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This Week In Nebraska History, 12/16/18

December 16, 2018

1878: There were 182 convicts at the State Penitentiary in Lincoln. Among jobs at which inmates worked were cigar making, tailoring and wagon making.

1888: The University of Nebraska accepted Grant Hall, originally a general purpose auditorium and gymnasium. It later was the women’s physical education building until it was razed in 1965 after being condemned as unsafe.

1898: Nebraska had a few smallpox cases. Soldiers from a New York regiment on their way home from the Philippines were seen in Lincoln.

1908: The independent telephone companies had such a grip on the business that their managers began to doubt the wisdom of the law they advocated: to require all exchanges to make physical connection with other companies.

1918: Omaha streetcar workers were on strike and refused to submit to arbitration.

1928: Edwin Givens, state pioneer and Lincoln’s oldest Civil War veteran, died at age 99.

1938: A statewide group of county commissioners demanded a full cent of the state gasoline tax for relief and spurned an earlier proposal for reallocation of the tax to counties.

1948: Organizations interested in child welfare asked the Legislature to appropriate about $250,000 for education of physically handicapped and developmentally disabled children.

1958: The Lincoln Charter Revision Committee was studying proposals to elect City Council members by district. The idea was dropped and remained dormant until 1978, when it was put on the ballot by petition and carried at the general election.

1968: Another 50.5 miles of interstate route, carrying a price tag of $18.6 million, was opened in western Nebraska, allowing “clear” driving on I-80 from the Omaha “gap” to Big Springs.

1978: A CBS News TV team from Chicago was in Minden to film the community’s annual “Light of the World” Christmas pageant.

1988: One-fourth of the 265 students at Trinity Lutheran School, 1200 N. 56th St., were home sick, suffering from an influenza-like illness.

1998: After 96 years of local control, Lincoln’s telephone company agreed to a $1.6 billion buyout by Alltel, the nation’s sixth-largest telecommunications company.

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