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 New Exhibition Opening January 7
Explores Nebraskans' Civil Rights and Civil Liberties


Who are "We the People" in Nebraska? And what role has our state played in the evolving notion of who is considered part of the "we"? These questions are at the core of a new exhibit opening January 7 at the Nebraska History Museum, 15th and P Streets in Lincoln.

"We the People: The Nebraska Viewpoint" will look at our state's role in the changing course of constitutional rights and privileges in our national history. Landmark legal cases, including the trial of Standing Bear, establishing American Indians as persons under the law, and Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart, addressing the conflict between freedom of the press and the right to a fair trial are featured. The struggle of many groups for inclusion are interpreted through historic photographs. Evocative artifacts include a Nebraska-made voting booth and robes worn by Nebraska members of the Ku Klux Klan. A section of the exhibit interprets the shadow of intolerance and both legal and vigilante actions that are part of Nebraska's past.

Exhibit visitors will be encouraged to record their own stories, memories, and reflections in an audio/visual booth. Recordings will be added to the collections of the Nebraska State Historical Society. A community "wall" is included in the exhibit where people may post their responses to the exhibit or current events related to our changing notions of who should be included in "we the people."

Museum hours are 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday and 1:00 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Additional programming includes free public lectures by Senator Ernie Chambers, attorney Alan Petersen, Oglala-Lakota journalist Charles Trimble, and UNO sociologist Dr. Thomas Sanchez. Presentations will also be broadcast on Lincoln government access cable and posted on YouTube. Community conversations will allow Nebraskans to explore what groups were once excluded from "We" and the future of civil rights and civil liberties for our citizens.

A recent special double issue of Nebraska History magazine looks at African American history in Nebraska in the context of constitutional rights, with articles on Jim Crow schools, Mildred Brown and the DePorres Club, The New Negro Movement, and Nebraska's association with Frederick Douglass.

Funding for the exhibition and programming is provided in part by the Nebraska Humanities Council, Woods Charitable Fund, Inc., and the Cooper Foundation.

For a complete list of "We the People" programs, visit or call 402-471-3270.

For general information:

Lynne M. Ireland
Deputy Director
Nebraska State Historical Society
PO Box 82554
Lincoln, NE 68501
402.471.4758 (v)
402-471.3100 (f)

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Last updated 5 January 2011

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