Omaha is the largest city in Nebraska. It is the county seat of Douglas County6. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 390,007. Located on the eastern edge of Nebraska, it is on the Missouri River, just north of where the Platte River runs into the Missouri. Council Bluffs, Iowa lies just across the Missouri River from Omaha. Together, the two cities anchor a metropolitan area of over 750,000 residents in eight counties.
The Trans-Mississippi Exposition was held in Omaha from June 1 to November 1, 1898. The exposition drew over 2 million visitors and involved construction of attractions spanning over 100 city blocks including a shipworthy lagoon, bridges and magnificent buildings.
A devastating tornado ripped through Omaha in 1913 and has become known as the Easter Sunday Tornado.
The Omaha Riot occurred in 1919.
The Omaha Tornado of 1975 is another grim day in Omaha's past. An F4 tornado ripped through neighborhoods along South 72nd Street on May 6, 1975, killing 3 and injuring 133. In terms of damage, it was the costliest tornado in American history to that date, with damage estimates between $250 million and $500 million.
U.S. President Gerald Ford was born in Omaha. However, he only spent his early childhood there; he was adopted by a family in Michigan and grew up there. Omaha was also the birthplace of Malcolm X, but his family moved to Milwaukee when he was one year old.
Omaha Beach is not in Omaha, but rather was an Allied WWII code name for a beach in Normandy.
Arts, culture and attractions
Omaha is home to the Omaha Community Playhouse, one of the most famous and best-endowed community theaters in the United States, and to Girls and Boys Town; its Henry Doorly Zoo is widely considered one of the premier zoos in the world.
A portion of Omaha's renovated Downtown area is known as the Old Market. It is home to a myriad of shops, restaurants, bars and art galleries. There one may find uneven brick roads, horse drawn carriages, and street performers.
Major music groups include the Omaha Symphony, Opera Omaha, Mannheim Steamroller and 311. The Joslyn Art Museum has significant collections, particularly of Native American art and art works relating to the early European exploration of western North America.
Omaha continues to earn mention in many popular songs: see Songs about Omaha. An increasing number of movies about Omaha have also been made.
- 89.7 the River plays contemporary alternative music and is based out of Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs.
- Classical 90.7 is a public classical-format station based out of UNO. It features Blank's Morning Blend, the highest-rated classical morning drive-time show in the country.
- Z-92, 92.3, is home of the famously coarse radio jockeys Todd-n-Tyler and plays rock music.
- KQCH, "Channel 94.1," plays popular music. Formerly country station WOW-FM.
- KEFM, 96.1, plays adult contemporary music.
- KBBX, 97.7, is the first Spanish-language station on the FM dial in Nebraska. Was briefly a smooth jazz station in the 1990s.
- KQKQ, 98.5, "Q98," features modern popular music. Formerly legendary top 40 station "Sweet 98."
- KGOR, 99.9, plays oldies music, primarily from the 1960s and 1970s.
- KLTQ, "Lite Rock 101.9," plays adult contemporary music; from 1995 to 1998 played alternative rock as "101.9 the Edge"; was a rock station based in Lincoln until 1992.
- KXKT, 103.7, "The Kat," plays country music.
- KSRZ, "Star 104.5," "The Best Music from the 80's, 90's and today"; formerly KESY.
- KKCD, "CD105.9," plays classic rock music.
- Retro 106.9 features 80's and early 90's music.
- Hot 107.7/97.3 features modern hip-hop and R&B music.
- Omaha World Herald, the primary local newspaper
- The Reader is an independent weekly newspaper quickly gaining popularity
- Omaha Magazine
First National Bank's Tower
Although Nebraska's economy is agricultural based, Omaha's economy is based in banking and technology and is growing quickly.
Omaha is the home of the headquarters of a number of major corporations, including:
Peter Kiewit and Sons, Inc. Construction Co -- Fortune 500
The Omaha metropolitan area is home to Offutt Air Force Base, which was the location of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) during the Cold War and is the current home of the U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM).
Omaha's Rosenblatt Stadium is home to the Omaha Royals minor-league baseball team and hosts the annual NCAA College World Series.
The Omaha Beef Arena Football team is also gaining in popularity.
The two major hockey teams in town are the Omaha Lancers playing in the USHL, and the UNO Mavericks, an NCAA Division I-A team playing at the brand new, state-of-the-art Qwest Center Omaha. There are rumors about getting an AHL team to town as well, as the Calgary Flames have expressed some interest in relocating their farm team to Omaha.
- Bellevue Public Schools
- District 66, a small school district whose only high school is Westside
- Millard School District, serving the Millard area; its high schools are Millard North, Millard West, and Millard South
- Omaha Public Schools, the primary city school district; its high schools include Central, Burke, Bryan, North, Northwest, and South
- Papillion-La Vista Public Schools
- Ralston Public Schools, another small school district, mainly serves Ralston, with several grade schools, one middle school Ralston Middle School, and one high school, Ralston High School
- Omaha has a number of Catholic and parochial high schools, including Skutt, Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart in Omaha, and Creighton Preparatory School
- Brownell-Talbot School, Omaha's only independent school, intended to provide a college preparatory education; offers all grades, including preschool and K-12; the state's oldest school, founded in 1863
Colleges and universities
Law and government
Omaha is located at 41°15'38" North, 96°0'47" West (41.260482, -96.012990)1.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 307.9 km² (118.9 mi²). 299.7 km² (115.7 mi²;) of it is land and 8.2 km² (3.2 mi²;) of it is water. The total area is 2.67% water.
The Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area (population 767,041; 60th largest in the United States) consists of eight counties in two states. In descending order of population, they are:
Three of these counties -- Harrison, Mills, and Saunders -- were added to the metro area in 2003 when the Office of Management and Budget revised its definitions of metropolitan areas in the United States.
Neighborhoods and Suburbs
- Bellevue, the oldest city in Nebraska and the state's third largest, is just south of Omaha in eastern Sarpy County.
- Benson is a neighborhood of north-central Omaha near 60th and Maple Streets.
- Boys Town is an incorporated village near 132nd and Dodge Streets and is home to the famous institution of the same name.
- Chalco is an unincorporated residential area southwest of Omaha in northern Sarpy County.
- Dundee is an increasingly trendy neighborhood in central Omaha near 50th and Dodge Streets.
- Elkhorn is a residential suburb west of Omaha in Douglas County.
- Florence is a historic neighborhood in north Omaha. The original Mormon settlement here (ca. 1846) actually predates the city of Omaha.
- La Vista is a residential suburb south of Omaha in north-central Sarpy County.
- Millard is a broad area of southwest Omaha; originally a separate city, Omaha annexed it in 1971. The original town site is near 132nd and Q Streets. The Millard school district is separate from that of Omaha.
- North Omaha is a predominantly African-American neighborhood just north of downtown Omaha.
- Papillion is a suburb south of Omaha and immediately south of La Vista. It is the county seat of Sarpy County.
- Ralston is a residential suburb in south-central Douglas County roughly bounded by 72nd, 84th, L, and Harrison Streets. It is surrounded by Omaha on three sides.
- South Omaha is a working-class neighborhood south of downtown Omaha. Once a separate city, it was annexed by the city of Omaha in 1915. Today its population is predominantly Hispanic.
Omaha's Eppley Airfield serves much of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa. Eppley is situated near the Oxbow Lake Carter Lake, which is part of Iowa, cut off by the Missouri River on March 16, 1877.
The primary mode of transportation in Omaha is by car, with I-80 providing major freeway service. Public transportation is popular as well, however. Metro Area Transit performs bus services while several taxicab companies pick up the rest.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 390,007 people, 156,738 households, and 94,983 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,301.5/km² (3,370.7/mi²). There are 165,731 housing units at an average density of 553.1/km² (1,432.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 78.39% White, 13.31% African American, 0.67% Native American, 1.74% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 3.91% from other races, and 1.92% from two or more races. 7.54% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 156,738 households out of which 30.0% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.8% are married couples living together, 13.0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 39.4% are non-families. 31.9% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.42 and the average family size is 3.10.
In the city the average age of the population is diverse with 25.6% under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 95.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 92.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $40,006, and the median income for a family is $50,821. Males have a median income of $34,301 versus $26,652 for females. The per capita income for the city is $21,756. 11.3% of the population and 7.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 15.6% of those under the age of 18 and 7.4% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Famous people from Omaha
- Johnny Carson, talk show host/entertainer
- Fred Astaire, dancer, actor
- Marlon Brando, actor
- Gerald R. Ford, U.S. president
- William Jennings Bryan, politician/orator
- Malcolm X, civil rights activist
- Warren Buffett, billionaire investor
- Henry Fonda, actor
- Montgomery Clift, actor
- Peter Fonda, actor
- Gayle Sayers, pro football hall of famer
- Bob Gibson, pro baseball hall of famer
- Ahman Green, pro football player
- Nick Nolte, actor
- Conor Oberst, singer-songwriter of musical groups Bright Eyes and Desaparecidos
- The members of rapcore band 311
- J. Joseph Ricketts, billionaire
- Walter Scott, Jr., billionaire
- Swoosie Kurtz, actor
- Chip Davis, founder of Mannheim Steamroller
- Gabrielle Union, actor
Songs About Omaha
Interestingly, a number of songs exist about or referring to Omaha. A list follows of songs about Omaha:
I'm a Bad, Bad Man from Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun
Bob Seger - Turn the Page
Mindy McCready - Maybe, Maybe Not
- Songs that mention Omaha include:
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License at http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html
You may copy and modify it as long as the entire work (including additions) remains under this license.
You must provide a link to http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html
To view or edit this article at Wikipedia go to http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omaha,_Nebraska