Situated in the Great Plains of the U.S., Nebraska gets its name from the native Siouan meaning "flat water." Originally a part of the Great American Desert, the prairies of Nebraska have been cultivated into vast stretches of farm and ranch land. Nebraska is now a national leader in the raising of beef, pork, and corn (hence its nickname, the "Cornhusker State").
In 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska Act created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska. The Nebraska Territory became a state in 1867, just after the Civil War. The capital was moved from Omaha to Lancaster, which was renamed Lincoln in honor of the recently assassinated president.