We published a a neat explainer of how a set of Omaha streets got their names this week. If you’re a bit of a history buff and policy wonk, it’s a fun way to spend a few minutes.

Mildred Brown (pictured), was a civil rights activist and founder of the Omaha Star newspaper. Omaha’s Brown Street is named after her.

Other examples:

>> Dahlman Avenue: James “Cowboy Jim” Dahlman served as Omaha’s mayor from 1906 to 1930, except for three years. He fled from Texas to Nebraska because of problems with the law, but later became sheriff of Dawes County.

>> Capitol Avenue: This route led from the Missouri River to the second Nebraska territorial capitol, located on top of a hill near 20th and Dodge Streets. That building was replaced by Omaha High School in 1872, then by the school’s second building, which was completed in 1912. OHS is now known as Omaha Central High School.

>> Military Avenue: This part of the original Overland Trail twisted through Omaha and Benson starting in 1857. It was used to move military supplies to Fort Kearny and by settlers heading to the Northwest. In 1994, part of Military Road near 82nd and Fort Streets was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

There are quite a few regulations to re-name a street. But anyone can submit nominations. Contact the Planning Department at 402-444-5150 or go to www.cityofomaha.org and search for “street renaming.” Criteria include noteworthy people who have contributed to the city’s development, celebration of local history, places, events, culture or a neighborhood identity. Applications that would demean the community or not meet with favor by a majority of city residents may be rejected.

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