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Friends McKee and Zimmer bring local history to light

Friends McKee and Zimmer bring local history to light


Our January cover features Lincoln historians Ed Zimmer (left) and Jim McKee inside Lincoln’s historic Terminal Building at 10th and O streets. Zimmer and McKee are long-time friends and collaborators when it comes to sharing history about Lincoln’s buildings and residents. Sometimes people even mistake one for the other because of their common area of expertise.

Learn how these two Lincoln gems became interested in local history as children, the research tools they use, how they started working together in 1985, their current activities and more in Jodi Fuson’s cover story on this site. We thank Journal Star photographer Justin Wan for shooting this month’s cover photo.

Holiday happenings

It was lights on, lights off, lights on again for the Lincoln Children’s Zoo. Just as it did with Boo at the Zoo in October, the zoo team once again worked with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department to develop a safe way to host the second annual Zoo Lights Powered by LES event. Originally scheduled to start Nov. 27, then postponed due to rising COVID-19 numbers and revised health directives from the Health Department, Zoo Lights – more than 200,000 of them installed by the zoo’s staff since August – returned Dec. 10. The event will continue to illuminate the zoo’s trees, pathways, train, animal cutouts and other decorations from 5:30-9 p.m. now through Jan. 9. The zoo will be closed Dec. 24 and 25 for Christmas. See our coverage and photos on this site.

The People’s City Mission also worked with the Health Department to present a special edition of the annual Starry Nights Christmas Tree Festival, “Walk Through the Trees,” Nov. 25, 27, 28 and 29 at Gateway Mall. The Mission’s largest fundraiser included 15 designer-decorated Christmas trees sponsored by local businesses and churches. The trees were auctioned off online, which made it possible for more people to see and bid on the trees. The funds raised will help the Mission continue to house and feed the homeless through the winter. As Pastor Tom Barber, the Mission’s CEO, said, more people are facing poverty and homelessness now from lost wages and other hardships caused by COVID-19. See my photos and event coverage on this site.

In the January 2021 issue you will also find feature stories about Lincoln’s first Little Free Pantry, memories of the Cool Crest miniature golf course, local caterers that provide family-style meals during the pandemic and much more on this site or in the printed L Magazine when it gets distributed Thursday, Dec. 24.

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