Jun 28, 2023 Communities

16 Fun + Interesting Facts About Lincoln, Nebraska

Most of us know some of the basic facts about Lincoln — namely, that it’s the capital of Nebraska and the home of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. But there are several lesser-known facts waiting to be discovered about the city, like its intriguing nicknames, record-breaking achievements and extraordinary contributions. Not to mention, its connection to the McRib® sandwich and its larger-than-life woolly mammoth skeleton collection.

Let’s dive in and discover the captivating secrets that make Lincoln an unforgettable place to explore — and an even better place to live!


It is Often Called “Star City”

Fun Facts About Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln is sometimes called “Star City” — and the reason for this nickname is up for debate. Most say it’s because a star is used on maps to designate the capital city, while others say it’s because of the design of the city’s streetlights, which are situated in the center of small parks and gardens placed at the street intersections, resembling stars.


…And the “Gateway to the West”

One nickname that isn’t up for debate? The “Gateway to the West,” as Lincoln is very close to the center of the country, marking the transition from east to west. In fact, a stone monument designating the geographic center of the continental United States is just a 2.5-hour drive away in Lebanon, Kansas. That’s why Lincoln is considered the gateway to the western half of the country!


The City Was Named After Abraham Lincoln

Fun Facts About Lincoln, Nebraska

Nicknames aside, Lincoln’s name comes from — you guessed it — the 16th president of the United States. Lincoln was originally called Lancaster when it was founded in 1856, but was renamed in honor of the recently assassinated president when it became the capital in 1869.


Memorial Stadium Becomes the Third-Largest “City” in the State on Game Day

On game day, Memorial Stadium is bustling with activity. So much so that the stadium becomes the third-largest “city” in the state during a game, containing nearly 90,000 people, only after Omaha and Lincoln. The Huskers also have the longest sellout streak of any football team in history, lasting more than 60 years!


It is the Birthplace of Arbor Day

Fun Facts About Lincoln, Nebraska

Ever notice how many trees are in Lincoln? That’s not by accident! Lincoln is actually the birthplace of Arbor Day, an important holiday dedicated to tree conservation and planting. Arbor Day was first celebrated in Nebraska City on April 10, 1872, when more than 1 million trees were planted throughout the state.


Lincoln is Home to the National Museum of Roller Skating

Lincoln is home to the National Museum of Roller Skating, which has the largest collection of roller skating artifacts and textual materials in the world. It “captures the colorful history and the promising future of one of America’s greatest sports” with a variety of fascinating exhibits. Established in 1980, this unique museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission is completely free!


…And the International Quilt Study Center & Museum

Fun Facts About Lincoln, Nebraska

The city is also home to another museum focused on a niche subject: quilts! Situated on the University of Nebraska’s east campus, the International Quilt Study Center & Museum houses the largest publicly held quilt collection in the world, with quilts from many different cultures, time periods and styles. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Lincoln Has the Best Flag

Did you know Lincoln has its own flag? We think it’s the best in the country — and everyone else agrees! In January 2022, the city got a brand new flag, created by Ed Mejia, a local graphic designer, art director and creative director. And not even a full year later, the flag won first place in the 2022 Urban Life Signs North American City Flag Tournament! See the design and learn more about the flag here.


Johnny Carson Attended UNL

Fun Facts About Lincoln, Nebraska
NBC Television, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The late Johnny Carson, a comedian and producer most known for his late-night talk show, spent some time in Lincoln attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He was born in Corning, Iowa, moved to Norfolk, Nebraska when he was 8, and later attended the university. Other famous personalities from Lincoln include talk show host Dick Cavett, award-winning actress Hillary Swank, former vice president Dick Cheney, model Ashley Graham, actress Lindsey Shaw, and actress Janine Turner.


It Had Quite the Lincoln Logs Structure

It’s only fitting to stack Lincoln Logs in Lincoln — and some folks at the Lincoln Children’s Museum did just that in 2013, taking the game to new heights (literally). The city once held the Guinness Book of World Records title for the tallest building made out of Lincoln Logs, which reached more than 12 feet.


Aviation Expert Charles Lindbergh Learned to Fly in Lincoln

Fun Facts About Lincoln, Nebraska
SDASM Archives, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons

Aviator, author, military officer, activist and inventor Charles Lindbergh is one of the most influential figures in aviation history. He is most known for making the world’s first solo transatlantic flight, which went from New York City to Paris, a distance of 3,600 miles that took him 33.5 hours to complete. This skilled aviator got his start right here — as he dropped out of college to begin flight training in Lincoln in March of 1922.


Some Scenes from “Yes Man” Were Filmed at Memorial Stadium

Speaking of famous people, actor Jim Carrey spent some time in Lincoln — specifically at Memorial Stadium for the filming of some scenes in “Yes Man.” Filming took place during a Nebraska–Oklahoma game on October 13, 2007.


The First Teller Machine Was Developed in Lincoln

Fun Facts About Lincoln, Nebraska

More importantly, the widespread teller machine got its start here as well. The very first teller machine located off bank property was developed in Lincoln, located at a courtesy counter at a grocery store.


We Have a University of Nebraska Professor to Thank for the McRib® Sandwich

In 1972, Roger Mandingo, a professor at the University of Nebraska, received a grant from the National Pork Producers to come up with a solution for restructured meats. He developed a model for binding meat together using salt and mechanical action, which opened the door for things like dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets and the McRib® Sandwich!


Morrill Hall Has the Largest Mammoth Skeleton on Display in the World

Fun Facts About Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln proudly hosts a legendary giant within the University of Nebraska State Museum, affectionately known as Morrill Hall or Elephant Hall. Inside this remarkable museum, visitors can marvel at the largest mammoth skeleton on display worldwide, affectionately named Archie. It’s only right that Archie lives here, as he was originally discovered by chickens on a farm in Lincoln County.


Lincoln is One of the Best Cities in the Country to Buy a House

We think Lincoln is an excellent place to live — and there’s data to support that! At the end of 2022, Veros® Real Estate Solutions released their 2022 Q3 VeroFORECAST, which projected that Lincoln and Omaha will be the first and third best-performing markets in the country over the following 12 months. Also, Lincoln was included amongst Niche’s list of the Top 10 Cities to Buy a House in the U.S. in 2022 — and this year, it landed at the #14 spot.

If you’re interested in living here, we can help with that! Take a look at these homes for sale in Lincoln and contact us if you would like to get connected with a local real estate agent.


What Did We Miss?

What fun facts about Lincoln are we missing? Share your knowledge in the comments below!

Jun 28, 2023 Communities
comments powered by Disqus