Nebraska Hall Of Fame Commission Picks 3 Finalists For 2022 Induction

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    Civil rights leader Malcolm X has survived the first cut to be inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame along with educator/author Louise Pound and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer/director Howard Hanson. 

    The 7-member Hall of Fame Commission pared down a list of 8 nominees to the 3 finalists after a brief discussion on Friday.

    Pound, an English professor who was a pioneer in linguistic studies and the only woman in University of Nebraska history to letter in a men’s sport, received votes of 6 of the 7 board members, with Malcolm X receiving 5 and Hanson 4.

  The Rev. Hiram Hisanori Kano of Litchfield, a Japanese-American Episcopal priest who was said to be the only Nebraska interned during World War II, just missed the cut after receiving three votes.

    Every five years the Hall of Fame Commission picks a new inductee into the state Hall every 5 years and a person must be deceased for at least 35 years to be inducted. 

      There are 26 members of the Hall of Fame, located in the Capitol, a group that includes Buffalo Bill Cody, Ponca Chief Standing Bear and Boys Town founder Father Flanagan. There are no African-American members. 

    The Hall of Fame Commission took testimony on all 8 nominees at public hearings held last month in each of the state’s 3 congressional districts, accepting both written and oral testimony.

   Malcolm X, born as Malcolm Little in Omaha in 1925, was deemed too controversial to be inducted 15 years ago, but the focus of objections this time was that he’s “Nebraska” enough.

      The stated criteria for the Hall of Fame is that a person was born in the state and gained prominence while living in Nebraska, or that they lived in the state and it was “an important influence on their lives and which contributed to their greatness.”

     While Malcolm X was born in Nebraska, his family fled the state when he was about 1 year old after being terrorized by the Klu Klux Klan, who burned down their house. He returned to Nebraska only briefly and not until he was an adult. 

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