How To Use This Site

How To Use This Site

This blog was updated on a daily basis for about two years, with those daily entries ceasing on December 31, 2013. The blog is still active, however, and we hope that people stopping in, who find something lacking, will add to the daily entries.

The blog still receives new posts as well, but now it receives them on items of Wyoming history. That has always been a feature of the blog, but Wyoming's history is rich and there are many items that are not fully covered here, if covered at all. Over time, we hope to remedy that.

You can obtain an entire month's listings by hitting on the appropriate month below, or an individual day by hitting on that calendar date.

We hope you enjoy this site.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

July 21

1860  Fenimore Chatterton born in Oswego County, New York. He was a businessman, politician and lawyer who had relocated to Sheridan and then was elected Wyoming's Secretary of State in 1898, after having served in two terms of the legislature.  The death of Governor DeForest Richards made Chatterton governor in 1903 but he was not reelected in 1905..  He resumed the practice of law thereafter.

1867 Ft. D. A. Russell established outside of Cheyenne on  Crow Creek.  It survives as an active duty military post today, now as Warren Air Force Base.
Veterinary Hospital at F. E. Warren.

1885  Owen Wister was in Medicine Bow again, this time spending the night in the corner of a store.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1890  H. G. Welch demonstrated that strawberries could be raised on the Laramie Plains, which are generally at least 7,000 feet in elevation. Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1941  President Roosevelt asks Congress to extend the draft period from one year to 30 months and to make similar increases in the terms of service for the National Guard.

So much for the lyrics of one of the then popular songs:


Goodbye Dear, I'll be back in a year
'Cause I'm in the army now
They took my number right out of the hat
And there's nothing a guy can do about that

But when you get back you'll be all tanned and brown
Say, couldn't we buy that cottage right outside of town

Goodbye Dear, I'll be back in a year
Don't forget that I love you

Don't fear, Dear, I'll be here in a year
'Cause I'm true to the Army now
Ah, what a soldier, you wait and see
Why, I'll be a big gun in the artillery

Now honey, be sure and keep cozy and warm
Gee, you look cute in that new uniform:
Oh, goodbye Dear, I'll be back in a year
Don't forget that I love you

Goodbye Dear, well I'm here for a year
I'm in the Army now
But don't you worry, the General and I
Are the greatest of pals

Now, Ronnie, don't you lie
Well, he fixed it up so I could have breakfast in bed
Well, why are you peeling potatoes instead?
Oh, he's just kidding me
Good bye dear, I'll be back in a year
Don't forget that I

Don't forget that I
BOTH: Don't forget that I love you
Another versions (multiple versions in one year were common at the time):
Goodbye Dear, I'll be back in a year
'Cause I'm in the army now
They took my number out of the hat
And there's nothing a guy can do about that

But when I get back, I'll be all tanned and brown
And we'll buy that cottage just outside of town
So, goodbye Dear, I'll be back in a year
Don't forget that I love you

Goodbye Dear, I'll be back in a year
'Cause I'm in the army now
Don't I look handsome dressed up like this
Stop your cryin' and give your soldier a kiss

They may send me out to the old Philippines
But, Sweetheart, you'll still be the girl of my dreams
So, goodbye Dear, I'll be back in a year
Don't forget that I love you
1942  Big Horn County's Fair cancelled.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1952 John Barrasso born in Reading Pennsylvania.  He was appointed to the U.S. Senate after the death of Craig Thomas in 2007 and has been serving in that office since that date.

1974  The Campbell County Rockpile Museum opened.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1987  The most powerful tornado in Wyoming's history,  the Teton–Yellowstone tornado,an F4, touched down in Yellowstone National Park and left a path of destruction 1 to 2 miles wide, and 24 miles long while leveling 15,000 acres of mature pine forest.

2010  The State Code adopted by the Legislature.

Wyoming, like most states has a set of state symbols.  I think I've listed them all over time, including now this one, the most recent to be adopted.

I've generally abstained from commenting on the symbols, even though a few of them strike me as a bit odd. For example, we have a State Insect, which I don't know that we need.  But so be it.

Here, however, I can't help but comment.

The State Code I guess, is okay enough.  Here's the statute that sets it out:
 8-3-123. State code.

(a) The code of the west, as derived from the book Cowboy Ethics by James P. Owen, and summarized as follows  is the official state code of Wyoming. The code includes:

(i) Live each day with courage;
(ii) Take pride in your work;
(iii) Always finish what you start;
(iv) Do what has to be done;
(v) Be tough, but fair;

(vi) When you make a promise, keep it; 
(vii) Ride for the brand; 
(viii) Talk less, say more; 
(ix) Remember that some things are not for sale; 
(x) Know where to draw the line.
There's nothing in here in particular that I disagree with, although that "ride for the brand" item doesn't really reflect a lot of Wyoming's history very accurately.  The central conflict in the state from the 1876 to 1900 time frame really centered around individuals who started out riding for one brand, and then acquired their own brand and quit riding for the Brand No. 1.  Indeed, it might justifiably be argued that Individuals, rather than Ride For The Brand, is the true mark of a Wyomingite.

My greater problem, or perhaps irritation, with the State Code is, I suppose, similar to my comments regarding "state" authors, in that in supposedly finding a "code" that identifies us, we had to copy it from a Wall Street figure and not a Wyomingite.  The code comes from a book that Owens wrote in which he identified what he though were "Cowboy Ethics" and argued that this simple Code of the West could teach the nation something.  I'm not arguing that it couldn't, but I tend to doubt that a Wall Street figures is really capable of capturing the ethics of a class and group so very foreign to his own.

Again, as noted, having been around a lot of cowboys and rural workers, one thing I think is totally missing is that they all tend to have a high degree of independence and its not unusual at all to find actual working cowboys who switch employers a lot.  Perhaps they "ride for the brand", but often only briefly.  The "talk less, say more" item is a nice toss to a certain Gary Cooper view of the cowboy (and Gary Cooper was raised on a Montana ranch) but truth be told, being an isolated group, quite a few cowhands like to talk quite a bit, if given the opportunity to.  One Wyoming politician, the former Senator Simpson, is widely celebrated in Wyoming for his gift of gab at that, which has occasionally gotten him into trouble.  But the general list is not a bad one.  I only think it a bit sad that in order to define what our ethics are, we had to borrow them from a Wall Street figure who wrote what he thinks ours our.  It would seem that we could have defined them ourselves.

No comments:

Post a Comment