In the second half the 1700’s, while the English colonists along the east coast of North American were plotting revolution, the area that would become Nebraska was being claimed by the Spanish and the French. The Spanish came into this region from the south over land; the French came up the waterways from the south.
Ultimately it was Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the newly formed United States, who purchased the Louisiana Territory and doubled the size of the new nation.
Nebraska history as told in the artwork and symbolism of the George W. Norris Legislative Chamber does not include British colonial history or the Revolutionary War, but focuses instead on the Spanish and French exploration of the interior west, and finally the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Nebraska is tied to the revolution through people: Thomas Jefferson, the main author of the Declaration of Independence, Meriwether Lewis, whose father had fought for the colonies and William Clark, whose older brothers fought in the Revolutionary War. After gaining independence the new nation began to move west, that movement is the basis of Nebraska history. Come learn more about Nebraska history, the Capitol will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. on Independence Day. Tours will begin at the north door on second floor at 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. and at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. on Thursday July 4th. The Governor’s Residence will be closed.
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