115 Fun & Interesting Facts About Nebraska

Are you ready for an adventure through the heart of the United States? Let’s explore Nebraska, a state full of wide-open spaces, big skies, and interesting stories. Nebraska might not be the first place you think of for an adventure, but trust me, it’s got lots of secrets to share. So, let’s put on our explorer hats and discover some cool facts about Nebraska!

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Did you know Nebraska is known as the “Cornhusker State”? That’s because it grows a lot of corn! But it’s not just about corn; Nebraska has wide, beautiful farmlands where lots of different crops grow. This makes Nebraska super important for helping feed people all over the country.

Nebraska also has an amazing natural wonder called Chimney Rock. It’s a huge rock formation that looks like a giant chimney sticking out of the ground. Long ago, travelers moving west would use Chimney Rock as a landmark to guide their way. Imagine seeing that big rock and knowing you’re going in the right direction!

And here’s a fun fact about Nebraska: it has more miles of river than any other state. The Platte River flows right through it, creating beautiful landscapes and homes for lots of wildlife. So, if you like exploring rivers and watching animals, Nebraska is the place to be.

Are you excited to learn more facts about Nebraska? From its huge fields of corn to its interesting landmarks and rivers full of wildlife, Nebraska is a state with lots of surprises. Let’s keep our adventure going and uncover all the amazing things that make Nebraska a special place to learn about!

Be sure to discover even more interesting facts with our Facts about New Jersey and Facts about Nevada.

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Facts about Nebraska

  1. Nebraska is the only triply land-locked U.S. state, which means that to reach an ocean, gulf, or bay from Nebraska, one must travel through at least three states.
  2. A famous person from Nebraska is the author Willa Cather. She is from Red Cloud and used the town in her novel ‘My Antonia.’
  3. The Reuben sandwich is a Nebraska invention. Chef Bernard Schimmel invented this delicious sandwich for his customer, Reuben Kulakofsky at the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha. The Rueben sandwich is a combination of rye bread, corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing.
  4. The Nebraska Sandhills is a national monument. They stretch for an impressive 19,300 square miles, around twice the size of Vermont.
  5. Nebraska has badlands and sandhills in the west, Great Plains in the center, and low hills in the east. 92% of the state is farmland or ranchland, more than any state except Texas, Montana, or Kansas.
  6. Nebraska may be one of the least populated states, but many celebrities call the Cornhusker state home. Fred Astaire, Marlon Brando, Gerald Ford, and Nick Nolte are some of the state’s most famous residents. 
  7. The state of Nebraska is nowhere near an ocean. However, a lighthouse stands along the road in Ashland, Nebraska. The lighthouse was constructed over 75 years ago and graces a 40-acre lake nearby. 
  8. The Carhenge, a replica of the historic English Stonehenge, is located just north of Alliance, Nebraska, and is made up of 38 old automobiles arranged in the same proportions and shape as the original Stonehenge. 
  9. The largest city in Nebraska is Omaha. With a population of 486,000, it is the 39th largest in the U.S. Lincoln and Omaha are located in the state’s east, near the border with Idaho.
  10. The largest covered porch swing in the world is located in Hebron, Nebraska. It can fit 25 adults!
  11. Maize, first developed in Mesoamerica (southern Mexico and Central America), made its way to the Great Plains by 700 CE.
  12. In 1964, Interstate Highway 80 was completed from San Francisco, California across the country to Teaneck, New Jersey, crossing Nebraska. It followed the old Lincoln Highway, the first road across the USA.
  13. Nebraska state slogans have included “Where the West Begins” and “Honestly, it’s not for everyone.”
  14. The state’s name comes from the Otoe words “Ni Brasge“, meaning “flat water”. The name was inspired by the Platte River, which runs through Nebraska.
  15. The world’s largest stamp ball can be seen at the Leon Myers Stamp Center at Boys Town in Nebraska. The core of the stamp ball is believed either to be a pencil stub or a golf ball. The ball is made up of canceled stamps; and just after two years of sticking the canceled stamps together; in 1955, the ball grew 32 inches in diameter and weighed 600 pounds.
  16. Nebraska has the largest share of U.S. irrigated area with 8.3 million acres (14.9 percent). It is the largest producer of center pivots in the world. Nebraska has more than 100,000 registered irrigation wells and an additional 16,000 registered water wells.
  17. With a diameter of 7 inches, a hailstone that fell in Aurora, Nebraska, during a June 22, 2003 storm was one of the largest hailstones in U.S. history. It held the distinction of being the largest hailstone in the U.S. until July 23, 2010, when an 8-inch diameter hailstone fell near Vivian, S.D.
  18. The current Nebraska state flag has been official since 1963, though the design dates back to 1925. It shows the state seal in gold on a blue background.
  19. Panorama Point, situated in Kimball County in southwestern Nebraska, is the highest natural point in Nebraska. It has an elevation of around 5,424 feet. 
  20. One of the smallest police stations in the world is in Friend, Nebraska. Officers have used it for decades as the police HQ of Friend.
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  1. Nebraska Has a Museum of Haunted Objects called The Museum of Shadows. Nebraska is known to host more than 3000 haunted artifacts! The museum is voted as one of the most haunted museums. You can take self-guided tours, and experience weird occurrences yourself. 
  2. Nebraska state song is called “Beautiful Nebraska,” and it was originally written in 1960. Initially, the song was music only, without lyrics. The words to the song were added in 1967 shortly before it was designated the official song of the state. Today, you can hear different renditions of the song at state events.
  3. Frank Zybach, a Nebraska farmer, invented the center-pivot irrigation system in 1940. His invention changed and improved farming production, especially in semi-arid regions.
  4. The largest weight room in the U.S. can be found in the West Stadium Strength Complex at the University of Nebraska. It stretches just over three-quarters of an acre.
  5. At the age of 15, Evelyn Sharp became the youngest female pilot in the United States. She made her living as an aerial stunt performer. “Sharpie” made her first solo flight at age 15, and got her private pilot’s license on her 17th birthday, and a year later had a commercial transport pilot’s license.
  6. Nebraska has no national parks, but the state is home to 9 state parks, protecting 0.3% of the state’s land.
  7. Nebraska has two time zones. Most of the state is on Central Time, but the Panhandle area follows Mountain Time.
  8. In 1822, the first town in Nebraska, Bellevue, was established.
  9. In the last ice age, part of the state was covered with huge glaciers. 
  10. The Baker family has produced the delicious chocolate “meltaway” for over three generations. Baker’s Candies originates in Greenwood, Nebraska.
  11. The University of Nebraska State Museum is home to “Archie”, the world’s largest Mammoth skeleton on exhibit. It was discovered in 1922 on a farm in Lincoln County.
  12. The states that border Nebraska are South Dakota to the north, Iowa to the east, Missouri to the southeast, Kansas to the south, Colorado to the southwest, and Wyoming to the west.
  13. Nebraska is home to “Runza,” a fast food chain that dishes out hot stuffed pastries that are beloved by Nebraskans and almost exclusively found in the state.
  14. In 1927, the ever-popular juice drink Kool-Aid was invented by Edwin Perkins in Hastings, Nebraska. Perkins transformed his soft drink syrup “Fruit Smack” into the famous Kool-Aid powder, making for an easier shipping process. 
  15. The Elephant Hall at the University of Nebraska State Museum features the largest mammoth fossil on display anywhere in the world. The fossils were discovered in Lincoln County in 1922 and have been identified as the remains of a Columbian mammoth. 
  16. The Pawnee, Ponca, Sauk, Cheyenne, Omaha, Dakota Sioux, and Lakota indigenous tribes traditionally lived in the area. Today, only 0.8% of the state’s population is indigenous.
  17. The first company to sell frozen TV dinners on a nationwide scale was Omaha-based Swanson.
  18. Robert Cavelier, a French explorer, claimed the land for France in 1682.
  19. In the 1930s, the Great Depression resulted in small farms being abandoned, mills and factories closing down, and families moving away to cities.
  20. In 1803, the U.S. purchased Nebraska as part of the Louisiana Purchase from France.
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  1. In 1865, Omaha was the starting point of the first railroad line to the Pacific Coast. The line was completed in 1869.
  2. The famous explorers Lewis and Clark traveled through Nebraska in 1804, while on their way to the West.
  3. The eight-mile Bailey Yard in North Platte, Nebraska, is the largest railroad classification in the world. As many as 14000 train cars pass through it every day.
  4. The name Nebraska comes from an Oto (also spelled Otoe) Indian word meaning “flat water.”
  5. The first ski lift ever made was built in 1936 by the Union Pacific. That was when the Sun Valley Resort was opened, and the first chair lifts started operating.
  6. In the late 1800s after the Civil War, the population of Nebraska boomed, with settlers arriving from the Eastern U.S. and Europe and establishing farms.
  7. In 2006, Nebraska sold $30 million worth of food to Cuba.
  8. In the final years of the dinosaurs, most of Nebraska was covered with an inland sea. The sea was home to mosasaurs, ichthyosaurs, and plesiosaurs. Their fossils are sometimes found in Nebraska today.
  9. Nebraska’s Legislature is the only one in the U.S. that is unicameral, which means there is only one house, and members are elected without party affiliation.
  10. Part of the historic Oregon Trail runs through Nebraska. Visitors can hike about half a mile on the actual trail.
  11. Nebraska has a population of 1.96 million. This makes it the 14th least populous state in the US, between Idaho and New Mexico in terms of population.
  12. The Nebraska Cornhuskers’ football stadium is capable of holding more than 90,000 people. On game day, the stadium becomes the 3rd most populated place in the state!
  13. Nebraska is where “Arbor Day” first began. In 1872, Julius Sterling Morton proposed the holiday to plant trees on April 10 of that year and to award prizes to the counties and individuals who planted the most trees on that day. Roughly one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day.
  14. The total area of Nebraska is 77,358 mi² (200,356 km²), making it the 16th largest state. It is between Kansas and South Dakota in terms of size.
  15. Author Willa Cather lived in the small Nebraska town of Red Cloud, which inspired towns in several of her novels, including Black Hawk in My Ántonia.
  16. In 1714, Etienne Veniard de Bourgmont reached the Platte River and named it Nebraskier River, the first use of this name.
  17. Nebraska’s worst mass shooting occurred at a mall in Omaha in 2007; the gunman injured five and killed nine.
  18. In 2022, by the measure of refugee arrivals per 100,000 people in a state, over a 10-year period, Nebraska topped the list, followed by North Dakota, Idaho, Kentucky and South Dakota.
  19. Nebraska native Steven Henson is the one to thank for creating ranch dressing. It is one of the most popular dressings outside of the state these days.
  20. The National Forest in Nebraska is America’s biggest hand-planted forest, which covers 141,159 acres (57,125 hectares) of land. 
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  1. The Cowboy Trail, when completed, will be the longest “rail to trail” line in the United States, and one of the longest in the world, at 321 mi (517 km). It follows the old Cowboy Railway Line.
  2. The Nebraska Sandhills are a unique part of the state’s geography. They’re sand dunes that have become so stable that prairie grasses grow on them.
  3. The second-fastest land mammal, the pronghorn, is a type of antelope, it is considered to be the fastest as their speed is around 60 miles per hour or 96.5 kilometers per hour.
  4. Frozen TV dinners were first invented in Nebraska in 1952 by the Swedish immigrant Swanson. The frozen food in an aluminum container became an instant success.
  5. The world’s largest stamp ball can be seen at the Leon Myers Stamp Center at Boys Town in Nebraska.
  6. According to the Nebraska Legislature, a person with a venereal disease (STD or STI) cannot get married in Nebraska. 
  7. The University of Nebraska has an impressive collection of educational and historic materials, making it a prominent place for higher education. The science departments have an impressive collection of crystal, fossil, and meteorite samples. 
  8. Hebron in Nebraska is home to the largest porch swing under a roof. It was built in 1985 and can hold about 24 adults at the same time.
  9. The 911 emergency number was first used in Haleyville, Alabama, on February 16, 1968. Nebraska adopted and introduced the number as an emergency number in the 1980s.
  10. Until 1945, Nebraska was known as the “Tree Planter’s State.”
  11. Kinkaiders Brewing Company in Broken Bow, Nebraska uses local pumpkins, corn, hops, and even jalapeños to make its beers.
  12. Chimney Rock is a nearly 300-foot natural rock formation in the western part of Nebraska. Due to its distinct size and shape, it became a landmark that helped guide settlers on their way west.
  13. The largest licorice importer and retailer in America is in Lincoln, Nebraska. Licorice International has become a popular destination since it opened in 2005.
  14. Nebraska has a theatre named Alliance Theatre located in the small town of Alliance. The theatre was converted from a hotel in 1938.  
  15. Nebraska’s state tree was chosen for its connection to the first pioneers in the state. The cottonwood has been the state tree since 1972, having replaced the American elm.
  16. Nebraska is one of the dozen states in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is on the western side of the region.
  17. In Omaha, Nebraska you can find a six-foot-tall statue of the famous Chef Boyardee. Yes, the friendly face who graces the cans of Spaghetti-Os. 
  18. The Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska, houses the largest indoor rainforest in the United States. 
  19. The weather in Nebraska is a typical Midwestern climate with four seasons, including very hot summers and very cold winters.
  20. In the 1980s, many farms in Nebraska closed as a part of a nationwide farm crisis.
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  1. The National Museum of Roller Skating in Lincoln, Nebraska, holds the world’s largest collection of historical roller skates dating from 1819.
  2. The state is home to the world’s largest porch swing at City Park in Hebron. Originally built in 1985, the swing measures 32 feet and can accommodate around 16 adults or 24 children. Today, Hebron is also titled as “Nebraska’s Porch Swing Capital”.
  3. The nation’s smallest city hall is in Maskell, Nebraska, being home to about 70 residents since 1930s.
  4. The 38th U.S. President, Gerald Ford, was born on July 14, 1913, in Omaha, Nebraska. He was born to Dorothy Ayer Gardner and Leslie Lynch King, Sr.
  5. Scotts Bluff National Monument helped guide travelers. Settlers and Native Americans alike used the tall bluffs to guide them.
  6. Marlon Brando, Jr. was among the most influential and famous actors of the latter part of the 20th Century. 
  7. On May 30, 1854, Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The newly created Nebraska Territory was larger than Nebraska State is today.  
  8. The lowest temperature Nebraska ever recorded was on December 22, 1989, in Oshkosh- it was -47°F. The all-time highest temperature was recorded on July 15, 1934, in Geneva- with a temperature of 118°F.
  9. The capital city of Nebraska is Lincoln, which is also the county seat of Lancaster County. Lincoln has a population of 298,000 which makes it Nebraska’s second most populous city, and the 72nd in the country.
  10. The University of Nebraska in Lincoln is home to the largest weight room in the United States. In fact, it covers a whopping 3/4 of an acre meaning there’s plenty of space for the entire football team to get a proper workout.
  11. Nebraska was fought over by the French, Spanish, and British.
  12. The founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, is originally from Nebraska. The writer and director of BattleField Earth was born in Tilden, Nebraska, on March 13, 1911.
  13. Millions of birds migrate along the Platte River. Every year, as the weather starts to get warm, millions of birds stop in the area. Ducks, geese, and cranes are among the most numerous of the birds that stop here.
  14. Nebraska is a landlocked state with no coastlines. Yet, you’ll find a lighthouse, Lake Minatare Lighthouse, in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, near a 2,158-acre lake. The lighthouse is 55 feet tall and was constructed in 1939. Previously, it served as both an observation tower and shelter house during the Great Depression.
  15. Nebraska is known as the “Cornhusker State”.
  16. In Omaha, there is strict legislation that even extends to the entire state of Nebraska, which proscribes anyone tested positive for gonorrhea from marrying. This requires tests being carried to establish the condition of both marrying parties before they are married.
  17. The Biggest Mammoth Skeleton is called Archie, it is over 15 feet tall and is on display at the University of Nebraska Museum. Not only is he displayed there, but he was also found in the state as well.
  18. The Nebraska state motto sets itself apart from the mottos of many other states. That’s because it’s in English, not Latin, French, or Spanish. You’ll see “Equality Before the Law” in all the state’s seals and official documents.
  19. During WWII, it wasn’t only Pearl Harbor that was hit. A Japanese balloon bomb exploded in the sky over Omaha on April 18, 1945. The bomb didn’t do much damage, so the hit was kept hush-hush until after the end of the war.
  20. In the 1920s, Edwin Perkins invented Kool-Aid in Hastings, Nebraska. Edwin’s goal was to create a drink concentrate in powder form that’s juice-flavored in order to reduce shipping costs.
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  1. The Cornhuskers’ stadium has a seating capacity of over 90,000. When games are played in it, it becomes one of Nebraska’s most populated places, trailing only Lincoln (268,000) and Omaha (434,000).
  2. Lincoln City has a memorial statue of Abraham Lincoln on NE 22nd Street. The statue is an honor to the famed president and a uniting symbol for the seven communities of the Oregon coast that united in 1964 forming the incredible city.
  3. Every year, thousands of people send Valentine’s Cards to Valentine, Nebraska. The post office there stamps them with its town name and forwards them to the recipient.
  4. NE is the abbreviation for Nebraska.
  5. In 1762, after France lost the Seven Years’ War to England, it ceded all the land west of the Mississippi to Spain, including Nebraska. It became part of New Spain, which was based in Mexico.
  6. Nebraska’s state fossil is the mammoth. Mammoths lived in the state from 2 million to 10,000 years ago.
  7. In the late 1800s, a law created in Lehigh, Nebraska forbid merchants from selling donut holes. One lawmaker claimed donut holes were a waste and believed that by selling the middle of the donut bakers were trying to make an undue profit. Thankfully, the law was repealed in the late 1990s, but these tasty round treats are still hard to come by in the town of Lehigh. 
  8. The name “Nebraska” originated with the Otoe Indians. The word “Nebraska” means “flat water” and refers to the Platte River that flows throughout the state.
  9. The Lied Jungle at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha is the world’s largest indoor forest. It covers eight stories and 1.5 acres.
  10. Omaha, Nebraska, is home to one of the most famous billionaires in the world, Warren Buffett. Buffett, also known as the “Wizard of Omaha” or “Oracle of Omaha,” still lives humbly in the city in his lifelong home. 
  11. The Nebraska State Capital in Lincoln is the second tallest in the U.S., at 400 ft (120 m). Only the State Capital in Louisiana is taller.
  12. From the 1840s to 1860s, pioneer caravans crossed Nebraska on the Oregon Trail and other historical trails.
  13. On April 10th, 1872, more than a million trees were planted in Nebraska.
  14. The Missouri River is the longest in the United States and runs through seven different states. Nebraska is the last stop along its route before it gets to Missouri.
  15. The Nebraska Sandhills are located in western Nebraska and cover an area of 51,000 square kilometers. 

Do you have even more interesting facts about Nebraska? Share them with us in the comments! 

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