Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. Its state capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River.
The state is crossed by many historic trails, but it was the California Gold Rush that first brought large numbers here, and it became a state in 1867. Certain landmarks still compete for the notional distinction 'Where the West Begins'.
There are wide variations between winter and summer temperatures, and violent thunderstorms and tornadoes are common. The state is characterized by treeless prairie, ideal for cattle-grazing, and it is a major producer of beef, as well as pork, maize and soybeans. Nebraska is overwhelmingly rural, as the 8th least-densely populated state of the United States.
Ethnically, the largest group are German-Americans, and the state has the biggest Czech-American population per head. During the Great Migration, many African Americans came to Omaha, and they continue to campaign for improved conditions. More recently, Native American activism has increased, with a drive for self-determination in a climate of co-operation with state officials on regional issues. It is traditionally a Republican-voting state.
Nebraska is identified with notables as varied as Fred Astaire, Malcolm X, Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett, Montgomery Clift, Henry Fonda, Buffalo Bill Cody, Warren Buffett, L. Ron Hubbard, Willa Cather, Marlon Brando and Alexander Payne. Kool-Aid was first formulated in Nebraska in 1927.
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