Ricketts Proclaims “State Museum Day” To Mark 150 Years Of Morrill Hall, 60 For Trailside, 30 For Ashfall


       Gov. Pete Ricketts used a ceremony on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus yesterday to proclaim the day as State Museum Day.

         This year marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of the State Museum at Morrill Hall, the 60th anniversary of the Trailside Museum at Fort Robinson State Park, and the 30th anniversary of Ashfall Fossil Beds in northeast Nebraska. 

       In making the proclamation, Ricketts acknowledged the scientific and cultural contributions of all 3 branches of the state museum.

     He said their ongoing research “plays a vital role in helping us better understand the animals, plants, natural history, and cultural past of Nebraska” 

     The State Museum began in 1871 as a small teaching collection on the original University of Nebraska campus, but today has more than 13-million specimens and artifacts.

      The most famous resident of the main museum at Morrill Hall  is “Archie,” the world’s largest fully mounted, composite Colombian mammoth fossil. Mammoth fossils have been found in 90 of Nebraska’s 93 counties

       Ricketts says the towering Archie and the other exhibits in Morrill Hall have supported education in the state and stimulated interest in the sciences for Nebraska’s students.”

        UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green welcomes the governor’s proclamation, but is also excited to point out that through its digital content, the State Museum reached 900,000 people in all 50 states and 72 foreign countries during the pandemic. 


       The Museum is holding a number of events throughout the year to celebrate its 150th anniversary.  Additional information can be found at