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5 Fun Facts About July 28 In Nebraska History

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

1. In 1866, the Union Pacific Railroad officially reached Omaha, Nebraska, connecting the city to the transcontinental railroad and opening up the western United States for further exploration and settlement.

2. On July 28, 1914, World War I officially began with the declaration of war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia. Although Nebraska was not directly involved in the conflict at first, thousands of Nebraskan men would eventually join the fight on the side of the Allies.

3. In 1970, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln hired its first African American head football coach, Johnny Rodgers. Rodgers would go on to lead the team to three consecutive Big Eight titles and a national championship in 1971.

4. On July 28, 1945, a B-25 bomber crashed into the Empire State Building in New York City, killing 14 people and injuring dozens more. One of the passengers on the flight was a former Nebraskan, Lt. Col. William F. Smith Jr., who was en route to Newark from Massachusetts.

5. Nebraska saw its first legal same-sex marriage on July 28, 2015, after a federal judge struck down the state's ban on gay marriage. The ruling was later upheld by the United States Supreme Court in the landmark case of Obergefell v. Hodges.
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