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Beatrice, NE –Homestead National Monument of America has been chosen as one of the 80 stops on the 2015 Nebraska Tourism Commission Passport Program! Homestead will be a part of the "Only in Nebraska" tour.
Homestead National Monument of America near Beatrice, Nebraska commemorates and interprets the impacts of the Homestead Act of 1862 on the United States and the world. This law declared that anyone who was a citizen, or intended to become one, could claim 160 acres (one-quarter square mile) of surveyed government land. Claimants had to build a home and live on the land for five years and improve the land agriculturally. After five years, the government would transfer ownership of the land to the successful claimant.
Homesteaders faced a great deal of uncertainty and numerous hardships, including drought, locusts, and blizzards; 60% of all homesteaders abandoned their claims. Still, the US government distributed more than 270 million acres of land to 1.6 million successful homesteaders between 1863 and 1986. Homestead lands were located in 30 of the 50 states. Today there are estimated to be more than 93 million descendants of homesteaders in the United States.
Homestead National Monument of America encompasses 100 acres of restored tallgrass prairie and includes a T-shaped quarter section of tallgrass prairie, stream, and mixed hardwood forest that comprised the entire original claim of Daniel Freeman. On January 1, 1863, Freeman was one of the first homesteaders to file under the provisions of the Homestead Act of May 20, 1862. The primary monument visitor facilities include the Homestead Heritage Center, the Homestead Education Center, the Palmer-Epard Cabin, and the Freeman School, a one-room schoolhouse built in 1872 and located a quarter mile west of the Education Center. Picnic areas and hiking trails are also available. Admission is free, no park permit is required.
The Nebraska Passport program encourages travelers to explore Nebraska, collect stamps from participating attractions and earn great prizes.The 2015 Passport Program will feature 80 attractions on 10 themed tours:Play Nice, Happy Heart, I Art, One Of A Kind, Yummy Tummy, Chill &Chat, Sauce &Cycles, Crazy Confections, Only in Nebraska, and Nebraska Legends.
Travelers have from May 1 through September 30 to visit attractions and redeem their stamps for prizes. For each completed tour, participants win a Nebraska Passport T-shirt. Travelers also can receive 20 $1 Nebraska Lottery Scratch coupons (for 20 stamps) and a Travel Duffle Bag (for 40 stamps) and a Local First Gift Basket (for all 80 stamps).
A grand-prize drawing for an Omaha SteaksCulinary Calendar Packagewill be held in October. This year, an additional drawing for 300 $1 Nebraska Lottery Scratch tickets will be held for all participants, 19 and older, who turn in passports with at least one stamp.
Passports are be available at both the Homestead National Monument of America Education Center and Heritage Center beginning May 1.
For more information about travel, events and unique destinations in Nebraska, order your free travel guide today atwww.VisitNebraska.com. Then stay connected with Nebraska Tourism on ourVisit Nebraska Facebook page, onTwitter, onPinterestand onYouTube.
Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2015. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).
Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska. Hours of operation are8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.Monday through Friday and9 a.m. to 5 p.m.Saturday andSunday. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visithttps://www.nps.gov/home/index.