Introduction 1 of 6

Nebraska has had only two official state names:

  • The Tree Planter State, 1895 - 1945 and

  • The Cornhusker State, 1945 - present. (Many outsiders may think that this last title derived from the football team, rather than the other way around.)
Cornhusker State license plate, 1969
"Cornhusker State" license plate, 1969.
Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, 1969plate
Beef State license plate, 1956
"Beef State" license plate, 1956.
Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, 1956plate
However, beef had become so important to Nebraska’s economy by the 1950s that from 1956 through 1965, the Nebraska license plate carried the motto, The Beef State. That title was never an official state name by act of the legislature, but it carried an important place in the hearts of Nebraskans.

Beef had become the center of attention in Nebraska,
not only at our tables, but in our pockets as well.

Beef boomed Nebraska’s economy. The tax revenue it generated helped support important, long sought-after building projects and created new institutions, such as:

  • The Nebraska State Historical Society’s museum in 1952.

  • The Nebraska ETV Network in 1954.

  • The governor’s residence in 1956.

  • And many more.

Construction of the Nebraska State Historical Society building, 1952.
Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG0014-8-1

Nebraska Educational Television’s early studio, 1954.
Courtesy NET Television

Nebraska Governor’s residence in Lincoln, west side, 1956.
Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG2869-97
double cheeseburger from the 1950s
Double cheeseburger from 1953.
Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society, RG2183-1953-0702-1
In Nebraska, the prosperity of the 1950s and ‘60s that the rest of the country also felt was directly a result of our beef economy.
Beef helped Nebraska prosper after World War II.
From the 2008 NET program, Beef State

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Civil Defense

1925-1949 Beef Goes Modern
Follow THE STORY OF BEEF through the decades.
Beef Moves
to Nebraska
High Falutin’
Beef Goes Modern
NE Beef
Goes Global