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Old Omaha Photos

Vintage photos from the Omaha World-Herald archive. See more photos (old and new) at

Old Omaha Photos

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Downtown traffic on Dodge Street, January 1964. THE WORLD-HERALD

The Omaha Indians powwow at Dodge Park on Sept. 4, 1983. Ran with a festival list on June 17, 1984. THE WORLD-HERALD

A crowd of 17,991 watch as Bienville, Sure Time and Brown Miracle lead the fourth horse race at Ak-Sar-Ben on May 31, 1956. THE WORLD-HERALD

At first look, this photo is straight out of the 1920s. But a closer examination (bell-bottoms and shaggy beards, for example) tells a different story. The Model A Ford cars belonging to buffs from five states were lined up in the Old Market in June of 1976 for a regional conference. This photo is looking west on Howard Street from 11th Street. THE WORLD-HERALD

Dan Quayle speaks at Peony Park during a 1988 visit to Omaha. From left: Norm Riffel, State GOP Chairman, Governor Kay Orr, Rollin Olds, vice president Mutual of Omaha, Dan Quayle, Marilyn Quayle. Photo ran Oct. 6, 1985. THE WORLD-HERALD

On May 6, 1970, two days after members of the Ohio National Guard fired on unarmed Kent State students, killing four and wounding nine others, University of Nebraska at Omaha students gathered in a forum at the Pep Bowl. There, the approximately 600 students discussed the violence at Kent State and the fighting in Cambodia. However, disagreement about whether the flag should be lowered to half-staff nearly caused a fight to break out. THE WORLD-HERALD

Three Millard North students made use of nice weather on an August night in 1988 to visit the Council Bluffs Drive-In, the last of such theaters in the metro area. “The Blob” was showing that night on the 47-foot-tall screen. The boys are, from left on the roof, Todd Leach and Larry Havorka, with Scott Prai on the hood. THE WORLD-HERALD

Patches the cat had no reason to be afraid of rubbing whiskers with Fancy the boxer. The dog, after all, was pretty used to cats: In addition to Patches, there were 13 felines living at the midtown Omaha home of Fred Anderson in September 1976. As The World-Herald photo caption said at the time, “If Fancy spent her time chasing cats, she would run her legs off.” THE WORLD-HERALD

Flying Officer Branz Oliver, 28, center, rests after surviving a crash of a Royal Air Force jet bomber at Offutt Air Force Base on Nov. 3, 1961. According to the story at the time, the aircraft dropped almost immediately after takeoff, bounced off a grassy embankment and skidded across a busy highway without hitting any vehicles. The plane exploded in flames, but all six aboard made it out safely. Here, Oliver is surrounded by four others who were aboard. They are, from left, Chief Technician Peter Benson, Flying Officers William Yates and Richard MacLachlan, and Squadron Leader Clifford Hardman. THE WORLD-HERALD

Old habits die hard. The University of Nebraska at Omaha might have changed its mascot from the Indians to the Mavericks, but the 1971 drill team (recently renamed the Maverettes) still practiced the “Indianne Kick.” A number of other campus groups, buildings and traditions also had to change names. THE WORLD-HERALD

Union Pacific sponsored a salvage drive in July 1942 to collect materials for the war effort. The growing pile of metal and rubber was in front of the Omaha city auditorium. All of the cars on the right are lined up to bring more contributions. THE WORLD-HERALD

Four-year-old Diana Bane of Omaha gets an earful at the Ak-Sar-Ben stables on April 27, 1975. The little fan came to the tracks for an open house, meant to preview the upcoming racing season. THE WORLD-HERALD

Tracy Hancock, 11, tries to read while the sparrow she rescued walks on her book. “Chirpy” was injured when Tracy found it in her Papillion backyard in July 1973. Tracy nursed the bird back to health with mashed up peas and hot dogs. THE WORLD-HERALD

From the Archives: Girl, bird she rescued do some summer reading

Downtown Omaha building's distinctive design is from 1960s imagination, not Mars

Ethel Kennedy, wife of Robert Kennedy, receives a lamb from 5-year-old Terry Wear and 3-year-old Julie Wear. Kennedy was campaigning in Nebraska in April 1960 on behalf of her brother-in-law, John F. Kennedy, for the presidential election. The animal was later kept at the Kennedy family zoo in Virginia. THE WORLD-HERALD

A British double-decker bus has to squeeze itself over the Ak-Sar-Ben bridge in Omaha on a promotional tour of the United States in this October 1964 photo. The bus swung through Omaha for a Brandeis store-sponsored event called Hail Britannia Far. THE WORLD-HERALD

St. Patrick's Day 1980: Michael McCarville and friends have done it again. For the past three years, McCarville has been the chief artist during the painting of a shamrock in front of the Marylebone Tavern, 3710 Leavenworth St. in Omaha. THE WORLD-HERALD

From the Archives: The painting of the shamrock outside Marylebone Tavern

Pompom squad members from Bryan High School drum up some homecoming spirit on the pedestrian overpass on Dodge Street at Memorial Park. The high-kickers are, from left, Pa Vang, 16, Michelle Walters, 18 and Kati Fanslau, 16. This photo ran on Sept. 29, 1987. THE WORLD-HERALD

Margo Geisler, left, assists her daughter Debi, 22, at tuning an engine at the Auto Tuning Center in Omaha. Margo is the president of the two-location service center and Debi is the vice-president. According to an April 1976 World-Herald article, some customers were a bit leery of a female mechanic, but most overcame their concerns. “If the customers are especially anxious they were allowed to watch Debi work. ‘Only two customers have driven out without letting me do the tuneup — both were men,’ she said.” THE WORLD-HERALD

Oops watches over the Antiquarium Bookstore from atop a TV in June 1989. Antiquarium owner Tom Rudloff said cats go naturally with the relaxed feel of the Old Market bookstore. “They just do whatever they want,” he said. “They very often lie on top of the counter and elicit comments from the customers. There are a lot of cat lovers in the world.” THE WORLD-HERALD

For the Harvest Festival on Oct. 27, 1979, sky diver Robert Wolff of Omaha tries to land on the giant pumpkin painted at the intersection of Mission and Franklin Streets in Olde Town Bellevue. Many members of the Omaha Skydivers Club attempted the feat but none succeeded. THE WORLD-HERALD

One-fifth of the Omaha Police Department personnel and one-third of its vehicles are represented in this July 29, 1949, photo. The picture was taken in front of Central Station for a new city yearbook. THE WORLD-HERALD

A new type of roof was demonstrated at Behlen Manufacturing Co. in Columbus, Nebraska, on Oct. 15, 1959. To illustrate its strength, 279 Behlen employees stand on a test section. In the foreground are, from left, Walter Behlen, president; his father, Fred E. Behlen; and brothers Gilbert E. Behlen and H.P. “Mike” Behlen. THE WORLD-HERALD

Northbound traffic on 17th Street between Farnam and Douglas Streets flowed freely under the construction of the new Brandeis parking garage on Jan. 4, 1961. THE WORLD-HERALD

More than 2,000 people crowded into Eppley Airfield on Feb. 1, 1984, for a ticket giveaway that celebrated the return of Continental Airlines’ service to Omaha. According to a World-Herald article, “Midlands residents, weary of winter and yearning for travel, hoped to fly free to such places as Sydney, Australia; Caracas, Venezuela; and Cancun, Mexico.” THE WORLD-HERALD

From the Archives: 'Weary of winter,' crowd comes to Eppley Airfield for ticket giveaway