William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody held the first official performance of his Wild West show just half a mile northeast of here on May 19, 1883. Eight thousand people attended the premiere at the Omaha Driving Park near Eighteenth and Sprague streets. That site later featured a local wild west show as part of Omaha's 1898 Trans-Mississippi Exposition. Cody brought his Wild West back to Omaha for the exposition, and August 31 was designated "Cody Day." Buffalo Bill had become so popular, however, that he had to hold his actual show two miles south, near Twentieth and Paul streets, to accommodate the crowds.
Cody's Wild West was seen by millions of people in twelve countries during its thirty years of performances, making Buffalo Bill among the world's most famous and recognizable personalities. He died in 1917 and is buried on Lookout Mountain near Denver. The Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, and Scout's Rest Ranch State Historical Park in North Platte honor this legendary man, who first attracted throngs of people to his Wild West show here in Omaha.
Trans-Mississippi Exposition Historical Association
Nebraska State Historical Society
In Memory of Randall D. Horwath
Kountze Park, northeast corner of Florence Blvd. and Pinkney St., Omaha