BEATRICE, Neb. (AP) — More than 38,000 people viewed the original 1862 Homestead Act while it was on display this spring at the Homestead National Monument near Beatrice.
The document was on display from April 25 to May 30 in celebration of the 150th anniversary of its signing. It was the first time all four pages had been displayed outside of the nation's capital.
The monument saw slightly more than 38,000 visitors during that time — about half its yearly average of 74,000, according to park officials.
Superintendent Mark Engler said he was pleased by the interest in the display.
“I think it's pretty neat to see so many people were interested in seeing the document and being a part of the activities commemorating the Homestead Act's 150th anniversary,” Engler said.
Attendance figures show 450 visitors saw the document on its first day on display; 4,000 visitors attended the anniversary celebration on May 20; and a total of 5,000 students from Nebraska and Kansas viewed the exhibit.
The Homestead Act of 1862, signed by President Abraham Lincoln, is considered one of the 100 most important documents in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. It was loaned to the monument as part of the anniversary celebration.
Engler said the monument will continue to hold anniversary events throughout the summer, including Homestead Days on June 10-17.
The monument is four miles west of Beatrice.
Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.