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Old Omaha Photos

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

Lucky for Tyrone Parker, there was no snow on Christmas day 1976. Parker, a member of the Zodiacs Motorcycle Club, was headed to play Santa for underprivileged children. THE WORLD-HERALD

On John Wayne’s 64th birthday in 1971, World-Herald newspaper carrier Craig Anderson met the Duke on the set of “The Cowboys” in Santa Fe, N.M. The 13-year-old was one of 11 paperboys in the United States and Canada chosen through an essay contest to meet the actor and handed him a “Nebraska is Number 1” pin. THE WORLD-HERALD

In 1953, a dog collar worn around the ankle or neck was the latest fad catching on with teen girls. Some would occasionally strings a couple collars together to use as a belt. However, ankle wearers were in the majority because it meant you were going steady — like Verene Vetwig and Paul Kausch. THE WORLD-HERALD

Jane Stender, pictured in May 1944, was one of Omaha’s first female bus drivers. She is at the wheel of one of 20 new 40-passenger buses, the first received in the city since World War II began. She worked nine-hour days, seven days a week. Her husband, Sgt. Henry Stender, was in Hawaii at the time. He planted the first American flag on Attu Island. THE WORLD-HERALD

Vandals’ attempts to whiten the face of the Black Angel statue were erased by Roger Jensen in June 1971. The statue honors Ruth Anne Dodge, the wife of Gen. Granville Dodge, in the Fairview Cemetery in Council Bluffs. THE WORLD-HERALD

Boy Scout Troop 51 decorated the business district of Woodbine, Iowa, with American flags for Labor Day in 1961. With help from the Woodbine Civic Club and Elwin Vest, owner of a nursing home, the Scouts mounted 78 new 50-star flags. Freddie Corwin, 13, propped up by Danny Jackson, 12, and Lynn Purcell, 13, puts the final flag in place. Kathy Bussey and Diane Shipman, both of Council Bluffs, look on. THE WORLD-HERALD

Omahan Gail Weinstock, 20, was on her way to Miami Beach, Fla., for the Miss Universe contest in July 1961. Weinstock was supposed to be wearing a banner but whoever made it misspelled Nebraska. THE WORLD-HERALD

Stephens College, an all-girls school in Colombia, Mo., took students on a two-week trip every year and stopped at another university along the way. In 1941, the students stopped in Lincoln, and the University of Nebraska threw a tea dance for the 683 women. As the bus pulled away, Bob Robinson got the name and address of Stephens student Mary Casten. THE WORLD-HERALD

A group of youngsters gather on the playground at St. Anthony’s School in October 1949. They are all children of displaced Lithuanians who had recently arrived in Omaha. THE WORLD-HERALD

In 1956, Norbert Steinauer stood at the door of the hundred-year-old cabin his grandfather Joseph built. Joseph was one of the three Steinauer brothers who came to Nebraska from Switzerland in 1852 and established the town of Steinauer. THE WORLD-HERALD

In June 1961, one of Union Pacific’s largest steam locomotives paused in Council Bluffs on its way to retirement. A workman greases one of 16 drive wheels during the stop. Each wheel measures 5 feet, 8 inches in diameter. THE WORLD-HERALD

Nebraska Gov. Bob Kerry and Willie Nelson greet well-wishers outside of the Omaha Food Bank on July 1, 1986. The two held a press conference there before Nelson’s concert at Ak-Sar-Ben that evening. Proceeds from Nelson’s concert went to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Omaha. THE WORLD-HERALD

A crowd of about 700 gathered in the old gymnasium at Creighton University to watch the selection show for the 1991 NCAA basketball tournament. Omahans, from left, Chris McLaughlin, Bubba Klement and Kevin McLaughlin cheer the announcement of Creighton’s first-round game. THE WORLD-HERALD

A group of soldiers hang out at the Union Station Service Men’s Center in Omaha in July 1942. THE WORLD-HERALD

In 1965, 8-year-old Robert McMullen sketched a stuffed bear during a summer art session at the Omaha zoo. THE WORLD-HERALD

In May 1950, the betting room at the Ak-Sar-Ben horse races was a busy place. THE WORLD-HERALD

At the Benson St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 1994 were, from left, Stephanie Gavin, Kallie Madison and Stephanie’s twin sister, Nicole Gavin. THE WORLD-HERALD

A last-minute entry in a miniest mini-skirt contest at the University of Nebraska at Omaha captured first prize in May 1969. Eileen Rieschl, 19, a freshman, won the trophy and prizes after exhibiting “the largest percentage of leg” of any contestant. Contest officials measured the distance from her hip bone to the ground and then from the hem of her skirt to the ground. Rieschl had 87 percent of her leg showing. THE WORLD-HERALD

Strategic Air Command sentry dogs and their handlers stand in formation in April 1955. These were the first dogs trained under a new program. By 1956 it was expected that 800 dogs would guard different SAC bases across the country. THE WORLD-HERALD

In December 1957, Ralston’s 85-foot water tower – a landmark for nearly half a century – was toppled to make way for progress. THE WORLD-HERALD

Ronald Reagan talks to supporters at Eppley Airfield while on a campaign trip in May 1976. THE WORLD-HERALD

Eddie Chambers speaks at a 34th birthday celebration for Sen. Ernie Chambers at Kountze Park in July 1971. About 500 people attended the ceremony. THE WORLD-HERALD

Joslyn Art Museum’s library contained 2,600 books and pamplets on the fine arts, about 4,000 pictures and about 5,000 lantern slides in 1941. The librarian was Rena W. Mutagh, right. THE WORLD-HERALD

126 years ago, Blizzard of 1888 ravaged the Plains -

George and Sarah Joslyn ride their favorite horses, Signal Light and Bay Chief, in this photo from the turn of the 20th century. The Joslyns were animal lovers and could often be seen exercising their horses. They also had a St. Bernard named Modjeska. THE WORLD-HERALD