The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 02, 1998, Page 3, Image 3

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    Nebraska’s 131st birthday
celebrated at State Capitol
By Kelly Romanski
Staff Reporter
“Are you ready for a birthday
party?” Secretary of State Scott
Moore enthusiastically asked the
800 or so Nebraska fourth graders
who gathered in the Capitol
Rotunda Friday.
The children all gave a hearty
cheer, especially after being told
they were going to get a piece of
cake at the end of Nebraska’s 131st
birthday celebration.
The party, hosted by Moore and
Gov. Ben Nelson, brought fourth
graders from every corner of the
state together for a day devoted to
celebrating Nebraska’s rich history.
In addition to the children invit
ed, 73-year-old Jim Fras, composer
of the state song, “Beautiful
Nebraska,” was honored for his con
tribution to the state. A permanent
display of the song will be placed in
the secretary of state’s office.
The celebration also featured
award presentations to students who
entered various writing and art con
tests. Winners wrote an essay or
drew a picture representing the best
aspects of the state.
All winners received medals,
which Nelson draped around their
necks. David Seay of Avoca then
entertained those on hand with his
presentation of “Nebraska Schools
in the 1800s,” a musical and histori
cal account of 19th-century
Midwestern education. The perfor
mance included an antique trumpet
and a saw with a bow.
The children said they enjoyed
the show but were antsy to eat some
birthday cake afterwards.
“It’s such a special thrill to have
these children here to learn about
the statehood,” said Nelson, who
signed a proclamation declaring
March 1 Nebraska Statehood Day.
“Involvement is so important
and critical for these children,” he
said. “You know, children are 20
percent of the population, but they
are 100 percent of our future.”
When the time finally came to
cut the cake, the kids looked ready.
The Norfolk Children’s Choir, how
ever, had to wait and to sing while
everyone else ate.
Angela Jones, a 12-year-old
It s such a special
thrill to have these
children here
Ben Nelson
sixth-grade member of the choir,
said she was excited to perform al
the state’s birthday party. She and
11-year-old Jenna Hatfield, a fifth
grader, said they were even more
excited to meet the governor.
“Our first question (upon find
ing out we were to perform) was, ‘Is
the governor going to be there?”’
And in the middle of it all was
the ailing Fras, who has terminal
While the Norfolk Children’s
Choir sang “Beautiful Nebraska,’'
he stood up from his wheelchair -
with tears in his eyes - and saluted.
“I could not be happier to heai
these children sing,” he said. “Kids
are my future, even after I pass on.”
Send him out for a walk
or a bike ride. Ask him to
mow the lawn. Anything
that gets him off the
couch and into the habit
of regular activity will help
reduce his risk factors for
heart disease. (And that
goes for you too!) To learn
more, call us at 1-800
AHA-USA1. Or visit us at
on the World Wide Web.
American Heart
Fighting Heart Disease
and Stroke
This space provided as a public service. Copyright 1996, American Heert Association
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April 7, 1998
| Name_
| Address___*_ .
| Phone Numb ;r _
| Mail To: Nebraska Beef Council; A. Bosshamer
P.O. Box 2108; Kearney, NE 68848
Questions? Call 1-800-421-LEAN