Significant events in the history of Omaha, Nebraska, include social, political, cultural, and economic activities.
Omaha is the largest city in the U.S. state of Nebraska and the county seat of Douglas County. Omaha is in the Midwestern United States on the Missouri River, about 10 mi (15 km) north of the mouth of the Platte River. The nation's 39th-largest city, Omaha's 2020 census population was 486,051.
The Territory of Nebraska was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 30, 1854, until March 1, 1867, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Nebraska. The Nebraska Territory was created by the Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854. The territorial capital was Omaha. The territory encompassed areas of what is today Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Colorado, and Montana.
North Omaha is a community area in Omaha, Nebraska, in the United States. It is bordered by Cuming and Dodge Streets on the south, Interstate 680 on the north, North 72nd Street on the west and the Missouri River and Carter Lake, Iowa on the east, as defined by the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the Omaha Chamber of Commerce.
Florence is a neighborhood in Omaha, Nebraska, United States on the city's north end and originally one of the oldest cities in Nebraska. It was incorporated by the Nebraska Territorial Legislature on March 10, 1857. The site of Winter Quarters for Mormon migrants traveling west, it has the oldest cemetery for people of European descent and oldest standing gristmill in Nebraska. Florence was the site of an illegal territorial legislature in 1858. Given the high concentration of National Register of Historic Places in the neighborhood, it is regarded as "the historic front door to Omaha as well as the state."
North Omaha, Nebraska has a recorded history spanning over 200 years, pre-dating the rest of Omaha, encompassing wildcat banks, ethnic enclaves, race riots and social change. North Omaha has roots back to 1812 and the founding of Fort Lisa. It includes the Mormon settlement of Cutler's Park and Winter Quarters in 1846, a lynching before the turn of the twentieth century, the thriving 24th Street community of the 1920s, the bustling development of its African-American community through the 1950s, a series of riots in the 1960s, and redevelopment in the late 20th and early 21st century.
Significant events in the history of North Omaha, Nebraska include the Pawnee, Otoe and Sioux nations; the African American community; Irish, Czech, and other European immigrants, and; several other populations. Several important settlements and towns were built in the area, as well as important social events that shaped the future of Omaha and the history of the nation. The timeline of North Omaha history extends to present, including recent controversy over schools.
Saratoga Springs, Nebraska Territory, or Saratoga, was a boom and bust town founded in 1856 that thrived for several years. During its short period of influence the town grew quickly, outpacing other local settlements in the area including Omaha and Florence, and briefly considered as a candidate for the Nebraska Territorial capitol. Saratoga was annexed into Omaha in 1887, and has been regarded a neighborhood in North Omaha since then.
The history of Omaha, Nebraska, began before the settlement of the city, with speculators from neighboring Council Bluffs, Iowa staking land across the Missouri River illegally as early as the 1840s. When it was legal to claim land in Indian Country, William D. Brown was operating the Lone Tree Ferry to bring settlers from Council Bluffs to Omaha. A treaty with the Omaha Tribe allowed the creation of the Nebraska Territory, and Omaha City was founded on July 4, 1854. With early settlement came claim jumpers and squatters, and the formation of a vigilante law group called the Omaha Claim Club, which was one of many claim clubs across the Midwest. During this period many of the city's founding fathers received lots in Scriptown, which was made possible by the actions of the Omaha Claim Club. The club's violent actions were challenged successfully in a case ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, Baker v. Morton, which led to the end of the organization.
The neighborhoods of Omaha are a diverse collection of community areas and specific enclaves. They are spread throughout the Omaha metro area, and are all on the Nebraska side of the Missouri River.
The Nebraska Territorial Legislature was held from January 16, 1855 until 1865 in Omaha City, Nebraska Territory.
The Near North Side of Omaha, Nebraska is the neighborhood immediately north of downtown. It forms the nucleus of the city's African-American community, and its name is often synonymous with the entire North Omaha area. It is bordered by Cuming Street on the south, 30th on the west, 16th on the east, and Locust Street to the north.
The Miller Park neighborhood in North Omaha, Nebraska is a historically significant community housing a historic district and several notable historic places. It is located between Sorenson Parkway on the south and Redick Avenue on the north, Florence Boulevard on the east and 30th Street on the west. The Minne Lusa neighborhood borders on the north, and the Saratoga neighborhood is on the south. Fort Omaha borders the neighborhood on the west. Miller Park is the namesake park in the neighborhood, as well as the Miller Park Elementary School. In 2017, the Miller Park/Minne Lusa area was ranked as having the 2nd highest rate of homicides and other violent crimes out of 81 Omaha neighborhoods.
Herman Kountze was a powerful and influential pioneer banker in Omaha, Nebraska, during the late 19th century. After organizing the Kountze Brothers Bank in 1857 as the second bank in Omaha, Herman and his brothers Augustus, Charles and Luther changed the charter in 1863, opening the First National Bank of Omaha that year. Kountze was involved in a number of influential ventures around Omaha, including the development of the Omaha Stockyards and the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition of 1898. Immediately after his death Kountze was regarded as one of Omaha's "old settlers". Today Kountze's First National Bank is the oldest bank west of the Mississippi River, and continues as a privately held company in its sixth generation of family ownership.
The Omaha Claim Club, also called the Omaha Township Claim Association and the Omaha Land Company, was organized in 1854 for the purpose of "encouraging the building of a city" and protecting members' claims in the area platted for Omaha City in the Nebraska Territory. At its peak the club included "one or two hundred men", including several important pioneers in Omaha history. The Club included notable figures important to the early development of Omaha. It was disbanded after a ruling against their violent methods by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1860 in Baker v. Morton.
Alfred D. Jones was a late 19th-century lawyer, surveyor and politician in the Midwestern United States. In 1846 he platted Fort Des Moines, Iowa, and in 1854 he platted Omaha, Nebraska. He became the first settler in Omaha, as well as the first postmaster, a member of the first Omaha City Council and the first Omaha School Board, and was among the first legislators of the Nebraska Territory.
Transportation in Omaha, Nebraska, includes most major modes, such as pedestrian, bicycle, automobile, bus, train and airplane. While early transportation consisted of ferries, stagecoaches, steamboats, street railroads, and railroads, the city's transportation systems have evolved to include the Interstate Highway System, parklike boulevards and a variety of bicycle and pedestrian trails. The historic head of several important emigrant trails and the First Transcontinental Railroad, its center as a national transportation hub earned Omaha the nickname "Gate City of the West" as early as the 1860s.
Jesse Lowe was the first mayor of Omaha, Nebraska, serving for one year from March 5, 1857 to March 2, 1858. An important real estate agent in the early city, Lowe is credited with naming the city after the Omaha Tribe.
The Omaha and Council Bluffs Railway and Bridge Company, known as O&CB, was incorporated in 1886 in order to connect Omaha, Nebraska with Council Bluffs, Iowa over the Missouri River. With a sanctioned monopoly over streetcar service in the two cities, the O&CB was among the earliest major electric street railway systems in the nation, and was one of the last streetcar operators in the U.S., making its last run in 1955.
North 30th Street is a two-way street that runs south–north in the North Omaha area of Omaha, Nebraska. With the street beginning at Dodge Street, historically significant sections include those from Dodge to Lake Street, from Fort Street to Laurel Avenue, and from Weber to Bondesson Streets.
The First Nebraska Territorial Legislature first met in Omaha, Nebraska, on January 15, 1855. The Council Bluffs and Nebraska Ferry Company provided the first meeting place, which was a building "constructed for public purposes". Standing out from the estimated twenty shacks in the young town, it was the first brick building in Omaha, which was founded the year before when the Nebraska Territory was created. Responsible for several important decisions that laid an important foundation for the future statehood for Nebraska, the Nebraska Territorial Legislature made controversial decisions and provided leadership for the territory.