Tag Archives: Born in Nebraska

May Celebrations – 2017


Born in May, Born in Nebraska

Henry Jaynes Fonda. Born in Omaha on May 16, 1905, died August 12, 1982, of cardio-respiratory arrest in Los Angeles.

Henry Fonda Trivia:

  1. He was also known as One-Take Fonda.
  2. At 76, Fonda was the oldest person to win a best actor Oscar (On Golden Pond).
  3. He studied acting in Omaha with Dorothy Brando, mother of Marlon Brando.
  4. One of Fonda’s hobbies was beekeeping. He also enjoyed making model airplanes and kites. He earned the rank of Life Scout and became a scout master as an adult.
  5. Fonda served in the Navy for three years during WWII, winning the Bronze Star for his service in the Central Pacific.

Quote: “If there is something in my eyes, a kind of honesty in the face, then I guess you could say that’s the man I’d like to be, the man I want to be.”


May 8-14. National Children’s Book Week. Pick up a children’s book at the library and read it to a child or just for yourself! Many fabulous kids’ books are not just for kids. (Two of my recent favorites: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. CB)

May 12. National Limerick Day, celebrating the birthday of Edward Lear, born in 1812. He wrote this one:

There was a young lady whose chin
Resembled the point of a pin;
So she had it made sharp, and purchased a harp,
And played several tunes with her chin.


Gerald R. Ford, 1913-2006


Gerald FordGerald Rudolff Ford was born as Leslie Lynch King, Jr. in Omaha, Nebraska on July 14, 1913, but was raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His name was changed when his mother remarried, to Gerald R. Ford, Sr.

Although as President he had a reputation of being clumsy, he was captain of the football team in high school and served as assistant coach while studying law at Yale. In the Navy during WWII, he attained the rank of lieutenant commander and earned several medals of distinction.

He and Betty – a former model who taught dance to handicapped children – were newlyweds when he was elected to Congress in 1948.

Ford was the only president never to be elected – even as Vice President. In October 1973, President Nixon appointed him Vice President after Spiro Agnew resigned. On August 9, 1974, Ford became the 38th President after Nixon’s Watergate scandal.

FORD FACTS: During his first 14 months as President, Ford vetoed 39 measures; he was the first U.S. President to visit Japan; two assassination attempts were made on his life. Ford viewed himself as “a moderate in domestic affairs, a conservative in fiscal affairs, and a dyed-in-the-wool internationalist in foreign affairs.” On Inauguration Day, his successor, President Jimmy Carter, began his speech: “For myself and for our Nation, I want to thank my predecessor for all he has done to heal our land.”

Gerald Ford died on December 26, 2006 – the longest any president has lived to date. Feather


Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte, 1865-1915


Doctor.susan.la.flesche.picotteDr. Susan La Flesche Picotte, 1865-1915

The first American Indian woman to become a physician in the United States was born on the Omaha Reservation in Thurston County in northeast Nebraska.

Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte was born June 17, 1865 to Waoo-Winchatcha (Mary Gale), who was half French and half Omaha, and Joseph LaFlesche (Chief Iron Eye), who was half white and half Omaha.

Dr. Picotte was educated at Hampton Institute in Virginia and the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, graduating at the top of her class in 1889. It was unusual for women to attend medical schools; many social conservatives believed that women weren’t able to “manage the mental strain of higher education.”

As a child, Picotte had witnessed the death of a member of her tribe because the agency doctor never came. In her private practice, she treated both tribal and white patients, advocating for better health care for all. In 1912 she founded a reservation hospital, which was later named in her honor.

Picotte crusaded against tuberculosis, which killed hundreds of Omaha, including her husband Henry in 1905. With no cure available, she advocated cleanliness, fresh air, and the eradication of houseflies, believed to be major carriers of TB. She also campaigned against alcohol, lecturing about the virtues of temperance and embracing prohibition laws.

Dr. Picotte died at the age of 50, on September 18, 1915 in Walthill, Nebraska – probably of bone cancer. She is buried in Bancroft Cemetery in Bancroft, Nebraska.