149 years ago today, March 1, 1867, President Andrew Johnson issued a proclamation declaring Nebraska a State, thus adding a 37th star to the United States flag.
It can be difficult to think of what life would have been like or looked like in 1867. The Civil War was over and the United States was experiencing the Reconstruction era. Traffic on the Oregon and California Trails was dwindling and plans to expand the railroad systems were well underway.
At this time in western Nebraska, Fort Mitchell was still standing just on the other side of Scotts Bluff from the current Legacy of the Plains Museum site. An illustration of the Fort appears as the header image in this blog post.
In the same year, the town of Sidney was platted by the Union Pacific and the U.S. Army established the Sidney Barracks (later known as Fort Sidney) to protect the railroad.
The Legacy of the Plains Museum archives can be a starting point in your journey to imagine what Nebraska looked like 149 years ago.
We look forward to next year, when events will be held statewide to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Nebraska’s statehood. Check back and see what special events the museum will add to the celebration!