Florida Guide > Miscellaneous
The State Nicknames – Part 11
Visiting Florida we are always fascinated to see the huge number of different license plates on cars, particularly in the car parks at Disney or Universal. These number plates reflect the history, geography and people of the states and each display a nickname which relate to the state itself.
The history of Nebraska goes back to the pioneering days, which were so important to the history of the American West. Brave pioneers trekked across the huge prairies in wagon trains, on their way to find the land of their dreams, and, with the trappers and traders, opened up this beautiful state. It has vast prairies which stretch as far as the eye can see, with tall pine covered flat topped hills which rise abruptly from the flat lands. It is a land where enormous herds of cattle roamed on the fertile grazing lands, and where never ending fields of wheat rippled in the breeze. Nebraska is also the land of the Sioux and Omaha Indians, with their famous leaders like Crazy Horse and Chief Red Cloud. The railroad, with its steam locomotives, opened up the state and brought prosperity to those who braved the dangers. The word ‘Nebraska’ is synonymous with the Pony Express, stagecoaches, Boot Hill and the Oregon and Mormon Trails.
Its official nickname reflects the corn which supports the farming of Nebraska beef cattle, but it also was chosen in recognition of the University of Nebraska football team, the Cornhuskers. However, the name, ‘Beef State’ appeared on license plates from 1969 to 1975, and this nickname refers to one of the main industries, the raising of over 2 million head of beef cows.
Interestingly, it was once referred to as the ‘Tree Planters State, ’ and this name was adopted by the state legislature in 1895, until it was replaced in 1945 by the Cornhusker State. The early Nebraska settlers planted millions of trees as windbreaks, orchards, and to provide fuel, and the Nebraska National Forest is the largest hand-planted forest in the USA.
Other nicknames include the ‘Antelope State, ‘due to the abundant antelope which lived on the prairies, and the ‘Bug Eating State, ’ after the bull bats which gorge on the insects of that state. Nebraska’s rich black soil also led to another nickname, The ‘Blackwater State’ as it coloured the streams and made them appear black.
Nebraska is certainly a land of natural beauty, steeped in pioneering history, and everywhere you go you will see evidence of America’s westward expansion. It is this pioneering spirit which is still to be found in the people of Nebraska.
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