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5 Fun Facts About February 20 In Nebraska History

---Learn Every Day: NE Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history ne To: 618-270-4005---

1. Nebraska became a state on February 20, 1867. Known as the "Cornhusker State", Nebraska is the 37th state to enter the Union. To celebrate this event, the state holds a celebration on February 20 each year.

2. On February 20, 1943, the worst train accident in Nebraska's history occurred near Bayard. The trains carrying 800 people, including soldiers en route to California, collided head-on. The collision resulted in the deaths of 100 people and injured over 200.

3. Joseph Ratzinger, who would later become Pope Benedict XVI, celebrated Mass in Omaha on February 20, 1976. This was the only time a future pope has visited Nebraska.

4. On February 20, 2006, the state highway signs were changed to reflect the decimalization of the interstate highway system. Nebraska was one of the last states to make this change, as it required a significant overhaul of the state's signage system.

5. On February 20, 2019, Governor Pete Ricketts declared a "State of Emergency" due to record-low temperatures and high winds causing widespread power outages and dangerous travel conditions. This was the first time Nebraska had declared a State of Emergency for a weather-related event in over 20 years.
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