More Iowa Nebraska Attractions

  • Post last modified:November 13, 2019

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More Iowa Nebraska Attractions

While driving today, The Driveby Tourist found more Iowa Nebraska Attractions. As a result, more blog posting material! More detail below but decided to take I-680 around Council Bluffs and Omaha. Found it was closed in Iowa and had to reroute. Seems like, every road in the area was under construction. Certainly, construction on the interstates all around the area. Here is a link back to the first post on this blog.

Iowa Attractions

Bob Feller Museum

Bob Feller pitched for the Cleveland Indians from 1936 until 1956. Also, he missed nearly four seasons during World War II when he was in the military. Rather than play baseball he believed serving his country was the greatest thing Americans could do. As a result, he gave up $100,000 contract to be in the Navy for probably $50 per month.

Over the years, the debate rages about pitching speed. While, in Feller’s day, science hadn’t yet invented the radar gun routinely in use today. However, there were other methods used. As a result, controversial comparisons continue to happen. While some experts still claim Feller was the fastest ever, the debate continues to rage. Due to his speed, he acquired several nicknames. Rapid Robert, Bullet Bob and The Heater from Van Meter. Finally, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. His election occurred in his first year of eligibility and he received nearly 94% of the vote. Here is a link to the museum web site.

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At the entrance to the Bob Feller Museum (and City Hall) in Winterset IA
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Bob Feller’s jersey with the Cleveland Indians
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The only Opening Day no-hitter in baseball history

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How about that? Bob Feller and Joe DiMaggio were rookies in the same year!

John Wayne Birthplace

John Wayne, born Marion Robert Morrison, in Winterset, Iowa. He never legally changed his name. His father, a pharmacist, and the family moved often. They lived in Winterset for the first two years of Wayne’s life. (Here is a link to the museum.) The family moved to several other places in Iowa before his father was diagnosed with a respiratory condition. This led to a move to California when Wayne was seven.

Move to California

In California, Wayne attended school, eventually earning a football scholarship to USC. He hurt his shoulder surfing and lost his scholarship. He was planning to major in pre-law. Instead, he became an actor. And the rest is history! Over the course of his career, he appeared in nearly 250 movies. Many low-budget at the start of his career.

Movie career

Finally, he won an Oscar for his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn in the film “True Grit”. He continued to make movies. His last movie, “The Shootist” was when he was already terminally ill with cancer. (Probably, his cancer is due to the location of the filming of “The Conqueror”. The movie filming occurred near a nuclear test site in Utah. Of the approximately 220 people regularly on site for the filming, 92 of them developed cancer in succeeding years.).

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Statue of John Wayne at entrance to museum. (Sorry, very overcast!)
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Information from “True Grit”
Monument Valley
Monument Valley on the border of Utah and Arizona where many western movies were filmed
John Wayne timeline
End of life timeline
John Wayne birthplace
John Wayne’s automobile from the early 1970s
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John Wayne’s personal automobile
John Wayne Movies
Poster from the movie ‘The Alamo”
John Wayne Movies
Plaques of movies in the ground in front of the building
John Wayne birthplace
Certification of John Wayne’s birth name. Some written material claims his middle name is either Mitchell or Michael. Incredibly, he never changed his name. Of course, he also went by his nickname “The Duke”.
John Wayne Birthplace
A brief summary of John Wayne’s early years
John Wayne Birthplace
John Wayne was born in this house and lived here for about 2 years.

Bridges of Madison County

Winterset is in Madison County, the site of the famous covered bridges. Of the six remaining bridges, the Cutler – Donahoe Covered Bridge resides in the Winterset City Park. Rather than demolish the bridge, the relocation was a “win-win” for conservationists and new construction.

Bridges of Madison County
One of the covered bridges of Madison County

Jesse James Historical site

Near i-80, further west the site of Jesse James first train robbery is commemorated. The original tracks no longer exist but the picture below shows the historical site.

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Recognition of first train robbery in the west

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Entering Nebraska

No picture of “Welcome to Nebraska”.

Interstate 80 crosses the state border between Council Bluffs IA and Omaha. Right on the state border construction is on going with lanes shifted and shut down. Obviously, the Driveby Tourist is not going to stop in the middle of that to take a picture of a welcome sign!

Platte River Valley Commemoration

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Commemorating the Platte River Valley I-80 runs along the Platte River for much of central Nebraska

Strategic Air Command museum (SAC)s

SAC headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base originally housed the museum. When SAC was decommissioned and merged with a broad command structure, the museum relocated to here. Below are pictures from the museum.

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At the entrance to the SAC museum
SAC museum
SAC Logo
SAC museum
Francis Gary Powers spy plane incident
SAC museum
Story of the Doolittle air raid on Japan in April 1942
SAC museum
More raid on Tokyo
SAC museum
Another experimental plan the Air Force developed
SAC museum
SR-71 plane. Stealth and a lot of other features.
SAC museum
Plane outside the museum

Other Nebraska attractions

The Driveby Tourist visited the Eugene T. Mahoney State Park. No pictures as it was getting extremely windy and cold. Between there and Kearney NE, other state parks and attractions also exist. The weather was not cooperating so couldn’t stop. Certainly, I could have visited the largest ball of stamps in the world at Boys Town near Omaha. Also, the world’s largest pair of overalls in Grand Island (approximately 18 feet tall). Likewise, the “Kool-Aid: Discover the dream” in Hastings. Similarly, “The Fall of Saigon” re-creation in Lexington.

..and the day ends…

Getting darker, windier and rain with a hint of snow, the Driveby Tourist stopped for the day at Kearney.

The Driveby Tourist #thedrivebytourist

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. James Cornelius

    Ok maybe Iowa and Nebraska aren’t just drive thru states. Thanks Stan

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