Lincoln, Nebraska's capital and second most populous city, is the home of Nebraska Wesleyan University (1,600 students) and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln (25,000 students). It is situated in gently rolling hills in the southeastern section of the state and started as a farming community.
The Cornhusker State entered the Union on March 1, 1867. It saw its first population spurt in 1848 when gold seekers crossed the territory through river valleys on the way to California. Homesteaders began arriving in 1860.
Bounded by South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Wyoming, Iowa, and Missouri, Nebraska rises from 840 feet in the east to 5,300 feet in the west. The Platte and Missouri Rivers, as well as the Ogallala Aquifer have helped define Nebraska as an agrarian state. Eastern Nebraska can experience hot, humid summers. The west is semi-arid.
Farming and ranching are the main occupational pursuits of Nebraska natives. Cornhuskers rank high in the production of cattle, corn, hogs, soybeans, and wheat. Cheyenne County's oil deposits contribute to the state's economy. Omaha and Lincoln are hubs for the insurance industry.
Nebraska's name comes from the Oto Indian language and means "flat water." The state has one of the country's largest reserves of underground water. Cornhuskers are the largest producers and users of center pivot irrigation.
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