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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, January 20, 2013

January 20

1777  The Wyoming Independent Company, a unit raised from the Wyoming region of Pennsylvania and Ohio, takes part in the battle of Millstone River.

1868   Vigilance committee hangs Charles Martin and Charles Morgan in Cheyenne.

1891  John B. Kendrick married Eula Wulfjen.

1913  A riot breaks out in the Wyoming Legislature.

1917   Legislature passed an act submitting an act for a constitutional amendment that would allow people to vote on prohibition.  Attribution:  On This Day.

Lex Anteinternet:  Today In Wyoming's History: January 20. The Legislature sends Prohibition to the voters.

People tend not to think of Wyoming in the context of Prohibition, but the state was part of the big sweep that lead to it.  Indeed, while the story lays in the future from this post, Wyoming would push prohibition over the top with Sen. Francis E. Warren's vote in favor of the Volstead Act.
On this day, a century ago, the Legislature, which was predicted to pass a pro-Prohibition bill, did:
Today In Wyoming's History: January 20:

1917   Legislature passed an act submitting an act for a constitutional amendment that would allow people to vote on prohibition. Attribution:  On This Day.
The introduction of the bill had been widely predicated by the Cheyenne newspapers, in the form of predicting some bill.  That it would have taken the form, in 1917, of a proposed amendment to the state constitution is a bit of a surprise, but that would have served the dual purpose of making anything that passed really difficult to get rid of and, additionally, sort of passing the buck to the voters, as such an amendment requires the voters to approve it.
Which they didn't.
I'm not certain how it played out, but if the regular process took place, the voters rejected the measure that following fall.  Wyoming was the last state in the Rocky Mountain region to adopt Prohibition and the proposed amendment did not become law.
Which might have been a sign of things to come. While the state did pass Prohibition into law voluntarily, and in fact pushed it over the top nationally, it took to violating it nearly immediately.  Indeed Western Wyoming would become a bootleg liquor center, with wine being fermented in the Italian sections of Rock Springs and, ironically, heavily Mormon Kemmerer becoming a location for the distillation of high quality bootleg whiskey made with locally grown grain.
As outlined by Phil Roberts in an excellent article in Annals of Wyoming recently, Prohibition did break the back of the saloon trade in Wyoming, which in the end was a good thing. When alcohol returned in the 1930s it was stepped in over time, and with a new system which we retain today. That system, oddly enough for "free enterprise" Wyoming, runs all alcohol through the State Liquor Warehouse, which is the wholesaler for Wyoming, with no legal exceptions.
Prohibition would have the unfortunate impact of killing off a lot of local breweries, including those in Wyoming.  This has changed only recently, although there are quite a few small breweries now and even two distilleries.

A bottle of Wyoming Whiskey.  Something the legislators of 1917 would probably not have appreciated seeing at the time.

1928  Fire destroys a St. Stephen's Mission building.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1944  Marjorie Woodsworth and Paul Kelly, motion picture actors, appeared at the University of Wyoming to open the 4th War Loan Drive.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1945  Fourth inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1954  An earthquake in southwestern Wyoming is felt in the Albany region.

1961   South Pass, Independence Rock and Horner Site were designated as National Historic Landmarks.Attribution:  On This Day.

1977  Richard Cheney's term as the 7th White House Chief of Staff ends.

Cheney is undoubtedly the best known of Wyoming's post World War Two politicians, and there are, oddly, a lot of entries for him today.  He is also easily the most controversial of any Wyoming politician.  Like many of Wyoming's political figures, he is not a native of the state, having been actually born in Lincoln Nebraska.  Indeed, Cheney has likely spent the majority of his years outside of Wyoming.  He arrived in Casper Wyoming with his family in his early teens and graduated from Natrona County High School.  After high school, he attended Yale, The University of Wyoming, and the University of Wisconsin.  He worked in Washington for office holders and the administration from 1969 until being elected Congressman in 1978. 

1987  Peggy Simson Curry dies.

1993  Richard Cheney ends his term as the 17th Secretary of Defense.

2009  Richard Cheney's term as Vice President ends.

2017  President Trump inaugurated.

Trump is the oldest President to have received an initial inauguration.  That is, while Ronald Reagan was older when he was inaugurated the second time, he was slightly younger the first time.  He's also the first American President to hold that office without holding any prior public offices or a military commission.

His inaugural speech, like everything else about this candidate in this year, was distinctly different from the norm.   The full text is as follows:

Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, fellow Americans and people of the world, thank you. 

We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people. Together we will determine the course of America and the world for many, many years to come. We will face challenges. We will confront hardships, but we will get the job done. Every four years we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power and we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent. Thank you. 

Today's ceremony, however, has very special meaning because, today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people. 

For too long, a small group in our nation's capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have born the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs and, while they celebrated in our nation's capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land. 

That all changes starting right here and right now because this moment is your moment. It belongs to you. It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America. This is your day. This is your celebration, and this, the United States of America, is your country.
What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.
Everyone is listening to you now. You came by the tens of millions to become part of an historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before. At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction that a nation exists to serve its citizens. Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves. These are just and reasonable demands of righteous people and a righteous public, but for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists. 

Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities, rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation, an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now. 

We are one nation and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home and one glorious destiny. The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans. For many decades, we've enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry, subsidized the armies of other countries, while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military. 

We've defended other nations' borders, while refusing to defend our own, and spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas, while America's infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay. We've made other countries rich while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon. One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind. The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world. 

But, that is the past and now we are looking only to the future. We assembled here today, are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power. From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it's going to be only America first. America first. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. 

We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every breath in my body and I will never, ever let you down. 

America will start winning again. Winning like never before. We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams. We will build new roads and highways and bridges and airports and tunnels and railways all across our wonderful nation. We will get our people off of welfare and back to work rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor. We will follow two simple rules: buy American and hire American. We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first. 

We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow. We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth. At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America and, through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice. 

The bible tells us how good and pleasant it is when god's people live together in unity. We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable. There should be no fear. We are protected and we will always be protected. We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and most importantly, we will be protected by God. 

Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger. In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long as it is striving. We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action constantly complaining, but never doing anything about it. The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action. Do not allow anyone to tell you that it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America. We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again. 

We stand at the birth of a new millennium ready to unlock the histories of space, to free the earth from the miseries of disease and to harness the energies, industries, and technologies of tomorrow. A new national pride will lift our sights and heal our divisions. It's time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget, that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots. We all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American flag. 

And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky. They fill their heart with the same dreams and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty creator. So, to all Americans in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, from ocean to ocean, hear these words: You will never be ignored again. Your voice, your hopes and your dreams will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way. 

Together we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And, yes, together, we will make America great again. Thank you. God bless you and god bless America. Thank you. God bless America.

2017   Senator Bebout reads the tea leaves
Yesterday, after the Inauguration, Senator Bebout announced that he was killing the proposed public lands transfer constitutional amendment by refusing to assign it for consideration. That's his option as President of the Senate.

He acknowledged, in doing that, the full force of public opinion, although he maintained that the whole effort was misunderstood.

To the extent it is misunderstood, and that wouldn't be misunderstood much, it would apparently be by our Senators and Congresswoman back in Washington D.C., who still appear to be clueless on this.  Faced with a public revolt, Bebout took the wise and politic route and sidetracked it before the legislature and individual legislators had to pay a price for refusing to listen to the public.  Located more remotely, we haven't seen any similar reactions out of D. C. yet.  But that may be coming . . . if people like holding their seats.

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