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Today in Nebraska history for June

By The Associated PressMay 30, 2019

June 1

1871 — The state Senate voted 9-3 to impeach Gov. David Butler for converting state funds to his own use. Butler retired to his farm in Pawnee County, and Secretary of State William H. James filled out the remainder of Butler’s term.

1894 — The three remaining companies of the 21st Infantry left Fort Sidney as the Army abandoned the post.

1898 — The Trans-Mississippi Exposition opened in Omaha.

June 2

1852 — Susan Hail died while traveling the Oregon Trail near Kenesaw. Her husband reportedly returned to St. Joseph, Missouri, to buy a tombstone for her grave and brought it back to Nebraska in a wheelbarrow.

1866 — Residents of the Nebraska Territory voted for statehood, 3,938 to 3,838.

1969 — The destroyer USS Frank E. Evans collided in the South China Sea off the coast of Vietnam with an Australian aircraft carrier, killing 74 Americans. The dead included three brothers from Niobrara: Gary, Gregory and Kelly Sage.

June 3

1890 — The Modern Woodmen of America fraternal organization and life insurance association was formed in Omaha.

1933 — The Loup Public Power District, the first public power district in the state, was organized with headquarters in Columbus.

1941 — A nonprofit group formed in Columbus, setting up Agricultural Park.

1980 — A series of tornadoes terrorized Grand Island, killing five people and injuring 200. President Jimmy Carter visited Grand Island a week later to view the damage, which was so devastating that one Omaha insurance company inundated with claims went bankrupt.

June 4

1965 — Duane Pope, who five days before had graduated from McPherson College in Kansas, robbed the Farmers State Bank of Big Springs and killed three bank employees. One wounded employee survived to testify against Pope, who was convicted of the murders.

June 5

1934 — Proponents of a unicameral legislature said they gathered 75,000 signatures to place an initiative on the ballot.

June 6

1820 — Maj. Stephen Long of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began an expedition to the Rocky Mountains from Engineer Cantonment on the Missouri River near present-day Fort Calhoun.

1937 — Fire swept through a stable at Ak-Sar-Ben racetrack in Omaha, killing a trainer, a groom and 73 horses.

June 7

1985 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the average value of one acre of Nebraska farmland dropped to $444 from $617 the previous year.

June 8

1849 — George Winslow, a traveler on the Oregon trail, died of cholera near Fairbury.

1976 — Caril Ann Fugate, who rode with mass murderer Charles Starkweather during his 1958 string of murders, was given parole.

June 9

1873 — The Keith County Board of Commissioners met for the first time and appointed Tom Lonergan probate judge. Lonergan arrived in Ogallala in 1867 to work for the Union Pacific Railroad. He and his brother, Philip, later became prominent cattle ranchers.

June 10

1867 — Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer brought the 7th U.S. Cavalry to Fort McPherson during a campaign against Sioux and Cheyenne Indians.

1952 — The Harlan County Dam was dedicated.

2008 — Omaha and NCAA officials signed paperwork to keep the College World Series in Omaha through 2035.

June 11

1969 — The people of Niobrara held a memorial service for the three Sage brothers who were killed off the coast of Vietnam nine days earlier when a U.S. destroyer they were on collided with an Australian aircraft carrier.

1986 — About 600 people walking across the country in the Great Peace March for Nuclear Disarmament crossed the Nebraska border from Colorado near Big Springs.

2008 — Three Omaha Boy Scouts were among four killed when a tornado swept through the Little Sioux Scout Ranch in western Iowa.

June 12

1875 — A state constitutional convention adjourned after agreeing to constitutional changes later passed by voters that included the right of the Legislature to regulate railroads.

1980 — An Air Wisconsin commuter plane en route from Minneapolis to Lincoln crashed near Valley in a violent thunderstorm, killing 13 people. Only two passengers survived.

June 13

1871 — A state constitutional convention convened.

1946 — Ground was broken on the $31 million Harlan County Dam.

June 14

1867 — The Legislature approved a bill moving the state capitol to Lincoln from Omaha.

1878 — The Legislature approved the Timber Culture Act, which encouraged the planting of trees.

June 15

1867 — Gov. David Butler signed into law a bill creating the state seal.

1958 — Wade Boggs, winner of American League batting titles while playing with the Boston Red Sox baseball club, was born in Omaha.

1981 — Gov. Charles Thone appointed Kay Orr state treasurer. Orr later was elected governor and served 1987-1991.

June 16

1860 — Congress authorized construction of a telegraph line from western Missouri to San Francisco. The line eventually ran along the Platte River in Nebraska.

1879 — Nance County was organized.

1964 — Floods in the Papio Valley in west Omaha were blamed for the deaths of seven people.

June 17

1872 — The boom town of Lowell was named the seat of Kearney County when the county organized. Lowell was removed as county seat in 1878.

1875 — The churches of Lincoln declared a day of fasting and prayer in an attempt to stop an invasion of grasshoppers plaguing the state.

June 18

1867 — Gov. David Butler, the secretary of state and the state auditor set out from Nebraska City to find a new site for the state capitol in Lincoln.

1980 — Stella Almarez, who was having marital problems, shot and stabbed her four young daughters to death. A jury later found her innocent by reason of insanity.

June 19

1849 — Rachel Pattison, 18, a traveler on the Oregon Trail, died of cholera near Lewellen.

June 20

1900 — The city of Scottsbluff was incorporated.

1867 — Peru State College became the first state-supported college as the Nebraska State Normal School.

June 21

1854 — The U.S. government and Omaha Indians agreed to a treaty setting up a reservation for the tribe in what is now Thurston County.

1967 — Gov. Norbert Tiemann signed a bill designating “Beautiful Nebraska” the state song.

June 22

1867 — Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and 7th Cavalry troops arrived near what is now the town of Benkelman after riding from Fort McPherson in a campaign against Sioux and Cheyenne Indians.

1947 — Medicine Creek flooded near Cambridge, sending a wall of water into town that washed homes from their foundations and killed 13 people. Some people chopped holes in the roofs of their homes to escape the rising waters.

1985 — Tony Barone, an assistant basketball coach at Bradley University in Peoria, accepted the job of head coach at Creighton University in Omaha. He succeeded Willis Reed.

June 23

1879 — The Union Pacific Railroad ran its first train to Osceola.

June 24

1856 — The town of St. John’s along the Missouri River in northeast Nebraska was surveyed and platted. The town, settled by many Irish immigrants, was abandoned by 1866.

1867 — A band of Sioux Indians led by Pawnee Killer attacked Lt. Col. George A. Custer and troops of the 7th Cavalry near present-day Benkelman. One sentry was wounded.

1927 — The Ak-Sar-Ben Den, a 40-year-old coliseum in Omaha used by the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben for shows and coronation balls, was destroyed by fire.

June 25

1867 — E.M. Searle, destined to become one of the early civic leaders in Ogallala and Keith County, arrived at the Union Pacific Railroad’s Alkalai Station to operate the telegraph.

1954 — A Rock Island train wrecked near Hallam, injuring 75 people.

1959 — Charles Starkweather, who killed 11 people in a string of murders the year before, was executed in the electric chair at 12:05 a.m. About half an hour before, the prison physician scheduled to pronounce Starkweather dead suffered a heart attack and died.

June 26

1985 — Clayton Yeutter, a native of Eustis and president of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as U.S. trade representative.

June 27

1985 — The first B-1B bomber scheduled to go into service arrived at Offutt Air Force Base before about 1,000 Air Force dignitaries and guests.

June 28

1945 — Police in Schuyler and the FBI were searching for a carnival worker who was wanted for questioning in the killing of another carnival worker.

June 29

1936 — The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that water cannot be diverted from one drainage watershed to another.

1867 — Gov. David Butler, the secretary of state and state auditor chose a site along the banks of Salt Creek at present-day Lincoln as the site for the new state capitol.

June 30

1911 — U.S. Rep. Virginia Smith, R-Neb., was born at Randolph, Iowa. She served eight terms in the House, representing western Nebraska’s 3rd District.

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