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NSHS Volunteer News

January/February 2002

 Volunteer Spotlight on Don Hogg

Don Hogg
Don began volunteering at NSHS in November of 1993. The Society has been lucky to have Don's expertise and assistance as a docent at the Museum of Nebraska History and the Kennard House. He also assists as a videographer during the monthly Brown Bag lectures, and has served us during the State Fair. Most recently Don has recruited members of the Lincoln Camera Club to assist the Library/Archives division with cleaning and cataloging 1,800 glass plate negatives from Palisade (Hitchcock County), Nebraska.

Don considers himself a true Nebraskan. He was born in Valentine and grew up in Scottsbluff. He and his wife, Gen, have lived in Lincoln since 1949, moving away twice and returning again to Lincoln. Prior to volunteering at the Society, Don was a health and welfare professional administering the state's crippled children's services and Medicaid programs.

According to Don, his favorite tour as a docent at the Museum of Nebraska History is the First Nebraskans exhibit. The exhibit includes his great uncle John Anderson's photographs featuring the Rosebud Reservation. Don's parents worked at his uncle's post near the reservation.

One of the reasons Don likes his volunteer work at the Society is that "I enjoy people, and volunteering allows me to share my interests, as well as a chance to share and imprint peoples lives with the resources that I hold valuable." Don believes volunteering "is an ideal way to spend retirement years. It allows you to contribute to Society things that are held to be valuable." When he isn't volunteering at NSHS he volunteers for the Pioneer's Park Nature Center, Arts Are Basic at UN-L, and Disaster Action of the American Red Cross. His other interest is photography.

Society staff value Don as a volunteer "because of his willingness to work on any project, and he is very personable," - which is evident in the variety of tasks he performs for the Society. "Whether it is a child or adult, Don is able to share his experiences and knowledge in a very meaningful way."

Winter Film Series Returns
Breaking New Ground: The Settlement of the American West in Film

The Society's 2002 film series is intended as a companion piece to the new permanent exhibit, Building the State, which opens March 1. The films were selected to reflect themes and events found in the exhibit, which covers the state's development and growth from 1867 to 1914. All films will be shown at the Museum of Nebraska History, Fifteenth and P Sts., at 2:00 PM. There is no charge for admission. Limited seating is available.

January 20 The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
This Orson Welles masterpiece bemoans the passing of a graceful way of life for the progress of the early twentieth century.

January 27 Red River (1948)
Omaha native Montgomery Clift stars with John Wayne as battling son and father driving their cattle along the Chisholm Trail.

February 3 The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
The passing of the frontier and frontier ideals is the theme of this classic John Ford western starring John Wayne and James Stewart.

February 10 O Pioneers! (1992)
Jessica Lange stars in this adaptation of Willa Cather's novel.

February 17 Heartland (1979)
Based on a journal kept by a Denver widow, this film follows her experiences as she takes a job as a housekeeper on the Wyoming frontier of 1910.

February 24 In the White Man's Image (1991)
The Carlisle School for Indian Students and its "civilizing" mission is recalled in this documentary.

March 3 Buffalo Bill and the Indians or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976)
A unique view of Buffalo Bill and celebrity is presented in this Robert Altman film.

March 10 Hester Street (1975).
The Americanization of Jewish emigrants on New York's Lower East Side is dramatized in Joan Micklin Silver's directorial debut.

Major underwriting for this series is being provided by the Douglas Theatre Company. Additional support is provided by the Audio-Visual Center of Lincoln.

Fort Robinson History Conference Set for April 2002

The Fourth Fort Robinson History Conference will be held April 25-27 at Fort Robinson State Park near Crawford. It is co-sponsored by the Society and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, with financial support from Ron and Judy Parks of Papillion and the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation. The theme for the 2002 conference is "Indian Wars Leaders and Leadership."

To be placed on a list to receive a conference registration form when available, contact Lana Hatcher at 402-471-3272; write FRHC, Nebraska State Historical Society, P.O. Box 82554, Lincoln, NE 68501-2554; or e-mail:

The USS Nebraska

The conservation of the USS Nebraska silver service was the subject of Deborah Long's December 20 Brown Bag lecture. The story of the ship itself is also intriguing. During a relatively brief period, the heavily armed and armored battleship was the ultimate weapon of war until the advent of air power rendered it obsolete. The USS Nebraska came along just as the country's battleship-building program was gearing up after the Spanish American War to provide a navy worthy of a new world power.

The USS Nebraska was built by the Moran Brothers shipyard in Seattle, Washington, between 1901 and 1906, at a cost of nearly $7 million, and commissioned July 1, 1907. It was one of five "Virginia" class battleships, mounting twelve-inch guns in the main battery and displacing 14,865 tons. Governor George L. Sheldon presented the silver service to the crew in May 1908.

The USS Nebraska never fired a shot in anger. By the time of World War I it was largely obsolescent and served as a training ship and escorted convoys. After the war the battleship transported more than 4,500 American soldiers back to the United States. The USS Nebraska was decommissioned in 1923 and broken up for scrap in 1924. Only the silver service, which came back to Nebraska, and a few objects in museums provide tangible links to the USS Nebraska. Its story, however, lives on in two illustrated articles in the fall 1988 issue of Nebraska History: "The USS Nebraska," by James A. Hanson; and "The Silver Service for the USS Nebraska," by Gail DeBuse Potter. Copies of the issue are still available by contacting the Museum Store-Jim Potter

Volunteer Program Focuses on GIS

Join us on Wednesday, January 9, for a demonstration of the Geographic Information System (GIS), a computer-based method of exploring and managing spatial data for archeology. John Swigart of the NSHS archeology division will present the program.

A GIS combines multiple map layers to view and analyze the relationships between geographic features. Using GIS, a layer of all known archeological site locations in Nebraska has been created, as well as a layer of all areas that have been investigated (surveyed) for the presence of sites. These site and survey data layers are incorporated with map layers of other geographic features, such as roads and water.

An agreement with the Nebraska Department of Roads authorizes the NSHS Archeology Division to inspect all roads projects prior to construction. When division staff receive construction plans, they use GIS to "zoom in" on the project area and immediately see what known archeological sites may be affected by construction. The graphic depictions of site locations are linked to tabular information that can be viewed and queried by the user. For instance, by pointing and clicking within a site's boundary, one can see if the site was an ancient campsite with stone tools or an 1800s trading post.

The program will begin with a coffee at 10:00 A.M., with the program to follow at 10:30 in the Gilmore Room at the Museum of Nebraska History, Fifteenth and P Streets.

We welcome all volunteers to the program. Please contact Deb McWilliams at 471-4955 regarding your attendance.

Upcoming program dates for your calendar include: March 13, May 8, July 10, September 11, and November 13.

Appreciation to NSHS Board of Trustees

The Society is governed by a fifteen-member board of trustees; twelve elected by the members of the Society (three from each congressional district), and three appointed by the governor.

The Board of Trustees assists in setting policies, provides guidance in strategic planning, and offers overall support to the director, staff, Society members, and volunteers. If you happen to know any of the board members, be sure to tell them how much you appreciate the time and effort they give as trustees. They include:

Margaret Allington, Lincoln
Keith Blackledge, North Platte
Dr. Peter Bleed, Lincoln
Dr. Sara Crook, Peru
James Denney, Omaha
Joyce Hillman, Gering
Dr. Herb Grandbois, Omaha
Patrick Kennedy, Omaha
Dr. Dick Loosbrock, Chadron
Dr. Martin Massengale, Lincoln
Jim McKee, Lincoln
Pat Phillips, Omaha
Jack Preston, Lyman
Jeffrey Spencer, Omaha
Sally Stauffer Vifquain, Kearney

Our thanks to Janyce Falcon Hunt of Blair and Helen Stauffer of Kearney, who recently fulfilled terms on the board. THANKS!

Plattsmouth Newspaper Indexing Project

In 2000, the NSHS Library/Archives Division turned over to NEGenWeb, a database of more than 150,000 entries from indexing Nebraska newspapers (see This database was the result of a project that developed in the 1980s. As part of a much earlier phase of this project volunteers were given old original Nebraska newspapers that they could index in their own homes. (The newspapers had been microfilmed by the historical society.) Recently a former volunteer from this project returned to the Society some original newspapers that she was unable to index. These are now available for indexing by another volunteer:

Plattsmouth Evening News, March and April 1899, 1901
Plattsmouth Journal, 1903, 1908, miscellaneous issues from 1905 and 1907
Plattsmouth Daily Herald, January-July 1892

The indexing will be added to the database already available at the above site. If you are interested in this project contact Deb McWilliams at 471-4955.

Brown Bag Lectures

Please join us for the Society's free Brown Bag lecture series at the Museum of Nebraska History, Fifteenth and P Streets, Lincoln. The lectures begin at noon - so bring your lunch!

The 2002 dates are: January 17, February 21, March 21, April 18, May 16, June 20, July 18, August 15, September 19, October 17, November 21, and December 19.

Lincoln Westerners

The Lincoln Corral of Westerners invites you to become a member and attend their programs. Westerners International was founded in Chicago in 1944. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in the history of the American West.

The Lincoln Westerners meet monthly at the Holiday Inn, Ninth and P streets, Lincoln, beginning with a social period at 6:30 P.M., dinner at 7:00, followed by a program at 8:00.

Upcoming programs include:

January 17, Ed Zimmer and Matt Hansen, "A Post Card Tour of Lincoln"

February 14 , Cindy Drake, "The History of Nebraska's License Plates"

For further information about the Lincoln Corral of Westerners and reservations (required), call Margaret Allington at 488-5698.

New Volunteers

John E. Hunter, library/archives

Shirlie Hutcherson, museum

Lauren Owens, museum

Meagan Smejair, administration

Nancy Larimer, administration

Kara Maize, administration

Calendar of Events

January 9: Volunteer Program
10:00- coffee; 10:30-program, Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

January 17: Brown Bag Lecture
12:00, Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

January 17: Lincoln Westerners
6:30 p.m., Holiday Inn, Ninth and P streets, Lincoln, Nebraska

January 20: Film Series
2:00, Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

January 27: Film Series
2:00, Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

February 14: Lincoln Westerners
6:30 p.m., Holiday Inn, Ninth and P streets, Lincoln, Nebraska

February 21: Brown Bag Lecture
12:00, Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

February 3: Film Series
2:00, Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

February 10: Film Series
2:00, Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

February 17: Film Series
2:00, Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

February 24: Film Series
2:00, Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

Membership Makes A Great Gift

Looking for that special holiday gift that keeps on giving all year long? How about a membership in the Nebraska State Historical Society? Recipients of the gift will receive Nebraska History, a quarterly magazine devoted to the story of Nebraska's past; bimonthly newsletters; information about upcoming events; and discounts on publications and items purchased at Society museum stores.

The cost for a membership is outlined here. Membership makes a great gift, and helps the Society fulfill its mission to safeguarding and interpreting Nebraska's past. Thank you for joining!

Volunteer News is published bi-monthly for the world-class volunteers at the Nebraska State Historical Society. For information about volunteering with any of our divisions, or at any location across the state, contact:

Deb McWilliams, Volunteer Services
402-471-4955 or 1-800-833-6747

Apply for Volunteer Service today!

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Last updated 28 February 2002

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