Celebrate Nebraska 150 Program on June 1st

Karen Drevo as Maria Rodaway, Prairie Pioneer on 12:00 PM, Thursday, June 1

Maria (portrayed by her great-great granddaughter in period attire) looks back at her life as a prairie pioneer in Otoe County, NE, where she homesteaded in 1867. Maria crossed the Atlantic Ocean with seven children to reunite her family after a 7½ year separation. She endured grasshoppers, hail, drought, tornadoes, blizzards, and the loss of her husband and 6 of her 13 children as she worked to become a citizen and a land owner in a new country. Resilient and resourceful, she lived a life of usefulness to her family and large circle of friends with her loving deeds and kind acts, delivering babies and nursing the sick.

Seven generations of Karen Wyatt Drevo’s family have lived in Otoe County, Neb. Karen grew up on a farm north of Unadilla and received her early education in one-room Otoe County schools. She has degrees in English and history from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She currently lives in Norfolk, where she is a librarian at Norfolk Public Library. Her life-long interest in her family history was sparked by the family stories told by her grandmothers.

Funding for the 2017 Brown Bag programs is provided by Humanities Nebraska, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Friends of the Library, the North Platte Public Library, and the Faith Fisher Memorial Fund.  The library is hosting 2 more Humanities Nebraska programs in June; Nebraska’s Winding Road to Statehood: In the Footsteps of a Female Settler by Sara Brandes Crook at 12:00 PM, Thursday, June 15th; and Daniel Freeman, America’s First Homestead portrayed by Darrel W. Draper on Thursday, June 29th at 12:00 PM.

Programs are free to the public but reservations are needed to set up the room correctly.  Call the library at 535-8036, Ext. 3310 to reserve a seat.








Poetry from the Plains at noon on April 13

North Platte Public Library’s Celebrate Nebraska 150 Series Continues With “Poetry from the Plains”

The North Platte Public Library’s Celebrate Nebraska 150 series continues at 12:00 PM, Thursday, April 13th with “Poetry from the Plains” by Twyla M. Hansen, Nebraska State Poet.    This program has double significance since April is National Poetry Month.  Twyla is also presenting a poetry workshop for our Teen Cafe program that afternoon.  Any youth ages 13-18 are encouraged to attend.

Twyla was born and raised in northeast Nebraska. She was raised on the farm her grandparents had purchased as immigrants from Denmark in the late 1880s. Hansen earned her BS in horticulture and MA in agroecology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is the author of numerous books of poetry, including How to Live in the Heartland (1992), Sanctuary Near Salt Creek (2001), and Potato Soup (2003), which won the Nebraska Book Award for poetry. Hansen’s writing has appeared widely in periodicals and anthologies. She is a creative writing presenter through the Humanities Nebraska Speakers Bureau.  In 2013, Hansen was appointed Nebraska State Poet. She lives and works in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Hansen will read selections from her poetry and discuss how the landscape of the Great Plains has inspired, influenced, and shaped her writing. Her poetry follows in the footsteps of earlier Plains writers, using a sense of place to make connections between the natural and human worlds, the land and all its inhabitants–the ordinary, extraordinary food for poetry and stories about the human experience on the Plains and beyond.   This free program is brought to the library through support by Humanities Nebraska, Nebraska Cultural Endowment and local funding.  Please call for reservations at 535-8036, Ext. 3310 to help the library plan seating.

Music and History Together in March 24th Program

Nebraska Territory Stories by David Seay is the next Celebrate Nebraska 150 program at the library.  Join us at 12:00 PM, Friday, March 24 for an entertaining hour of Nebraska history from the perspective of the musical instruments played by early people living in the Nebraska Territory.

In this upbeat presentation David performs folk music that existed at the time Nebraska became a state on March 1, 1867. Between tunes he discusses how these songs provide glimpses into history by telling stories of everyday life of the pioneers during the 13 years before Nebraska statehood.  Instruments featured are banjo, harmonica, whistles, and mountain dulcimer.

Library staff that have heard him at a regional library event found his program very interesting and educational.  There was never a dull moment!


“Lincoln County Tribune 1867-1887″ on March 17th

The Celebrate Nebraska 150 program series  at the North Platte Public Library continues at 12:00 PM on Friday, March 17th with another local interest program.  Library staff, Cecelia Lawrence and Sara Aden,  will present.

This presentation grew out of the research done for the History of North Platte Exhibit that is currently on display at the North Platte Public Library.  As researchers were combing through the earliest newspapers from 1885-1889, they were amazed by how much advertising and news have changed over the years.  This program will look at the different Lincoln County Nebraska  newspapers around in the 1800s and the printing presses being used.  The PowerPoint program will showcase some of the unique advertising, editorials, and news articles of the times.

This series has been very popular, so available seats may fill up fast.  Those wishing to attend should call the library at 535-8036, Option #2, to make free seat reservations.  Attendees are welcome to bring a sack lunch; coffee and ice water will be provided.

March 2nd Noon Program: North Platte: Our Humble Beginnings

The library has  filled its March calendar with historic programs, beginning on Thursday, March 2nd at 12:00 PM.  “North Platte History – Our Humble Beginnings” will be presented by Cecelia Lawrence, Library Director and Sara Aden, Library IT Manager.

This program looks at the history of North Platte.  Cecelia and Sara start off with a review of explorers who came through the area and the geographic characteristics of Lincoln County.  Then they will discuss the Native American tribes in the area; North Platte’s place on the Oregon and Mormon Trails; explore the need for a military base and the installation of Fort McPherson; and will end with the railroad coming to the area as well as the first three pioneers and businessmen. The presentation will showcase some of the earliest photographs of North Platte buildings and structures.

Program attendance is limited to 70, so please call and make seat reservations by calling the library at 535-8036, extension 3310.

During the entire month of March, the North Platte Public Library will have a photographic exhibit of homesteaders and early photographs of the town, prairie-scapes, and railroad. The exhibit will also include copies of historic photographs and descriptions of William Cody (Buffalo Bill), the developing North Platte Downtown and businesses, Fort McPherson, Schools and Churches, and more.  The Library will have a three-dimensional exhibit with a plow, saddle and other early prairie artifacts on loan from the Lincoln County Historical Museum to help give modern day children and adults a sense of life on the prairie in 1867.

2nd Eclipse Program at Library on February 23rd

Attendees to receive solar eclipse glasses

Derryl Barr, eclipse chaser and former North Platte teacher returns to the North Platte Public Library at 12:00 PM on Thursday, February 23rd for another program. Eclipses Present is the second in a three-part series on solar eclipses leading up to the total solar eclipse on the 21st of August that will be observable from the North Platte area.   In the first part of the series, Eclipses Past, we explored the myth, mystery and fear that accompanied and still accompanies the singular experience of witnessing the disappearance of the Sun at mid-day. In Eclipses Present our focus shifts to the science and politics of the eclipse phenomenon, or how humankind not only came to understand what was happening in the heavens, but how it quickly devised means to put to use this cosmic occurrence to influence earthly events in its own favor, for both good and bad.

Through a Thrivent Action Team project, library staff member, Terri Johnson, gained funding for multiple solar eclipse glasses for safe viewing of the sun.  Each attendee will receive a pair of glasses.  The library requests  seat reservations for this free program by calling 308-535-8036, Ext. 3310. Attendees are welcome to bring their own lunch.  Water and coffee will be provided.

2 Celebrate Nebraska 150 Programs on February 2nd

Working together, the North Platte Public Library and the Lincoln County Historical Museum are bringing Nancy Gillis to present two programs on Thursday, February 2nd.     The Legacy of Neihardt and Black Elk will be presented at 12:00 PM in the library’s meeting room.  This program is free but seat reservations are requested; please call 535-8036, Ext. 3310.

This presentation explores the remarkable legacy of a unique personal and spiritual friendship begun in 1931 between the Lakota holy man Black Elk and poet John G. Neihardt. It includes brief biographies of each man, their meetings, and their friendship’s impact on adding to the knowledge of Lakota culture, Native American philosophies, and the possibilities of cross-cultural recognition and respect.

Nancy S. Gillis is the former Executive Director of the John Neihardt State Historic Site and the Neihardt Foundation’s Institute for Vision and Learning. Nancy joined the Foundation as Assistant Director in May 1997 and retired in 2014, joining its Board of Directors, and speaks to schools and civic groups on Neihardt’s work and a variety of related topics. Since 1992 she has served as faculty at Wayne State College, Northeast Community College, Nebraska Indian Community College, and Little Priest Tribal College teaching Native American History and Cultures, U.S. History, World History, Anthropology and Sociology.

Of Cherokee and Choctaw heritage, Gillis moved to Nebraska in 1987 to work with the Winnebago people for the Reformed Church in America and has served as their delegate to its Native American Council and the Commission for Race and Ethnicity.

 The second program will be held at 7:00 PM that evening at the Lincoln County Historical Museum.  A Brief History of the Five Tribes of Nebraska: Omaha, Ponca, Pawnee, Santee, and Winnebago will  look at the origins, history, and current state of these five tribes that are recognized as Native Nations in Nebraska.

These programs are brought to North Platte through the support of Humanities Nebraska, the Cultural Endowment of Nebraska, the library and museum and the Faith Fisher Memorial Fund.


Jan 26 Noon Program on President Andrew Johnson

The North Platte Public Library’s Celebrate Nebraska 150 Brown Bag Series continues at 12:00 PM on Thursday, January 26th with “President Andrew Johnson”  by Andrew Lee, a frequent actor in the Cemetery Tours and a North Platte City Council member.  This program is free to the public.  Our program attendance has been reaching room capacity so please call the library at 535-8036, Ext 3310 to make seat reservations.  Attendees may bring a brown bag lunch. Coffee and water will be provided.

President Andrew Johnson was in office when Nebraska gained statehood. Beginning as vice-president under Abraham Lincoln, he came into office after Lincoln’s assassination. A Democrat who ran with Lincoln on the National Union ticket, Johnson came to office as the Civil War concluded. The new president favored quick restoration of the seceded states to the Union. His plans did not give protection to the former slaves, and he came into conflict with the Republican- dominated Congress, culminating in his impeachment by the House of Representatives. The first American president to be impeached, he was acquitted in the Senate by one vote.

Local history and politics buff, Andrew Lee will use PowerPoint slides to tell the story of our 17th president and his impact  on our country.

Celebrate Nebraska 150 Musical Program on Jan. 19th

Nebraska Through Song and Story

The North Platte Public Library’s second Celebrate Nebraska 150 brown bag program is a historical music program at 12:00 PM on Thursday, January 19th.  This free program,  Nebraska Through Song and Story by Dan Holtz, is part of the Humanities Nebraska Speakers bureau.  Room space is limited to 70, so please call the library at 535-8036, Ext. 3310 to make seat reservations.

 Nebraska has not only a rich tradition in literature but also a rich, less-publicized tradition in music. Dan Holtz interweaves songs, accompanied on guitar and harmonica, with excerpts from works by Willa Cather,

John Neihardt, Mari Sandoz, and Bess Streeter Aldrich. In a narrative from about 1850 to 1904, he tells the stories of the people who came to and through early Nebraska, the pioneers who crossed the overland trails, the settlers and the Native Americans. Dan plays original songs he composed as well as historic folk songs from the late 1800’s.

Funding for the 2017 Brown Bag programs is provided by Humanities Nebraska, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Friends of the Library, the North Platte Public Library, and the Faith Fisher Memorial Fund.

Dan Holtz is a recently retired professor of English from Peru State College in southeast Nebraska, where he taught from 1987 to 2016.  He is a past president of the Nebraska State Historical Society Board of Trustees and a member of the Nebraska 150 Nebraska Foundation, which is helping to plan the Sesquicentennial celebration/commemoration for 2017.  He is also a recipient of the Nebraska State College System Teaching Excellence Award and the Addison E. Sheldon Memorial Award for the preservation and interpretation of Nebraska history.

Dr. Holtz has presented his musical, historical, story-telling programs hundreds of times all across the state, including performances at the State Capitol, the Bob Devaney Sports Center, Chimney Rock, Scottsbluff National Monument, and Ft. Robinson.   He also performed on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., for Nebraska State Day in 1999, and, along with the band Flatwater Highway, has produced a CD of his music titled All Original, All Nebraska.  He will have copies of this CD at his program.

In 2004, he was a bonus-round winner on the Wheel of Fortune television game show.  He lives in Nebraska City with his wife, Alice.

“Pink and Blue: telling the Boys from the Girls in America” Author Talk on Nov 3

pinkThe North Platte Public Library is hosting a free Brown Bag program at 12:00 PM, Thursday, November 3rdPink and Blue: telling the Boys from the Girls in America will be presented by author and professor, Jo Paoletti, who is visiting the North Platte area from Maryland.

“When did we start dressing girls in pink and boys in blue?” To uncover the answer, Jo Paoletti looks at advertising, catalogs, dolls, baby books, mommy blogs and discussion forums, and other popular media to examine the surprising shifts in attitudes toward color as a mark of gender in American children’s clothing. She chronicles the decline of the white dress for both boys and girls, the introduction of rompers in the early 20th century, the gendering of pink and blue, the resurgence of unisex fashions, and the origins of today’s highly gender-specific baby and toddler clothing.

Jo Paoletti is Professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland, where she teaches courses about fashion and consumer culture. Her 2012 book, Pink and Blue: telling the Boys from the Girls in America, explored gender differences in baby and toddler clothing from the late 19th century to the present. In Sex and Unisex: Fashion, Feminism and the Sexual Revolution (2015), she examined the fashions of the 1960s and 70s as a response to changing social and cultural forces. She is currently working on Age Appropriate, which will be about older women and their clothing. This is a special homecoming for Jo. A native of Fremont, she and her brother were regular patrons of the North Platte Public Library as children. In early October, 1957, the family drove away from their white stucco bungalow on Willow Street and headed east to a new life in New Jersey. Since then, she has dreamed of coming back to North Platte, but was only able to stop for a couple of days over twenty years ago. This time she will be here for three weeks, hoping to reconnect with old friends and maybe make new ones!jo56

All Brown Bag Programs are free to the public.  Please call the library for seat reservations (535-8036, Ext 3310). Bring your own lunch; coffee and water will be