A Conversation for Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Omaha and President Lincoln

Post 1


As I understand it, President Lincoln never stepped foot in Nebraska. Therefore, the charming anecdote about the mattress can't be true. He did own land in Lancaster County and saw Omaha from across the Missouri River, but the closest he got was Council Bluffs, Iowa, the town he specified by law to be the terminus of the railroad (though Union Pacific had other ideas and actually ended it in Omaha). So, if anyone is to blame for the uncomfortable night our 16th President suffered, it's the Iowans. In Nebraska, Iowans are blamed for many things, so it's no surprise when one more is added to the list.

By the way, Council Bluffs is also the origin of the black race of Eastern Fox Squirrel which stowed away on railway cars during the late 19th, early 20th century and spread to urban areas around the United States. So, if you have red squirrels fighting black squirrels in your back yard (as they are in mine as I type), you can blame such race wars on the Iowans as well. I know I do.

I grew up in Bellevue (south of Omaha, Nebraska's oldest Euro-American settlement . . . which makes Omaha our suburb, not the other way around). For years I had to take silly Nebraska studies classes in elementary school and heard my fill of local history at the university. Who would have thought I would ever be able to use such knowledge to correct the mighty BBC?

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Omaha and President Lincoln

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