Welcome to Fun Facts About the 50 States, where – week by week – I’ll be taking you on a tour around this great nation of ours, providing you with interesting, yet completely useless and probably untrue, information about each of the 50 states.
This week, it’s time to take a corn-tastic trip to Nebraska, so let’s get started…
* Nebraska became the 37th state on March 1st, 1867. It would’ve become a state during the Civil War, but it was fat and wore glasses, so neither side wanted it on their team.
* The state flower of Nebraska is goldenrod, which should not be confused with any similarly-sounding James Bond or Austin Powers movies.
* The powdered soft drink Kool-Aid was invented in Hastings, Nebraska, and was originally sold by traveling salesmen who would kick down people’s doors and shout, “OH YEAH!!!”
* The tradition of planting trees on Arbor Day started in Nebraska City, Nebraska as a cheap way of marking the numerous graves of Kool-Aid salesmen.
* The state motto of Nebraska is “Corn, college football, and… um… more corn”.
* 40% of the munitions used in WWII had to be manufactured at the Naval Ammunition Depot in Hastings, Nebraska, since the rest of the state was rooting for Hitler.
* The world’s largest indoor rainforest is the Lied Jungle in Omaha, Nebraska, but it’s currently closed to tourists because Daryl Hannah keeps climbing the trees and flinging poo at people.
* Nebraska’s Ogala aquifer is the world’s largest underground water supply. It’s estimated to contain about 800 million gallons of water – about the same as Natalie Maines.
* Nebraska is the only state in the US with a unicameral (one house) legislature, which is currently evenly divided between the Feed Corn and Sweet Corn Parties.
* Nebraska was the first state to complete its segment of the nation’s Interstate Highway system, due to its citizens near-insatiable hunger for something to do besides watch the corn grow, i.e. watching concrete solidify.
* Nebraska’s phenomenal corn production is due to a combination of modern irrigation techniques and good old-fashioned human sacrifice.
* The 9-1-1 emergency phone system was first developed in Lincoln, Nebraska as a replacement for their old emergency communications system of having hobbits light signal fires to call the Riders of Rohan.
* Nebraska’s famous landmark “Chimney Rock” was recently sold to the Pfizer corporation and is now known as “Viagra Point”.
* Omaha, Nebraska is home to the world’s largest coffee pot. While there, remember to tip the world’s largest waitress.
* Kearny, Nebraska is located exactly halfway between Boston and San Francisco. This does NOT make it homophobic. Don’t be so sensitive.
* Marlon Brando’s mother gave Henry Fonda acting lessons at the Omaha Community Playhouse. Unfortunately, she neglected to give him lessons on raising kids not to be commie-loving traitors.
* The world’s largest Woolly Mammoth specimen was found in Lincoln County, Nebraska. If its skin were stretched to its full size, it would cover enough area to make a thong for Michael Moore.
* The Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company’s corporate office has 7 full floors of underground offices, in one of which the Architect awaits Neo.
* The Nebraska Cornhuskers college football team made a NCAA record 35 consecutive bowl appearances. 36, if you count the “Still Looking For A Corporate Sponsor – [Your Name Here] Bowl”.
* The world’s first college course about Rush Limbaugh is taught at Nebraska’s Bellvue University. Topics include “Barking Moonbats – When To Hang Up” and “Things Not To Take On A Plane”.
* Nebraska gets its name from the Oto Indian word “nee-ba-sah”, meaning “Are you SURE we’re not still in Iowa?”.
* The world’s largest porch swing is located in Hebron, Nebraska. It can seat 25 adults, or Michael Moore in a Woolly Mammoth thong.
* The Fur Trading Museum is located near Blair, Nebraska. Just take Highway 75 north from Omaha, then follow the wet pelt smell.
* The University of Nebraska – Lincoln campus boasts America’s largest weight room. It covers 3/4 of an acre and is currently celebrating its second full day of being steroid-free.
* Oops… Nevermind…
* Nebraska’s 1986 Governor’s race was the first in the nation to feature two women running against each other. Sadly, the final vote tally was not close enough to trigger the Jello-wrestling tie-breaker.
* Buffalo Bill held his first rodeo in North Platte, Nebraska, which – contrary to popular rumor – was NOT catered by Hannibal Lecter.
* Father Edward Flanagan founded Boys Town in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1917. To this day, it remains one of the few places in America not infected with girl-cooties.
* Dancer Fred Astaire was born in Omaha, Nebraska, although he had to leave the city after Ginger Rogers gave him cooties.
* Gerald Ford was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and was the only US President to hold the office without having been elected to it – blatherings by Gore and Kerry to the contrary notwithstanding.
That wraps up the Nebraska edition of Fun Facts About the 50 States. Next week it’s all about the drinkin’, gamblin’, and whorin’, because we’re off to Nevada.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go watch some concrete solidify… WOO-HOO!!!
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