A Brief History
Set in the middle of the country and founded in 1854, Omaha is a unique blend of a Midwest community and a thriving city that surprises most visitors. With a population of 831,400, Omaha is increasing in not only numbers but in its appeal to individuals of all backgrounds. Nicknamed “paradise on the plains” by Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine in 2008, Omaha was ranked the number three best city to “live work and play,” in June 2008.
Omaha has always been a city of exploration and expansion. In 1804, the Lewis and Clark expedition passed through lands that would later be Omaha. In the 19th century, Omaha’s economy boomed in full force with railroads, stockyards and four major meat packing plants. To this day, Omaha still celebrates their significance in the groundbreaking of the first trans-continental railroad in 1863. Omaha was also the hub of the telegraph line to California in 1861.
It has been in Omaha’s nature to continue growing and discovering many new possibilities. That is true even today. With the continuing westward expansion to the development of the downtown area, Omaha is rising in the national spotlight as a city to visit and live. In July of 2008, the Wall Street Journal highlighted Omaha as, “one of the nation’s biggest success stories.” Five Fortune 500 companies including Berkshire Hathaway, ConAgra Foods, and Union Pacific Railroad, have rooted themselves in this city contributing to the thriving business community and vibrant philanthropic interest.
New to the area in 2008, was the Olympic Swimming Trials which attracted another sports loving crowd. These fans vastly outnumbered the individuals who attended the trials the previous year in another city. One of America’s favorite pastimes, the College World Series, brings in thousands of people from all over the United States, every year to Omaha. We hope that you will be one of the many visitors to experience Omaha, the Heartland of America!
Did you know...?
- Omaha is home to five Fortune 500 companies.
- Investment tycoon, Warren Buffet, calls Omaha home.
- World renown Henry Doorly Zoo is located in Omaha.
- Known for it's American West Collection, the Joslyn Art Museum, located in downtown Omaha, is Nebraska’s largest and most distinguished art museum.
- During the summer months, Omaha hosts the College World Series.
- Omaha has a thriving music scene with Saddlecreek Records and home to many contemporary music groups such as 311, Bright Eyes and The Faint.
- Omaha will be hosting back to back trials for US Olympic Swimming Team in 2012.
- Many notable people either were born or grew up in Omaha including: President Gerald Ford, Fred Astaire, Marlon Brando, Gabrielle Union, Henry Fonda, Andy Roddick and Malcolm X!