Omaha, Nebraska

"Equality before the law." - Nebraska State Motto

For 2021, SIETAR USA comes to the city of Omaha, in the heart of the United States Midwest. Currently, the 42nd largest city in the United States, the metropolitan area is home to over 900,000 people who welcome visitors with open arms and authentic Midwestern hospitality. 


The History of Omaha

Omaha was founded in 1854 in an area that had been visited by Lewis & Clark during their 1804 expedition to the Pacific coast. Westward-bound Mormons spent the winter of 1846–47 there at an encampment they named Winter Quarters (an area later annexed by Omaha). 1847 and 1848 saw residents of the area begin the Mormon migration to what became the state of Utah, but because the west side of the Missouri River was closed to permanent “white” settlement, the Mormons moved the point for subsequent departures to nearby Kanesville, Iowa (renamed Council Bluffs in 1853).

Whether it was the Native American Indian tribes, pioneers, railroad laborers or meat packers, everyone who came to call Omaha home helped shape its current cultural diversity, hard work ethic, and friendly demeanor. Named after an American Indian Tribe, Omaha means "Those going against the wind or current", Omahans proudly continue to live up to the name. 

In recent years, the Omaha riverfront and downtown area have experienced tremendous growth with over two billion dollars in new development. A one-of-a-kind $22 million pedestrian bridge S-curves its way across the Missouri River, the signature, cable-stayed Bob Kerrey Bridge is one of the longest pedestrian bridge projects ever constructed, giving Omaha visitors a breathtaking view of the ever-changing skyline.  The city is the home of renowned investor and philanthropist Warren Buffet, affectionately known as the "Oracle of Omaha", and his Fortune 500 company Berkshire-Hathaway, Inc. Omaha has long been one of the largest railroad centers in the United States, and is home to the Union Pacific Railway Company. 

Map of downtown Omaha and the riverfront, c.1900
(courtesy Britannica.com)

Omaha Municipal Code prohibits discrimination because of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, age, sex, disability, familial status, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity in connection with employment, housing, and public accommodation (bars, restaurants, hotels, etc.).

City of Omaha
Human Rights & Relations

Civil Rights in Omaha

Like many U.S. cities, in the 1950s and '60s, Omaha was home to a strong civil rights movement as African American citizens sought to end discrimination in employment and housing. Poverty and growing militancy among young people and strained police-community relations contributed to outbreaks of violence. Overt tensions began to ease in the wake of job programs, civil rights laws, and growing sensitivity among white residents. A federal court ruled that de facto racial segregation prevailed in the Omaha Public Schools. This ruling led to the busing of students away from neighborhood schools beginning in 1976 as a means of achieving integration. Mandatory school busing was officially ended in 1999; no consensus as to its value was ever reached. The Omaha Public School District continues its efforts to improve inner-city education.


In and Around Omaha

Omaha Weather: The month of October in Omaha is usually sunny, cool, and dry. Average daytime temperatures range from 57-65 F (13-18 C), with night time temps that can range from 38-45F (3-8 C). Since the temps can be chilly, it's a good idea to pack clothing that can be layered. Long pants or jeans, pullovers, cardigans, sweaters, and a light coat or jacket are recommended. (Source: Weather Spark)

Things to Do

For details about the attractions listed here and countless others, visit: https://www.visitomaha.com/

Omaha, "The Gateway to the West", has no shortage of history, culture, art and beauty to offer. Area attractions you might want to consider:

The Old Market: The Old Market is a neighborhood located in the downtown, and features restaurants, art galleries and upscale shopping. The area retains its brick paved streets from the turn of the century, horse-drawn carriages, and covered sidewalks in some areas. It is not uncommon to see a variety of street performers, artists, and other vendors. 

Walk On Bob: The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, that is! This stunning, 3,000-foot long walkway stretches across the Missouri River, giving pedestrians a spectacular view of Omaha’s skyline and an almost airborne experience. On the Nebraska side, enjoy the 3-acre Omaha Plaza with an interactive water jet fountain, River Critters Environmental Play Area and access to the National Park Service Visitors Center. Photo opp alert: stand in two states at the same time - one foot in Nebraska and one foot in Iowa!

The Durham Museum: The Durham Museum is located at 801 South 10th Street in downtown Omaha. The museum is affiliated with the Smithsonian, and is housed in Omaha's former grand Union Station, which is a National Historic Landmark. Exhibits include restored train cars, 1940s storefronts, and rare coins and documents. And don't miss a chance to enjoy an authentic phosphate or a malt at its authentic soda fountain!  

Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium: Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is nationally renowned for its leadership in animal conservation and research. Evolving from the public Riverview Park Zoo established in 1894, today the zoo includes several notable exhibits. It features the largest cat complex in North America; "Kingdoms of the Night" is the world's largest nocturnal exhibit and indoor swamp; the Lied Jungle is one of the world's largest indoor rainforests, and the "Desert Dome" is one of the world's largest indoor deserts, as well as the largest glazed geodesic dome in the world.



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