A History of the 1899 Greater America Exposition in North Omaha

OMAHANS HAVE BEEN MISINFORMED!   We like history. We want to be proud of the past. Sometimes, in order to be proud, we intentionally forget, ignore, or otherwise let go of the parts of the past that we’re not proud of. For years, the people of Omaha have been told that all of the buildings […]

A History of Fort Omaha

 Nestled between the Miller Park neighborhood and Sorenson Parkway is a 150 year old institution that’s been a powerhouse, a prison, a balloon school and a neglected surplus, and many other things. This is a short history of Fort Omaha. A group of officers at Fort Omaha in 1918. My Story As a whole, Fort […]

A History of the Omaha Presbyterian Theological Seminary in North Omaha

The Presbyterians were one of the congregations that grew along with Omaha. Arriving soon after the city’s founders, the first Presbyterian church in Omaha was opened in 1856. Over the next 25 years, more than 100 Presbyterian churches were founded in towns and cities across Nebraska. Their buildings became institutions for the faithful, for their communities and for the culture of the state. However, educating enough pastors to lead these flocks was becoming a challenge.

Native Americans in North Omaha

Native Americans are not gone, and neither is their culture. This article is not intended to mythologize, romanticize, or historicize American Indians of any kind in any way. Instead, its a simple summary of what white people have found about the Native Americans who lived in the area we know today as North Omaha.

A History of Hospitals in North Omaha

Today, North Omaha is a medical desert. With more than 40,000 residents in its boundaries, there is a stark absence of medical service providers of all kinds. Making it worse, the community is greatly underinsured. That leaves people who have no insurance and no money needing to travel to other parts of the city to get care. However, that hasn’t always been the case. There have been more than ten hospitals in North Omaha throughout its 150+ year history.

A History of Theatres and Movie Theaters in North Omaha

While it has absolutely no active movie theaters today, the North Omaha community has been home to at least 20 (!) movie theaters over the last century. This is a short history of those theaters. Its really incomplete, as information has been hard for me to find.

A History of Social Clubs and Social Halls in North Omaha

North Omaha has been the home to many fraternal lodges, community societies, political and social organizations and other groups. It has also been home to a lot of private clubs, nightclubs, dance halls and ballrooms. This article highlights North Omaha social clubs and social halls, and gives them context. Remember that North Omaha has been […]

A History of the Citizens Civic Committee for Civil Liberties, or 4CL, in Omaha

“This town is sick… I’m not speaking of open sores, either — nothing as simple as the ghetto on the ‘Near North Side,’ where all but a handful of 30,000 Omaha Negroes live. No, our sickness is in the bloodstream — in our inner posture. We are an undemocratic city.” – Rev. James T. Stewart, […]

A Biography of North Omaha’s Ernie Chambers

North Omaha’s Ernie Chambers has been a enlightened, phenomenal and powerful political representative and social leader over the last 40 years. His politics are straight-forward, obvious and spot-on, every single time. He confronts white privilege constantly, challenges injustice regularly and demands respect for the people he serves as a politician. In 2010, Nebraska Educational Television […]

An Interesting History of Fort Omaha

This is an interesting history of Fort Omaha. Every school student in North Omaha is taught about the fort, that it existed and stuff happened there. But what they are taught and what the average Omahan knows pales in comparison to the actual history of the place. Here are five interesting facts about Fort Omaha. […]

A History of North Omaha’s Wirt Street

Hidden deep in the heart of North Omaha is a jewel of a street, filled with abundant American foursquare houses, long yards and hints of its glory 100 years ago. This section of wirt street, from north 16th to north 24th streets, was once home to some of the predominant names in the beautiful Kountze […]

A History of the Miller Park Neighborhood in North Omaha

The place where I grew up, Omaha’s Miller Park neighborhood, rushes through my imagination a lot. I want to see it acknowledged, appreciated and accentuated every day. This article is my acknowledgment of the past and contribution to the future.

A History of the 1919 Lynching and Riot in Omaha

Omaha has many histories that need to be told. Places, people and events that happened over the last 160 years have been forgotten, neglected or repressed, and that’s what I am most interested in. The story of Will Brown is one such story. It represents the ugly, hateful history of this city that has driven […]

A Street of Dreams

African American patrons of a drug store on N. 24th Street in the 1940s. As this blog tells repeatedly, the history of North Omaha is richer, deeper and more meaningful than anyone gives it credit for. In 1994, NET helped reveal some of this history through a powerful documentary called “A Street of Dreams.” From […]

A Time for Burning

One of the most powerful documentaries to ever be made in Omaha is called A Time For Burning. Nominated for an Academy Award for documentary filmmaking in 1966, the film highlights then-barber/future Nebraska legislator Ernie Chambers. A graduate of the Creighton University Law School, he was elected Senator to the Nebraska Legislature in 1970. By […]

Inconvenient but Truthful History

Some memories don’t want to be remembered. Growing up in North Omaha in the 1980s and 90s, they weren’t romantic times. My neighborhood around Miller Park Elementary School was in steady decline the entire time I lived there, and as far as I’ve seen and read, has been ever since. The City of Omaha has […]

A History of Carter Lake

Everything begins somewhere. For Omaha’s Carter Lake, it was as a fun-filled day in the water for all kinds of people. Following is the early history of the place. It includes a waterfront boardwalk, hotels, a resort, clubs and an amusement park.

A History of the Florence Water Works and Minne Lusa Station in North Omaha

The Florence Water Works was once home to one of the most magnificent buildings in the entire city of Omaha. Despite being obliterated in the 1950s, the water around it keeps wetting the whistle…

A Video History of the Dreamland Ballroom in North Omaha

Here is a video by Waymaker Media with a short history of the Dreamland Ballroom on North 24th Street in North Omaha. Make sure you like the video and leave comments on YouTube! You Might Also Like… A History of the 24th and Lake Historic District A History of the Carnation Ballroom in North Omaha […]

A History of Racism in Omaha

Omaha Public Schools are re-segregating today. Neighborhoods in Omaha are severely segregated. Throughout the city, black and brown people are routinely followed through stores, disproportionately pulled over by police and much, much more. Following, I detail research findings that show the areas of education, healthcare, economic development and policing demonstrate clear racial segregation throughout Omaha. Racism isn’t […]

A History of the Omaha Driving Park in North Omaha

A century ago, there was a race track tucked away in Omaha’s memory. Starting as a rugged race track for fast horses and wagon races, it become a proper driving park, the county and state fairgrounds, and home to several events at the 1898 Trans-Mississippi Expo. Between 1860 and 1905, there was on 35 acres […]

A History of North Omaha, Part 1

Almost a thousand years ago early American Indians roamed the thick woodlands the lined the Missouri River bottoms in East Omaha. There were fishing ponds and hideaways, both excellent for keeping the small western villages of the Woodlands culture that dotted the area. On the plateau above the river was a prairie that looked more […]

A History of North Omaha’s Prospect Hill Cemetery

There are places in Omaha where ghosts, legends and history come alive. With mysterious burial sites, whispy hauntings and grand memorial trees, the pioneer graveyard called Prospect Hill Cemetery may be the most haunted of all. Read on to learn more…