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5 Fun Facts About February 26 In Nebraska History

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

1. On February 26, 1860, the first Pony Express rider arrived in Nebraska City. The Pony Express was a mail delivery service that operated from April 1860 to October 1861, delivering mail and small packages from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California in ten days or less.

2. In 1887, the Nebraska Legislature passed a law that made Nebraska the first state to celebrate Arbor Day as a state holiday. The first Arbor Day was celebrated on April 10, 1885, but it wasn't until February 26, 1892, that Arbor Day was officially recognized as a legal holiday in Nebraska.

3. On February 26, 1935, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Nebraska farmer in the landmark case of Nebbia v. People of the State of New York. The case established the legal principle that states have the right to regulate business in the interest of public welfare, and paved the way for state and federal regulations on everything from food safety to environmental protection.

4. On February 26, 1941, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln won its first Big Six Conference basketball championship, defeating the University of Kansas 47-45. The Big Six Conference was the predecessor to the current Big 12 Conference, and Nebraska went on to win a total of seven Big Six championships before the conference dissolved in 1996.

5. In 1988, NASA astronaut Michael Anderson became the first African American from Nebraska to travel into space. Anderson was a member of the crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, which launched from the Kennedy Space Center on March 22, 1998. He was tragically killed on February 1, 2003, when the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.
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