Nebraska Moments


Nebraska Moments

New Edition

Donald R. Hickey, Susan A. Wunder, and John R. Wunder

428 pages
79 photos, 5 maps, index


December 2007


$25.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

December 2007


$25.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Nebraska author Mari Sandoz remarked that most people see Nebraska as “that long flat state that sets between me and any place I want to go.” If so, they’re missing plenty, as this entertaining volume makes abundantly clear. Susan A. Wunder and John R. Wunder’s new, expanded, and updated edition of Donald R. Hickey’s classic account of defining Nebraska moments showcases triumph, tragedy, comedy, and accomplishments that could have happened nowhere else and that reveal the rich culture and history under the state’s deceptively quiet surface.
There are moments that shine—surviving the Oregon and Mormon trails; completing the Union Pacific Railroad; and winning national football championships, Nobel and Pulitzer prizes, and presidential nominations. There are also moments of darkness such as the murders of Crazy Horse, Malcolm X, and Brandon Teena; the lynchings of Will Brown and Juan Gonzalez; and the Blizzard of 1888. Together they evoke a dramatic history populated with the likes of Pedro Villasur, Willa Cather, and William Jennings Bryan. This new edition also mines Nebraska’s most recent history, adding to the ever-changing, ever-intriguing picture of this Great Plains state.

Author Bio

Donald R. Hickey is a professor of history at Wayne State College. Susan A. Wunder is an associate professor of education at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. John R. Wunder is a professor of history and journalism at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


“Each chapter in Nebraska Moments opens with a facet of the state's past and gracefully broadens the horizon to reveal the timeless implications of the initial story. Here are the sagas of people of all backgrounds who over nearly three centuries have made Nebraska's history. Every state ought to have such a book!”—Harl A. Dalstrom, coauthor of Upstream Metropolis: An Urban Biography of Omaha and Council Bluffs

“Reading Nebraska Moments gives one an accurate perception that the state has—and continues to reflect—a very diverse past, present, and future.”—Miguel A. Carranza, professor of sociology and ethnic studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

“This new edition of Nebraska Moments offers hours of reading pleasure about Nebraska’s rich and often quirky history. From ill-conceived military campaigns to English-language-only responses to immigrants to savvy political women, the Wunders remind us that today's newspaper headlines have their origins in our past.”—Jane Renner Hood, executive director, Nebraska Humanities Council

"This is a fun way to soak up local history."—Carol Bicak, Omaha World-Herald

Table of Contents



 1         The Villasur Expedition

 2         Old Bellevue

 3         The Oregon Trail

 4         The Kansas-Nebraska Act

 5         The Pony Express

 6         Daniel Freeman and Homesteading

 7         Nebraska statehood and the First Governor

 8         The Fight for the Capital

 9         Red Cloud and the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868

10        The Union Pacific Railroad

11        The Murder of Crazy Horse at Fort Robinson

12        The Trial of Standing Bear

13        Buffalo Bill Cody and the Wild West Show

14        The Great Nebraska Migration

15        J. Sterling Morton and Arbor Day

16        The Blizzard of ‘88

17        William Jennings Bryan and Agrarian Protest

18        The Rise of Omaha

19        Charles E. Bessey and the Nebraska National Forest

20        General John J. Pershing and World War I

21        Fr. Edward Flanagan, the Abbott Sisters, and Nebraska’s Children

22        The Influenza Epidemic of 1918 and Nebraska’s Doctors

23        Meyer v. Nebraska (1923)

24        Willa Cather and her Pulitzer Prize

25        The Nebraska State Capitol, Great Plains Icon

26        Nebraska’s Would-be Vice Presidents

27        The Pound Family

28        Nebraska’s Literary Renaissance

29        George W. Norris and the Unicameral

30        The Nebraska Home Front and World War II

31        Nebraska’s Visual Feast

32        Nebraska’s Scientists

33        Offutt Air Force Base

34        The Ogallala Aquifer

35        Leaders in the Making: Omaha’s Gerald Ford and Malcolm X

36        Becoming Madame Governor

37        The University of Nebraska Football Champions

38        The Murder of Brandon Teena

39        The Kearney Arch

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