Notable Nebraskans

Stories in this episode include the discovery of rare photos featuring Nebraska's early Black families, a profile of General John Pershing, and a portrait of Marion Crandell who was the first American woman killed on the Western Front in WWI.

Air Date: 03/29/2023

Forgotten World John Johnson may have a common name, but the photographs he took of black families in Lincoln during the early 1900s has made him one of the great African American photographers of the 20th Century. All of Johnson’s work could have easily been lost to the ages but for a teenage boy who, in 1965, spent $10 dollars for a box of 280 glass plate negatives.

The Legacy of General John J. Pershing John Joseph “Black Jack” Pershing is among America’s most famous generals. Long before he took command as General of the Armies during World War I, he was Professor of Military Science and Tactics at the University of Nebraska. When Pershing arrived at UNL in 1891, the cadet training program was in disarray but within a year he turned it into the nation’s best drill team.

Marion Crandell The first American woman to die in World War I was an 1889 graduate of Omaha High School. While serving in a support role for American and French troops on the Western Front, Marion Crandell was killed during a German bombardment in the spring of 1918. Crandell’s story went largely unnoticed until recently, when a student project at her alma mater, Omaha Central High School, brought her story to light.