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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.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19

1854  Lt. John L. Grattan, 6th U.S. Infantry, and thirty of his men are killed by Sioux Indians at at location on the Oregon Trail not far from Ft. Laramie, WY.  The fight is regarded as sort of an early Western Plains Indian fight and an indication of things to come.  The entire episode was over a cow belonging to a Mormon Oregon Trail emigrant which had been taken by one of the Sioux and killed. The Sioux had offered reparations in the form of the emigrant's choice of a horse out of the Indian herd which had been refused.  Grattan, who had lead a detachment to the Sioux camp the following day, handled the matter very poorly and things got out of hand, whereupon a shots were fired by the soldiers and returned by the much more numerous Sioux.  Grattan's entire command of 30 soldiers was killed in the battle to the loss of one Sioux, Conquering Bear, who was the Sioux chief of the band in question, and who was likely killed with the very first shot of the battle.  The Sioux made a token pass at Ft. Laramie the following day and then dispersed. The Army recalled William S. Harney from Paris in order to send him to the field with the 2d Dragoons as a result, but they did not take the field until the following August, an entire year later, giving an idea of the slowness of events in the 19th Century.

One of the less noted, but very notable, aspects of this story:  Rather than retaliating, the U.S. Army declared that Grattan had exceeded his authority. An explosive situation was not allowed to escalate, but the seeds of distrust and future violence had been sewn.  Gratten had handled the entire situation very badly.  But the Army, in its follow-up, was wise to regard his actions as improper, in spite of the disaster it was to his men.

1878   Robert Widdowfield and Union Pacific detective Tip Vincent killed in the line of duty by Big Nose George Parrott's gang near Elk Mountain.  Widdowfield and Vincent were attempting to apprehend the gang which had attempted to rob a train.

1898  Iron Post office established.  Attribution:  Wyoming Places.

1941  The Wyoming Aircraft School won approval from Civil Aeronautics Authority.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1942  The Evacuette, a newpaper of the North Portland Assembly Area, ran as a headline story that Japanese internees, the newspaper's audience, would be going to Wyoming.

1950  300th AFA, Wyoming Army National Guard, Federalized for service in the Korean War.

1953  First letters sent out in an effort to organize a Wyoming State Historical Society. Letter sent out by Lola Homsher. Attribution: Wyoming State Historical Society.

1998   The Manges Cabin in Grand Teton National Park, added to the National Registry of Historic Places.  Attribution:  On This Day.

2015   Lex Anteinternet: And the band played on. . .well maybe not so much
Earlier this week we ran this:
Lex Anteinternet: And the band played on: In Saturday's Tribune an article appeared noting, again, the loss of over 3,000 oil industry jobs in Wyoming, and a 50% reduction i...
Yesterday (August 19), however, Governor Mead sang a different tune, and one that wasn't nearly so rosy.  We have to given him credit for that.
Mead, in a press conference flaty stated that Wyoming is entering a "difficult period" and that the State may need to consider tapping into its "rainy day" funds. For those who might not be aware of what those are, they're funds that the state specifically puts aside for stressed times.
Governors do not, to my recollection, ever suggest this. That's truly a dramatic statement for a sitting Governor, indicating just how dire the state's condition may be.  That Mead would suggest considering it speaks very much in his favor, as this has tended to be something that simply isn't discussed.  Reactions to the Governor's speech have been generally favorable, although there's no present support for actually tapping into the funds.  Mead, of course, wasn't requesting to do so right now, only indicating that it might become necessary.

2017   Casper Eclipse Festival: August 19-21, 2017. And a note on the Eclipse in general.

 Newly opened Casper bar, The Gaslight Social.

As Casper was right in the center of the 2017 Solar Eclipse, it took advantage of the situation and had a three day festival to commemorate it.  The festival featured the openings, basically, of three new bars (or one bar/restaurant reopening, one new bar/restaurant and one new bar) and a new city feature, a downtown plaza.  It was well attended.

 Downtown revelers and a carriage.  Casper, unlike Fort Collins or even, occasionally, Denver, generally doesn't have horse drawn carriages downtown.

There were wildly varying predictions for the eclipse.  Frankly, I doubted some of them.  But maybe more of them came true than I would have guessed.

 Map showing where people had come from to view the eclipse.  Some of the locations were so surprising, I wonder if they were really true.

Over 1,000,000 people, according to the Star Tribune, entered the state during the eclipse.  Assuming that's correct, that means that the state's population tripled yesterday.  Having said that, it didn't appear to be the case that Casper's population more than doubled, as had been predicted.  I know that not all of the camping spots filled that had been predicted to, although perhaps many did.  I also know that people were camping right in the neighborhood, in front of people's houses that they knew.

This doesn't do this map justice.  There were visitors, according to the map, from Greenland, Ascension Island, and North Korea.  All quite surprising, if true.

Europe seemed pretty well represented.  I met one Irish visitor who had just left the Wonder Bar, which has a nice restaurant.  Apparently he hadn't realized that as he asked me and my son for directions to "a pub" so he could get something to eat.  He was surprised when I directed him back to the Wonder Bar.

 New downtown plaza.  I was skeptical that this would be complete on time.

It's not everyday you see a municipal judge on the guitar.

New downtown Rotary sidewalk clock.

 Picking up my trailer, which I had loaned out to friends

I'm included amongst those that had camping visitors.  Some good friends of mine were in town for the eclipse. They'd planned on staying in Gillette and driving down, but I loaned them my camp trailer and let them camp near our garden land. That became three couples by the time of the eclipse.  This land has never had residents, although the neighboring land does and has for quite some time, so I suppose its population increased from 0 to six.


Another old friend of mine drove up from Salt Lake to Riverton, where they also experienced an influx.  And I guess the Jackson Hole Airport received a huge  corporate jet boost.

Interesting event.

1 comment:

  1. I believe I have read in a Crazy Horse biography that his band was annihilated by the army in retribution for the Grattan incident, an event that marked him for life.

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