The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans who have made significant contributions to Nebraska and the nation. The Hall of Fame honors people (1) who were born in Nebraska, (2) who gained prominence while living in Nebraska, or (3) who lived in Nebraska and whose residence in Nebraska was an important influence on their lives and contributed to their greatness.
The Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission, with members appointed by the governor, is permitted to nominate one person to the Hall of Fame every five years. (This changed from every two years prior to 2000). In 1976, the nation’s bicentennial year, the commission selected four people to be honored. Individuals must be deceased thirty-five years (formerly ten years) to be considered for the Nebraska Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame recipients display is located on the second floor of the State Capitol in Lincoln.
During the last 5 year cycle, The Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission received nominations of prospective inductees to the Nebraska Hall of Fame, pursuant to legislation passed in 2005. (Neb. Rev. Statute 72-724). Nominations for the following candidates were received: Major League baseball player Grover Cleveland Alexander (1887-1950); University of Nebraska botanist Charles E. Bessey (1845-1915); physician Georgia Arbuckle Fix (1852-1918); World War II landing craft manufacturer Andrew Jackson Higgins (1886-1952); Union Pacific Railroad President William M. Jeffers (1876-1953); aviatrix Evelyn Sharp (1919-1944); and black activist Malcolm X also known as Malcolm Little and Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (1925-1965).