislative body (since 1934/7 when it was decided in a constitutional amendment to remove the house of representatives to cut costs); along with a nonpartisan (Parties are not listed as part of the election, although there is no question of which party a person is from) election format; and is also the smallest at 49 senators. [6]

Notable Nebraskans

  • William Jennings Bryan, former presidential candidate, Populist statesman, and participant in the Scopes trial in the 1920s, lived in Lincoln.
  • Gutzon Borglun, who designed Mount Rushmore, grew up in Nebraska.
  • Billionaire investor Warren Buffett lives in Omaha.
  • Famous author Willa Cather, best known for her novel My Antonia, grew up in Red Cloud, an experience which inspired the book.
  • President Gerald Ford was born in Omaha.
  • L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology, was born in Tilden.
  • Charles Starkweather, one of the most notorious serial killers in American history, was executed in Nebraska.