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A WINDY TRIP TO THE STATE CAPITOL OF LINCOLN, NEBRASKA

Corn, corn, corn

sunny 78 °F

(Sunday) The winds of the Great Plains blow every day and today was no exception. Unfortunately, there were crosswinds which made driving the MH a challenge for I fought the steering wheel the whole way to Lincoln. Upon arrival I found a nice campground, got settled in and caught the news pertaining to Hurricane Irma which was bearing down on our community in FL. I went to bed not knowing what the morning would bring.

(Monday) Of course, the first order of business was to turn on the news. With the general description of what had occurred I then began calling neighbors who 'stayed put' during the storm. Fortunately, for us, damage was minimal with only torn pool cage screening affected. The flooding which occurred did not reach our homes, a relief to us all. My next door neighbors went into my house to look for water or roof leaks and found nothing. The electricity came on about 2 hrs. later so our concern of mold forming was aleviated since the a/c was working. They told about going for a walk through the neighborhood to access damages. The water in the street was up to their knees and they saw fish swimming in the street water. Fortunately, they saw no snakes or alligators on their walk. It will take some time for the water to receed and for things to be cleaned up. My plans are to keep my travel plans in place and arrive back in FL sometime in early Nov.

All that being settled, I left for the State Capitol for a tour. The Indiana limestone building (a popular building material for capitol buildings) rises 200' in the air and is one of four capitol buildings that are towers. The 3 others; ND,LA,& FL. Most are domed buildings. This, however, has a small-ish gold dome atop the tower with a Sower (of grain) statue standing 19' tall and weighing 9+ tons fixed on top. The 3rd capitol building to be constructed in NE, like many other states, the first or second were not built for the ages due to financial conditions of the time. Nebraska's Capitol building is so symbolic of its people. Conservative farmers who struggled to establish homesteads and ranches approached the building of their Capitol building with a Pay-As-You-Go strategy. It was constructed in ten years, from 1922-1932 and carried no debt upon completion.
Nebraska became the 37th State in 1867 following the Civil War. Union cavalry troops were assigned to the various prairie forts established by the US government to deter the Indian threat, hence the Indian Wars during that period ending in 1890. In a previous blog I mentioned the soldiers protecting the wagon trains and Pony Express mail riders as the homesteaders traveled west to stake their claims on the free land offered by the government in 1863.
Back to the Capitol-- A New York architectural firm won the competitive bid for construction plans. The Capitol commission directed the firm to design a building for efficiency, to house all state employees ( the tower with multiple floors for offices) and to reflect the conservative values of its citizens. Agriculture, the Pioneer Spirit, and the Native American roots are the themes in the building. Bas-relief sculptures adorn the exterior with these artistic carvings on all sides.
The interior is less than spectacular compared to most other Capitol buildings. A reflection of the conservatism of the times, it uses quarry tile to cover the walls and ceilings. Painted themed murals are used on the walls with mosaics as highlites on arches and in the marble flooring. The floors in the main corridors and under the rotunda have different themes depicting the ancient land of Nebraska. Once a shallow sea, fossil creatures of that period are displayed on one. Another has the mammoths of a later time (in NE the world's largest elephant fossil was found), another the agriculture theme with crops, cattle, and hogs are depicted. The rotunda dome is one of two. The main is 200+ ft. above the floor, the second rises 150' from a floor above and is referred to as the "Memorial Chamber'. It's 8 wall murals display different themes; the Scourge of Poverty, the Ideal of Universal Peace, the Scourge of Plague, the Ideal of Self-Determination, the Scourge of Famine, the Ideal of International Law, and the Perils of Fire, all tell the story of Nebraska and its people. An elevator takes one up to the 14th floor's Observation deck for a 360* view of the landscape. They claim that on a clear day one can see 35 miles across the prairie.
Nebraska is the only state with a Unicameral legislature. That is to say, there is but one legislative body who decides all bills presented to the Governor. Debated and decided that it would be a cost-saving measure it was enacted in 1937. Prior to that they had the traditional two house legislature. It meets for 2 months every other year and for 3 months on the odd year to vote on a budget. All are paid $12,000./yr.
The state of Nebraska is one of the nation's chief beef producers, and ranks high in corn, alfalfa, wheat, hay, sugar beets, and hogs. There are 25 ethanol producing plants within the state.
People of Germanic origin emigrated to Nebraska, German, Polish, Lithuanian, Russian and eastern Europeans.
Notable citizens' bronze sculptures are displayed along the Hall of Fame corridor. Among those are; William Jennings Bryan, Gen. John J. Pershing, William 'Buffalo Bill' Cody, Boys Town founder Rev. Edward Flannagan. and others. Not sculpted but famous NE citizens are; Henry Fonda, Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett, Marlon Brando, Fred Astair, Dick Cheney, Malcolm X, Gayle Sayers, 'Larry the Cable Guy' Dan Whitney. Notable Native American tribal chiefs from NE were; Red Cloud, Sitting Bull, Standing Bear, and Crazy Horse. Kool-Aid, concocted in NE is the state soft drink.

I could go on and on but am running out of space.

Posted by dixter 09:43 Archived in USA Tagged of city lincoln capitol ne

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