Monday, March 21, 2005

Nebraska

Nebraska means “flat water”.
It is taken from an Indian word that was used to describe the Nebraska’ Platte River.

Still, there is more to Nebraska than “flat water” or the fact that the word “bras” is hidden in it's English name. Nebraska is one of America’s leading farming states.

Nebraska became a territory on May 30, 1854 as part of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. This means that Nebraska shares its birthday with Kansas. It also shares its birthday with Wynonna Judd and the voice of Bugs Bunny.

Still it didn’t become a state until after the Civil War. Upon statehood, the capital was moved from Omaha to Lancaster. Lancaster was later renamed Lincoln after some guy named Lincoln.

Nebraska was the state that started Arbor Day. From what I hear, it started when two people were arguing about the merits of Valentines Day. One of them said “A holiday just so I have to give a gift to the old lady? I would rather have a holiday for… THAT TREE OVER THERE!”

The National Arbor Day Foundation is headquartered in Nebraska City. Every year they have a conference to try out new ideas for Arbor Day.

Idea number one: What if we start an initiative to make giant beds for trees so they can sleep at night?
Idea number two: A pay per view fundraiser featuring that tree monster from Lord of the Rings fighting Al Gore.
Idea number three: Virtual trees.

Usually they just give up and stick to the standard “plant trees” plan.

Nebraska has a very unique state legislature. In fact there is not another like it in the United States. They have a unicameral legislature. Every one else has something different. I am not sure what “unicameral” means. Maybe they all share a camera or something like that. I’m not sure. I hope you didn’t come here to learn, there are other places where you can do that. I wish I was still writing about the voice of Bugs Bunny.

Nebraska is bordered by South Dakota, Iowa, and Missouri, Kansas and Wyoming. Sometimes the Governors of those states will make a conference call to the Governor of Nebraska. Than they all shout “we’ve got you surrounded!” Then they all laugh and laugh- until someone brings up the unicameral legislature. After that it’s usually several minutes of uncomfortable silence.

Nebraska is also the name of a Bruce Springsteen album. It is assumed that the state came first.

Kool-Aid was created by in Nebraska by Edwin Perkins. After he created it a friend asked “What will you call this drink?”
“Kool-Aid” he replied. Then a giant walking pitcher broke down the wall of the building, causing the foundation to collapse. Edwin and his friend were killed instantly. OH YEAH!

Among the famous people born in Nebraska are President Gerald R. Ford, Vice President Dick Cheney, Malcolm X, Fred Astaire, Marlon Brando, Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett, Montgomery Clift, and Henry Fonda.

It is safe to say that without Nebraska the world would be a much less interesting place.

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