May 14, 2009

Westward, Ho! Nebraska State Capitol Building

Posted in Look tagged , , at 10:17 am by onetinyacorn

Lincoln, Nebraska holds some hidden gems: it boasts museums for both roller skating and quilts, public gardens, and the nation’s first vernacular state capitol building. It was filled rich mosaics, symbols, and intricate details.

There are stories behind every mosaic, of course. The most compelling one accompanies “The Blizzard of 1888” (middle photo): a huge blizzard suddenly engulfed the plains; schoolchildren had gone to school one relatively warm day, but by 3 p.m., the temperature had dropped drastically. Their teacher, Minnie Freeman, decided it was safest to keep them at the school–until the roof caved in. She tied a rope around each of the 13 children’s waists, and walked them all to safety. On a day when 235 people died, all of the children in her care lived. The golden line in the mosaic represents the rope.

Other Things I Learned:

* Nebraska has the only unicameral legislature

* Before they can vote on a bill, it must be read in full. The result is a rapid, indiscernible mumbling the likes of which I haven’t witnessed since high school teachers forced the most incorrigible students in our class to read aloud from textbooks.


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