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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.

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.
Use 2013 for the search date, as that's the day regular dates were established and fixed.

Alternatively, the months are listed immediately below, with the individual days appearing backwards (oldest first).

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Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 31

Today is Easter Sunday for 2013.

The April 8 entry on this blog has a discussion of how the date for Easter is determined.

1888  Elwood Mead, the predominate force in Wyoming's water law, took office as State Engineer. 

 Elwood Mead

1917   The Cheyenne State Leader for March 31, 1917: Zimmerman defends his note

Well, at least you have to give Zimmerman credit for not denying the plot.
The Wyoming Tribune for March 31, 1917: Colorado Guardsmen entrain for home.

The Laramie Boomerang for March 31, 1917: Mexican Situation Causing War Department Much Worry

And again, Mexico hit the front pages with concerns on the part of the War Department about Mexican and war.

1918 Daylight Savings Time went into effect throughout the U.S. for the first time.

1918   So its Easter Sunday, March 31, 1918.

 Church of the Ascension in Hudson Wyoming.  I don't live in Hudson, but this Catholic Church in the small town is just about the same size as the original St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church where I would have attended, everything else being equal, in 1918.  Because of the huge boom that occurred in my home town during World War One, that original church was taken down and the current church built during the late teens with the new church being completed in 1920.
Which, if you read this on a timely basis, means that you are reading it on Holy Saturday, 2018.
Let's look back on your Easter Sunday of that year, assuming of course that you are somebody situated like me, not assuming by extension that you are a young man in an Army camp somewhere that's being ravaged by the flu, or in France fighting against the German onslaught.

One thing you'd have to endure is the very first occurance of Daylight Savings Time, on this day in 1918.

So the US endured the ravages of false time for the first time on this day in 1918.


Oh, the humanity.


A sleepy nation "sprang forward".  And on Easter Sunday, no less.
So let's assume that you are in fact somebody like me living in the region I do.
If that were the case, you'd be living in what was still a small town, but an enormously expanding one due to a tremendous oil boom (something I've experienced at least twice, in fact, in my own life).  You  have an office job, but maybe you have an interest in cattle too, or perhaps farming, somehow, although mixing professions would have been much, much, more difficult in 1918 than in 2018, although it did actually occur.  If you had a military age son, as I do, you'd almost certainly have seen him off at the local train station, or in our case one of the two local train stations, last year.
And you'd be worried.
So how would the day go?
Well then, like now, most people would have attended a Church service on this Easter morning.  There's a really common widespread belief that religious adherence was universal in the first part of the 20th Century and has sadly declined markedly now but  that is in fact mostly a myth on both scores.  And part of that is based upon the region of the country you live in, and it was then as well.  But Easter Sunday, like Christmas, is always a big event and many people who don't attend a service otherwise, do on those days.  Others, like me, go every Sunday and of course adherent Catholics and Orthodox go every Sunday and Holy Day.

Now, one feature of the times that has changed is that by and large people tended to marry outside of their faith much less often and people's adherence to a certain faith was notably greater.  Currently, we often tend to hear of "Protestants and Catholics", but at the time not only would you have heard that, but people were much more likely to be distinctly aware of the difference between the various Protestant faiths.  And this often tended to follow a strongly economic and demographic base as well.  People of Scottish background, for example, tended to be Presbyterians.  The richest church at the time was the Episcopal Church and if people moved within Protestant denominations it tended to be in that direction.  I know to people here in town, for example, who made a move in that direction in their pre World War Two marriages, although one of those individuals, who married prior to World War One, went from the Catholic Church to the Episcopal Church, which was quite unusual.  In the other the individual went from the Presbyterian Church to the Episcopal Church, which was not unusual.  In both of the instances I'm aware of the men adopted the faiths of their brides to be in order to marry them.

People of "mixed marriages", i.e., where the couple were of different faiths, did of course exist so this can be taken much too far.  Even then it wasn't terribly uncommon for Catholics to be married to Protestants, although it was much less common than it is now, with the couple attending the Catholic Church.  Marriages involving Christians and Jews were much less common but also did occur, with at least the anecdotal evidence being that this also tended to be something in which the Jewish person married (it seems) a Catholic and they attended the Catholic Church.  I'm sure that this also occurred between Protestants and Jews but it's harder to find immediate examples.  In the area we're talking about, however, the Jewish demographic was so small that it would have been practically unnoticeable, although it was sufficiently large in Cheyenne such that a synagogue had gone in there in 1915 and it was about to be absorbed, in 1919, by a new Orthodox Jewish community.  I don't know if Jewish people even had a place that they could attend services of their own in this era, here in this town.  I doubt it. But I don't doubt that there were Jewish residents of the town by 1918.

What was hugely uncommon at the time were "mixed marriages" in terms of two different "races".  As I've noted here before, however, the concept of "race" is a purely human construct and what this means is not the same in any one era.  Because of the oil boom in Casper, Casper was starting to have a black and Hispanic community, and both of those groups have "race" status in the United States today, and then did then as well.  Mix marriages between blacks and whites, while not illegal in Wyoming as they were in some areas of the country, would have been completely socially unacceptable at that time.

Marriages between Hispanics and "whites" were certainly uncommon at that time, but that barrier was never as stout.  For one thing Hispanics were co-religious with various other groups that had "race" status earlier and that caused the boundaries to break down pretty quickly in some regions.  The Irish, Italians, Slavs and Greeks all had "race" status at the start of the 20th Century but by even World War One that had basically disappeared in the case of the Irish and it was disappearing for the other groups as well.  It had not, and still has not, for Hispanics but the "no mixed marriages" social taboo was not as strong.  It was oddly not as strong in regards to men marrying Indian women either.

All of which is only introductory to noting that on this Easter Sunday, March 31, 1918, you'd likely have gone to church with your family in the morning, assuming all of your family was in town, which if you had a young male in your household, wouldn't have been true.

Before you did that, however, you likely would have picked up a newspaper from your front step.
Now, I've been running newspapers here really regularly for a couple of years and that may have created a bit of a mis-impression.  Quite frequently, when I run newspapers, I run the Cheyenne paper or the Laramie paper.  I don't run the Casper paper nearly as often although I do occasionally.  I hardly ever run a paper like the Douglas paper, and Douglas is just fifty miles from Casper and much closer to Casper than Cheyenne.

Why do I do that?
Well, because there was a huge difference in Wyoming newspapers at the time.
Cheyenne and Laramie had excellent newspapers.  I think the Laramie Boomerang, which still exists, was a better paper then than it is now, which is not to say it's bad now.  But a feature of those papers is that they were all on the Union Pacific rail line and they were Associated Press papers.
Casper's newspapers had never been really bad, but they were much more isolated going into the early teens.  They only became contenders, sort of, in terms of quality in 1917 when the big oil boom caused buyouts in the local newspaper market and the quality really started to improve.  Immediate global news became more common in the papers.  Unfortunately, at the same time, a sort of massive economic myopic boosterism also set in and on some days, many days, there was nothing but oil news in them.
Some other local papers, like Sheridan's, were pretty good, but others were strictly local news.  So if you got the Douglas paper in Douglas, it was just all local happenings. Hardly any global news at all.
And that really matters.
There was no other source of news, other than letters, in 1918.
In the entire United States there were just a handful of commercial radio stations. In fact, those stations were;  KQW in San Jose California, WGY in Schenectady New York, KGFX in Pierre South Dakota, and KDKA in Pittsburgh, absent some university experimental stations and a couple that did Morse Code transmissions only.  Early radio, moreover, until the 1920s, was practically a hobby type of deal and a person depending upon radio, where there was radio, for the news would have been a rather optimistic person.

So, no radio, not television, no Internet.  The newspaper was it.

So if you relied upon a paper like the early ones in Douglas, you'd know that the State Fair was doing well, how local events were going, and that Miss. Barbara Jean Romperoom visited her aunt Tille for three days before returning to Chicago.

You wouldn't have been aware that the Germans were knocking on the door of Paris.
You'd be doing better if you read the Casper paper, after wading through the Oil!, Oil! Oil! hysteria, but not as well as you would have been if you were reading the Cheyenne paper.
Which maybe you were.
 No really cheerful news on the cover of this Easter addition of the Cheyenne State Leader.

Newspapers being so important at the time, traveled. Indeed they did well into the 1980s.  When I was a kid you could buy the Cheyenne Tribune Eagle, the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News, every day, from newsstands, in Casper.  Now you sure can't.  Indeed the Rocky Mountain News doesn't even exist, having been bought out by the less impressive Denver Post.

Now, in 1918, they couldn't have trucked the paper up from Denver and Cheyenne every day early in the morning, but they could have put them on the train and I suspect they did, at least with the Cheyenne paper. That is, I suspect that sometime that day, or the next day, a reader in Casper was able to pick up the Cheyenne papers.  I didn't know that for sure, but that was the general practice of the day.  It's no accident that the really major newspapers in Wyoming were all on the Union Pacific.  So I'd guess that perhaps the Cheyenne papers, if they didn't come overnight (and they may have) arrived late that day or the next and were available at newsstands, which did exist at the time.  Indeed, one such stand existed in the "lobby" of my office building, which had gone up in 1917, at a stand that also sold cigars. Don't they all?

  The office.  It had a newsstand and cigar shop in the small lobby originally.  Another cigar shop that sold papers for many years was just on the corner.

So my guess is that if you lived on a rail line, you were probably able to pick up the Cheyenne papers, and maybe the Denver papers, if perhaps on a day late basis.

So, let's get back to the day.

Chances are that you picked up the daily paper (there were two different ones, maybe you picked up both) from your front step about 5:00 a.m., assuming the local paper published on Sunday, which not all of them did.   You likely read it as you waited to go to Church.  If you are Catholic or Orthodox, you didn't eat anything as you couldn't break the Sunday morning fast.  Indeed, if you were Orthodox, and there were some Greek Orthodox in this region at the time, you were in an interesting situation as your faith had no church and, at that time, no pastor.  As a rule, you went to the Catholic Church instead, although perhaps a traveling Priest would come up next weekend for Orthodox Easter, which was a week behind that year.  If so, he'd use the Catholic Church for his Easter service.

Of course if you were Catholic or Orthodox, and you had a resident pastor, you could have gone the night prior to the Easter Vigil and you may have well done so. Given as that's the preference for my family, I'll assume that would have also been the case in 1918.  If that was the case, I'd be firing up the cook stove for coffee.  If you are a President, and had no pre service fast, you likely would have done that anyhow.

So, I'd fire up the cook stove and boil coffee, probably before anyone was up, put out the dog, and wait for other people to get up. I know that I'd have to wake my wife up, as she has a long standing tradition of Easter morning minor gifts that have replaced hidden eggs as the kids have grown older.  This year, that is 1918, it'd be sad and worrisome of course, as it'd be unlikely that our son would be here.

If I felt energetic, maybe I'd start breakfast.  I don't see us going out for breakfast in 1918, although that was just as much of an option in most places as it is in 2018. Frankly, I've never liked eating out after Church on Sunday mornings as I feel that it sort of occupies a lot of time involving sitting around eating a lot more then I normally would.  I'd have likely felt that way then.  My wife and my late mother, I'd note, feel very much differently so who knows.

So, at some point, I'd have read the local news.  Me being who I am, if the Cheyenne papers came in by train in the morning, at some point in the morning I'd have likely fired up the Model T, which would likely have acquired, and driven downtown to the station to buy one.

 A 1910 manufacture Ford Model T in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Model Ts had been out for fifteen years by this time and were becoming quite common.

And so, as a newspaper reading person, what would we have learned and have known that Easter of 1918?
Well, what we would have known is that the Allies were in serious trouble.  We'd have been constantly reading this pat week of a massive German offensive that was throwing the British, against whom it seemed primarily aimed, back.   We'd have also know that the Germans had resorted to the shocking measure of shelling Parish with some new huge long range artillery.  Every recent issue of the newspapers would have asserted that the Germans were slowing down and would soon be thrown back, but it sure hadn't happened yet.
We would have also seen it claimed (and not terribly accurately, we'll note) that the Americans were taking a role in the fighting, although we would also have seen that just a couple of days ago Pershing volunteered to deploy US troops to the fighting, which wouldn't have made a lot of sense if they were actually fighting already.
And that might have caused us a lot of concern if we had a relative in the Army, let alone if we had a son in the Army.
And if we were in that position, we might know more about the status of the Army in March 1918 than the average paper reader who was reading about our "Sammies", as the press oddly called them.
If you were in that position, your son (or other relatives) would have ended up in the Army one of three ways.  They could have been 1) drafted; or 2) joined the Army prior to the draft taking over everything; or 3) they could have been in the National Guard.
Indeed, they could have been in the National Guard even if they hadn't been until after war was declared.
That's actually an oddity that can still occur, and it was quite common in 1917.  For that matter, while a little different, quite a few men joined the National Guard in 1940 after it had been mobilized for the emergency.  There were strong incentives to do so as it allowed you to serve with people you knew, where you were from.  And in 1917, when the Guard was called back up, after having been demobilized from the Punitive Expedition's border service, the tradition that carried over from the Civil War of mustering state units was still sufficient strong that the states were raising Guard units as state units that were larger than their peacetime establishment.  Indeed, Wyoming not only called back up the infantrymen who had recently been on the Mexican border, but added new infantrymen to them, and planned on trying to raise an entire regiment of cavalry.  It didn't get that far with the cavalry, however.
Men who had been drafted after war was declared and also men who had volunteered were still in training all over the United States. But many prewar regulars and some National Guardsmen were already in France, undergoing training there.  Those infantrymen had gone to Camp Greene, North Carolina as the 3d Infantry Regiment, Wyoming National Guard.  At Camp Greene, however, they were soon converted into part of the 148th Field Artillery, as artillery, and the 116th Ammunition Train of the 41st Division.  The 41st had been established just five days before the declaration of war and it as an all National Guard division.  The 148th Field Artillery was an artillery unit made up of National Guardsmen from the Rocky Mountain region, only some of whom had been artillerymen before the war.  Conversion of the Wyoming infantrymen into artillerymen spoke highly of them, as artillery was a considerably more complicated role than infantry.  Conversion of the remainder into the 116th Ammunition Train spoke to their experience with horses and freighting, both of which were a necessary element of that role.
The 41st had already gone to France and it had been one of the five U.S. Divisions sent over by this time.  However, it met with bad luck when the SS Tuscania was sunk on February 5, as the men on it were of the 41st.  We earlier dealt with that disaster here:

SS Tuscania Sunk, February 5, 1918.

SS Tuscania
The first US troops ship to be sunk during World War One, the SS Tuscania, went down due to German torpedos launched by the UB-77.  210 lives were lost.
It was only briefly dealt with in the local papers, and no doubt not much was known at the time, but some of the passengers on the Tuscania were Wyoming Guardsmen.  I don't know if any of them went down with her.  By March 31, anyone with relatives who died when the ship sank knew it.  Wyoming Guardsmen definitely witnessed the sinking from a nearby vantage.
Gen. Pershing only had five divisions of men in France, all trained, but he needed a source of immediate replacements.  The 41st Division became that source.  Units of unique value, like artillery, were taken out of it wholesale.  The 148th was equipped there with French 155mm guns, large artillery pieces, and also equipped with French artillery tractors.  They thereby became highly mobile, highly modern, heavy field artillery and were soon to be split out of the 41st in that role, if they hadn't been already.  The 116th Ammunition Train, however, went to Tours with the rest of the 41st and waited there to be pieced out as replacements, a sad end to the division.

French 155 GPF gun. This is the same type of artillery piece used by the Wyoming National Guard during World War One. They had not yet fired their first shot in anger.  A version of this gun would serve alongside a more modern 155 all the way through 1945.
You'd be unlikely to know much about that, however, unless you had letters home that might raise the question.  And they might.  If your son or loved one was an artilleryman, you might have had a hint about the fate of the Tuscania and that the unit was training with French artillery pieces.  If your son was in the 116th Ammunition train you might have received a disappointing letter from Tours.
You'd be worried either way as the papers were full of reports about Americans going into action, which wasn't happening much yet.
Well all that would be pretty grim to think about for Easter, wouldn't have it been?
Well, sometime mid day we'd likely gather for an Easter Dinner with relatives. Chances are really good that it'd feature ham, but that ham would likely be boiled ham.
You've likely never had boiled ham.  I never have.  But I recall my father speaking about it and he wasn't a huge fan. Boiling drove off the salt that was part of the curative brine and it took quite awhile.  Of course there's be other good foods as well, including likely pie.
My guess is that there's be beer too.  Maybe wine. And perhaps some whiskey.
The day would likely wrap up about 5:00 p.m. or so, and then back home. Back home would probably entail some reading, and some worrying as well.  If you are like me, that would entail worrying about the next days work, but it surely would have entailed worrying about what was going on over in France.

1933 Congress authorized the Civilian Conservation Corps.

1942  Tim McCoy, Western actor and Wyoming, announced his candidacy for the U. S. Senate.  His campaign would not be a successful one and he entered the Army for the second time after losing in the primary.

1961  Detroit Transits Wyoming Terminal reopened as a bus terminal.

2004  Financial considerations caused the Wyoming Territorial Prison Corporation to cease operations.  The old State Prison would be transferred to the State's parks department the following day.

2016   Coal layoffs and Northwest Wyoming
Peabody Coal Company, the world's largest coal producer, and Arch Coal have announced layoffs in the Gillette area which amount to a combined 450 jobs lost.  And the losses won't stop there.  With that many jobs lost the local economy in Campbell County will be undoubtedly impacted.  Additionally, a loss of that many jobs clearly indicates big changes in operations at the mines themselves, and the energy infrastructure in Campbell County, which is what the economy of the county is based on, will be hit.  It's unlikely, therefore that the job losses will stop there.
This is a rim news for the area economy.  And for the state.  School funding is principally based on the coal severance tax.  Without ongoing major coal production, the schools are in big trouble.
Moreover, this may reflect such a major shift in the economics of coal that there may never be a return to its former position in the economy, either nationally or locally.  Wyomingites have been quick, in some quarters, to blame regulation and the current Administration for coal's demise.  One of the interviewed miners blamed the event on regulation and expressed the thought that things wold turn around under a new Presidential administration.  Our Superintendent of Public Instruction mentioned budget problems, in a recent op-ed, as being due to "the war on coal".  But people shouldn't fool themselves.  This likely represents a shift so deep in the economics and culture of coal that current events show an existential change much deeper than merely a current White House discontent with it. 
Indeed, even twenty years ago I was told by an energy company executive that "coal is dead".  I was surprised by his view at the time, but he was quite definite in his views.  But he was expressing an energy sector long term view, at that time, that coal wouldn't survive a switch to other forms of power generation.  Ironically natural gas, of which North America has a vast abundance, has really eaten into the coal market and that's not going to change.  Power plants take years to build and years to permit.  Coal fired plants are being built, they're being retired.  This not only won't change overnight, it won't change at all.  The coal industry itself pinned its hopes on the Chinese market, which uses a lot of coal, but China also has a lot of coal.  The Chinese economy is in the doldrums right now, and that will likely change, but when it does the question is whether China will enter an economic period mirroring Japan's long endured slow economy, or change to a more growth oriented but volatile economy like North America's and Europe's.  And a bigger question is whether China, which is under pressure from much of the rest of the world on emissions, will itself move away from coal.  It hasn't so far, but there's no guaranty that it will not.  Coal, to the extent it retains any popularity (and that's little outside of the coal producing states), is popular only in the US and China.  Indeed, in some areas of the US it is now so unpopular that efforts to ship coal by sea to China were opposed in Pacific maritime states, something that had not been worked out at the time the local coal producers went into this slump.
So chances are high that this is a sea change, not a downturn.  And if it is, it's one that has huge implications for the state.  The state didn't deal with them in the last Legislature, or even really discuss dealing with them. By the next one it will have no choice.


1879  Governor Lew Wallace asks for the Federal Government to declare martial law in Lincoln County, New Mexico.

1916  Battle of Aqua Caliente.

1939  Britain and France issue guarantees that they will declare war if Poland is invaded by Nazi Germany.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

March 30

1889  Butch Cassidy participates in a bank robbery in Denver with the McCarty brothers.

1891  The Shoshone National Forest was set aside by President Benjamin Harrison as the Yellowstone Park Timberland Reserve.

1909. On this day, the U.S. Army abandoned Ft. Washakie. The post had previously been also known as Camp Brown and Camp Augar.. The post had lately been a 9th Cavalry post.

The facilities for the post remain in large part today, having gone over to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Ft. Washakie, the town, is the seat of government for the Wind River Indian Reservation. The structures provide good examples of the period stone construction used by the Army at that time.

Ft. Washakie during a visit by President Arthur in 1883.

Some former cavalry structures at Ft. Washakie now in use as industrial or storage buildings.

1915  A quarantine on Wyoming livestock was put in place due to an outbreak of hoof and mouth disease.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1916  The Punitive Expedtion: The Casper Daily Press, March 30, 1916

1917   Colorado criminalizes marijuana 
On this day in 1917 Colorado's legislature passed a bill that criminalized marijuana.  The act passed on this date stated:
An act to declare unlawful the planting, cultivating, harvesting, drying, curing, or preparation for sale or gift of cannabis sativa, and to provide a penalty therefore.

Section 1. Any person who shall grow or use cannabis sativa (also known as cannabis indica, Indian hemp and marijuana) that he has grown shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction shall be punished by a fine of not less than ten nor more than one hundred dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail not more than thirty days, or by both such fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court.
The bill was in part inspired by the civil war in Mexico.  It was being asserted that Pancho Villa funded his Division del Norte in part through the sale of cannabis. Whether this is true or not, marijuana was not unknown by any means in Mexico and it shows up even in music of the period at least to the extent that it features in the Mexican Revolution ballad La Cucaracha.  The bill was introduced in Colorado by a Hispanic legislator from one of Colorado's southern counties which were and are predominately Hispanic in culture and where there was  strong desire to disassociate themselves from Mexican refugees, including any assertion that they might approve of the use of the drug.

Colorado was not the first state to address marijuana statutorily.  At least California (1907), Massachusetts (1911), New York (1914), Maine (1914), and Wyoming (1915) had.  Colorado was one of the states that enacted the prohibition of alcohol by that time and therefore not acting on marijuana would have been odd under the circumstances.  It had already been addressed by Federal law to some extent at that time.

There's a certain irony in this, I suppose, in that Colorado is now a pioneer in a national movement that has seen several states decriminalize marijuana, although the irony would be diminished if the entire matter is considered in the context of its times.  It remains subject to Federal penalties, something that has seemingly been lost in the discussion of this topic, and there is no sign that this will change any time soon.  The Federal government, however, seems to have basically stopped enforcing the law on the Federal level for the time being, although that could change at any moment.

Circling back to Colorado, while often not noted in the discussion on this, Denver Colorado has provided a big test of the impact of the change in the law, and not in a good way.  Almost any casual observer who is familiar with Denver over time has noted the impact of the change and Denver, which has had a fairly large homeless population for decades now has a larger, but rather weedy one.  Open begging downtown for cash for marijuana is now common, and encounters with stoned younger people who are part of a marijuana culture will occur at some point if a person spends any time downtown at all.  All of this is the type of discussion that does not tend to occur, for some reason, in discussions over the monetary impacts of the change or on the degree to which the substance itself is dangerous or how dangerous it is.

Ft. D. A. Russell was being used for Guard mobilization this time.  It hadn't been a year prior for the Punitive Expedition.
The Wyoming Tribune for March 30, 1917: Germans spur Mexican outlaw murder?

Mexico remained on the front pages even with the US on the eve of war, this time once again in association with the Germans.

1918  Lex Anteinternet: The Kaiserschlacht Commences. Operation Michael. The First Battle of Villers-Bretonneux and the Battle of Moreuil Wood
Lex Anteinternet: The Kaiserschlacht Commences. Operation Michael

 The First Battle of Villers-Bretonneux and the Battle of Moreuil Wood
On March 30 the Germans none the less tried again, launching an assault south of the new Somme salient towards Amiens resulting in two significant battles, one of which is very well recalled today.  The Germans gained some ground but it was slight, and German troops lost discipline when they hit Allied supply depots.

The resumed German offensive opened up near the town of Le Hamel but was turned back, although the Germans took ground near the Hangard Wood.  This resulted in a five day pause in the German effort in this location until they resumed their attack towards the town of Villers-Bretonneux.  The French fell back upon the German resumed attack but British and Australian troops generally held well but were ultimately forced to retire due to a two stage retreat by the 14th (Light) Division. which ultimately fell back some 3500 yards to a new position.  Australian troops restored the line and counterattacked, pushing the Germans back out of the town.  This was followed up by flanking advances by British cavalry and Australian infantry which consolidated the line for the time being.

This phase of the German offensive also saw the remarkable Canadian cavalry charge in the Battle of Moreuil Wood in which the Canadian Cavalry Brigade conducted a mounted assault near the village of Moreuil, taking the wood against the prediction of failure of a nearby French unit, receiving assistance from the RFC in the assault.  The Germans retook the wood the following day, March 31, but the Canadians then took it back. The Germans ultimately retook the wood, showing the intense nature of the fighting, but the overall offensive was called off shortly after that.  Operation Michael had gained a lot of ground, but it had ground to a halt.  By April 5 the Germans were exhausted and an effort to resume the offensive against the British failed.

 The charge at Moreuil Wood.

1943  Lead by legendary UW basketball player Kenny Sailors, UW beat Georgetown 46 to 34 in Madison Square Gardens.  Sailors would enter the Marine Corps as an officer at the conclusion of that year.  UW would suspend basketball due to the war after that year.  Sailors eventually became a hunting guide in in Alaska, but returned to Wyoming in his old age, where he still lives, following the death of his wife.

1952  The ICC approved the abandonment of the Wyoming Railway between Clearmont and Buffalo.

2003  Teno Roncolio, Wyoming Congressman, and the last Democrat to have occupied that office, died in Cheyenne.

2009  The Wyoming Range Legacy Act signed into law by President Obama. 

2016  President Obama commuted the sentence of Angela  LaPlatney and 61 other prisoners.  She was a Casper resident who was sentenced to 20 years for possession of illegal drugs with the intent to sell the same and for hiding a man who was subject to a felony charge.  Her sentence will now end on July 28.  President Obama has commuted a large number of sentences during his time in office.

2016  Wyoming was hit by a massive Spring snowstorm that shut down much of the state, including offices in Cheyenne and, ironically, Casper's ski area.

Friday, March 29, 2013

March 29

1879  The Laramie County Stock Growers Association changed its name to the Wyoming Stock Growers Association.  The WSGA was to be a major political force early in the state's history.

1887  The following soldiers, stationed at posts in Wyoming, earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for action on this day:

Second Lieutenant Lloyd M. Brett, 2d U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At O'Fallons Creek, Mont., 1 April 1880. Entered service at: Malden, Mass. Born: 22 February 1856, Dead River, Maine. Date of issue: 7 February 1895. Citation: Fearless exposure and dashing bravery in cutting off the Indians' pony herd, thereby greatly crippling the hostiles.

 Brett in later life.

Captain Eli L. Huggins, 2d U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At O'Fallons Creek, Mont., 1 April 1880. Entered service at: Minnesota. Birth: Illinois. Date of issue: 27 November 1894. Citation: Surprised the Indians in their strong position and fought them until dark with great boldness.

1888  State Capitol completed. Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society. 

1906  Construction at Pathfinder Dam suffered a set back due to flood damage.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1916   The Punitive Expedtion: The Casper Daily Press, March 29, 1916

I think one of the most interesting items in this edition was the addition of extra train service, showing how extensive it really was at the time.

1917   The Cheyenne State Leader for March 29, 1917: More Guardsmen needed

The Cheyenne State Leader ran a story about the national mobilization of Guardsmen.  No way Wyoming could have mustered four regiments.

There was a tragic reminder, as well, that April and March are winter months in Wyoming.
The Laramie Daily Boomerang for March 29, 1917. Laramie's Guardsmen ordered to Ft. D. A. Russell as, maybe, the Kaiser makes a peace move?

The Medical Company of the Wyoming National Guard, based in Laramie, was ordered to Ft. D. A. Russell outside of Cheyenne. At the same time, the Laramie paper was hoping against hope that entry into the war might not be necessary.  Who could blame them?

The Connor Hotel, by the way, still stands in Laramie, although I don't think it's a hotel anymore.

1918   Wyoming State Tribune, March 29, 1918. The Germans in control of the breweries?

Lots of grim war news.

And a report that the Germans were in control of the breweries to the tune of, a fellow from the Anti Saloon League claimed, 75%. That is, he said, 75% of all the stock owned in breweries was owned in Germany.

Hmmm. . . . .

And a draft evader was shot in the Seminoes after fighting to contest his arrest.  As this shows, there was opposition to the draft during the Great War and it was sometimes pretty determined, even if most people accepted it readily.

1973  The United States completes it's withdrawal from Vietnam.

By odd coincidence, this is also the day that Lt. William Calley was sentenced in 1971 in a courts martial for his role in the My Lai Massacre, although his prison sentence ended up not being a long one.

1999     The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 10,000 for the first time.

2016   Waiting for the Storm
We're supposed to be getting a huge storm today and tomorrow.

I sure hope so.

These photographs were taken on March 20 in the foothills of the Big Horns:

Foothills of the Southern Big Horns

Elk carcass in the foreground.

Should be snow this time of year.  Not a good sign.
There should be snow everywhere in the photos.  And right now maybe there is, it's snowed since them. But we sure need more.

2017  By and act of Congress and as signed into law this day was designated National Vietnam Veterans Day.

Wyoming had the highest volunteer rate of any state for service in the Vietnam War.  This was not unusual.  It also had the highest volunteer rate for World War One and the highest Marine Corps enlistment rate for World War Two.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

March 28

1845   Mexico dropped diplomatic relations with US.

1846   US troops move onto the left bank of the Rio Grande River.

1865   The District of the Plains was established.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1870  Camp Augur reorganized and renamed Camp Brown.

1906  An ore mill at Encampment burned. Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1908  Fifty-nine people killed in a mine explosion at Hanna.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1916   The Punitive Expedition: The Casper Daily Press, March 28, 1916

Note in this one the fruit and vegetable advertisement.  Quite a difference in regards to how available these things are today.

1917   The Cheyenne State Leader for March 28, 1917: Calls to arms.

A general call to arms was going on, as Wyoming National Guardsmen were returning to service.

1918   Wyoming State Tribune, March 28, 1918. Muleless Days?

The big news was on the war, of course, but a frightening item about a shortage of mules appeared on the front cover as well.

At that time, that was no minor matter.  Mules and horses remained the prime movers of short hauling and agriculture in the United States in 1918.  And the US was also a major supplier of both to the Allies.

Unlike automobiles, a demand for equines couldn't simply be supplied overnight.  A natural product had to develop naturally.  By this point in 1918 horses and mules that were born in the first year of the war were just getting to the point where they were trainable.  Horses and mules of older age, and usable for anything, had been pressed into the demand long ago.

1970  The location of Ft. Reno placed on the National Register of Historic Sites.

1975   A 6.2 earthquake occurred about 93 miles from Evanston, WY.

1982  The Sheridan County Historical Society transferred title in the Trail End Historical Center to the State of Wyoming.

2008 Gray wolves removed from the Endangered Species List.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March 27

1836  Mexico takes the Goliad and executes 417 Texans.

1889   Francis E. Warren was reappointed the Territorial Governor.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1890  A party of "disappointed" Washington emigrants settled on Horse Creek in Laramie County.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1890  The House of Representatives passed the bill for Wyoming Statehood. 

1909  The Trustees of the University of Wyoming fired the university's president.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1916   The Punitive Expedition: Casper Daily Press. March 27, 1916

1917   The Cheyenne State Leader for March 27, 1917: Wyoming National Guard Called Back into Service

After just a couple of weeks of civilian life, the Guard was called back into service.  A Colorado unit that had never demobilized was being retained at Ft. D. A. Russell.

Things were back on.
The Douglas Enterprise for March 27, 1917: Guard to get a big send off in Douglas

Douglas residents were going to gather at the LaBonte, long a hot spot in Douglas, to give Company F a big send off.

I don't know if the LaBonte is open again or not, but its still there.  It was open at least as late as the 1980s, and it might be now.
The Wyoming Tribune for March 27, 1917: State Troops Rushing Back

The Wyoming National Guard was in the throws of recovering troops it had only just discharged from active service.

And the Germans, it was reported, were going to sell the Belgians as slaves.  All while Wilson was "dodging war".
The Laramie Daily Boomerang for March 27, 1917. Laramie's troops not yet ordered to Ft. Russell.

The Medical detachment of the Wyoming National Guard was expecting orders to return to Ft. D. A. Russell, where they'd been only a couple of weeks ago, but they hadn't yet received them.

In other news, a big air force was being planned and the new Russian government was being reported as "very popular".

1919  March 27, 1919. The Arabia struck, Mary Pickford to visit Casper.
USS Arabia.

She'd been laid down in 1903 as a commercial fishing vessel.  Submarine depredations caused the Navy to take her into service in August, 1918, but with that task complete, she was struck from the Navy's rolls and sold that following November.

Why put this obscure ship in here?

Well, this blog explores trends and changes.  1919 wasn't all that long ago, at least not the way historians think of time, and therefore it wasn't that long ago when commercial operations, and even the Navy, regarded sail as still a viable means of propulsion.

There was big local news.

Mary Pickford was coming to the Irish Theatre in Casper on Sunday.

Mary Pickford in 1916.

Pickford was a huge deal in 1919, and frankly she always would be.  One of the really big early stars of early movies, the Toronto born actress was at that time as big of movie star as anyone could imagine.

Her life wasn't really a happy one.  Married three times, she became a recluse in later years and would only receive Lilian Gish as a personal visitor.  This week in 1919, however, she'd be Casper's visitor.

Casper was also declaring war on vice, the paper proclaimed.  If it was, it wasn't very successful at it.  It wasn't until after World War Two when the strong streak of vice running through Casper would be cleaned up, and the Sandbar district remained all the way into the 1970s.

1964  Earthquake occurred near Van Tassell.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March 26

1804  The District of Louisiana, including most of Wyoming, established by an act of the U.S. Congress. Attribution:  On This Day.

1882  Frederic Remington's drawings published for the first time.

1890  Territorial Delegate Joseph M. Carey introduced a bill calling for Statehood for Wyoming.

1891  Joel Ware Foster took office as the State's first Bank Examiner. 

1895  The University of Wyoming Alumni Association founded.

1898  Miners in Diamondville formed a union. Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society. 

1917   The Wyoming Tribune for March 26, 1917: Guardsmen Return To Service

Guardsmen nationwide was the headline in the Wyoming Tribune, as opposed to the State's troops as discussed in the Laramie Boomerang.

Cheyenne's paper was noting that Colorado cavalry, just arrived at Ft. D. A. Russell fresh from border service, was now set not to muster out at all.  Late in the process of mustering out, it didn't look like they were going to.
The Laramie Boomerang for March 26, 1917. The Guard is mobilized again.

They'd barely made it home, and now they were being called back into service.  The Wyoming National Guard was mobilized once again.

This time the plan was for one of the battalions to be mounted, in what would prove to be an irony. while cavalry was not obsolete in 1917, a battalion sized cavalry unit would have been of more utility on the border than it would have been in Europe.  Of course, in March 1917 it wasn't clear that the Guard would be serving in Europe, or even that the Army would be.

1918  Elmer Lovejoy of Laramie patented a powered garage door opener.  Lovejoy had previously built his own automobile. 

1918  March 26, 1918. Bad news. Hopeful News. And, what? Me worry?

Significant positions were falling.

Romania was giving up.

The Germans were across the Somme. . .and sending reinforcements to their own advancing men.

But the Germans were slowing down, some, and new lines were reported to be forming. . . maybe.  March was telling us now to worry. . . heh, heh.

But in Casper, the economy was doing great!

I wonder what was causing that big increase in the demand for petroleum anyway?
1926  Game and Fish planted 27 pairs of Hungarian Partridges.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1932  A magnitude 6 earthquake happened near Jackson.

1943  Wyoming beat Oklahoma, 53 to 50, in basketball.

1992  Big Horn Academy Building in Cowley added to the National Registry of Historic Places.

1993  The T A Ranch, scene of the siege of the Invaders during the Johnson County War, added to the National Registry of Historic Places.

TA Ranch.

Monday, March 25, 2013

March 25

1877  Deadwood stage driver and the son of Cheyenne's marshall, Johnny Slaughter, killed by outlaws two miles outside of Deadwood.

1879  Little Wolf surrenders to cavalry commanded by Cpt. W. P. Clark.  Little Wolf had fought in many significant Plains Indians battles including, it is believed, the Fetterman Fight.

1891  An opium raid was conducted in Newcastle.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1909  A well near Byron came in as a gusher. Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society. 

1915  Arminto Wyoming incorporated.  Arminto was a major sheep shipping point in the 20th Century and, at one time, more sheep were shipped from its stockyards, where they were loaded on trains, than any other place in the world.

Today, with the decline in the American sheep industry, Arminto is nearly a ghost town, with just a few remaining residents.  Here's a scene from just outside of the town.  The town's once busy railhead is now just a rail crossing.

1916   The Punitive Expedition: Casper Daily Press, March 25, 1916.


The papers were correct that Operation Michael was slowing down.  Estimates of losses were overestimated, however.

And a name that was to be famous, Douglas MacArthur, appeared on the front page.