Official Nebraska Government Website Nebraska State Historical Society

News Release
September 14, 2007

SUBJECT:  Public hearings on Nebraska Hall of Fame nominees slated

The Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission will hold public hearings in each of Nebraska's congressional districts, inviting commentary on nominees previously suggested for inclusion in the Hall of Fame. Hearings will be held September 20 in Omaha, October 3 in Norfolk and October 11 in North Platte. Testimony that has not previously been heard by the commission is invited on the nominees that include St. Paul native and baseball great Grover Cleveland Alexander; horticulturist and University of Nebraska professor Charles Bessey; Georgia Arbuckle Fix, early Panhandle doctor and first female graduate of the Omaha Medical College; WWII landing craft inventor Andrew Jackson Higgins of Columbus; William M. Jeffers, president of the Union Pacific Railroad and WWII "Rubber Czar"; civil rights advocate Malcolm X; and Ord aviatrix Evelyn Sharp.
Testimony will be heard on nominees in alphabetical order.

Dates, locations, and times for the hearings are:

Thursday, September 20
, 2007, Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters, Auditorium, 3215 State Street, Omaha, 7:00-9:00 p.m. (District 2 hearing)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007, Norfolk Arts Center, Gallery Room, 305 North 5th Street, Norfolk, 7:00-9:00 p.m. (District 1 hearing)

Thursday, October 11, 2007, Holiday Inn Express - Paiute Room, 300 Holiday Frontage Road, North Platte, 7:00-9:00 p.m. (District 3 Hearing)

By state statute, one inductee may be selected every five years by the governor-appointed Commission. The commission previously reviewed nominations at a public meeting held in Lincoln. Previously offered testimony will not be admitted. A fifteen-minute time limit for each nominee will be observed. If no one in attendance wishes to testify about a particular nominee, the commission will consider adjusting the schedule. All participants, whether they speak or not, will be encouraged to leave written comments/testimony.

After the hearings the commission may select one finalist for induction in 2009. For more information, visit www.nebraskahistory.

About the Nebraska Hall of Fame:
As determined by state statute, in order to be considered for selection individuals must have been born in Nebraska, lived a significant portion of their lives in Nebraska or made a contribution to society that was affected by their residence in the state. Nominees must have been deceased for thirty-five years. Primary consideration is given to persons whose achievements were in the areas of public affairs, the arts, sciences, and professions. Secondary consideration is given to those whose accomplishments were in the entertainment, athletic, or kindred fields. Activities that have added to the welfare of society and the reputation of the state will be weighed more heavily than those activities primarily benefiting the individual.

Some of the 23 previously inducted include Ponca Chief Standing Bear, writers Mari Sandoz and Willa Cather, Nebraska's Poet Laureate John Neihardt, U.S. Senator George W. Norris, and scout/showman William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody.

Michael J. Smith, Director/CEO of the Nebraska State Historical Society, serves as secretary of the commission. He may be contacted at NSHS, P.O. Box 82554, Lincoln, NE, 68501. Visit the NSHS website, for more information.

For general information:

Lynne Ireland
Chief Education and Research Officer
Nebraska State Historical Society
1500 R Street
PO Box 82554
Lincoln, NE 68501
402.471.4758 (v)
402.471-3100 (f)

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Last updated 2 October 2007

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