In the central part of the United States of America lies the federal state of Nebraska in the Great Plains region. Originally, there was only a vast desert area, but thanks to an ingenious irrigation system, it was able to turn into a very fertile landscape dotted with farms and fields. Today, Nebraska is considered the most fertile state in the USA.
Nebraska borders several states: South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming. In 1860, the first settlers came to the area and started building farms here and engaged in agriculture. In the beginning, they were considered fools because all around was desert, prairie and barren landscape. However, this changed over time and people began to prosper here. After the Civil War, in 1867, Nebraska became the 37th state of the Union. The name of the state comes from the Native American language “ajova-oto” and in translation means something like “Flat water”.
As already mentioned, Nebraska is mainly located in the territory of the Great Plains, so the landscape is mainly flat with an endless horizon. The country is bordered by the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains with the highest peak reaching a height of 1,654 meters above sea level. The eastern part of the country is often referred to as the US Midwest. It is even said that Nebraska is where the true West begins. With an area of 200,520 km², Nebraska is the 16th largest state in the USA. Major rivers such as the Missouri River, the Niobrara River, the Platte River and the Republican River flow through the state. Numerous lakes were also created here, the most famous of which are Lewis and Clark Lake, Harlan County Lake or Lake CW McConaughty.
According to TRACKAAH, Nebraska has a population of around 1.8 million and a population density of 8.6 inhabitants per square kilometer. Almost 90% of the population is made up of whites, 4% blacks and the remaining percentages are divided between Indians, Asians and other races. It is also interesting that almost 5% of the population of Nebraska is of Czech origin. Around 90% of the people are Christians, the Roman Catholic Church and Protestants predominate here.
The capital city became the city of Lincoln in 1867, which was named after the assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. Today, around 230,000 people live here and it also serves as the municipal town of Lancaster County. It is one of the few cities in Nebraska that was not built on a river. Omaha is a slightly larger city with a population of 390,000, where many financial institutions are located. Interesting tourist attractions include, for example, the Cathedral of St. Cecílie, the building of the Omaha Burlington Station railway station or the modern building of the Union Pacific Center. According to COUNTRYAAH, other larger cities are Bellevue, Grand Island, Kearney, Fremont, Hastings, North Platte and Columbus.
Nebraska’s economy is mainly dependent on agriculture, with the state’s main products including corn, soybeans, sorghum, beef, milk, grain, and corn. The main industries include food processing, as well as the engineering, electrical, chemical and mining industries.
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument
In the American state of Nebraska, near the city of Harrison, an interesting area known as the Agate Fossil Beds extends over an area of 12.3640 km2. The main landmark of the park is the Niobara River Valley Monument, but the numerous fossils found on Carnegie Hill and University Hill are also attractive.
The whole area is largely made up of plains that are covered with grass. Prairie reeds, a type of blue low grass, small sedges and other types of grasses grow here. In addition, the meadows are overgrown with a number of wild flowers, such as sunflowers, violets, and marigolds.
The area is much sought after by scientists and geologists who come here to look for fossils. It is one of the most famous sites of fossils from the Miocene period, their age is thus estimated at about 20 million years. Some of the best-preserved specimens of mammals in Nebraska have been found here. The remains of the ancestor of today’s horse, pony, bear, gazelle, pig and even beaver were deposited in the ground.
The Agate Springs Ranch, which belonged to Captain James Cook, was originally located on this site. Today it houses a museum that houses numerous historical collections as well as more than 500 different artifacts from Cook’s Native American collections. The Agate Fossil Beds area was designated a National Monument on June 5, 1956, but was not firmly recognized until 1997. It has also been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since August 24, 1977, and is protected by the National Park Service.