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5 Fun Facts About January 11 In Nebraska History

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1. On January 11, 1852, the "Great Black Friday Fire" consumed several blocks of Omaha, Nebraska, causing significant damage to the city's business district. The fire reportedly began at a livery stable and quickly spread due to strong winds, destroying many buildings and several lives. It was one of the worst disasters in Omaha's early history.

2. January 11, 1867, marked the creation of the University of Nebraska, which was established by the Nebraska State Legislature through the Morrill Act. The university's first chancellor, Robert W. Furnas, oversaw the opening of the university's doors on September 7, 1871, with a class of only 22 students.

3. In 1929, on January 11, the Nebraska legislature passed a resolution to ratify the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which established Prohibition in the United States. The amendment, which banned the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol, was repealed 14 years later with the ratification of the 21st Amendment.

4. On January 11, 1964, Nebraska's own Johnny Carson made his debut as the permanent host of "The Tonight Show." Carson, who grew up in Norfolk, Nebraska, hosted the show for 30 years, becoming an American comedy icon in the process.

5. Finally, on January 11, 1997, the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team won its second consecutive national championship, defeating the Tennessee Volunteers in the Orange Bowl. The Cornhuskers, led by coach Tom Osborne, finished the year with a perfect 13-0 record and became the first team in college football history to win back-to-back consensus national titles while maintaining a perfect record.
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