150 years to be celebrated
From commemorative stamps to a performance by Hannah Huston, the Nebraska sesquicentennial celebration will include more than 20 events statewide to mark its 150th year of statehood.
“It’s going to be a very full day,” said Regan Anson, executive director for Celebrating Nebraska Statehood. “I don’t know that there’s one highlight because there are so many things to be excited about.”
And they will all be broadcast on NET’s TV channel and website throughout the celebration on March 1.
The day started with a dedication ceremony at the Capitol for the official 150 celebration stamp with the U.S. Postal Service.
Nebraska photographer Michael Forsberg chose the picture for the stamp, which features the iconic Sandhill cranes migration along the Platte River.
Re-enactors will portray Willa Cather, Buffalo Bill and Chief Standing Bear. Schools throughout the state will host plays and reenactments as well.
In the afternoon, Pony Express re-enactors will ride up on horseback and deliver a copy of the original proclamation of Nebraska statehood to Gov. Pete Ricketts on the west side of the Capitol.
The official sesquicentennial ceremony is at 2 p.m. CT Hannah Huston, a Nebraska singer who was on “The Voice,” will sing the National Anthem and Ricketts will deliver a speech. The Nebraska State Poet will read a poem.
Students in Nebraska schools will sing “Happy Birthday, Nebraska” at 2:20 p.m. CT, and those involved with the sesquicentennial planning are hoping to beat the record for most people to sing “Happy Birthday” to a state.
The Nebraska History Museum will unveil its “Painting the Legacy of Nebraska” exhibit. Artist Todd Williams created paintings depicting historic, geographic and figurative elements from each of the 93 counties in Nebraska.
Anson said that the sesquicentennial is a time to reflect on Nebraska past, present and future.
“In the past 150 years, Nebraska has gone from houses of sod to skyscrapers and from buggies to the modern car,” she said.
It also allows people to consider Nebraska’s future.
“It gives us a chance to look forward, to think about what we want for the next 150 years,” Anson said. “It helps us think about what we want for future generations of Nebraskans and how we get to that point.”