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On the western bank of the Missouri River and twenty miles from the Platte River, Omaha commands significance in the histories of railroad expansion, African Americans in the West, and the creation of the military-industrial complex. In 2012, as the biggest city in Nebraska, with a population exceeding 408,000, Omaha is home to one of the largest meatpacking and agricultural markets in the world and to major leaders in the insurance industry.

Unloading meat in wholesale district, Omaha, Nebraska, 1938

Residents of neighboring Council Bluffs, Iowa, founded Omaha in 1854 after the Omaha tribe ceded its land to the United States. From 1855 to 1867, the city served as territorial capital of Nebraska. In 1858 a 180-mile wagon road connected Omaha to Fort Kearny, making the city ...

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