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NSHS Volunteer News

May/June 1999

Nebraska Wedding Gifts and Gowns Exhibit

Dearly Beloved: Gifts and Gowns from Nebraska Weddings, a new exhibit at the Museum of Nebraska History, opens June 1, 1999. The exhibit features a selection of sixteen wedding dresses dating from the 1850s to the 1950s, drawn from the Society's extensive textile collection. Wedding invitations, accessories, photos, and gifts will also be displayed. A special section on "Living Traditions" highlights some of the wedding customs associated with Nebraska's rich ethnic heritage.

A silk wedding dress made in Denmark in 1883, a flapper-style chiffon gown with train from 1925, and a 1956 tea-length satin dress are just a few of the garments that will be on exhibit. Shoes, gloves, and jewelry from a variety of time periods will also be on view. Some of the wedding gifts featured include an 1887 loveseat, a 1905 hand-painted china clock, and a set of china lemonade cups from 1914.

To experience the "rest of the story" behind the wedding dresses, mark your calendar for a free family event on Sunday, June 13, 1999, 1:30-5:00 p.m. at the Museum of Nebraska History. Explore the exhibit with a scavenger hunt, play bridal shower games from the 1920s to the 1950s, create wedding crafts from the 1910s, sample a variety of wedding cakes, and enjoy some wedding entertainment to experience Nebraska's living traditions.

The exhibit continues through May 31, 2000. The museum is located at 15th and P Streets and is open to the public with free admission. Museum hours are Monday-Friday, 9-4:30; Saturday, 9-5; and Sunday 1:30-5.

Attention All Volunteers! Volunteer Program - May 12

Attention all volunteers! You are invited to attend the Wednesday, May 12 volunteer program at the Museum of Nebraska History, 15th and P Streets, Lincoln.

The program is entitled, "Nebraska History Project," and will be presented by NSHS staff members Lynne Ireland and John Carter. Coffee will be served from 9:30-10:00, with the program to follow from 10:00-11:00 a.m.

Planning ahead? Future programs are scheduled for July 14, September 8, and November 10, 1999. The July 14 program will feature a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum collections, as well as finding out more about the Society's digital imaging program.

Please RSVP to Deb McWilliams at 471-4955 regarding your attendance, or if you have any questions.

History Day 1999

It's that time of year again. Sixth through twelfth-graders from across the state are making last minute improvements to their winning History Day entries as they prepare for the state contest. This year's state contest was held on Saturday, April 17 at Nebraska Wesleyan University in the Smith-Curtis building. Students presented their original performances, exhibits, and documentaries around this year's theme of "Science, Technology, Invention in History: Impact, Influence, and Change." New this year, each state winner who competes in the National History Day competition in Maryland will receive a travel scholarship of $100 from the Nebraska State Historical Society. Funding for these scholarships is made possible through the Lux History Education Endowment of the NSHS Foundation.

In celebration of the state winners, the Nebraska State Historical Society will sponsor the third annual History Day Celebration at the state capitol on Friday, May 14. This day-long celebration provides an opportunity for students to meet and get advice from museum, performance, telecommunications, and writing professionals before going to National History Day competition in June. Following an afternoon of critiques, the awards program begins at 4:00 p.m. in the beautiful capitol rotunda. At this program, the students are recognized for their hard work and achievements as they receive a special award from their respective state senators. Performances and documentary presentations are open to the public, and the exhibits will be displayed in the lower level rotunda.

To meet the historians of tomorrow, plan on attending one of these fun and educational events. For more information, please call 471-4757.

Summer Workshops, Part II

We had so much fun last year, we're offering summer workshops again! This year we have four new workshops available for seven through twelve-year-olds and we have repeated the favorites from last year. Summer workshops provide a fun and interactive way for elementary-aged children to learn about a variety of history topics.

Ages seven through nine

"Bees, Bison, and Bluestem" - June 7-11 - Learn about Nebraska's state symbols through games, activities, and exploration of Pioneer's Park and the Nebraska State Capitol.

"Sod House Summer" - June 14 and 15 - Experience life on the prairie as we work to earn our homestead land and have fun with pioneer foods and games.

"Little-known Nebraska Natives: Camels and other Mammals" - June 16 - Learn about prehistoric life in Nebraska through crafts, stories, and a trip to the zoo to meet the modern day relatives of Nebraska's prehistoric animals.

Ages ten through twelve

"Adventures in Architecture" - June 14-17 - Learn about Nebraska architecture with games, hands-on building, "meet the builders day," walking tours, and creation of a box neighborhood.

"History Eyewitness" - June 17 and 18 - Find out what art can tell us about Nebraska's past as we see and learn about Nebraska art through the ages and create our own artwork.

"Nebraska 'Kidstory' News" - June 21-25 - Discover the little known histories of Nebraska kids through activities, field trips, and a living history performance. We will present our findings with a news broadcast for our parents on Friday.

"Kids and Cameras" - June 21-24 - Learn about photography in this fun-filled workshop: build a pin-hole camera out of a tin can, develop film in a lab, and discover the secrets of historic photos.

Fees for these workshops range from four to twenty dollars for NSHS members. For a brochure, call Jessica Stoner, 1-800-833-6747 or 471-4757. Spend your summer in the past at the Nebraska State Historical Society.

The Benefits of Being A RSVP Volunteer

The Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Lincoln helps to place many volunteers throughout Lincoln ­ including at the Nebraska State Historical Society. Individuals must be fifty-five years old or older, must register with the program, and then record volunteer hours on a calendar and send them to the RSVP office on a quarterly basis. The program has already provided a number of volunteers to the Society and we anticipate the number of new volunteers to grow.

Being a RSVP volunteer has many benefits. Besides receiving the RSVP monthly newsletter, volunteers are invited to a special recognition event each year to honor all active volunteers. However, in order to be a part of the recognition event volunteers must be signed up with the program and send in a calendar of volunteer hours each quarter.

Other benefits include a supplemental insurance policy. This accident and liability auto insurance pays what your personal insurance, Medicare, or both, do not cover. RSVP is also able to provide mileage reimbursement to and from the volunteer site for people who need the benefit.

One of the best benefits of being a RSVP volunteer is knowing that you are one of nearly half a million retired volunteers serving nationally through more than 80,000 local organizations and giving more than 110 million hours yearly.

To sign up as an RSVP volunteer contact the Volunteer and Multigenerational Services Office, 129 N. 10th Street, Room 408, Lincoln, Nebraska 68508, or call at 441-7026.

Pastimes and Playthings in May

Pastimes and Playthings, a festival of old toys and games for children, will be held on the grounds of the Thomas P. Kennard House, 1627 H Street, Lincoln, from May 4 through 14. Hours for the event will be 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon;1:00 to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. For additional information call John Lindahl at the Kennard House, 402-471-4764.


The Nebraska State Historical Society's 1999 History Conference and annual members' meeting will be September 24-25, in Lincoln. History conference programs will focus on the theme of Nebraska Ingenuity. Those attending will have the opportunity to participate in conference sessions, tours, and book signings.

The conference is open to the public. Conference details will be provided in future newsletters and members of the Society will be mailed registration materials at a later date. For further information contact Deb McWilliams at 402-471-4955 or 1-800-833-6747.

Brown Bag Lecture Series

On the third Thursday of each month, the NSHS hosts a free Brown Bag lecture series at the Museum of Nebraska History, 15th and P Streets, Lincoln. The lecture begins at noon ­ so bring your lunch!

The May 20 lecture, "Turning Boys into Ballplayers: The Development of Junior Baseball in Nebraska," will be presented by Kent Krause, doctoral candidate, History Department, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. On June 17 John Ludwickson, curator of anthropology with the Nebraska State Historical Society's Archeology Division, will present "Pawnee War of 1859."


The Society appreciates the many hours of service given by volunteers each year. One way the Society is able to say thanks for a job well done is by giving volunteers a 20 percent discount at our Museum Stores. So treat yourself and enjoy all of the great new products the stores carry.

Anniversary Celebration at Fort Robinson

The Nebraska State Historical Society and the Game and Parks Commission are joining together on June 5, 1999, to observe the sesquicentennial of the 1874 establishment of Camp (later Fort) Robinson. Activities include flag-raising ceremonies, firing and equestrian demonstrations, special exhibits, band concerts, and speakers. All events will be at Fort Robinson State Park near Crawford, and are open to the public. Please contact Tom Buecker at 308-665-2919 for further information.


The Historical Society is proud to present its latest publication Fort Robinson and the American West 1874-1899 by staff member Tom Buecker. Fort Robinson was a United States Army post from 1874 to 1948, longer than nearly all of its contemporaries. Fort Robinson is considered one of the most important and colorful military posts of the Indian wars, and was the scene of significant events during the 1870s, such as the death of Crazy Horse and the Cheyenne Outbreak.

There has never before been a complete history of Fort Robinson. This is half of the undertaking, the first of a two-volume history of the fort. Buecker has placed the post in its proper context within the western experience and America's military past ­ 125 years after its founding.

This publication was made possible by the Ronald K. and Judith M. Stolz Parks Publishing Fund established at the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation in memory of Wayne Kemper Parks (1909-95) and Hazel Virginia Hill Parks (1911-91), lifelong Nebraskans who were born on Madison County farms, were married on March 19, 1930, and were farmers in Madison and Pierce counties.

The publication is available at the Historical Society Museum Stores for $40 (non-members) and $36 (members), plus an additional $4 for shipping and handling, as well as sales tax. To place an order contact Kris Riggs at the Lincoln Museum Store at 1-800-833-6747 or 471-3447.

Making a Gift to the NSHS Foundation

Because the Nebraska State Historical Society's need for private funding, the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation was incorporated in 1942 as a public, nonprofit, 501.c(3) organization. The purpose of the Foundation remains the same today: to solicit, receive, and manage gifts of cash and property in support of the acquisition, preservation, and exhibition of Nebraska's historical treasures. The Foundation's Board of Trustees carefully manage the assets of the foundation to help ensure Nebraska's history will be accessible for future generations.

How can you make a gift in support of Nebraska history? The Nebraska State Historical Society is continually searching for pieces of Nebraska's past and for ways to share the rich Nebraska history with others. The Foundation assists the Society in its ongoing endeavor to broaden and strengthen its work as publisher, explorer, and guardian over historical sites and artifacts throughout Nebraska by securing additional funding.

For assistance or information about how to make an outright gift through the Foundation, include the Foundation in your will, earn income from your gift with an annuity gift, establish a memorial fund, or designate support for a particular purpose, please contact:

Jackie Spahn, Executive Director
Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation
408 Lincoln Center Building
215 Centennial Mall south
Lincoln, NE 68508-1813
Phone: 402-435-3535

Lincoln Westerners

Plan to attend the May 13 meeting of the Lincoln Corral of Westerners. The evening begins with a social period at 6:30 p.m., and dinner at 7:00, followed by the program at 8:00 at the Holiday Inn Hotel, 9th and P Streets, Lincoln.

The May 13 program will be presented by NSHS staff member Carol Ahlgren, and is entitled "Joslyn Castle Gardens."

For further details about the Westerners, or to make reservations contact Margaret Allington at 488-5698.

New Volunteer Faces

John Amgwert, Research & Publications

M. Scott Argabright, Library/Archives

Carrie Hall, Research & Publications

Harold Hall, Historic Sites

Marjorie Hall, Historic Siets

Suzann Garrison, Library/Archives

Patricia Jacques, Historic Preservation

Kale Kellogg, Library/Archives

Evelyn Neve, Museum Store

Pat Peters, Historic Sites

Brian Snyder, Museum Store

Erin Swanson, Historic Preservation

Calendar of Events

May 4-14: Pastimes and Playthings
Kennard House, Lincoln, Nebraska

May 12: Volunteer Programming, "Nebraska History Project"
9:30-10, Coffee; 10-11, Volunteer Programming; Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

May 13 : Lincoln Westerners Corral

May 14: History Day celebration
1-3, showcase; 4-5, awards program; Nebraska State Capital, Lincoln, Nebraska

May 20: Brown Bag Lecture
12:00, Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

June 1: "Dearly Beloved" wedding exhibit opens
Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

June 4: NSHS Board of Trustees meeting
Gering, Nebraska

June 7-11: Summer Workshop: "Bees, Bison, and Bluestem"

June 13: Family Event: "Dearly Beloved"
1:30-5, Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

June 14-15: Summer Workshop: "Sod House Summer"
Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

June 14-17: Summer Workshop: "Adventures in Architecture"
Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

June 16: Summer Workshop: "Little-known Nebraska Natives: Camels and other Mammals" Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

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

June 17-18: Summer Workshop: "History Eyewitness"
Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

June 21-24: Summer Workshop: "Kids and Cameras"
Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

June 21-25: Summer Workshop: "Nebraska 'Kidstory' News"
Museum of Nebraska History, Lincoln, Nebraska

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 15 June 1999

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