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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.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

August 31

1865  A road building party under the command of Col. J. A. Sawyer, which included 82 wagons, was attacked by Arapahos in reaction to having been attacked on the Tongue River by Gen. Connor the day prior.  The regrouped Arapahos conducted a thirteen day siege on the party, which moved somewhat during the first two days but which was immobilized by September 2.

1910  Theodore Roosevelt delivered his New Nationalism speech in Osawatomie, Kansas which stated:
We come here to-day to commemorate one of the epochmaking events of the long struggle for the rights of man - the long struggle for the uplift of humanity. Our country - this great Republic - means nothing unless it means the triumph of a real democracy, the triumph of popular government, and, in the long run, of an economic system under which each man shall be guaranteed the opportunity to show the best that there is in him. That is why the history of America is now the central feature of the history of the world; for the world has set its face hopefully toward our democracy; and, O my fellow citizens, each one of you carries on your shoulders not only the burden of doing well for the sake of your own country, but the burden of doing well and of seeing that this nation does well for the sake of mankind.

There have been two great crises in our country's history: first, when it was formed, and then, again, when it was perpetuated; and, in the second of these great crises - in the time of stress and strain which culminated in the Civil War, on the outcome of which depended the justification of what had been done earlier, you men of the Grand Army, you men who fought through the Civil War, not only did you justify your generation, not only did you render life worth living for our generation, but you justified the wisdom of Washington and Washington's colleagues. If this Republic had been founded by them only to be split asunder into fragments when the strain came, then the judgment of the world would have been that Washington's work was not worth doing. It was you who crowned Washington's work, as you carried to achievement the high purpose of Abraham Lincoln.

Now, with this second period of our history the name of John Brown will be forever associated; and Kansas was the theater upon which the first act of the second of our great national life dramas was played. It was the result of the struggle in Kansas which determined that our country should be in deed as well as in name devoted to both union and freedom; that the great experiment of democratic government on a national scale should succeed and not fail. In name we had the Declaration of Independence in 1776; but we gave the lie by our acts to the words of the Declaration of Independence until 1865; and words count for nothing except in so far as they represent acts. This is true everywhere; but, O my friends, it should be truest of all in political life. A broken promise is bad enough in private life. It is worse in the field of politics. No man is worth his salt in public life who makes on the stump a pledge which he does not keep after election; and, if he makes such a pledge and does not keep it, hunt him out of public life. I care for the great deeds of the past chiefly as spurs to drive us onward in the present. I speak of the men of the past partly that they may be honored by our praise of them, but more that they may serve as examples for the future.

It was a heroic struggle; and, as is inevitable with all such struggles, it had also a dark and terrible side. Very much was done of good, and much also of evil; and, as was inevitable in such a period of revolution, often the same man did both good and evil. For our great good fortune as a nation, we, the people of the United States as a whole, can now afford to forget the evil, or, at least, to remember it without bitterness, and to fix our eyes with pride only on the good that was accomplished. Even in ordinary times there are very few of us who do not see the problems of life as through a glass, darkly; and when the glass is clouded by the murk of furious popular passion, the vision of the best and the bravest is dimmed. Looking back, we are all of us now able to do justice to the valor and the disinterestedness and the love of the right, as to each it was given to see the right, shown both by the men of the North and the men of the South in that contest which was finally decided by the attitude of the West. We can admire the heroic valor, the sincerity, the self devotion shown alike by the men who wore the blue and the men who wore the gray; and our sadness that such men should have had to fight one another is tempered by the glad knowledge that ever hereafter their descendants shall be found fighting side by side, struggling in peace as well as in war for the uplift of their common country. all alike resolute to raise to the highest pitch of honor and usefulness the nation to which they all belong. As for the veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic, they deserve honor and recognition such as is paid to no other citizens of the Republic; for to them the republic owes its all; for to them it owes its very existence. It is because of what you and your comrades did in the dark years that we of to-day walk, each of us, head erect, and proud that we belong, not to one of a dozen little squabbling contemptible commonwealths, but to the mightiest nation upon which the sun shines.

I do not speak of this struggle of the past merely from the historic standpoint. Our interest is primarily in the application to-day of the lessons taught by the contest of half a century ago. It is of little use for us to pay lip-loyalty to the mighty men of the past unless we sincerely endeavor to apply to the problems of the present precisely the qualities which in other crises enable the men of that day to meet those crises. It is half melancholy and half amusing to see the way in which well-meaning people gather to do honor to the man who, in company with John Brown, and under the lead of Abraham Lincoln, faced and solved the great problems of the nineteenth century, while, at the same time, these same good people nervously shrink from, or frantically denounce, those who are trying to meet the problems of the twentieth century in the spirit which was accountable for the successful solution of the problems of Lincoln's time.

Of that generation of men to whom we owe so much, the man to whom we owe most is, of course, Lincoln. Part of our debt to him is because he forecast our present struggle and saw the way out. He said:

"I hold that while man exists it is his duty to improve not only his own condition, but to assist in ameliorating mankind."

And again:

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."

If that remark was original with me, I should be even more strongly denounced as a Communist agitator than I shall be anyhow. It is Lincoln's. I am only quoting it; and that is one side; that is the side the capitalist should hear. Now, let the working man hear his side.

"Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights.... Nor should this lead to a war upon the owners of property. Property is the fruit of labor; . . . property is desirable; is a positive good in the world."

And then comes a thoroughly Lincolnlike sentence:

"Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built."

It seems to me that, in these words, Lincoln took substantially the attitude that we ought to take; he showed the proper sense of proportion in his relative estimates of capital and labor, of human rights and property rights. Above all, in this speech, as in many others, he taught a lesson in wise kindliness and charity; an indispensable lesson to us of today. But this wise kindliness and charity never weakened his arm or numbed his heart. We cannot afford weakly to blind ourselves to the actual conflict which faces us to-day. The issue is joined, and we must fight or fail.

In every wise struggle for human betterment one of the main objects, and often the only object, has been to achieve in large measure equality of opportunity. In the struggle for this great end, nations rise from barbarism to civilization, and through it people press forward from one stage of enlightenment to the next. One of the chief factors in progress is the destruction of special privilege. The essence of any struggle for healthy liberty has always been, and must always be, to take from some one man or class of men the right to enjoy power, or wealth, or position, or immunity, which has not been earned by service to his or their fellows. That is what you fought for in the Civil War, and that is what we strive for now.

At many stages in the advance of humanity, this conflict between the men who possess more than they have earned and the men who have earned more than they possess is the central condition of progress. In our day it appears as the struggle of freemen to gain and hold the right of self-government as against the special interests, who twist the methods of free government into machinery for defeating the popular will. At every stage, and under all circumstances, the essence of the struggle is to equalize opportunity, destroy privilege, and give to the life and citizenship of every individual the highest possible value both to himself and to the commonwealth. That is nothing new. All I ask in civil life is what you fought for in the Civil War. I ask that civil life be carried on according to the spirit in which the army was carried on. You never get perfect justice, but the effort in handling the army was to bring to the front the men who could do the job. Nobody grudged promotion to Grant, or Sherman, or Thomas, or Sheridan, because they earned it. The only complaint was when a man got promotion which he did not earn.

Practical equality of opportunity for all citizens, when we achieve it, will have two great results. First, every man will have a fair chance to make of himself all that in him lies; to reach the highest point to which his capacities, unassisted by special privilege of his own and unhampered by the special privilege of others, can carry him, and to get for himself and his family substantially what he has earned. Second, equality of opportunity means that the commonwealth will get from every citizen the highest service of which he is capable. No man who carries the burden of the special privileges of another can give to the commonwealth that service to which it is fairly entitled.

I stand for the square deal. But when I say that I am for the square deal, I mean not merely that I stand for fair play under the present rules of the games, but that I stand for having those rules changed so as to work for a more substantial equality of opportunity and of reward for equally good service. One word of warning, which, I think, is hardly necessary in Kansas. When I say I want a square deal for the poor man, I do not mean that I want a square deal for the man who remains poor because he has not got the energy to work for himself. If a man who has had a chance will not make good, then he has got to quit. And you men of the Grand Army, you want justice for the brave man who fought, and punishment for the coward who shirked his work. Is not that so?

Now, this means that our government, national and State, must be freed from the sinister influence or control of special interests. Exactly as the special interests of cotton and slavery threatened our political integrity before the Civil War, so now the great special business interests too often control and corrupt the men and methods of government for their own profit. We must drive the special interests out of politics. That is one of our tasks to-day. Every special interest is entitled to justice - full, fair, and complete - and, now, mind you, if there were any attempt by mob-violence to plunder and work harm to the special interest, whatever it may be, and I most dislike and the wealthy man, whomsoever he may be, for whom I have the greatest contempt, I would fight for him, and you would if you were worth your salt. He should have justice. For every special interest is entitled to justice, but not one is entitled to a vote in Congress, to a voice on the bench, or to representation in any public office. The Constitution guarantees protections to property, and we must make that promise good But it does not give the right of suffrage to any corporation. The true friend of property, the true conservative, is he who insists that property shall be the servant and not the master of the commonwealth; who insists that the creature of man's making shall be the servant and not the master of the man who made it. The citizens of the United States must effectively control the mighty commercial forces which they have themselves called into being.

There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will be neither a short nor an easy task, but it can be done.

We must have complete and effective publicity of corporate affairs, so that people may know beyond peradventure whether the corporations obey the law and whether their management entitles them to the confidence of the public. It is necessary that laws should be passed to prohibit the use of corporate funds directly or indirectly for political purposes; it is still more necessary that such laws should be thoroughly enforced. Corporate expenditures for political purposes, and especially such expenditures by public-service corporations, have supplied one of the principal sources of corruption in our political affairs.

It has become entirely clear that we must have government supervision of the capitalization, not only of public-service corporations, including, particularly, railways, but of all corporations doing an interstate business. I do not wish to see the nation forced into the ownership of the railways if it can possibly be avoided, and the only alternative is thoroughgoing and effective regulation, which shall be based on a full knowledge of all the facts, including a physical valuation of property. This physical valuation is not needed, or, at least, is very rarely needed, for fixing rates; but it is needed as the basis of honest capitalization.

We have come to recognize that franchises should never be granted except for a limited time, and never without proper provision for compensation to the public. It is my personal belief that the same kind and degree of control and supervision which should be exercised over public-service corporations should be extended also to combinations which control necessaries of life, such as meat, oil, and coal, or which deal in them on an important scale. I have not doubt that the ordinary man who has control of them is much like ourselves. I have no doubt he would like to do well, but I want to have enough supervision to help him realize that desire to do well.

I believe that the officers, and, especially, the directors, of corporations should be held personally responsible when any corporation breaks the law.

Combinations in industry are the result of an imperative economic law which cannot be repealed by political legislation. The effort at prohibiting all combination has substantially failed. The way out lies, not in attempting to prevent such combinations, but in completely controlling them in the interest of the public welfare. For that purpose the Federal Bureau of Corporations is an agency of first importance. Its powers, and, therefore, its efficiency, as well as that of the Interstate Commerce Commission, should be largely increased. We have a right to expect from the Bureau of Corporations and from the Interstate Commerce Commission a very high grade of public service. We should be as sure of the proper conduct of the interstate railways and the proper management of interstate business as we are now sure of the conduct and management of the national banks, and we should have as effective supervision in one case as in the other. The Hepburn Act, and the amendment to the act in the shape in which it finally passed Congress at the last session, represent a long step in advance, and we must go yet further.

There is a wide-spread belief among our people that under the methods of making tariffs, which have hitherto obtained, the special interests are too influential. Probably this is true of both the big special interests and the little special interests. These methods have put a premium on selfishness, and, naturally, the selfish big interests have gotten more than their smaller, though equally selfish brothers. The duty of Congress is to provide a method by which the interest of the whole people shall be all that receives consideration. To this end there must be an expert tariff commission, wholly removed from the possibility of political pressure or of improper business influence. Such a commission can find the real difference between cost of production, which is mainly the difference of labor cost here and abroad. As fast as its recommendations are made, I believe in revising one schedule at a time. A general revision of the tariff almost inevitably leads to logrolling and the subordination of the general public interest to local and special interests.

The absence of effective State, and, especially, national, restraint upon unfair money-getting has tended to create a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power. The prime need is to change the conditions which enable these men to accumulate power which is not for the general welfare that they should hold or exercise. We grudge no man a fortune which represents his own power and sagacity, when exercised with entire regard to the welfare of his fellows. Again, comrades over there, take the lesson from your own experience. Not only did you not grudge, but you gloried in the promotion of the great generals who gained their promotion by leading the army to victory. So it is with us. We grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably obtained and well used. It is not even enough that it should have gained without doing damage to the community. We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community. This, I know, implies a policy of a far more active governmental interference with social and economic conditions in this country than we have yet had, but I think we have got to face the fact that such an increase in governmental control is now necessary.

No man should receive a dollar unless that dollar has been fairly earned. Every dollar received should represent a dollar's worth of service rendered - not gambling in stocks, but service rendered. The really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means. Therefore, I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, and in another tax which is far more easily collected and far more effective - a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate.

The people of the United States suffer from periodical financial panics to a degree substantially unknown among the other nations which approach us in financial strength. There is no reason why we should suffer what they escape. It is of profound importance that our financial system should be promptly investigated, and so thoroughly and effectively revised as to make it certain that hereafter our currency will no longer fail at critical times to meet our needs.

It is hardly necessary for me to repeat that I believe in an efficient army and a navy large enough to secure for us abroad that respect which is the surest guaranty of peace. A word of special warning to my fellow citizens who are as progressive as I hope I am. I want them to keep up their interest in our internal affairs; and I want them also continually to remember Uncle Sam's interest abroad. Justice and fair dealing among nations rest upon principles identical with those which control justice and fair dealing among the individuals of which nations are composed, with the vital exception that each nation must do its own part in international police work. If you get into trouble here, you can call for the police; but if Uncle Sam gets into trouble, he has got to be his own policeman, and I want to see him strong enough to encourage the peaceful aspirations of other peoples in connection with us. I believe in national friendships and heartiest good-will to all nations; but national friendships, like those between men, must be founded on respect as well as on liking, on forbearance as well as upon trust. I should be heartily ashamed of any American who did not try to make the American Government act as Justly toward the other nations in international relations as he himself would act toward any individual in private relations. I should be heartily ashamed to see us wrong a weaker power, and I should hang my head forever if we tamely suffered wrong from a stronger power.

Of conservation I shall speak more at length elsewhere. Conservation means development as much as it does protection. I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us. I ask nothing of the nation except that it so behave as each farmer here behaves with reference to his own children. That farmer is a poor creature who skins the land and leaves it worthless to his children. The farmer is a good farmer who, having enabled the land to support himself and to provide for the education of his children leaves it to them a little better than he found it himself. I believe the same thing of a nation.

Moreover, I believe that the natural resources must be used for the benefit of all our people, and not monopolized for the benefit of the few, and here again is another case in which I am accused of taking a revolutionary attitude. People forget now that one hundred years ago there were public men of good character who advocated the nation selling its public lands in great quantities, so that the nation could get the most money out of it, and giving it to the men who could cultivate it for their own uses. We took the proper democratic ground that the land should be granted in small sections to the men who were actually to till it and live on it. Now, with the water-power with the forests, with the mines, we are brought face to face with the fact that there are many people who will go with us in conserving the resources only if they are to be allowed to exploit them for their benefit. That is one of the fundamental reasons why the special interest should be driven out of politics. Of all the questions which can come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us, and training them into a better race to inhabit the land and pass it on. Conservation is a great moral issue for it involves the patriotic duty of insuring the safety and continuance of the nation. Let me add that the health and vitality of our people are at least as well worth conserving as their forests, waters, lands, and minerals, and in this great work the national government must bear a most important part.

I have spoken elsewhere also of the great task which lies before the farmers of the country to get for themselves and their wives and children not only the benefits of better farming, but also those of better business methods and better conditions of life on the farm. The burden of this great task will fall, as it should, mainly upon the great organizations of the farmers themselves. I am glad it will, for I believe they are all able to handle it. In particular, there are strong reasons why the Departments of Agriculture of the various States, and the United States Department of Agriculture, and the agricultural colleges and experiment stations should extend their work to cover all phases of farm life, instead of limiting themselves. as they have far too often limited themselves in the past, solely to the question of the production of crops. And now a special word to the farmer. I want to see him make the farm as fine a farm as it can be made; and let him remember to see that the improvement goes on indoors as well as out; let him remember that the farmer's wife should have her share of thought and attention just as much as the farmer himself. Nothing is more true than that excess of every kind is followed by reaction; a fact which should be pondered by reformer and reactionary alike. We are face to face with new conceptions of the relations of property to human welfare, chiefly because certain advocates of the rights of property as against the rights of men have been pushing their claims too far. The man who wrongly holds that every human right is secondary to his profit must now give way to the advocate of human welfare, who rightly maintains that every man holds his property subject to the general right of the community to regulate its use to whatever degree the public welfare may require it.

But I think we may go still further. The right to regulate the use of wealth in the public interest is universally admitted. Let us admit also the right to regulate the terms and conditions of labor, which is the chief element of wealth, directly in the interest of the common good. The fundamental thing to do for every man is to give him a chance to reach a place in which he will make the greatest possible contribution to the public welfare. Understand what I say there. Give him a chance, not push him up if he will not be pushed. Help any man who stumbles; if he lies down, it is a poor job to try to carry him; but if he is a worthy man, try your best to see that he gets a chance to show the worth that is in him. No man can be a good citizen unless he has a wage more than sufficient to cover the bare cost of living, and hours of labor short enough so that after his day's work is done he will have time and energy to bear his share in the management of the community, to help in carrying the general load. We keep countless men from being good citizens by the conditions of life with which we surround them. We need comprehensive workmen's compensation acts, both State and national laws to regulate child labor and work for women, and, especially, we need in our common schools not merely education in booklearning, but also practical training for daily life and work. We need to enforce better sanitary conditions for our workers and to extend the use of safety appliances for our workers in industry and commerce, both within and between the States. Also, friends, in the interest of the working man himself we need to set our faces like Mint against mob-violence just as against corporate greed; against violence and injustice and lawlessness by wage-workers just as much as against lawless cunning and greed and selfish arrogance of employers. If I could ask but one thing of my fellow countrymen, my request would be that, whenever they go in for reform, they remember the two sides, and that they always exact justice from one side as much as from the other. I have small use for the public servant who can always see and denounce the corruption of the capitalist, but who cannot persuade himself, especially before elections, to say a word about lawless mob-violence. And I have equally small use for the man, be he a judge on the bench, or editor of a great paper, or wealthy and influential private citizen, who can see clearly enough and denounce the lawlessness of mob-violence, but whose eyes are closed so that he is blind when the question is one of corruption in business on a gigantic scale. Also remember what I said about excess in reformer and reactionary alike. If the reactionary man, who thinks of nothing but the rights of property, could have his way, he would bring about a revolution; and one of my chief fears in connection with progress comes because I do not want to see our people, for lack of proper leadership, compelled to follow men whose intentions are excellent, but whose eyes are a little too wild to make it really safe to trust them. Here in Kansas there is one paper which habitually denounces me as the tool of Wall Street, and at the same time frantically repudiates the statement that I am a Socialist on the ground that is an unwarranted slander of the Socialists.

National efficiency has many factors. It is a necessary result of the principle of conservation widely applied. In the end it will determine our failure or success as a nation. National efficiency has to do, not only with natural resources and with men, but is equally concerned with institutions. The State must be made efficient for the work which concerns only the people of the State; and the nation for that which concerns all the people. There must remain no neutral ground to serve as a refuge for lawbreakers, and especially for lawbreakers of great wealth, who can hire the vulpine legal cunning which will teach them how to avoid both jurisdictions. It is a misfortune when the national legislature fails to do its duty in providing a national remedy, so that the only national activity is the purely negative activity of the judiciary in forbidding the State to exercise power in the premises.

I do not ask for overcentralization; but I do ask that we work in a spirit of broad and far-reaching nationalism when we work for what concerns our people as a whole. We are all Americans. Our common interests are as broad as the continent. I speak to you here in Kansas exactly as I would speak in New York or Georgia, for the most vital problems are those which affect us all alike. The national government belongs to the whole American people, and where the whole American people are interested, that interest can be guarded effectively only by the national government. The betterment which we seek must be accomplished, I believe, mainly through the national government.

The American people are right in demanding that New Nationalism, without which we cannot hope to deal with new problems. The New Nationalism puts the national need before sectional or personal advantage. It is impatient of the utter confusion that results from local legislatures attempting to treat national issues as local issues. It is still more impatient of the impotence which springs from overdivision of governmental powers, the impotence which makes it possible for local selfishness or for legal cunning, hired by wealthy special interests, to bring national activities to a deadlock. This New Nationalism regards the executive power as the steward of the public welfare. It demands of the judiciary that it shall be interested primarily in human welfare rather than in property, just as it demands that the representative body shall represent all the people rather than any one class or section of the people.

I believe in shaping the ends of government to protect property as well as human welfare. Normally, and in the long run, the ends are the same; but whenever the alternative must be faced, I am for men and not for property, as you were in the Civil War. I am far from underestimating the importance of dividends; but I rank dividends below human character. Again, I do not have any sympathy with the reformer who says he does not care for dividends. Of course, economic welfare is necessary, for a man must pull his own weight and be able to support his family. I know well that the reformers must not bring upon the people economic ruin, or the reforms themselves will go down in the ruin. But we must be ready to face temporary disaster, whether or not brought on by those who will war against us to the knife. Those who oppose all reform will do well to remember that ruin in its worst form is inevitable if our national life brings us nothing better than swollen fortunes for the few and the triumph in both politics and business of a sordid and selfish materialism.

If our political institutions were perfect, they would absolutely prevent the political domination of money in any part of our affairs. We need to make our political representatives more quickly and sensitively responsive to the people whose servants they are. More direct action by the people in their own affairs under proper safeguards is vitally necessary. The direct primary is a step in this direction, if it is associated with a corrupt-practices act effective to prevent the advantage of the man willing recklessly and unscrupulously to spend money over his more honest competitor. It is particularly important that all moneys received or expended for campaign purposes should be publicly accounted for, not only after election, but before election as well. Political action must be made simpler, easier, and freer from confusion for every citizen. I believe that the prompt removal of unfaithful or incompetent public servants should be made easy and sure in whatever way experience shall show to be most expedient in any given class of cases.

One of the fundamental necessities in a representative government such as ours is to make certain that the men to whom the people delegate their power shall serve the people by whom they are elected, and not the special interests. I believe that every national officer, elected or appointed, should be forbidden to perform any service or receive any compensation, directly or indirectly, from interstate corporations; and a similar provision could not fail to be useful within the States.

The object of government is the welfare of the people. The material progress and prosperity of a nation are desirable chiefly so far as they lead to the moral and material welfare of all good citizens. Just in proportion as the average man and woman are honest, capable of sound judgment and high ideals, active in public affairs - but, first of all, sound in their home life, and the father and mother of healthy children whom they bring up well - just so far, and no farther, we may count our civilization a success. We must have - I believe we have already - a genuine and permanent moral awakening, without which no wisdom of legislation or administration really means anything; and, on the other hand, we must try to secure the social and economic legislation without which any improvement due to purely moral agitation is necessarily evanescent. Let me again illustrate by a reference to the Grand Army. You could not have won simply as a disorderly and disorganized mob. You needed generals; you needed careful administration of the most advanced type; and a good commissary - the cracker line. You well remember that success was necessary in many different lines in order to bring about general success. You had to have the administration at Washington good, just as you had to have the administration in the field; and you had to have the work of the generals good. You could not have triumphed without that administration and leadership; but it would all have been worthless if the average soldier had not had the right stuff in him. He had to have the right stuff in him, or you could not get it out of him. In the last analysis, therefore, vitally necessary though it was to have the right kind of organization and the right kind of generalship, it was even more vitally necessary that the average soldier should have the fighting edge, the right character.

So it is in our civil life. No matter how honest and decent we are in our private lives, if we do not have the right kind of law and the right kind of administration of the law, we cannot go forward as a nation. That is imperative; but it must be an addition to, and not a substitution for, the qualities that make us good citizens. In the last analysis, the most important elements in any man's career must be the sum of those qualities which, in the aggregate, we speak of as character. If he has not got it, then no law that the wit of man can devise, no administration of the law by the boldest and strongest executive, will avail to help him. We must have the right kind of character - character that makes a man, first of all, a good man in the home, a good father, a good husband - that makes a man a good neighbor. You must have that, and, then, in addition, you must have the kind of law and the kind of administration of the law which will give to those qualities in the private citizen the best possible chance for development. The prime problem of our nation is to get the right type of good citizenship, and, to get it, we must have progress, and our public men must be genuinely progressive.
1916  John S. Wold, Wyoming's Congressman from 1969 to 1971, and a well known Wyoming oil man, was born in East Orange, New Jersey.

1939  The Dome Lake Station reported a total 11 inches of snow for the month of August, 1939.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1962  The LST USS Lincoln County transferred to Taiwan, where it remains in service.

Friday, August 30, 2013

August 30

1864  Gold discovered near the location of present day Livingston, Montana

1869   Major John Wesley Powell's expedition arrived at the foot of the Grand Canyon, having left Green River on May 24.  Attribution:  On  This Day.

1877 "Cantonment Reno" renamed Fort McKinney.  Attribution:  On This Day.

 The location of the former Cantonment Reno.

1886  The first homicide in the new town of Lusk occurred. Attribution. Wyoming State Historical Society.

1890  First oil strike at the Salt Creek field.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1898  James Judson Van Horn, former temporary commander of the Department of Colorado in Denver, commander of a regiment and infantry division at Camp Thomas, Georgia, and the first brigade, second division, Fifth Corps, at Tampa, Florida, died while on sick leave at Ft. D. A. Russell. 

1916. A horse and rider were killed near Medicine Bow by lightening.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1999  Leonard Frank "Fritz" Shumer died in Suamico Wisconsin.  He had been  head coach of the University of Wyoming Cowboys from 1971 to 1974 and defensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers from 1994 to 1998.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

August 29

1865  Gen. Connor lead 125 Michigan cavalrymen and 90 Pawnee in an early morning assault on an Arapaho village encamped on the Tongue River in the last battle of the Powder River expedition  The battle was at the current location of the town of Ranchester..  At the time of the assault, many of the Arapaho fighting men were away fighting the Crow Indians along the Big Horn River, although the cavalrymen and their Pawnee scouts were nonetheless outnumbered.  The fighting lasted all day, and Connor had to bring up two howitzer to repel an Arapaho counterattack designed to hold Connor's force back while the Arapaho withdrew their camp, which included the remaining older men, women, and children.  Sixty three Arapaho were killed in the battle, and eighteen women and children were taken prisoner but subsequently released.  1,000 Arapaho horses were taken and killed.

The battle is notable for several peculiar reasons.  For one thing, while Connor's forces were in the field to address Indian raiding that had gone on earlier that year, it appears that the Arapaho, which were a very small band of Indians, were not at war with the US, or at least this band was not. So the assault, while conceived of by Connor as an attack on a hostile band, was in fact an assault on a peaceful band. The assault would turn them hostile, however, and they would be allied with the Sioux and Cheyenne up through the 1870s.

1870  Mount Washburn in Yellowstone National Park ascended for the first time by members of the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition.   The scientific/topographic expedition was under a military escort lead by U.S. Army Cavalry officer, Lt. Gustavus Cheyney Doane, who made this report:
The view from the summit is beyond all adequate description. Looking northward from the base of the mountain the great plateau stretches away to the front and left with its innumerable groves and sparkling waters, a variegated landscape of surpassing beauty, bounded on its extreme verge by the cañons of the Yellowstone. The pure atmosphere of this lofty region causes every outline of tree, rock or lakelet to be visible with wonderful distinctness, and objects twenty miles away appear as if very near at hand. Still further to the left the snowy ranges on the headwaters of Gardiner's river stretch away to the westward, joining those on the head of the Gallatin, and forming, with the Elephant's Back, a continuous chain, bending constantly to the south, the rim of the Yellowstone Basin. On the verge of the horizon appear, like mole hills in the distance, and far below, the white summits above the Gallatin Valley. These never thaw during the summer months, though several thousand feet lower than where we now stand upon the bare granite and no snow visible near, save n the depths of shaded ravines. Beyond the plateau to the right front is the deep valley of the East Fork bearing away eastward, and still beyond, ragged volcanic peaks, heaped in inextricable confusion, as far as the limit of vision extends. On the east, close beneath our feet, yawns the immense gulf of the Grand Cañon, cutting away the bases of two mountains in forcing a passage through the range. Its yellow walls divide the landscape nearly in a straight line to the junction of Warm Spring Creek below. The ragged edges of the chasm are from two hundred to five hundred yards apart, its depth so profound that the river bed is no where visible. No sound reaches the ear from the bottom of the abyss; the sun's rays are reflected on the further wall and then lost in the darkness below. The mind struggles and then falls back upon itself despairing in the effort to grasp by a single thought the idea of its immensity. Beyond, a gentle declivity, sloping from the summit of the broken range, extends to the limit of vision, a wilderness of unbroken pine forest.
William Henry Jackson on Mount Washburn a few years later.

1899  Wyoming volunteers returned from service in the Philippines, via the Port of San Francisco.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1900  The Hole In The Wall Gang robbed a train near Tipton.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1970  The Medicine Wheel was designated a National Historic Landmark.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1971  The Casper Buffalo trap was discovered.

2004  3.8 earthquake occurred 95 miles from Gillette.  Attribution:  On This Day..

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Have you seen this monument? - Wyoming Tribune Eagle Online

Have you seen this monument? - Wyoming Tribune Eagle Online

Society of the Military Horse • View topic - News Item: Colorado Museum closes new Sand Creek Exhibit

Society of the Military Horse • View topic - News Item: Colorado Museum closes new Sand Creek Exhibit

August 28

1767   Hugo Oconór became ad interim governor of the Spanish Mexican province of Texas.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1865  Ft. Connor established by Gen. Patrick Connor, 6th Mich Cav. The 6th Mich Cavalry was serving in Wyoming at the time.  The fort was renamed Ft. Reno for late Maj. Gen. Jesse L. Reno later that year.  The fort was abandoned in 1868 as a condition of the peace treaty that resulted in the end of Red Cloud's War, which is generally regarded as the only Plains Indian War which resulted in a clear cut Indian victory.

1868  Ft. Reno abandoned.

1890  A gold strike was reported near Lander.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1904  Prisoners in Laramie's jail were lynched by a crowd. Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1943  Salvage of tin cans begins in Cheyenne. Attribution: Wyoming State Historical Society.

1963  Martin Luther King delivers his "I have a dream" speech at a large rally in Washington D.C.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August 27

 Members of President Arthur's party in Yellowstone.

1883  President Arthur began a tour of Yellowstone National Park.

Gen Stager spends some time fishing while with President Arthur in Yellowstone.

1884  Nels H. Smith, Governor of Wyoming from 1939 to 1943, born in Gayville South Dakota.

1910  Theodore Roosevelt was present in Cheyenne for Frontier Days.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1917   Allen Tupper True receives a contract to paint eight oil on canvas murals for the Wyoming State Capitol in Cheyenne. True was a prominent muralist who did a collection of prominent murals in the region.

1933  A monument was dedicated at the Overland Trail Crossing on the North Platte.

1942 The USS Wyoming torpedoed by the U-165.  She did not sink, but four men were killed in the attack.

2002  Kaycee endures a flood.

Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26

1853  Mormon militia dispatched from Salt Lake City to Ft. Bridger with the goal of stopping liquor sales to Indians.  Tensions between Mormons and the fort's owners, Jim Bridger and Louis Vasquez had always been high.

1917  New producing oil well came in at the Salt Creek Field.  The field was highly active during World War One, and a regional oil boom also occurred, along with a horse boom, because of the war.  There was, a result, a great deal of construction in downtown Casper during this era. Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1980   Guernsey State Park added to the National Register of Historic Places.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1987  Vern Gardner, Afton born professional basketball player, died in Ogden Utah, where he was a high school basketball coach.  He played professional basketball in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

2011  Cmdr. Barry F. Rodrigues relieved Cmdr. William C. McKinney as the commanding officer of SSBN 742 (Blue), the USS Wyoming, during a change-of-command ceremony at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

August 25

1819 Allan Pinkerton, detective, secret service agent, born.

1850  Western humorist Edgar Wilson "Bill" Nye born in Maine. He career as a humorist was launched while he was a postmaster in Laramie.

1916. National Park Service formed. The NPS took over a role which had been occupied by the Army, that of patrolling the National Parks. Their uniform still recalls the Army of 1916 to a small extent, in that they've retained the M1911 style campaign hat, in straw and felt, as part of their uniform.

On this, it's also the case here that the Yellowstone just ceased last year using the Army built courthouse, built in 1908, in favor of a newly constructed one. Still, that's pretty good service for a small Army courthouse really.

 In 1916, the cavalry branch, which had been heavily involved in patrolling the parks, was committed to the Cold/Lukewarm war with Villa. I wonder if part of the reason that the Park Service came into being in 1916 was because this mounted service was needed to free up the Army's mounted arm for it's primary military role?

1944  Seventeen sheep were slain by a mystery aircraft near Medicine Bow.  I wish I knew more details about this, but I don't.  The item is a Wyoming State Historical Society item, and must have been reported in a newspaper at the time.

1950 President Harry S. Truman orders the Army to seize control of the nation's railroads to avert a strike.

1972  Congress authorized the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway.

2010   Governor Dave Freudenthal signed an executive order increasing protected sage grouse habitat by a net of 400,000 acres.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

August 24

1842  John C. Fremont's raft capsizes in the rapids in what is now Fremont Canyon, dumping most of his party's scientific instruments.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1865  Emma Howell Knight, the University of Wyoming’s first dean of women, born in Millbrook, Ontario, Canada.

1865  Companies C and D of the 5th U. S. Volunteers (Galvanized Yankees) relieved the 6th Michigan cavalry at Ft. Reno.

1944 It was reported that the tragedy of war struck a Hanna couple for the second time, as news was reported of their loss of a second son in the war.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

Friday, August 23, 2013

August 23

1842  John C. Fremont carved his name on Independence Rock.

1868  Episcopal Bishop Randall consecrated St. Mark's Parish in Cheyenne, the first known consecration of a church in Wyoming.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1944 The landing gear of a B-17 collapsed at the Cheyenne Modification Center, but nobody was injured. Cheyenne is significant in the history of the B-17 as the Cheyenne Modification Center developed a special nose turret for the bomber which was known as the Cheyenne Turret.

1949  The Wyoming Stock Growers Association donated a collection of its historic materials to the University of Wyoming.  Attribution: Wyoming State Historical Society.

1965  State dedicates restored buildings at Ft. Fetterman. This does not mean that the entire post was restored.  Only two restored buildings are present.  They are used to house displays.  The foundations of other buildings are clearly visible, but all down to ground level.

1990 US began to call up of 46,000 reservists to the Persian Gulf.

2012  Governor Mead signs Wyoming Archaeology Awareness Month proclamation.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

August 22

1877  Nez Perce enter Yellowstone National Park.during their flight.

1882  John Wesley Hoyt had his last day in office as Territorial Governor.  His replacement had been sworn in on August 3.  Hoyt went on to become the first President of the University of Wyoming in 1887.

1890  A man in Laramie sued the city for $5,000 claiming that bad sidewalks gave him terrific fall.  Generally, Wyoming has always used the natural accumulation of ice and snow rule, with some modifications, providing that there is no liability for a slip and fall on a natural accumulation of ice or snow, although the standard can be altered by local ordnance.  PINNACLE BANK v. VILLA 2004 WY 150 100 P.3d 1287 (Wyo. 2004).  I don't know what happened with the 1890 case, however.

1902  Theodore Roosevelt became the first American President to ride in an automobile in public.  Roosevelt would also become the first President to ride in a submarine.

1909  Construction began on Sheridan based telephone lines.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1911   President Taft vetoed a joint resolution of Congress granting statehood to Arizona because he objected to a provision in the state constitution authorizing the recall of judges. The offending clause was removed and Arizona was admitted to statehood on February 14, 1912. The state thereafter restored the article in its constitution, defeating Taft's effort.

1912  Casper's first purpose built movie theater opened.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

2016  Governor Mead announced a sport shooting initiative.   As reported on the Governor's website, the initiative contained the following:

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead announced today three initiatives to promote shooting sports across Wyoming: 1) The Open Ranges Initiative will facilitate locally led partnerships to increase access to public shooting ranges. 2) The Wyoming 100 Initiative will recognize the top 100 shooters in Wyoming and 3) The Governor’s Match is a national 2-gun (semi-automatic rifle and pistol) match with some of the best competitors in the country featured. The Governor was joined by representatives of firearms companies from around Wyoming as he signed a proclamation declaring today as “Wyoming’s Day at the Range.”
“Wyoming is a firearms state and we are proud of that,” said Governor Mead. “These initiatives promote safe shooting and participation in shooting sports – whether that’s hunting, target shooting or sanctioned competitions. Working with the Game and Fish Department, the National Rifle Association, the firearms industry and local governments we hope to open more opportunity for people to shoot safely.”
“We have a growing firearms industry in Wyoming,” continued Governor Mead. “Some of those companies relocated here because of our support for their industry. Some are Wyoming entrepreneurs starting a new business. They are helping to diversify our economy – we are glad to have them here.”
The “Wyoming 100” is an amateur level competition and will be open to all shooters. Rules for the competition will be posted on the Game and Fish website and on Facebook at “Wyoming’s Top 100.”  Competitors must have a Wyoming Conservation Stamp available from the Game and Fish.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August 21

1937  Fifteen firefighters were killed, and 38 injured, in the Blackwater forest fire near Cody.  Those who lost their lives were:

Alfred G Clayton, Ranger South Fork District, Shoshone NF, age 45
James T. Saban, CCC Technical Foreman - Tensleep Camp F-35, age 36
Rex A. Hale, Jr Assistant to the Technician, Shoshone NF; from the Wapiti CCC camp, age 21
Paul E. Tyrrell, Jr Forester, Bighorn NF (Foreman), age 24
Billy Lea, Bureau of Public Roads Crewman.
John B. Gerdes CCC Enrollees: Tensleep Camp F-35
Will C. Griffith CCC Enrollees: Tensleep Camp F-35
Mack T. Mayabb CCC Enrollees: Tensleep Camp F-35
George E. Rodgers CCC Enrollees: Tensleep Camp F-35
Roy Bevens, CCC Enrollees: Tensleep Camp F-35
Clyde Allen CCC Enrollees: Tensleep Camp F-35
Ernest Seelke CCC Enrollees: Tensleep Camp F-35
Rubin Sherry CCC Enrollees: Tensleep Camp F-35
William Whitlock, CCC Enrollees: Tensleep Camp F-35
Ambrogio Garza, CCC Enrollees: Tensleep Camp F-35

2017  Wyoming experienced an eclipse, with much of central Wyoming experiencing a total eclipse.

The event resulted in record landings at the Natrona County International Airport.

Maybe Berlin Airlift Rates were achieved.

Light private aircraft parked on unused runway at the Natrona County International Airport.  This part of the tarmac was used just for small private aircraft.  Another was used for private jets.
They came in, and then they left again.
Hundreds of private aircraft, arriving in time to see the August 21 solar eclipse, stacked up waiting to land and landing one right after another all morning long, and then taking off right after that.
The airport has likely never seen anything like this take off and landing rate. . . at least not since World War Two.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August 20

1804  Sergeant Charles Floyd of the Corps of Discovery died.  He was the only member of the Corps of Discovery to die during the existance of the Corps, which was of course formed and existed for the special purpose of crossing the newly acquired territory of Louisiana.

1870  Camp Stambaugh, near South Pass, established. Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1877  Elements of the 1st and 2nd Cavalry unsuccessfully engage the Nez Perce at Camas Creek, Idaho. The battle is regarded as a Nez Perce victory.

1908  Cheyenne electric railway commenced operations.

1910.  Disastrous fires strike in Montana.  3,000,000 acres of land burned in two days.  Taft, DeBorgia, Henderson and Haugan Montana were destroyed and over 80 people died.

1913  Only pool hall in county closed in Torrington.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1945  The War Production Board ceases most of its activities.

1946  Restrictions on American truck production, started during World War Two, come to an end.

1988  "Black Saturday" of the Yellowstone fire, in which more than 150,000 acres were burned in a firestorm.  Attribution:  On This Day.

2014   Following on this item posted this morning:

Today In Wyoming's History: History in the Making: The 2014 Primary Election: The 2014 Wyoming Primary occurred yesterday. The election was one of the most remarkable in recent history in that it featured the near co...
and noting the statewide results just linked in, there are a couple of remarkable items in the results.

One is that Tea Party candidates for state office did remarkably poorly nearly everywhere.  This would suggest that the Tea Party elements that appeared to be gaining a great deal of ground prior the Primary, and which had come to dominate some county organizations, are not nearly as popular as would have been previously thought.  Indeed, it would appear that their strength at the county level is probably due to their enthusiastic members rather than numbers, and when it comes to voting, the base isn't there.

Additionally, it's interesting how poorly Cindy Hill did everywhere.  Hill was the center of the controversy which gave rise to Tea Party activism this primary but she seems to have had very little support amongst actual GOP voters.  Indeed, Tea Party voters went for Taylor Haynes in much greater numbers.

That's interesting too in that while Haynes did not achieve anywhere near the votes he would have needed in order to topple Governor Mead, he himself is fairly well liked.  This says a lot for Wyoming voters and suggests that the old Wyoming GOP may still be there for the most part.  Haynes is from Laramie County, which is generally unpopular in general elections, he isn't actually originally from here, and he's black.  Voters shouldn't have weighed any of that in their considerations, and they appear to have not done so, to their credit.  Native Hill was proved to be unpopular and Haynes did much better.  As Haynes may not actually hold views as extreme as he stated during this election, it'll be interesting to see if he has a future in Wyoming GOP politics.



History in the Making: The 2014 Primary Election

The 2014 Wyoming Primary occurred yesterday.

The election was one of the most remarkable in recent history in that it featured the near complete collapse of the state's Democratic Party combined with a very real split in the GOP. In effect, therefore, this was the actual election for many offices.

The demise of the Democratic Party was fairly apparent in the election, although it's been the case for at least one prior election cycle.  The Democrats could not field candidates for every state office, although they did field serious candidates for some, and filled others with candidates who are so poorly known they have no realistic chance of success.  Probably the Democrat that has the best chance of election in November is Mike Cellabos who is running for Secretary of Education, although his chances probably decreased last night with the victory of Jillian Balow for that position in the GOP.

Balow's victory is emblematic of what occurred yesterday, as she handily defeated a slate of other candidates including one that associated herself with Tea Party Gubernatorial candidate, Cindy Hill, the present Secretary of Education. For a year the GOP has been in absolute turmoil in the state as Tea Party elements took on the GOP establishment and essentially created two parties within the one. The Primary was a struggle for which side would prevail within the GOP.  Tea Party elements ran candidates for every position, including two candidates for the Governor's seat against the incumbent Governor, Matt Mead, who had drawn their ire for signing SF104 into law. That bill had greatly reduced the responsibilities of the Secretary of Education and was seen as an attack on Hill, who later fared poorly in a Legislative review of her actions in that position. The law was found to be unconstitutional by the Wyoming Supreme Court but not before the controversial Cindy Hill, who is the present occupant of the office, declared for the Governorship herself.  In local elections Tea Party adherents ran against other incumbants, including two such efforts locally here in Natrona County.

This caused the election to be rather peculiar to long term Wyoming residents and featured such oddities as threats to arrest Federal officers within Wyoming and threats to "take back" the Federal Domain.  In the end it turned out that the GOP rank and file that turned out for the election (the turnout was somewhat low) was much more mainstream than the Tea Party branch and Tea Party candidates went down in defeat.  Mead fared well in the primary and his victory in the general election against Democrat Pete Gosar is nearly assured.  Hanynes, who gathered some attention with his first run four years ago, in a campaign that was less extreme, and Hill, both went down in defeat with their combined totals amounting to less than 50% of the vote. As noted, Balow handily defeated the candidate who campaigned on her association with Hill.  In two local races, while they were surprisingly close, incumbents turned back Tea Party challengers.

It'll be interesting to see how this develops long term.  Effectively the Wyoming 2014 election is practically over, save for a few local races and, as noted, the race for Secretary of Education.  Tea Party elements have effectively been given a rebuke by the GOP rank and file.  Candidates who would have attracted the more conservative, but less Tea Party like, elements of the GOP, like Gubernatorial candidate Taylor Haynes and Secretary of State candidate Buchanan might take this election as a lesson that they can appeal to the true conservative elements of the party but should not campaign on extreme positions which are not likely to appeal to the general electorate and obviously do not appeal to the GOP rank and file.

The lesson for Democrats, of course, is a repeat of the one they received some years ago that they need to find a Wyoming center and campaign on it.  The complete collapse of the Democrats under former Democratic governor Dave Freudenthal, who was not responsible for it, but who somewhat is symbolic of it in that he had to distance himself from the party from time to time, should have taught them that.  Now the party struggles to even find candidates and has what amounts to only two serious ones, Gosar and Cellabos, with only Cellabos having any realistic chance of a victory.  Those candidates aren't tainted with the national party, but the local Democratic Party has steadfastly refused to learn that, and continues to back positions that are all but fatal for anyone with a "D" behind their name.

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19

1854  Lt. John L. Grattan, 6th U.S. Infantry, and thirty of his men are killed by Sioux Indians at at location on the Oregon Trail not far from Ft. Laramie, WY.  The fight is regarded as sort of an early Western Plains Indian fight and an indication of things to come.  The entire episode was over a cow belonging to a Mormon Oregon Trail emigrant which had been taken by one of the Sioux and killed. The Sioux had offered reparations in the form of the emigrant's choice of a horse out of the Indian herd which had been refused.  Grattan, who had lead a detachment to the Sioux camp the following day, handled the matter very poorly and things got out of hand, whereupon a shots were fired by the soldiers and returned by the much more numerous Sioux.  Grattan's entire command of 30 soldiers was killed in the battle to the loss of one Sioux, Conquering Bear, who was the Sioux chief of the band in question, and who was likely killed with the very first shot of the battle.  The Sioux made a token pass at Ft. Laramie the following day and then dispersed. The Army recalled William S. Harney from Paris in order to send him to the field with the 2d Dragoons as a result, but they did not take the field until the following August, an entire year later, giving an idea of the slowness of events in the 19th Century.

One of the less noted, but very notable, aspects of this story:  Rather than retaliating, the U.S. Army declared that Grattan had exceeded his authority. An explosive situation was not allowed to escalate, but the seeds of distrust and future violence had been sewn.  Gratten had handled the entire situation very badly.  But the Army, in its follow-up, was wise to regard his actions as improper, in spite of the disaster it was to his men.

1878   Robert Widdowfield and Union Pacific detective Tip Vincent killed in the line of duty by Big Nose George Parrott's gang near Elk Mountain.  Widdowfield and Vincent were attempting to apprehend the gang which had attempted to rob a train.

1898  Iron Post office established.  Attribution:  Wyoming Places.

1941  The Wyoming Aircraft School won approval from Civil Aeronautics Authority.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1942  The Evacuette, a newpaper of the North Portland Assembly Area, ran as a headline story that Japanese internees, the newspaper's audience, would be going to Wyoming.

1950  300th AFA, Wyoming Army National Guard, Federalized for service in the Korean War.

1953  First letters sent out in an effort to organize a Wyoming State Historical Society. Letter sent out by Lola Homsher. Attribution: Wyoming State Historical Society.

1998   The Manges Cabin in Grand Teton National Park, added to the National Registry of Historic Places.  Attribution:  On This Day.

2015   Lex Anteinternet: And the band played on. . .well maybe not so much
Earlier this week we ran this:
Lex Anteinternet: And the band played on: In Saturday's Tribune an article appeared noting, again, the loss of over 3,000 oil industry jobs in Wyoming, and a 50% reduction i...
Yesterday (August 19), however, Governor Mead sang a different tune, and one that wasn't nearly so rosy.  We have to given him credit for that.
Mead, in a press conference flaty stated that Wyoming is entering a "difficult period" and that the State may need to consider tapping into its "rainy day" funds. For those who might not be aware of what those are, they're funds that the state specifically puts aside for stressed times.
Governors do not, to my recollection, ever suggest this. That's truly a dramatic statement for a sitting Governor, indicating just how dire the state's condition may be.  That Mead would suggest considering it speaks very much in his favor, as this has tended to be something that simply isn't discussed.  Reactions to the Governor's speech have been generally favorable, although there's no present support for actually tapping into the funds.  Mead, of course, wasn't requesting to do so right now, only indicating that it might become necessary.

2017   Casper Eclipse Festival: August 19-21, 2017. And a note on the Eclipse in general.

 Newly opened Casper bar, The Gaslight Social.

As Casper was right in the center of the 2017 Solar Eclipse, it took advantage of the situation and had a three day festival to commemorate it.  The festival featured the openings, basically, of three new bars (or one bar/restaurant reopening, one new bar/restaurant and one new bar) and a new city feature, a downtown plaza.  It was well attended.

 Downtown revelers and a carriage.  Casper, unlike Fort Collins or even, occasionally, Denver, generally doesn't have horse drawn carriages downtown.

There were wildly varying predictions for the eclipse.  Frankly, I doubted some of them.  But maybe more of them came true than I would have guessed.

 Map showing where people had come from to view the eclipse.  Some of the locations were so surprising, I wonder if they were really true.

Over 1,000,000 people, according to the Star Tribune, entered the state during the eclipse.  Assuming that's correct, that means that the state's population tripled yesterday.  Having said that, it didn't appear to be the case that Casper's population more than doubled, as had been predicted.  I know that not all of the camping spots filled that had been predicted to, although perhaps many did.  I also know that people were camping right in the neighborhood, in front of people's houses that they knew.

This doesn't do this map justice.  There were visitors, according to the map, from Greenland, Ascension Island, and North Korea.  All quite surprising, if true.

Europe seemed pretty well represented.  I met one Irish visitor who had just left the Wonder Bar, which has a nice restaurant.  Apparently he hadn't realized that as he asked me and my son for directions to "a pub" so he could get something to eat.  He was surprised when I directed him back to the Wonder Bar.

 New downtown plaza.  I was skeptical that this would be complete on time.

It's not everyday you see a municipal judge on the guitar.

New downtown Rotary sidewalk clock.

 Picking up my trailer, which I had loaned out to friends

I'm included amongst those that had camping visitors.  Some good friends of mine were in town for the eclipse. They'd planned on staying in Gillette and driving down, but I loaned them my camp trailer and let them camp near our garden land. That became three couples by the time of the eclipse.  This land has never had residents, although the neighboring land does and has for quite some time, so I suppose its population increased from 0 to six.

Another old friend of mine drove up from Salt Lake to Riverton, where they also experienced an influx.  And I guess the Jackson Hole Airport received a huge  corporate jet boost.

Interesting event.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

August 18

1813  Battle of the Medina River at which Royalist forces defeat Mexican-American Republican Guetierrez-Magee Expedition south of San Antonio.  The Republican forces, which lost 1,300 men to the Royalist 55, was seeking independence for Texas from Spain.

1824  The Mexican Congress passed a national colonization law that became the basis of almost all colonization contracts in Texas.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1872  The  Hayden Expedition camped at Geyser Basin in Yellowstone.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1914    President Woodrow Wilson issued his Proclamation of Neutrality in World War I.

1916   Fire destroyed coal chutes and four freight cars that belonged to the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company in Douglas.  Attribution:  On This Day.

 Douglas has a nice park dedicated to railroad today.

Douglas Wyoming railroad sites

These are scenes from Douglas Wyoming, which is the location of a Railroad Interpretive Center.  The old Great Northwestern depot serves as its headquarters, as well as the chamber of commerce's headquarters.


The last photograph is not at the Railroad interpretive center, but is nearby. This is the former Burlington Northern depot, now a restaurant.

Updated on April 28, 2015, from the original March 31, 2012 publication.  Most of these photos depict things already photographed, but an old railroad building of some kind, now in use for another purpose, also now appears.

1920   The 19th Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote, is ratified by Tennessee, giving the amendment the two-thirds majority of state ratification necessary to make it law.

1941  One hundred Casper men and boys enrolled in the Wyoming State Guard.  State Guards were the wartime replacements for the National Guard, which had been Federalized in 1940, and therefore was no longer existent, now being part of the U.S. Army.  The mission of the State Guard was to provide the services to the State that the National Guard did in peace time.  Attribution: Wyoming State Historical Society.

1959  A magnitude 7.7 earthquake occurred about 78 miles from Cody and Jackson.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1969 Jimmy Hendrix opens the final day of the Woodstock music festival with an electric version of The Star Spangled Banner.

2015  Casper's city counsel votes to allow chickens to be kept in the city, by a vote of seven to one.