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.
Use 2013 for the search date, as that's the day regular dates were established and fixed.

Alternatively, the months are listed immediately below, with the individual days appearing backwards (oldest first).

We hope you enjoy this site.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August 1

1839  Austin Texas, the new capital of Texas, held the first sale of town lots for the city.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1845  Gen. Zachary Taylor forces landed on St. Joseph Island to protect Texas from Mexican interference after annexation.  Attribution:  On This Day

1866  The War Department orders the raising of Indian scouts.

1867  Cheyenne attacked a haying party near Fort C.F. Smith, Montana.  Their attack failed as the haying party was armed with .50-70 cartridge rifles, then new, which allowed them to hold off the attack via superior and repeated firepower.  This battle is remembered as the Hayfield Fight and is a significant event in Red Cloud's War..  Attribution:  On This Day.

1870  It was noted that payday increased hospitalization at Ft. Laramie, on this day.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1876  Colorado admitted to the Union as a state.

1885    Louis Riel found guilty of treason and sentenced to death.  The defense had plead insanity, which does seem like a poor strategy under the circumstances.

1897   The Utah & Northern and the Oregon Short Line were consolidated under the name Oregon Short Line.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1915  Automobiles first admitted into Yellowstone National Park.

1916   Cheyenne State Leader for August 1, 1916. Guard getting ready to leave and some leaving the Guard.

Cheyenne's less dramatic evening paper was reporting on this day that it expected the National Guard to depart for the border at any moment.   South Dakota's Guard, we read, was in fact off to the border.  There was quiet a bit of dramatic news for Cheyenne residents returning home to their paper that today.

Somewhat surprisingly, the paper actually reported on who was being discharged for physical infirmity, and even giving the name of one who was being discharged on August 1.

Also, perhaps emphasizing the improving relations with Mexico, in spite of the ongoing deployment of the National Guard, Carranza's forces were pursing a five man raiding party that had been earlier pursued by the 8th Cavalry.  Perhaps emphasizing the global outbreak of violence, we read also that Zeppelins had the UK for the third time in a week.

1917  The United States Senate passes the text of the 18th Amendment to be sent to the states for ratification.   It read:
Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all the territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.
Section 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
The US entry into World War One spurred prohibition on, oddly enough, over concerns about the exposure to alcohol to young men that military service would bring about.  Congress had already passed a law prohibiting beverage alcohol within so many miles of military reservations, bringing prohibition to Cheyenne due to the presence of Ft. D. A. Russell there, and banning it on U.S. Territories (such as Hawaii), as opposed to states.  The use of grains for distillation had also been banned on the basis that it took valuable grains away from the production of food.
1917         Pope Benedict XV urges "an end to useless slaughter" of World War One.  His statement declared:

From the beginning of Our Pontificate, amidst the horrors of the terrible war unleashed upon Europe, We have kept before Our attention three things above all: to preserve complete impartiality in relation to all the belligerents, as is appropriate to him who is the common father and who loves all his children with equal affection; to endeavor constantly to do all the most possible good, without personal exceptions and without national or religious distinctions, a duty which the universal law of charity, as well as the supreme spiritual charge entrusted to Us by Christ, dictates to Us; finally, as Our peacemaking mission equally demands, to leave nothing undone within Our power, which could assist in hastening the end of this calamity, by trying to lead the peoples and their heads to more moderate frames of mind and to the calm deliberations of peace, of a "just and lasting" peace.

Whoever has followed Our work during the three unhappy years which have just elapsed, has been able to recognize with ease that We have always remained faithful to Our resolution of absolute impartiality and to Our practical policy of well-doing . We have never ceased to urge the belligerent peoples and Governments to become brothers once more, even although publicity has not been given to all which We have done to attain this most noble end....

First of all, the fundamental point should be that for the material force of arms should be substituted the moral force of law; hence a just agreement by all for the simultaneous and reciprocal reduction of armaments, according to rules and guarantees to be established to the degree necessary and sufficient for the maintenance of public order in each State; then, instead of armies, the institution of arbitration, with its lofty peacemaking function, according to the standards to be agreed upon and with sanctions to be decided against the State which might refuse to submit international questions to arbitration or to accept its decisions.

Once the supremacy of law has been established, let every obstacle to the ways of communication between the peoples be removed, by ensuring through rules to be fixed in similar fashion, the true freedom and common use of the seas. This would, on the one hand, remove many reasons for conflict and, on the other, would open new sources of prosperity and progress to all....

With regard to territorial questions, such as those disputed between Italy and Austria, and between Germany and France, there is ground for hope that in consideration of the immense advantages of a lasting peace with disarmament, the conflicting parties will examine them in a conciliatory frame of mind, taking into account so far as it is just and practicable, as We have said previously, the aspirations of the peoples and co-ordinating, according to circumstances, particular interests with the general good of the great human society.

The same spirit of equity and justice should direct the examination of other territorial and political questions, notably those relating to Armenia, the Balkan States, and the territories composing the ancient Kingdom of Poland, for which especially its noble historical traditions and the sufferings which it has undergone, particularly during the present war, ought rightly to enlist the sympathies of the nations. Such are the principal foundations upon which We believe the future reorganization of peoples should rest. They are of a kind which would make impossible the recurrence of such conflicts and would pave the way for a solution of the economic question, so important for the future and the material welfare of all the belligerent States.
1918  August 1, 1918. Mustering the Home Guard
The size of World War One is perhaps demonstrated in part by the fact that, like World War Two, the militia was expanded to include bodies in each state that replaced the Federalized National Guard.*
Normally these units are called State Guards, and they've existed in every state in modern times only during World War One and World War Two, although some states have retained State Guard separately from from somewhat before the war until the present time and a few have established them once again in modern times.  Most states don't have them, however.  They're state troops liable only to their Governors for service for the most part, unlike National Guardsmen who also serve as a reserve of the Army.
By this point during the Great War, Wyoming was experimenting with mustering its State Guard.  Of interest, rifle production had now caught up with demand and the State Guard was being issued brand new rifles, almost certainly M1917 Enfields, which were replacing the Krag rifle of Spanish American War vintage.  As Krags were perfectly adequate for what the Home Guard was to do, and indeed wasn't really obsolete in larger terms, it shows that production was catching up with need by this point in the war.


*As we earlier noted, the US also formed sort of a national militia of this type in the form of the United States Guards during the war. 
1927  Guernsey Dam completed.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1941  Parade magazine devotes three full pages to a feature article describing the U.S. Army's new vehicle, the Jeep.  In some ways, the Jeep really was a revolution in military transportation, but not so much as the much less heralded 6x6.  The extent to which all wheel drives would revolutionize travel in Wyoming can hardly be overstated.  Prior to World War Two, 4x4 trucks almost didn't exist in civilian hands, and those that did were not suitable for general use.  After the war, they rapidly entered into all types of backcountry use.  In terms of agriculture, this meant ground that was formerly completely inaccessible in winter before the war, was now accessible in many instances year around, eliminating the need for cowhands to be stationed in remote areas during the winter, and also just flatly eliminating the need for the same number of hands as previously employed.  For those in cities and towns, particularly sportsmen, the country was also suddenly opened up during the winter, when previously it simply had not been.

Jeep as lead vehicle in convoy, Iran, World War Two.

1941   President Roosevelt forbids the export of oil and aviation fuel from the United States except to Britain, the British Commonwealth countries and countries of the Western Hemisphere. Japan is left with only limited stocks of oil.

1942    Canadian Parliament passes the Veterans Land Act to provide settlement assistance to returning vets.

1947  The USS Wyoming, BB-32, is decommissioned.

1953  The movie Shane was released. The film, regarded as a Western classic, was filmed in Jackson's Hole.

The movie is based very loosely on the events of the Johnson County War and has remained popular all these years.  It's been subject to some wild interpretations as a result.  Like most movies which us the basic story of the Johnson County War as inspiration, it presents a heroic vision of the small, helpless farmer (rather than small rancher) who is pitted against merciless large ranchers.  Sets and costumes used in the film are mixed in regards to their authenticity, with the large cattlemen being most accurately depicted in regards to their appearance.  Jack Palance's gunman is particularly accurately attired.

Probably demonstrating my contrarian streak,  I always root for the large cattlemen in the film.

1957     The United States and Canada create the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD).

1959  Wyoming's artillery and armor National Guard units were consolidated into the 49th Field Artillery Battalion, which I was in, back in the old days.

1981     The music video cable channel MTV made its debut, heralding the end of civilization.

1985  The worst flood in Wyoming's history occurs in Cheyenne when the town is struck by a severe thunderstorm..  Property loss was $65 million in 1985 dollars.  Twelve deaths and 70 injuries occurred with particularly horrific flooding occurring in downtown Cheyenne. The event happened in the evening and people were caught unawares, including attendees of a downtown Cheyenne movie theater.

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