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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.

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11. Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day in the United States.
Today is Remembrance Day in Canada, and similar holidays in many other countries.

Today is also Polish Independence Day, commemorating the restoration of Polish independence on this day in 1918.
Today is also the Memorial of St. Martin of Tours, 316-397, the Patron Saint of Horsemen.

St. Martin, it should be noted, had been a Roman officer, albeit a reluctant one, who took up that position due to the insistence of his family.  He's famously depicted on horseback, giving his cloak to a naked figure he encountered en route.  He left the Roman military to become a priest, and ultimately became a Bishop.

St. Martin's feast day used to be celebrated in Poland in a manner which included baking horseshoe cookies "for his horse".  The recipe:

1 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup confectioners' (powdered) sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats, uncooked
Makes three dozen cookies.

Cream butter or margarine; add sugar gradually while continuing to cream; beat until fluffy. Stir in vanilla, flour, and salt. Blend in rolled oats. Roll out about 1/4 inch thick on lightly floured board. Cut in strips 6 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. On ungreased cookie sheets shape strips to resemble horseshoes. Bake at 325° for 20 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

1620 Pilgrims execute the Mayflower Compact, one of the founding charters of American democracy.

The original document has not survived, but several early copies have.  There are slight differences in spelling and punctuation, but basically the text reads as follows:
In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, defender of the Faith, etc.
Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.
In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, 1620.[

1817  Francisco Xavier Mina and 25 compatriots executed at Fort San Gregorio for insurrection.

1864  The Lincoln Mining District, the first mining district near South Pass, organized. Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1865  The U.S. Army renamed Fort Connor to Fort Reno in honor of Major General Jesse L. Reno.

1886  George W. Baxter assumes the office of Territorial Governor.  He resigned on December 20 of the same year.  Given his very brief stint as Territorial Governor, questions would have to be raised as to whether or not he wanted the job, or simply agreed to take it at the request of President Cleveland, who was then in office and who had removed F. E. Warren.

On the same day, Francis E. Warren stepped down as Territorial Governor at the request of President Cleveland.   Questions regarding dealings with a Cheyenne Wyoming businessman caused his resignation, but his reputation would prove intact, and he would resume the position in 1889, and keep it until 1890 when became Wyoming's first elected State Governor.  He went on to become a US Senator from November 1890 until 1893, and then again until his death on November 24, 1929.  He was John J. Pershing's father in law.

1890  The Wyoming Supreme Court meets for the first time.

1918  On this day, Ninety years ago, World War One ended.  The Armistice became effective at 11:00.  Since hostilities had commenced in 1914, 9,000,000 soldiers had died in action, 21,000,000 had been wounded, and many additional soldiers civilians had died due to the direct and indirect consequences of the war, not the least of which was the unleashing of the Spanish Flu in military camp conditions, which would claim more lives than combat had.  The German, Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires had been destroyed with no real ability for a successful popular democratic ideal to take root in those nations, which fell into turmoil.  Communism and similar movements, previously occupying the fringe of the Socialist left, filled in the vacuum resulting in violent revolution in various localities including Russia and Germany, achieving power in Russia and failing to do so in Germany, which was none the less left in turmoil.  New nations, such as Poland, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia were born, or resumed their positions on the map after having not had them for centuries.  The German Imperial Army, refusing to go down with the Kaiser, had effectively arranged for his surrender of power and fully assumed the status of a power unto itself, with grave consequences for the future.  Japan, ascendant since the late 19th Century, had seized territory in the East as an Allied power.  Ireland had gone into revolution over the issue of conscription, and the UK was left with a guerrilla war in Ireland.  The Ottoman Empire had collapsed and Turkey was born, with the war against Turkey still going on.  The former Ottoman possession in the Middle East were now European territories.  The United States, which had sat on the fence of world power status for decades, briefly assumed that role, and then retreated from it. The Dominions of Canada and Australia had entered the war as confirmed dominions and left it much more independent nations.  In spite of the inconclusive results, to some extent, and the views later  held in later eras, the war was regarded as worthwhile and a victory in the English speaking world at this time.

In Wyoming, World War One had caused a very significant economic boom which very much predated the US entry into the war.  Starting in 1914, British Remount agents scoured the United States for suitable military horses, purchasing thousands, and causing a horse boom in Wyoming which lasted throughout the war, as the US later began to do the same.  Cattle prices also rose as the demand for meat rose due to the war.  Homesteading received its last great boom, which would peak in 1919, the last year that the American farmer achieved economic parity with the urban middle class.

Oil exploration massively accelerated during the wear, causing towns like Casper to boom, and which resulted in Casper's first "sky scraper", the Oil Exchange Building, now the Consolidated Royalty Building.  

The boom would not last, and an economic recession began to set in during 1919.  This is further examined in our companion site, Lex Anteinternet.

The day became a holiday in many countries following World War One, and is recalled today under a variety of names.  It is a Federal holiday in the Unites States, being known as Veterans' Day, having come to honor American veterans of all wars.

Some poetry from the last war to inspire a fair amount of important poetry, but which speaks to all wars.

In Memoriam

by Ewart Alan Mackintosh (who himself was killed in action).

(Private D Sutherland killed in action in the German trenches, 16 May 1916, and the others who died.)

So you were David's father,
And he was your only son,
And the new-cut peats are rotting
And the work is left undone,
Because of an old man weeping,
Just an old man in pain,
For David, his son David,
That will not come again.

Oh, the letters he wrote you,
And I can see them still,
Not a word of the fighting,
But just the sheep on the hill
And how you should get the crops in
Ere the year get stormier,
And the Bosches have got his body,
And I was his officer.

You were only David's father,
But I had fifty sons
When we went up in the evening
Under the arch of the guns,
And we came back at twilight -
O God! I heard them call
To me for help and pity
That could not help at all.

Oh, never will I forget you,
My men that trusted me,
More my sons than your fathers',
For they could only see
The little helpless babies
And the young men in their pride.
They could not see you dying,
And hold you while you died.

Happy and young and gallant,
They saw their first-born go,
But not the strong limbs broken
And the beautiful men brought low,
The piteous writhing bodies,
They screamed 'Don't leave me, sir',
For they were only your fathers
But I was your officer.

And my favorite, In Flanders Fields, by Canadian John McCrae, who died of the Influenza Epidemic during the war, while serving in France.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

1921 Warren G. Harding dedicated the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

1924  George Carr Frison, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Wyoming born in Worland Wyoming.

1926  Plans for U.S. Highway 30, replacing the Lincoln Highway but generally along the same route, finalized.

1930  Clarence Don Clark, Wyoming's U.S. Congressman from 1890 to 1893, and US Senator from Wyoming from 1895 to 1917, died. 

1940  Willys introduces their variant of the Jeep for the Army's competition for a light 4x4 vehicle.  The very unstable dangerous little 4x4 car would enter into civilian production post war as the CJ2, the first really light commercially offered 4x4 truck (and a highly dangerous one).  4x4s would feature prominently in a revolution in accessibility to the Wyoming back-country post World War Two.
1958 M38A1, the military version of the same Jeep that was known as the CJ5.

1940  Here's an unusual item, although not a Wyoming one, that shows us, in part, how much things have changed even in regards to weather reports. We're so used to relatively accurate ones now, we don't recall the days when the weather was often a real surprise.  We should note that this winter event did stretch out across the plains to Wyoming, even though it didn't have the devastating impact here that it did in Iowa.

Iowa's 1940 Armistice Day blizzard.


1942 Congress lowered the age of conscription to 18 and raised the upper limit to age 37.

1943  The Commander of the Prisoner of War Camp in Douglas announced that 1,000 Italians held at the camp would be helping with the fall harvest. Given the timing of the announcement, it would have to be presumed that the harvest was well underway at the time.  As Douglas itself is not in a farming belt, it would be interesting to know where the POWs actually went, and how they were housed.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1950  A DC-3 belonging to a religious missionary organization hit Mount Moran in dense cloud cover, killing all 21 people on board.  The impact was nearly direct, and nothing from the plane could be recovered, including the bodies of the victims, all of whom remain on Mount Moran.

1954  November 11 designated as Veterans Day to honor veterans of all U.S. wars.  This was due in part to the efforts of Alvin J. King of Emporia Kansas.


  1. Very interesting. I remember when it was called Armistice Day.

  2. I recall people occasionally calling it Armistice Day when I was a kid. An enduring memory was of the VFW selling "Bloody Poppies", paper poppies that men used to decorate their lapels on Veterans Day, when men still wore jackets that had lapels. The funds went to support VFW programs for veterans.

    One little oddity of that is that when I was a kid there was also a housing subdivision at the foot of the mountain oddly named "Bloody Turnip". I tended to confuse the two, which is perhaps understandable given how odd of name Bloody Turnip is for a subdivision.