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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.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

November 3

1762         Spain acquired Louisiana from France.  So, as of this date, a small part of Wyoming that was previously French Louisiana, was Spanish Louisiana.  But not for long.

1812  The Robert Stuart party build a cabin in the Narrows, Bessemer Bend, region of what is now Natrona County. This primitive structure is generally regarded as the first European American cabin in Wyoming.  A monument to the cabin was until very recently located along the highway in the appropriate spot, but it was recently removed for road construction.  A later wooden sign, common for historical markers in Wyoming, once existed but was removed many years ago. That marker noted the cabin as the "first white man's cabin" and I've sometimes wondered if the verbiage was regarded as politically incorrect in later years.

The Stuart party did not occupy the cabin long as they found themselves on the boundary of a dispute between Indian tribes and the location was dangerous. They there decamped and relocated over 100 miles distant.

Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society and Some Gave All.

1868 Ulysses S. Grant won the presidential election over Horatio Seymour.

1890  The U.S. District  Court for the District of Wyoming went into session for the first time.

1890  Clarence Don Clark elected as Wyoming's first Congressman.

The nearly forgotten Clark was a New York born lawyer who had relocated to Wyoming in 1881.  The Republican from Evanston served two terms as Congresman and later served in the Senate.

1892  Henry Coffeen, Democrat from Sheridan, elected to Congress.  He would serve one term.

1896 William McKinley defeated William Jennings Bryan for the presidency.

President McKinley.

This was the second Presidential election in which Wyoming's voters had a part.  Consistent with their populist swing in the prior 1892 election, Wyomingites gave the majority of their votes to the Democratic populist, William Jennings Bryan, who took 51% of the vote.  The Prohibition Party candidate that year only took .75% of the vote, with McKinley taking the rest.  Like the prior election of 1892, this Presidential election was showing the influence of major swings and upset within both parties.

 Willam Jennings Bryan.  

Bryan didn't ever succeed in being elected President, but he did become the Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson and was briefly a Congressman from Nebraska.

1896  Democratic Governor John E. Osborne elected to Congress from Wyoming.  He would serve a single term.

1908 William Howard Taft defeated William Jennings Bryan, handing Bryan another defeat.

By 1908 Williams Jennings Bryan was not only a fading star nationally, but also in Wyoming.  Taft had been the Vice President of Theodore Roosevelt, a wildly popular figure in Wyoming, and he took 55% of the vote.  Eugene Debs, the Socialist party candidate took 4.5% of the vote, with Bryan taking the balance.

1911  Chevrolet enters the automobile market.

1933 John B. Kendrick, U.S. Senator from Wyoming, and sponsor of the Kendrick Irrigation Project in Natrona County, died.  Prior to being elected Senator, he had served as Governor.

1936 Franklin D. Roosevelt re-elected in a landslide over Alfred M. ''Alf'' Landon.

Franklin Roosevelt took 60% of the Wyoming vote in 1936, up from 56% in 1932.

1936  Henry H. Schwartz, Democrat from Casper, elected to the U.S. Senate.  Schwartz served one term and was defeated in his reelection bid.  The Ohio born lawyer practiced law in Casper.

Henry H. Schwartz

1958  Gale McGee was elected to the U.S. Senate.  He was the first, and so far the only, University of Wyoming instructor to be elected to the U.S. Senate.   He was a Democrat.

McGee fit into another era in Wyoming's politics in that he was able to be elected as a Democrat and, perhaps even more surprisingly, the Class 2 Senator position was occupied by a Democrat at the time that McGee was elected, making both of Wyoming's Senators Democrats.  He served from 1959 until 1977.  That he was elected in the late 1950s is surprising to recall, because his somewhat flashy sartorial style really fit in with the early 1970s.  Nonetheless his service stretched all the way back to 1959 and he was sworn in as  Senator by Vice President Richard Nixon.  After being defeated for a reelection bid in 1976, a campaign which he was largely absent in, he was appointed by President Carter as the Ambassador to the Organization of American States.

Politically McGee was slightly liberal, but remained a popular Wyoming politician.  His defeat in 1976 was attributed by the national media to his opposition to the Vietnam War which was almost certainly incorrect.  McGee did oppose the war, but his seat remained safe throughout it.  There has been some speculation that by 1976 he no longer wanted to remain in the Senate but for one reason or another ran anyhow.  That would be more consistent with his campaign that year against Malcolm Wallop in which Wallop was allowed to run a nearly unopposed campaign.  McGee was the last Senator from Wyoming to be a member of the Democratic Party.

The Post Office in Laramie is named after Senator McGee.

1964  Lydon Johnson elected President.

 Johnson was the last Democratic Presidential candidate to receive the majority vote in Wyoming, receiving 56% of Wyoming's vote that year.

1964  Teno Roncolio, a Democratic lawyer originally from Rock Springs, but living in Cheyenne at the time, elected to Congress.

Roncolio would only serve one term from his 1964 election, and then attempt a run for the Senate.  His Senatorial run was unsuccessful and he would regain his position in the House in 1970.

Roncolio's 1964 election meant that two out of the three members of Congress (House and Senate) from Wyoming were Democrats, an event which would be almost inconceivable today.

Roncolio received the Silver Star while serving in the U.S. Army during World War Two for heroism in the invasion of Normandy, and he was one of the sources interviewed by Cornelius Ryan for his Book "The Longest Day."  Roncolio was the last member of the Democratic Party to be elected to Congress from Wyoming.

1999  Aaron McKinney convicted of the murder of Matthew Shepard the year prior.  Attribution:  On This Day.

2016  Buffalo (Bison) were returned to the Wind River Reservation by the Eastern Shoshone tribe. The introduced buffalo were ten in number.


  1. My sister and I and a friend campaigned as "Teens for Teno" in Laramie in 1972. On many days, the three of us were the only people in the office, answering phones, stuffing envelopes, and going door-to-door.

  2. For whatever reason, Teno's green bumper stickers that just said "Teno" remain an enduring memory from my childhood. That must say something about how many there were.

    The other political bumper sticker from that era I really recall were Tom Strook's, which said "A Tom Stick Bumper Strooker".