The first Kool-Aid drink mix was invented in Hastings, Nebraska by Edwin Perkins in 1927.
Harlan County, located in the state of Nebraska, has a rich and diverse history dating back to the early 19th century. The area was initially inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Pawnee and Omaha tribes, who relied on the land for sustenance and trade. The arrival of European settlers in the mid-1800s marked a significant turning point in the region's history.

In 1857, Harlan County was formally established, named after James Harlan, a senator from Iowa. The county became a hub for agriculture and ranching, with settlers quickly occupying and cultivating the fertile land along the Republican River. Cattle ranching especially became a prominent industry, with ranchers herding their livestock across the open prairies.

The region experienced a boost in growth and development with the arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century. The railroads opened new opportunities for trade and transportation, fueling the local economy and attracting new residents. Towns like Alma, Oxford, and Orleans sprang up along the railroad line, serving as commercial centers for the surrounding rural areas.

Throughout the 20th century, Harlan County faced both triumphs and challenges. The construction of Harlan County Lake in the 1950s brought economic growth and transformed the region into a popular tourist destination. This reservoir created opportunities for boating, fishing, and camping, attracting visitors from near and far.

However, Harlan County also experienced difficulties, including economic downturns and natural disasters. Most notably, the region faced devastating floods in the late 1960s and early 1990s, causing significant damage and displacing many residents.

Despite the challenges, Harlan County has persevered and remains a close-knit community with a strong agricultural heritage. Today, the county continues to rely on farming and ranching as primary industries, while also embracing tourism and outdoor recreation as important contributors to the local economy.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Harlan County, Nebraska.

  • 1804 - The Lewis and Clark expedition explores the area that would become Harlan County.
  • 1854 - The Kansas-Nebraska Act is passed, opening the area for settlement.
  • 1867 - Harlan County is founded and named after James Harlan, a U.S. senator from Iowa.
  • 1872 - The first courthouse is built in Alma, the county seat.
  • 1880s - The railroad arrives in Harlan County, boosting the local economy.
  • 1930s - Harlan County is hit hard by the Great Depression, and many farmers lose their land.
  • 1952 - Harlan County Lake is completed, providing a water source and recreational area.
  • 1969 - The Harlan County coal miners' strike begins, sparking a major labor dispute.
  • 1980s - Coal mining declines in Harlan County, leading to economic challenges for the region.
  • 2000 - Harlan County celebrates its sesquicentennial, marking 150 years since its founding.