​York College Associate Professor of History Tim McNeese will be featured on NET Television later this month, talking about General John J. Pershing on the program Nebraska Stories.

Nebraskans can tune in to NET-1 on Thursday, March 24 at 7 p.m. CST to see the program. 

Today, Pershing’s name is recognized by few Americans, even in Nebraska where an important part of Pershing’s life unfolded. In 1891, Pershing began a four-year stay at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he led the cadet training program while attending law school.

McNeese, who has written a book on Pershing, said that when Pershing arrived at UNL he found a cadet training program that was a mess. Within a year, 350 students joined Pershing’s UNL’s cadet corps. And in June of 1892, Pershing’s cadets were put to the test at a national drill competition in Omaha. The packed parade crowd included governors from several states, including Nebraska.
When it was announced that Pershing’s UNL cadets had won their maiden division and national competition, hundreds of UNL students and faculty charged the field to celebrate, and they were led by Chancellor James Canfield. 

In 1895, Pershing’s time at UNL came to an end. Fueled by the friendships he formed in Lincoln, Pershing re-committed himself to the military. In honor of their recently departed Lieutenant, UNL’s elite drill team renamed itself “Pershing’s Rifles.” Today units like them across the country are known as the National Society of Pershing Rifles.

McNeese's book on Pershing was published in 2003. He was recently approached by NET to lend his expertise on the renowned World War I general for a documentary, which will air in November 2017. NET has also created a TV and radio segment about Pershing based on the documentary materials, focusing on his years as the head of the Military Department at the University of Nebraska Lincoln.
The radio segment featuring McNeese aired in January. An expanded version of the story is also available on our website, with permission from the university.

McNeese is the chair of the Department of History at York College. In addition to his extensive publications, McNeese has also appeared as a guest historian on the History Channel and American Heroes Channel. His latest title is Revolutionary Spies: Intelligence and Espionage in America’s First War, published in 2015 by Fall River Press.