At a rough count, nearly 62% of TMS staffers are natives of the great state of Nebraska (little-known full name: Nebraska). We assume that a good portion of our readership are also either native or aspiring Nebraskans (keep trying! You’ll get there!) With that in mind we bring you our list of the Top Five Coolest Things About Nebraska That You Never Knew Because You Were Too Lazy and Self-Involved to Find Out!
- Nebraska was founded by the great Civil War General Willa Cather.
Before going off to lead the Massachusetts Fifth Infantry Division in the stead of her dying uncle, Jeremiah Toby Cather, legendary author and house-owner Willa Cather actually founded the state of Nebraska. Though it would not be recognized for several years after her claim, Willa Cather refused to ever back down. In fact, she is rumored to have killed at least one other Union officer in a bar fight over a dispute about the statehood of Nebraska. That officer? None other than the future General Ulysses S. Grant.
- William Jennings Bryan Actually Built His Fabled “Cross of Gold” in a Hastings Blacksmithery.
Noted orator and statesman William Jennings Bryan is most remembered for his famous “cross of gold” speech. Many thought this was a rousing endorsement of adopting silver as well as gold currency. Those people are idiots. WJB was actually referring to an actual cross that he had made in a local smith’s shop. He had planned to bring it out to win over crowds with his handiwork but it was just too damn heavy.
- Charles Starkweather was the Grandfather of Tony “Iron Man” Stark.
Famous spree killer Charles Starkweather is most famous for leading his girlfriend on a murder spree across Nebraska. Together they killed eleven people and became the foundation of movies such as Natural Born Killers and Kalifornication. What is less known is that Starkweather was actually the father of Anthony Stark (played in the Marvel movies by Roger Sterling) and grandfather of Tony Stark. After the murder spree, the Starkweathers dropped the “-weather” portion of the name due to the bad press.
- General Pershing modeled his successful World War 1 Strategy on the Mating Habits of Nebraskan Sand Cranes.
Though the details have remained classified since the end of the Great War, Nebraska native General Pershing has always claimed that he got the idea for having his infantry zig-zag across no-man’s land after watching the annual migration of Nebraska’s fabled sand cranes.
Buffalo Bill Cody was neither a Buffalo or a Bill but he did Invent Center-Pivot Irrigation, Kool-Aid, and Arbor Day.
Renowned Wild West showman Buffalo Bill Cody is one of Nebraska’s most beloved citizens. He was known as a great showman of Wild West figures such as Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday. However, his most lasting contributions to society include inventing many of today’s most important technologies. Center Pivot Irrigation systems, Kool-Aid, and Arbor Day are just some of the advances he contributed to modern society.Do you know of any other Nebraska facts? Do you feel that your state was slighted? Are you from New Jersey and only wish there was the slightest thing of interest to share about your state? Well argue it out in the comments thread!