National Nebraska Day is observed every year on April 5. This holiday was created to celebrate Nebraska’s history, culture, and people. It also commemorates the day Nebraska became part of the U.S. as the 37th State. Nebraska is bordered to the north by South Dakota, to the east by Iowa, to the south by Kansas, to the southeast by Missouri, to the southwest by Colorado, and the west by Wyoming.
History of National Nebraska Day
The name ‘Nebraska’ is derived from the old ‘Otoe’ words ‘Ni Brasge’ or the Omaha words ‘Ni Bthaska.’ Meaning ‘flat water,’ it makes reference to the Platte River that flows through the state. Previously known as the Nebraska Territory, Nebraska became admitted to the Union as the 37th state on March 1, 1867. Before the era of European colonization, the area now known as Nebraska was inhabited by several indigenous people, such as the ‘Omaha,’ ‘Missouria,’ ‘Ponca,’ ‘Pawnee,’ ‘Otoe,’ and various parts of the Sioux.
Between the 17th and 18th centuries, both France and Spain fought for controlling interest in the region. While Spain first established trade connections in the 1690s, France developed similar relationships with the native people along the Missouri River in 1703. In 1794, the first European settlement was established in Nebraska by the Spanish government, under the command of James Mackay.
Nebraska officially became a territory under the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which was signed into law on May 30, 1854, by the U.S. Congress. At the time, the Nebraska Territory included the following states — North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. The territorial capital was Omaha. During the 1860s, most of the Native American tribes were forced to leave their homes and settle on reservations to make way for American and European settlers, who were awarded ‘free land’ by the U.S. government. This was done in pursuance of the Homestead Act of 1862. With the influx of more people into the territory, the population became large enough to apply for statehood.
National Nebraska Day timeline
The Kansas-Nebraska Act is signed into law on May 30.
The Homestead Act of 1862 is signed into law.
The Nebraska Territory is extensively settled under the Homestead Act.
Nebraska officially becomes a state of the union.
National Nebraska Day FAQs
Who is the governor of Nebraska?
The governor of Nebraska is Pete Ricketts.
What is the population of Nebraska?
Nebraska is populated by approximately 2 million people.
What is Nebraska famous for?
Nebraska is best known for farming and agriculture.
National Nebraska Day Activities
Learn about Nebraska
There are lots of fun facts to learn about Nebraska. Start with our ‘facts’ session and you might be surprised at the things you learn.
If you’re bold enough, why not schedule a visit to Nebraska? If you live within the U.S., take a road trip or fly to the state and have some fun exploring!
Use the hashtag
Share what you know about the Cornhusker State on social media. Feel free to use the hashtag #nationalnebraskaday!
5 Interesting Facts About Nebraska
It’s a triply-landlocked state
Nebraska is the only triply-landlocked state in the U.S, which means that one would have to drive through two states and a Canadian province before getting to the ocean.
It’s the home of Kool-Aid
In 1927, Kool-Aid was invented by Edwin Perkins in Hastings, Nebraska.
Runza is exclusive to Nebraska
Runza is a fast-food chain that specializes in hot stuffed pastries that can rarely be found outside of Nebraska.
Arbor Day is owed to Nebraska
Arbor Day, which focuses on planting trees, was first celebrated in Nebraska on April 10, 1872.
It has the biggest indoor rainforest
Sitting on 1.5 acres of land, The Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha is the biggest indoor rainforest in the U.S.
Why We Love National Nebraska Day
It's a lesson on Nebraska's history
This holiday affords us the opportunity of learning about our nation's history through the eye of one of the states. The more we learn, the better equipped we become to face the future head-on.
It honors the people of Nebraska
This holiday is a good day to honor and celebrate the people of Nebraska. Their unique culture and historical background are appreciated.
It promotes tourism
National Nebraska Day is a good opportunity to promote travel and tourism to the state of Nebraska. The natural beauty and attractions of the state can be harnessed to increase visits.
National Nebraska Day dates