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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
Collage of Local Legacies
Melissa Baynes demonstrates spinning wheel ,1984
Spinning wheel demonstration, 1984. Photo courtesy Homestead National Monument

Homestead Days in Beatrice

Held at Homestead National Monument and in downtown Beatrice, this five-day event celebrates the legacy of the homesteaders who settled America's heartland. Operated by the National Park Service, the monument is located on the site of the Daniel Freeman farm, one of the first to be claimed under the Homestead Act of 1862. The original Homestead Days celebration in 1979 was hosted by monument staff only, but by 1984 attendance had grown beyond the capacity of the monument facilities. The Beatrice Chamber of Commerce joined the Park Service in sponsoring the event, which also received additional funding as a result. New events were added to the traditional pioneer craft demonstrations and one-room schoolhouse living history performances. Musical entertainment, Native American dancers, a live portrayal of Abraham Lincoln, and a "time tunnel" of history are among the new attractions. In 1999, nearly 37,000 people attended the events. Homestead Days is documented in text and 28 photographs.

Originally submitted by: J. Robert Kerrey, Senator.

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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