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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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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

Ten Benson athletes performed the ballet spoof “Dying Swan” at the International Fair at Benson High School in March 1968. The fair was sponsored by the American Field Service Club to raise money for exchange students. Posing in front of track practice are, from left, Joe Nebbia, Tom Steppat, Steve Bross, Tom Antisdale and Tom O’Brien. THE WORLD-HERALD

From the Archives: Benson boys perform 'Dying Swan' to help exchange students

Judge H.B. Cox of Del City, Oklahoma, sizes up a Harlequin Great Dane at the Nebraska Kennel Club’s All Breed Dog Show and Obedience Trials at the Civic Auditorium in Omaha on May 17, 1987. The dog, named The Faro Dealer V. Tessendorf, was owned by Ruth Tessendorf of Perry, Kansas, and was handled by Jerry L. Kesting of Bondurant, Iowa. THE WORLD-HERALD

From the Archives: Harlequin Great Dane at Nebraska Kennel Club dog show

Henry Doorly Zoo employee Rose Smith holds a bald eagle before part of its right wing had to amputated in 1971. Dr. William C. Russell prepares in the background. The eagle was brought to the zoo after apparently being shot by hunters. Two previous operations to save its wing were unsuccessful. The bird lived at the zoo after the amputation. THE WORLD-HERALD

From the archives: Injured bald eagle before surgery at the Henry Doorly Zoo

Nebraska football player Dana Brinson signs autographs for fans at Memorial Stadium. Brinson was a four-year letter winner playing from 1985 to 1988. He earned first-team All-Big Eight honors as a senior wingback/returner in 1988. Brinson was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 2009. THE WORLD-HERALD

From the Archives: Husker star takes time out for fans

Mrs. Irene Geiger and her children campaign for the Douglas County Red Cross Fund to help in the war effort on March 21, 1944. THE WORLD-HERALD

From the archives: Red Cross Fund campaign during World War II

Nine-year-old John Mefford blows a bubble while coach Leonard Hawkins laces his glove for a bout with Dennis Miller. Hawkins and Paul Jefferson opened a junior boxing organization at the City Mission Gym in Omaha in the fall of 1956. THE WORLD-HERALD

Gail Yanney, left, membership drive chairman for the Henry Doorly Zoo, and Dr. Lee Simmons pet a 7-month-old Sumatran tiger, a member of the smallest and most endangered tiger species, in February 1991. The two were providing a taste of Omaha’s renowned animal collection at the kickoff of the zoo’s annual membership drive. “Catch Jungle Fever” was the theme. THE WORLD-HERALD

A view looking east down Douglas Street near 18th after it was resurfaced in August 1953. Among the nearby businesses were the Hotel Fontenelle, World Insurance, Penneys, Brandeis, Guarantee Mutual, Herzberg’s and the Omaha theater. THE WORLD-HERALD

From the archives: Douglas Street resurfaced in 1953

The facade of the 112-year-old Ogden Hotel in Council Bluffs, Iowa, was chewed away by a wrecking ball in January 1982. The hotel at 169 West Broadway was once bills as the finest west of the Mississippi River. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and closed in 1977. Efforts to preserve the hotel failed because of financial difficulties. THE WORLD-HERALD

Frank Gelston, 86, outside his general store in Elk City, Nebraska, in June 1949. Gelston and his wife, Mary, owned and operated the store since 1892 and sold dry goods, clothing, groceries, fresh meat, school equipment, medical supplies, hardware and cold soda pop. According to The World-Herald, Gelston and his wife still kept the store open six days a week. “We don’t open on Sunday any more,” he said. “Life’s too short to work that hard.” THE WORLD-HERALD

Fifty couples gathered at the Omaha Country Club on Jan. 12, 1974, for a tobogganing party hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Stanley Davis and Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Meier. Sliding down the slopes of the golf course are, from left, Frank Gaines, Mrs. James Warren, Mrs. Walter Horning and James Warren. THE WORLD-HERALD

From the Archives: Toboggan party at the Omaha Country Club

Roger Sharpe, right, a UNO associate professor of biology, was called to an area west of Macy, Nebraska, to examine what some area residents thought might be Bigfoot prints in June 1986. Macy Police Officer Milton Miller wrote in his report that the prints were 15 inches long, with the middle part of the foot spanning 3½ inches and the toes spanning 7½ inches. The tracks, which had been blurred by sun, wind and rain, didn’t yield any conclusive information. THE WORLD-HERALD

In February 1936, Pearl Sorensen was given a box of oil paints in appreciation of her work designing the Omaha North ROTC regiment’s flag and drums. Presenting her with the gift from the regiment is Cadet Col. Edwards Strauss. THE WORLD-HERALD Viewfinder

Traffic waits on 72nd Street for the lights to change at L Street. In November 1961, the Omaha City Council discussed a plan to make L and Q Streets one-way roads between 16th Street and 72nd Street to ease congestion on the route to the Omaha Stockyards. L Street would be for eastbound vehicles and Q Street for westbound. THE WORLD-HERALD

In the summer of 1964, John Wrich was 73 years old. He was still farming the way he had 62 years before, using a team of mules and manure for fertilizer. His Washington County farm was one mile west of Blair. THE WORLD-HERALD

From the Archives: Farming like it's 1902

Navy corpsman Bob Wunnenberg of Beatrice, Nebraska, got to spend December 1967 at home with family, including his mother, Mrs. Clarence Wunnenberg. The Vietnam veteran received a Bronze Star and was a patient at the Oak Knoll hospital in Oakland, California. THE WORLD-HERALD

After snow fell on Jan. 4, 1971, H.L. Vaughn and his son Rick saddled up their horses to get supplies from a market at 42nd Street and Redman Avenue. THE WORLD-HERALD

From the Archives: Men saddle up to get supplies after 1971 snow

Hot pants were popular in the early 1970s, and high schools differed on whether they were acceptable. According to an article in The World-Herald, Bellevue High banned them, Westside allowed them, and Millard High permitted them unless they were “judged by the administration to be too extreme.” Modeling the short, tight pants were, from left, Barbara Zoob, 18, of Westside; Kim Ingel, 17, of Omaha Duchesne; and Jann Leiberman, 16, of Omaha Central. THE WORLD-HERALD

From the Archives: High-schoolers show off hot pants

40 years ago, a blanket of death and destruction as blizzard crippled Omaha

Gary Grahn, 2, and his dog Pepper in March 1952. When Gary got lost, Pepper protected him until the police found him. THE WORLD-HERALD

From the Archives: Dog protects lost Omaha boy

A view of 16th Street in downtown Omaha looking south on March 4, 1972. THE WORLD-HERALD

From the Archives: Downtown Omaha in 1972

Mr. and Mrs. W.G. (Bill) Clayton of Grand Island, Nebraska, with 10 feet of tickets after they traveled around the world in 79 days in 1958. THE WORLD-HERALD

From the Archives: Around the world in 79 days

In December 1958, the second annual “Operation Santa Claus” of the Nebraska Civil Air Patrol was ready to take flight. Before the flight, Santa (Maj. Harry A. Wakefield, Air Force Liaison Officer) was handed a bag of candy by two sprightly elves, Michele Jones, left, and Pat Limas. Santa was to use the candy to barter for old toys with children in several small Nebraska towns. The toys were to be used for charity. THE WORLD-HERALD

From the Archives: 'Operation Santa Claus' ready to take flight