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Offical Nebraska Government Website
Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts, Nebraskans Urge Nominations for Hall of Fame on Mari Sandoz's Birthday

Media Contacts:  

Taylor Gage, Governor’s Office, 402-471-1970

Lynne Ireland, Historical Society, 402-471-4758



Sandoz portraits here. Video here.


LINCOLN – Today on the 120th birthday of renown Nebraska writer Mari Sandoz, the Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission and the Nebraska State Historical Society joined Governor Pete Ricketts to urge Nebraskans to submit nominations for the next member of the Hall of Fame.  Located in the Nebraska State Capitol, the Hall of Fame contains busts of famous Nebraskans including author Mari Sandoz, Buffalo Bill Cody, Governor Robert Furnas, Chief Standing Bear, and General John J. Pershing among numerous others.


“The Nebraska Hall of Fame is a beautiful monument to the men and women who grew Nebraska into the best place in the world to live, work, and raise a family,” said Governor Ricketts.  “Nebraskans who visit our State Capitol enjoy the statues in the Hall of Fame and learn about the history of the Nebraskans who built our state.  From Buffalo Bill to Bess Streeter Aldrich, these men and women are the iconic Nebraska figures who have shaped our state’s character and defined what it means to be a Nebraskan.”


By state law, the Hall of Fame Commission is tasked with facilitating the nomination and selection process for the art placed in the Hall of Fame at the Nebraska State Capitol.  The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to highlight Nebraskans who achieved prominence during their lifetime.  Every five years, a new Nebraskan may be selected for the Hall of Fame from nominations submitted to the commission.  To be eligible, the nominee must have been deceased for a minimum of 35 years and meet several other criteria.


“This year, Nebraskans have a voice in who will be added to the Hall of Fame, and I encourage all Nebraskans to consider submitting a nomination to the commission for consideration,” said Hall of Fame Commission Chairman Dr. Ron Naugle of Lincoln.  “Public input is a pivotal part of our process in selecting the next bust for the Hall of Fame in the State Capitol.  Interested parties have until December to submit a name, and the commission will thoughtfully consider all eligible nominations we receive.”


Born 120 years ago today in Sheridan County, Nebraska, author Mari Sandoz is nationally renowned for her work which examined pioneer life on the Great Plains and Plains Indian culture.  Her works include Old Jules, The Beaver Men, The Cattlemen, and The Battle of the Little Bighorn among many others.  She died at the age of 69 in 1966, and is buried in the Sandhills.  On May 4, 1980, her bust was dedicated in the Hall of Fame.


“The life and work of Mari Sandoz has shaped our state’s identity and reputation in many ways,” said State Historical Society Director Michael Smith.  “The story of the life of Mari Sandoz is a true Nebraska story.  Growing up in the Nebraska Sandhills where horticulture and agriculture was not simply an occupation, but rather it was the core stuff of survival, Mari overcame privations and challenges that can be painful to consider today.  She embodies the grit and determination that is spirit of Nebraska.” 


The deadline to submit a nomination for this next cycle is December 31, 2016.  The nomination form along with a list of eligibility criteria can be accessed on the Nebraska State Historical Society’s website here.