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.

Friday, January 11, 2013

January 11

1868  Vigilance Committee formed in Cheyenne. Attribution:  On This Day.

1886  Tom Horn, at that time a scout for the Army, enters Mexico with an Army expedition seeking out Geronimo.

1888 The great blizzard of 1888 comes into Wyoming in full force.  The storm is regarded as the worst storm in Wyoming's history, killing a fair number of people and hundreds, if not thousands of cattle.  The winter itself was the worst in Wyoming's history, and was devastating on the livestock industry of the Northern Plains, putting many ranches permanently out of business, and causing operational changes amongst those that survived.

1929  The Cambria casino dance hall opened in Niobrara County.  Attribution: Wyoming State Historical Society.

1970  Fire destroys two downtown blocks in Cheyenne.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.


1917  Massive explosion in Lyndhurst, New Jersey

On this day in 1917 a massive explosion occurred at a recently constructed ammunition plant which was providing ammunition under contract to Canada.  Sabotage was suspected at the time but a commission found in 1931 that there was no evidence to support that claim.
The disaster was bad enough but would have been worse but for the heroic act of Theresa Louise "Tessie" McNamara in staying at her post as a switchboard operator and providing notice to each link on the circuit that a fire had broken out and people needed to evacuate.  She's credited with saving up to 1,400 lives.
The belief at the time that the explosion was caused by German sabotage contributed to growing American support for entering the war in Europe.  Ironically, the Black Tom explosion of that past July had been caused by German saboteurs but that was not known at the time. So the Germans were blamed in the minds of some for an explosion they had not caused, but were not blamed for one which they had.
1917  The Zimmerman Note sent
A encoded telegram was sent from the Foreign Secretary of the German Empire Arthur Zimmermann to the German ambassador to Mexico, Heinrich von Eckardt reading as follows..
We intend to begin on the first of February unrestricted submarine warfare. We shall endeavor in spite of this to keep the United States of America neutral. In the event of this not succeeding, we make Mexico a proposal of alliance on the following basis: make war together, make peace together, generous financial support and an understanding on our part that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The settlement in detail is left to you. You will inform the President of the above most secretly as soon as the outbreak of war with the United States of America is certain and add the suggestion that he should, on his own initiative, invite Japan to immediate adherence and at the same time mediate between Japan and ourselves. Please call the President's attention to the fact that the ruthless employment of our submarines now offers the prospect of compelling England in a few months to make peace.

The text proposed to invite Mexico into World War One as a Germany ally with the enticement that it was to receive those territories lost during the Mexican War.  Rather obviously Germany lacked a concrete understanding as to the degree of Mexican military strength, but as absurd as it sounds, in 1915 some vague Mexican revolutionary forces actually considered, and indeed attempted, to sponsor an uprising in that territory, albeit to little effect.  And Carranza's government did study the proposal, finding it unrealistic.
The note was decoded by the British in subsequent days, as will be seen, with negative consequences for Germany.

1917  The birth of the "pickup"
Courtesy of the 100 Years Ago Today Subreddit and the 365 Days of Motoring website we learn that today was the day that Ford introduced the TT, that is, its Model T based pickup truck.  Or rather, truck, they weren't all boxed trucks, but trucks in general.

It wasn't simply a Model T conversion. The chassis was heavier than that of the Model T, reflecting its intended use.

Apparently it was originally just a chassis, and the body was up to the owners.  According to 365 Days of Motoring, Ford offered the complete package, body and all, starting in 1924.  The grand total for production for 1917 was three.  Yes, only three, but the following year over 40,000 would be built and numbers were always higher than throughout its ten year production run.

Pickups have always been a big deal in the American West. Somehow, however, they've come to be a huge deal in the American automotive market in general and make up a big percentage of vehicles sold each year.

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