Today in Nebraska-July
1862 — Congress authorized Union Pacific Co. to build its portion of the transcontinental railroad that would eventually start in Omaha.
1855 — Adelaide Goodwill opened a school in the territorial capital in Omaha.
1954 — U.S. Sen. Hugh Butler died.
1882 — Edgar Beecher Bronson, an ex-New York newspaper writer, brought about 1,500 head of cattle to Ogallala. He was greeted by heavy rains and a tornado, which scattered his cattle and other herds for miles.
1894 — People in O’Neill set off dynamite to simulate thunder in an attempt to make it rain.
1946 — Farmers, freed at last from wartime price ceilings on livestock, sent so many animals to the Omaha stockyards that trucks waiting to unload were backed up three miles.
1950 — Gerald Oliver Henderson, 27, a cesspool cleaner from Scottsbluff, was shot to death on a roadside near Merna. Another cesspool cleaner was charged with murder but acquitted by a jury.
1853 — The Council Bluffs and Nebraska Ferry Co. operating between Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Omaha was chartered.
1805 — Modern-day Nebraska became part of the Territory of Louisiana.
1883 — Buffalo Bill Cody put on the Old Glory Blowout in North Platte, an event considered the first rodeo.
1945 — A tornado struck Rising City, killing seven people and doing about $500,000 in property damage.
1857 — The first permanent settlers arrived in Grand Island, most of them immigrants from Germany.
1859 — Homestead land was first sold in Omaha.
1984 — A mule named Krause foaled a colt named Blue Moon — as in once in a blue moon — at the Sylvester family farm near Champion. Mules are sterile and supposedly not able to reproduce.
1896 — William Jennings Bryan gave his famous “cross of gold” speech at the Democratic Party convention in Chicago, winning the party’s nomination for president.
1989 — Lightning sparked a fire in the Nebraska Pine Ridge at Fort Robinson State Park. The blaze burned for four days, charring an estimated 48,000 acres.
1884 — A tornado struck the Holt County town of Stuart, picking up a boy and blowing him half a mile. The boy was not hurt.
1859 — Homestead land was first sold in Dakota City.
1861 — George W. Norris, who would represent in Nebraska in Congress for much of the first half of the 20th century, was born in Sandusky, Ohio.
1871 — Gov. W.H. James proclaimed Dawson County a county.
1873 — The post office was established at Ogallala, with cattleman Philip Lonergan as postmaster.
1859 — U.S. Army and territorial militia troops accepted the surrender of the Pawnee Indians, ending the Pawnee War of 1859.
1861 — Wild Bill Hickock killed David C. McCanles in a gunfight at the Rock Creek Pony Express station south of Fairbury. The shootout helped establish Hickock’s reputation as a gunslinger.
1894 — The Callaway Courier decried the drought and said, “We need rain worse than an increase in the currency.”
1868 — Paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh led an expedition of Yale College students north from Fort McPherson to look for fossils in the Sandhills. The group was escorted by the 5th Cavalry, and Buffalo Bill Cody was a scout.
1913 — Gerald R. Ford, the 38th president of the United States, was born in Omaha as Leslie King.
1804 — The Lewis and Clark expedition made its first camp in Nebraska near the Little Nemaha River in the southeast corner of the state.
1854 — The Bellevue Town Co. published the first edition of the Nebraska Palladium newspaper.
1986 — Two sleeping bags drying in the sun apparently overheated and caught fire, causing about $12,500 damage to a rural Kearney home.
1870 — Future Gov. Silas Garber claimed land in what is now the town of Red Cloud.
1982 — The Legislature established the Nebraska Department on Aging.
1934 — The state sheriff said a man was arrested on suspicion of murder in the mysterious, 3-year-old disappearance of a North Platte man believed to be a bootlegger.
1935 — An Omaha man filed for divorce from his wife, accusing her of driving him from their house by keeping too many cats and kittens.
1925 — The Sherman County Board demanded that a state game warden apologize to farmers for saying they wanted to shoot pheasants not to save their crops but for sport and “the pleasure of some delicious pheasant dinners.”
1804 — The Lewis and Clark expedition, heading north along the Missouri River, reached the Platte River.
1854 — The Omaha Township Claim Association, a group of early settlers, met at the Lone Tree ferry on the Missouri River to define claim laws.
1928 — The state Board of Equalization took testimony from officials of the Burlington and Union Pacific railroads, who complained that railroad property was assessed at a higher rate than farmland.
1930 — A roller coaster accident at Krug Park in Omaha killed four people and injured 17.
1985 — Actress Debra Winger was ticketed for speeding in Gov. Bob Kerrey’s leased Lincoln and for driving without a valid license.
1894 — Hot winds blew into Omaha from the south late at night, shriveling crops as the temperature reached 106 degrees the following day.
1870 — The Burlington and Missouri Railroad reached Lincoln.
1925 — William Jennings Bryan died in Dayton, Tennessee.
1804 — The Lewis and Clark expedition reached what is now Douglas County.
1877 — Custer County was organized, named for Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer, who was killed along with all his troops at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in Montana.
1858 — The Omaha Arrow, the city’s first newspaper, published its first edition.
1986 — Michael Ryan, leader of a survivalist cult at a farm near Rulo, pleaded no contest to second-degree murder in the death of a 5-year-old boy who lived at the farm.
1935 — The temperature in Omaha topped 100 degrees for the fourth straight day, and a sixth person’s death was blamed on the heat.
1934 — Gov. Charles Bryan refused to sign a huge telegram inviting President Franklin D. Roosevelt to attend the state fair at the same time the governor planned a dedication ceremony at the Capitol.
1934 — Streetcar workers in Omaha and Council Bluffs, Iowa, ended a five-day strike.
1942 — Construction began on the naval ammunition depot near Hastings.