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This Week In Nebraska History, 01/20/19

January 20, 2019

1869: One of the big issues facing the Legislature was establishment of the proposed University of Nebraska - especially how, when and where.

1879: The state Senate struggled with a bill proposing a new Capitol building.

Lincoln businessmen were asked to give liberally of their funds or lose the State Fair.

1889: The Hastings Gazette-Journal plant was auctioned for $15,000.

1899: A smallpox epidemic threatened Omaha. The proprietor of Peycke Brothers Store emphatically denied that the disease had its inception in his establishment. Owner Julius Peycke said he believed that one of his employees contracted the disease from a foundryman across the street.

1909: Ashton C. Shallenberger, a Democrat from Alma, was inaugurated as governor. He later would serve in Congress.

1919: The home economics building at the University of Nebraska agricultural farm in Lincoln was dedicated.

Republican Gov. Samuel R. McKelvie was inaugurated for the first of his two two-year terms.

1929: Prospects were reported good for a big crop of fine-quality natural ice from Nebraska streams, ponds and lakes.

1939: Gov. Robert LeRoy Cochrane began his third term as governor. A Democrat, he was the first man to sit in the governor’s chair for six years.

1949: Gov. Val Peterson was calling for help from the Army Corps of Engineers and for the marshaling of all available men and equipment to aid in blizzard relief for people and livestock throughout the Missouri Basin. How widespread and severe the desolation and hardship were in the wake of the great storm was just becoming apparent.

1959: Lincoln Police Chief Joe Carroll announced that applicants for jobs in his department would be required to submit to lie detector tests. Carroll said the polygraph test would provide a “closer check” on prospective employees.

1969: Norfolk Junior College dropped its football program because of the high cost.

Women’s societies of the former Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren churches in Nebraska formally merged at a meeting in Lincoln. The denominations had merged earlier.

1979: Gov. Charles Thone visited the overnight encampment of American Agriculture Movement activists near Walton after their caravan of 80 tractors and other vehicles disrupted traffic during Lincoln’s evening rush hour. Stan DeBoer of Bertrand, leader of the Nebraska tractorcade, had been denied a meeting with the governor when the farmers stopped at the Capitol.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said almost 827,000 acres of U.S. farmland, including 17,255 acres in Nebraska, were purchased by foreign investors in a recent 18-month period.

1989: Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha introduced a bill that would limit the scientific study of Native skeletal remains and burial goods to one year, after which they would have to be returned to the tribes. The measure was an attempt to resolve controversy between Natives and the Nebraska State Historical Society.

1999: The University Place Art Center and Nebraska Wesleyan co-sponsored a celebration in honor of Gladys Lux’s 100th birthday. In 1984, the vacant Old City Hall Building at 2601 N. 48th St. was purchased by Lux, who saw the potential of a new art center and a home for her collection of dolls, quilts and art.

For the first time in eight years, a Nebraska governor, Mike Johanns, addressed the crowd of pro-life supporters that spilled onto the lawn at the Capitol in the annual Walk for Life march.

Attorney General Don Stenberg said he would mount a conservative challenge to Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey in 2000 for the U.S. Senate. Kerrey, who announced that he would forgo a presidential race to seek a third term in the Senate, welcomed Stenberg into the race.

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