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History of Sarpy County - Wednesday, May 19
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The smallest of Nebraska's ninety-three counties, Sarpy County's history looms large. The area was originally home to Native Americans but soon became the gateway to the west. Hundreds of thousands of settlers moved through the area during America’s westward migration, and they had to cross rivers on ferries like the one operated by the county's namesake, Peter Sarpy. The addition of Offutt Air Force Base and the Martin Bomber Plant made the county an important hub during World War II and beyond. This presentation will explore the rich history of Sarpy County and the transformation through the years as it has gone from arrows to aerospace and is currently the fastest growing county in Nebraska.

History of Offutt Air Force Base - Wednesday, May 26
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The year is 1888, and President Grover Cleveland has just signed into law a bill that will lead to the establishment of Fort Crook. In 1948, that Army post gained a new name: Offutt Air Force Base. The history of Offutt Air Force Base is truly unlike that of any other military installation. In the face of adversity, it has overcome challenges during the United States' rise to global prominence, was active during the golden age of flight, and served as a wartime bomber plant. The base remained ever vigilant during the Cold War and continues to do so as a combatant of 21st-century threats. Its remarkable existence of nearly 125 years can serve as a road map of US history. Today, the 55th Wing serves as the host unit for Offutt Air Force Base; its motto, "Videmus Omnia" ("We See All"), can also be applied to the saga of the base.

Ben Justman
Always having a passion for history, Ben Justman graduated from Central College in Pella, IA for his BA in History and obtained his MA in History from Western Illinois University. In addition to serving as the Executive Director of the Sarpy County Museum, he teaches at Iowa Western Community College and serves on the board for the Nebraska Jewish Historical Society. His prior experience involved working with local history museums as well as Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry and the Churchill Museum, a branch of the Imperial War Museum in London. More recently, Ben was named the 2018 Person of the Year by the Bellevue Leader. He lives in Papillion with his better half, Jeannette and their yellow lab, Barley.

Wed, June 23 2021 13 Tammuz 5781