This past weekend my family and I went to Lincoln. My husband, Brent, was running the Lincoln half-marathon and while there we decided to kick off our Nebraska Passport tour by going to the Nebraska State Capitol Building. What better way to kick of our summer of Nebraska than to learn all about it’s history? For you “non-Nebraskans”, that little man (19 1/2 foot tall man) on top of the dome is called the Golden Sower….he sows the seeds that make Nebraska flourish and also acts as a really good lightening rod 🙂
I was super excited to finally get my hands on our passport. I think I may start carrying it around in my purse just to show it off…. or maybe just tape it to all of my shirts.
The Capital has free tours every day on the hour. We squeezed in on the last tour of Saturday. Our tour guide was super friendly, young, and informative. I highly reccomend doing the tour. If I had just been browsing the Capital on my own I would have never known all the cool quirks about the building and our state. The building was designed to tell the story of Nebraska. Each piece of art work represents a story or a stage in Nebraska history. Even the different colored stone pillars in the Legislative Chamber represent the people of Nebraska (umm I think the brown ones were the Germans…weird). At the entrance there are these really great murals that tell the story of how Nebraska was formed. It also shows the story of society- past, present, and future. The art shows depiction of energy, earth, the human family, justice and it ends with mosaics of all the elements surrounded by all the fossilized animals that have been found in Nebraska. It’s pretty rad and the story is not religous at all which surprised me!
During the tour I learned some interesting Nebraska facts that I had not known before. We all know Nebraska is not well populated, but did you know that the ratio of cows to people is 4:1…ridiculous! Also, when settlers first arrived in Lancaster County (where Lincoln is), there were only 12 trees. At one point, Nebraska was known as the “Tree Planter State”. We then established Arbor Day, the holiday of planting trees (which was just a few weeks ago). Also for those of you who didn’t know, Nebraska means “Flat Water”….exciting stuff huh?
At the end of the tour we could have taken an elevator to the fourteenth floor. When I saw how cramped and old the elevators were I sort of panicked. The idea of being stuck in an elevator with a baby on a 90 degree day made me have a bit of a freak out. I am sure the view was lovely….not as lovely as my sanity.
Unfortunately, Brent’s half-marathon wasn’t as successful as our trip to the Capitol. Edith, Chuck and I were there to cheer him on until the 9th mile.