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Innovative Wide-Area Shopping and Feature News i Adams Clay-"lllmore Saline Webster Nuckolls Thayer Jefferson This Leader published the week of April 20, 2015 as part of the Jewell County Record, Hebron Journal-Register, Clay County News, Nebraska Signal and The Superior Express. The next Leader will be published the week of May 4, 2015. More Than 30,000 Readers Nebraska has 'roug]l and tumble' political history Nebraska Timeline A service of the Nebraska State Historical Society One conundrum that writers often face is the distinction be- tween capitol (the building) and capital (the seat of government). According to one early Nebraska legislator, confusion over the meaning of the two words threat- ened to derail efforts to relocate the seat of Nebraska government in 1867. Omaha was the capital of Ne- braska Territory from 1855 until after statehood was achieved in 1867. This reality continually out- raged legislators and other Nebras- kans from south of the Platte River, who felt political chicanery by Omaha politicians and speculators had deprived the South Platters of their rightful claim to the prize. Although the area south of the Platte had the larger population, Territo- rial Governor Thomas B. Cuming had drawn the legislative districts to give those living north of the Platte a majority. The North Platters were thus able to turn back all efforts to relo- cate the capital during the territo- rial years. The political balance changed, however, with the ascen- dancy of the Republican Party dur- ing the Civil War and the election of the first state legislature, which had a South Platte majority. The first state governor, David Butler, The Last Territorial Capitol Building was also from south of the Platte and could be counted on to support capital relocation. One of Butler' s first official acts was to call the state legislature into special sessionon May 16, 1867, to get the new state up and running. Removal oftbe capital from Omaha was high on the list of things to do. At that time the legislature was still meeting in the former territorial capitol building in Omaha. The South Platte majority in both houses of the legislature had the votes to effect removal, but the lack of a dictionary and the idio- syncrasies of the English language had them scratching their heads, according to William M. Hicklin, a representative from Otoe County. He recalled the story in connection in Omaha. with an 1892 reunion of members of the first state legislature, and his tale appeared in volume five of the Nebraska State Historical Society Publications (1893). According to Hicklin, two days were required to draft the reloca- tion bill because none of the legis- lators from the South Platte region knew which of the two words, capi- tal or capitol, meant the seat of government and which meant the building from which the govern- ment operated. Obviously, the bill's intent was to relocate the seat of government, "the capital," not the building, "the capitol." Not a single dictionary was to be found among the legisla- tors from south of the Platte and no one in Omaha would lend them The First State Capitol Building in Lincoln. one, because Omaha residents op- posed capital removal. Some of the South Platte mem- bers were adamant that it was the capitol that was going to be re- moved, bu they grew suspicious when Omaha legislators agreed with them. Finally Hicklin tele- graphed J. Sterling Morton in Ne- braska City, who replied, "Ask the Omaha fellows and then spell it the other way. Keep your eyes open." With that, Hicklin and the others concluded that, indeed, it was the capital that they wanted to move, and the bill was drafted with the proper spelling to accomplish that goal. It passed June 14, 1867, and capital commissioners Governor David Butler, Secretary of State Thomas P. Kennard, and Auditor John Gillespie proceeded to select the village of Lancaster (renamed Lincoln) as Nebraska's new state capital. A new capitol building was built there and the legislature con- vened in Lincoln for its 1869 ses- sion. Perhaps this is an apocryphal story, but it certainly fits the tone of the rough and tumble politics that characterized Nebraska's early years. To learn more about the pro- grams and services of the Nebraska State Historical Society, visit www.nebraskahistory.org. Several Nebraskans b ave pitched in 'ultimate game' see Andrea I. Paul, "His Own Worst The beginning of the major league baseball season brings to mind Nebraskans who have pitched in the game's ultimate contest, the World Series. Omaha's Bob Gibson gave a stellar performance for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1964 series, winning two games and striking out thirty-one batters. In 1967 Gibson won three games in leading the Cardinals to a World Series title over the Boston Red Sox. Then in 1968 he broke his own World Series strikeout record by fanning thirty-five Detroit Ti- gers. Gibson spent seventeen years with the Cardinals, from 1959 to 1975. Clarence Mitchell, born in Franklin in 1891, started pitching in local games and forteams around the state in the early twentieth cen- tury. He was a left-hander, whose specialty was the spit ball, then a legal pitch. His skill attracted ma- jor league scouts, and Mitchell was signed by the Detroit Tigers in 1910. Although his major league career was interrupted by World War I, he played for many clubs including the Brooklyn Dodgers, the New York Giants, the Philadel- phia Phillies, the Cincinnati Reds, and the St. Louis Cardinals. He had Nebraska Timeline A service of the Nebrask State Historical Society a lifetime major league record of 544 strikeouts, 125 games won, and 139 losses. Perhaps Mitchell's most dra- matic baseball moment came in the batter's box during game five of the 1920 World Series between Brooklyn and Cleveland. In the fifth inning he hit into an unas- sisted triple play (the only one in World Series history) and on his next at bat, hit into a double play, making five outs in only two plate appearances. Another major league pitcher of prominence was Grover Cleve- land Alexander, born near Elba in Howard County in 1887. He also played for several local teams be- fore breaking into organized base- ball in 1909 with a team rn Galesburg, Illinois. In 1911, his first year in the major leagues with the Philadelphia Philiies, Alexander led the National League in victories, shutouts, complete games, and innings pitched. From 1915 through 1917 he won ninety- four games. After Alexander's career was also interrupted by World War I, he played for the Chicago Cubs, the St. Louis Cardinals, and again with the Phillies. His best remem- bered feat in the World Series was in 1926, when Alexander, then age 39, won two games pitching against the New York Yankees and saved the crucial seventh game as a relief pitcher. In that game he struck out the Yankees" Tony Lazzeri with the bases loaded in the seventh, and then held the Yankees hitless for the final two ihifings. Before his major league career ended in 1930, Alexander had won 373 games with an earned run average of 2.56. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939, one of the thirteen original inductees. To read more about Alexander' s baseball career and his troubled life after he retired from the game, Enemy:The Rise and Fall of Grover Cleveland Alexander" in the Spring 1990 issue of Nebraska History, which is available on the Nebraska State Historical Society's website (see below). After reaching the site, go to "Publishing Program" and click on "Nebraska History Maga- zine," then "read articles." To learn more about the pro- grams and services of the Nebraska State Historical Society, visit www.nebraskahistory.org. The Leader Publication Schedule The week of May 4 The week of May 18 The week of June 1 The week of June 15 The week of July 6 Advertising deadline is the Thursday preceding the week of publication. Contact any sponsoring newspaper to place an advertising order.