Omaha (ōˈməhä, –hô) [key], city (1990 pop. 335,795), seat of Douglas co., E Nebr., on the west bank of the Missouri River; inc. 1857. The largest city in the state, it is a busy port of entry and a major transportation center. It is also one of the largest livestock markets and meat-processing centers in the world and a market for agricultural products. Besides food processing, the city's industries include the manufacture of farm machinery, fertilizers, electronic components, insecticides, chemicals, and paint. Omaha is also the home of many insurance and telecommunications companies, and a center for medical treatment and research.
Founded when the Nebraska Territory was opened to settlement in 1854, it grew as a supply point for westward migration and became a thriving transportation and industrial center after the arrival of the railroad in 1869. It was the territorial capital from 1855 to 1867. A world's fair, the Trans-Mississippi and International Exhibition, was held there in 1898.
The city has noted park and school systems and is the seat of Creighton Univ., the Univ. of Nebraska at Omaha, and the College of St. Mary. Of interest are the Joslyn Art Museum, an aerospace museum, a Mormon cemetery, and Fontenelle Forest. Fort Omaha (built 1868) serves as headquarters of the naval reserve training command. Offutt Air Force Base, south of the city, was the headquarters of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) from 1946 to 1992, when SAC was abolished; the interservice Strategic Command is now based there. Boys Town is to the west of the city.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.