The North Bend Eagle


 

State starts planning for 150th

Published 3/5/14

LINCOLN – On the eve of the 147th anniversary of Nebraska statehood on March 1, leaders of the committee responsible for organizing the 150th anniversary of statehood unveiled plans and the official seal for the event in a news conference in the capitol rotunda. The 150th anniversary of statehood will be known as the “Nebraska Sesquicentennial.”

Nebraska 150Leaders are committed to making this much more than just a statehood day celebration. Plans are being developed to utilize the opportunity to enhance historical education, economic development and the national image of the state.

The unveiling of the official seal was a centerpiece of the announcements relating to the event. The seal was developed over several months of strategic vision sessions of the planning committee and it will be used for all official events and documents throughout the sesquicentennial era. Key elements of the seal include an east to west vista of the Platte River, the namesake of our state and Chimney Rock, the icon of the historic trails west. Sandhill cranes in flight against a golden sunset reflect the purity of our air and natural resources while the scene is framed with a shaft of native grass.

Strategic development of the design of the seal centered on simplicity and the intended result to be historic as well as current and forward thinking. Scenes depicted in the seal could have occurred 150 years ago as well as today and 150 years into the future.

The seal will be used on all official documents of the event as well as on select merchandise that will be available during the celebration and commemoration in 2017. A silver commemorative medallion will also be developed from the seal and it will be made available to collectors and all citizens along with other specialized medallions that will feature tributes to the transcontinental railroad, Native Americans, agriculture and the state capitol.

Major events and projects will be undertaken during the sesquicentennial year to update and build interactive capability for Nebraska history and other educational elements as well as focus on economic development opportunities.

Economic initiatives will utilize the sense of urgency created by the 150th anniversary of statehood to build pride in the state, recruit past residents who may have a desire to return as well as new companies that may draw interest in locating in Nebraska.

Other key elements of the news conference included an overview of the new “Virtual Tour of the Capitol” project being undertaken by Nebraska Educational Television and First Lady Sally Ganem. The initiative was featured as an example of a “Legacy Project” that may be officially designated as such in the planning and implementation of the sesquicentennial in 2017.

A status report on the extensive renovation and enhancement plans for Centennial Mall was provided because it is expected the mall, named and originally built for the Nebraska Centennial in 1967, will be the centerpiece for major “Signature Events” during the sesquicentennial. Planning and implementation is underway to ensure everything is totally completed and landscaping on the mall has matured for the celebration and commemoration in 2017.

The conclusion of the news conference featured winners of the State Fair Education Competitions. More than 75 students from across the state were introduced and they unveiled plans to incorporate Nebraska history into their upcoming competitions in the years leading up to and including the 2017 Nebraska Sesquicentennial.

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