In our research, we learned about how African-American settlers came to
Nebraska. Even though African Americans have lived in parts of Nebraska
since the 1850s, but around 1904, a new wave of settlers arrived to
Nebraska. Black settlers wanted to be able to get land of their own, and
thanks to the Kinkaid Act, land in the “Sand Hills” area was available.
The Kinkaid Act of 1904, and the Homestead Act of 1862 before, allowed
black families to go into Nebraska in search for land. Settlers heard
Nebraska was a safe place for blacks to go, and it also had millions of
acres of free land. When settlers first arrived they struggled looking
for shelter. Since there was a lack of trees in Nebraska, sod houses
were used for shelter. If the weather was too hot or too cold, growing
crops became difficult. Settler life wasn't always pleasant. Many
settlers were poor and could not afford many extras in life. Mother
Nature was cruel in areas of Nebraska, starting wild prairie fires that
destroyed all in its path. The early black settlers didn't always have
it easy, and the following is a look into what life was like for these
forgotten members of our state’s history.
For more information click here, Early Settlers
Early Civil Rights
Native Americans had many struggles in their fight for human rights. This site focuses on their early struggle for justice.
For more information click here, Early Civil Rights
Mr. Washington was known as the "Godfather of North Omaha" because of his dedication to and advocacy for his neigborhood.
For more information click here, Charles B. Washington
Military Service, Civil War
During the years of the Civil War thousands of African Americans played a
crucial role in defending our freedoms. As the guns fell silent across
the nation these newly minted veterans saw new lives in the North.
Hundreds of veterans and their families established themselves in Omaha.
Among those who made Omaha home are three men: Edward Jones, Josiah
Waddle, July Miles. We learned about the roles they played in one of the
pivotal conflicts in our history.
For more information click here, Military Service: Civil War
Tuskegee Airmen were heroes in World War II. They were African American
fighter pilots of the 332nd fighter group. 450 Tuskegee Airmen served
in Europe during World War II, 68 of whom were killed or went missing in
action. The main purpose that they served was to escort the bombers
into Germany and back. White bomber pilots requested that the Tuskegee
Airman escort them because they had gained a reputation for not losing
bombers. The Tuskegee Airmen were trailblazers in integrating the
Military. They endured the hate of Jim Crow, inside and outside the
military, and inspired the start of the integration of the military by
order of President Truman in 1948. The Tuskegee Airmen served with
distinction, receiving 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses, a Legion of
Merit, a Red Star of Yugoslavia, 8 Purple Hearts, a Silver Star, 14
Bronze Stars, 744 Air Medals, and 3 Presidential Unit Citations. They
also earned a long delayed Medal of Honor in 2007. As you can see, the
Tuskegee Airmen deserve the respect of all Americans.
For more information click here, Tuskegee Airmen
Ms. Blumkin, a Russian Jewish immigrant, created Nebraska Furniture Mart and grew it into one of the largest furniture stores in the country!
For more information click here, Rose Blumkin
the American G.I. Forum web page! We are excited to show you the
conflict of Mexican Americans being discriminated against as well as the
many challenges they faced starting the American G.I. Forum. The
organization was started for veterans by veterans who were guided by Dr.
Hector P. Garcia. We do not want to spoil any further information so
click to read more about the American G.I. Forum.
For more information click here, G.I. Forum
Ms. Patach, the daughter of Czech immigrants, is a nurse, teacher, South Omaha advocate and environmentalist.
For more information click here, Dorothy Patach
Railroads are important to Omahas history. Railroads have brought many
immigrant groups to South Omaha which has added to the diversity of the
City of Omaha.
For more information click here, Railroads