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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.

We hope you enjoy this site.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

October 31

Today is Halloween



1782  A Court established at Trenton, New Jersey that Pennsylvania owned the Wyoming Valley but that the claims of Connecticut settlers to land titles should be honored  Ownership of the Wyoming Valley, after which the State of Wyoming was named, had been disputed between the two colonies, now states.

1822 Mexican Emperor Agustín de Iturbide dismissed the Mexican Congress to attempt to rule via  a junta.

1831  John W. Hoyt, Wyoming's Third Territorial Governor, born in Ohio.

1888  Stewart v. Wyoming Cattle Co. was argued in front of the United States Supreme Court.  The case involved an action brought by the British owned and Edinburgh Scotland headquartered Wyoming Cattle Ranch Company against John T. Stewart, a citizen of Iowa over alleged misrepresentations in the sale of horses and cattle.

The decision read:

Stewart v. Wyoming Cattle Ranch Co., 128 U.S. 383 (1888)

Stewart v. Wyoming Cattle Ranch Company
No. 52
Argued October 31, November 1, 1888
Decided November 19, 1888
128 U.S. 383
ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED

STATES FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEBRASKA
Syllabus

Although silence as to a material fact is not necessarily, as matter of law, equivalent to a false representation, yet concealment or suppression by either party to a contract of sale, with intent to deceive, of a material fact which he is in good faith bound to disclose, is evidence of, and equivalent to, a false representation.
Instructions given to a jury upon their coming into court after they have retired to consider their verdict, and not excepted to at the time, cannot be reviewed on error, although counsel were absent when they were given.
Affidavits filed in support of a motion for a new trial are no part of the record on error, unless made so by bill of exceptions.
The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.
MR. JUSTICE GRAY delivered the opinion of the Court.
The original action was brought by the Wyoming Cattle Ranch Company, a British corporation having its place of business at Edinburgh, in Scotland, against John T. Stewart, a citizen of Iowa. The petition contained two counts. The first count alleged that the defendant, owning a herd of cattle in Wyoming Territory, and horses going with that herd, and all branded with the same brand, and also 80 short-horn bulls, and 700 head of mixed yearlings, offered to sell the same, with other personal property, for the sum of $400,000, and at the same time represented to the plaintiff and its agent that there had already been branded 2,800 calves as the increase of the herd for the current season, and that the whole branding of calves and increase of the herd for that season would amount to 4,000, and that, exclusive of the branding for that year, the herd consisted of 15,000 head of cattle, and that there were 150 horses running with it, and branded with the same brand; that, had the representation that 2,800 calves had been branded been true, it was reasonable from that fact to estimate that the whole branding for that year would be 4,000 head, and that the whole herd, exclusive of the increase for that year, was 15,000 head; that the defendant, when he made these representations, knew that they were false and fraudulent, and made them for the purpose of deceiving the plaintiff and its agent, and of inducing the plaintiff to purchase the herd, and that the plaintiff, relying upon the representations, and believing them to be true, purchased the herd and paid the price.
The second count alleged that the defendant had failed to deliver the bulls and yearlings as agreed.
At the trial the, following facts were proved:
The defendant, being the owner of a ranch with such a herd of cattle, gave in writing to one Tait the option to purchase it and them at $400,000, and wrote a letter to Tait describing all the property, and gave him a power of attorney to sell it. He also wrote a letter describing the property to one Majors, a partner of Tait. A provisional agreement for the sale of the property, referring to a prospectus signed at the same time, was made by Tait with the plaintiff in Scotland, a condition of which was that a person to be appointed by the plaintiff should make a favorable report. One Clay was accordingly appointed, and went out to Wyoming, and visited the ranch . Certain books and schedules made by one Street, the superintendent of the ranch ,were laid before him, and he and the defendant rode over the ranch together for several days. Clay testified that, in the course of his interviews with the defendant, the latter made to him the false representations alleged in the petition, and requested him to rely on these representations, and not to make inquiries from the foreman and other persons, and that, relying on the representations, he made a favorable report to the plaintiff, which thereupon completed the purchase. The plaintiff also introduced evidence tending to prove the other allegations in the petition. The defendant testified that he never made the representations alleged. The jury returned a general verdict for the plaintiff in the sum of $55,000, upon which judgment was rendered, and the defendant sued out this writ of error.
No exception was taken to the judge's instructions to the jury upon the second count. The only exceptions contained in the bill of exceptions allowed by the judge and relied on at the argument were to the following instructions given to the jury in answer to the plaintiff's requests:
"14. I am asked by the plaintiff to give a number of instructions, a portion of which I give, and a portion of which I must necessarily decline to give. My attention is called to one matter, however, and as I cannot give the instruction as it is asked for, and as the matter it contains is, as I think, of the first importance, I will state my own views upon that particular point."
"I am asked to say to the jury, if they believe from the evidence that, while Clay was making the inspection, Stewart objected to Clay making inquiries about the number of calves branded of the foreman and other men, and thereby prevented Clay from prosecuting inquiries which might have led to information that less than 2,000 calves had been branded, the jury are instructed that such acts on the part of Stewart amount in law to misrepresentations."
of cattle, and the number of horses, and the condition of the ranch ,and the number of calves that would probably be branded; if the company sent him there as an expert for the purpose of determining all those things for itself and for himself, and relied upon him, and he was to go upon the ranch himself, and exercise his own judgment, and ascertain from that, without reference to any conversation had with Stewart, then it would make no difference. But while he was in pursuit of the information for which he went there, Stewart would have no right to throw unreasonable obstacles in his way to prevent his procuring the information that he sought and that he desired. If the testimony satisfies you that they did go there together, while Clay was making efforts to procure the information which he did, and while he was in pursuit of it, and while he was on the right track, Stewart would have no right to throw him off the scent, so to speak, and prevent him in any fraudulent and improper way from procuring the information desired, and, if he did that, that itself is making, or equal to making, false and fraudulent representations for the purpose in question. But if Stewart did none of these things, then, of course, what is now said has no application."

"In reference to that point, I feel it my duty to say this to the jury: that if the testimony satisfies you that after all the documents in question that have been introduced in evidence here went into the hands of the home company in Scotland, where it had its office, and where it usually transacted its business, if it was not satisfied with what appears in those papers, and if it did not see proper to base its judgment and action on the information that those papers contained, but nevertheless sent Clay to Wyoming to investigate the facts and circumstances connected with the transaction, to ascertain the number". In determining whether Stewart made misrepresentations about the number of cattle or the loss upon his herd or the calf brand of 1882, the jury will take into consideration the documents made by Stewart prior to and upon the sale -- namely the power of attorney to Tait, the descriptive letter, the optional contract, letter to Majors, schedules made by Street, provisional agreement and prospectus, and his statements to Clay, if the jury finds he made any, upon Clay's inspection trip, and if the jury find that in any of these statements there were any material misrepresentations on which plaintiff relied, believing the same, which has resulted to the damage of the plaintiff, the plaintiff is entitled to recover for such damage."

If the jury find from the evidence that Stewart purposely kept silent when he ought to have spoken and informed Clay of material facts, or find that by any language or acts he intentionally misled Clay about the number of cattle in the herd, or the number of calves branded in the spring of 1882, or by any acts of expression or by silence consciously misled or deceived Clay, or permitted him to be misled or deceived, then the jury will be justified in finding that Stewart made material misrepresentations, and must find for the plaintiff, if the plaintiff believed and relied upon the representations made by the defendant."
The judge, at the beginning and end of his charge, stated to the jury the substance of the allegations in the petition as the only grounds for a recovery in this action; and at the defendant's request, fully instructed them upon the general rules of law applicable to actions of this description, and gave, among others, the following instructions:". In order to recover on the ground of false representations, such false representations must be shown to be of a then existing matter of fact material to the transaction, and no expression of opinion or judgment or estimation not involving the assertion of an unconditional fact can constitute actionable false representation, and in such case the jury must find for the defendant on the first count in the petition."

" In order to justify a recovery, it must be shown by proof that the plaintiff's agent relied upon the alleged false representations and made them the ground and basis of his report, but that he was so circumstanced as to justify him in so relying upon and placing confidence in said representations, and if it appears that he had other knowledge or had received other representations and statements conflicting therewith sufficient to raise reasonable doubts as to the correctness of such representations, then there can be no recovery on the first count."
The judge, of his own motion, further instructed the jury that they were to decide upon the comparative weight of the conflicting testimony of Clay and of the defendant, and added:
"It seems to me that the first count must hinge upon that one point, because if there was no statement made by Stewart to Clay with reference to the number of calves that were branded during this trip of inspection of the ranch, then it seems to me that the whole theory which underlies the claim of the plaintiff must be an erroneous one."
Taking all the instructions together, we are of opinion that they conform to the well settled law, and that there is no ground for supposing that the jury can have been misled by any of the instructions excepted to.
In an action of deceit, it is true that silence as to a material fact is not necessarily, as matter of law, equivalent to a false representation. But mere silence is quite different from concealment. Aliud est tacere, aliud celare -- a suppression of the truth may amount to a suggestion of falsehood. And if, with intent to deceive, either party to a contract of sale conceals or suppresses a material fact which he is in good faith bound to disclose, this is evidence of and equivalent to a false representation, because the concealment or suppression is in effect a representation that what is disclosed is the whole truth. The gist of the action is fraudulently producing a false impression upon the mind of the other party, and if this result is accomplished, it is unimportant whether the means of accomplishing it are words or acts of the defendant or his concealment or suppression of material facts not equally within the knowledge or reach of the plaintiff.

The case of Laidlaw v. Organ, 2 Wheat. 178, is much in point. In an action by the buyer of tobacco against the sellers to recover possession of it, there was evidence that before the sale the buyer, upon being asked by Girault, one of the sellers, whether there was any news which was calculated to enhance its price or value, was silent, although he had received news, which the seller had not, of the Treaty of Ghent. The court below, "there being no evidence that the plaintiff had asserted or suggested anything to the said Girault calculated to impose upon him with respect to the said news and to induce him to think or believe that it did not exist," directed a verdict for the plaintiff. Upon a bill of exceptions to that direction, this Court, in an opinion delivered by Chief Justice Marshall, held that while it could not be laid down as a matter of law that the intelligence of extrinsic circumstances which might influence the price of the commodity, and which was exclusively within the knowledge of the vendee, ought to have been communicated by him to the vendor, yet at the same time, each party must take care not to say or do anything tending to impose upon the other, and that the absolute instruction of the judge was erroneous, and the question whether any imposition was practiced by the vendee upon the vendor ought to have been submitted to the jury.
The instructions excepted to in the case at bar clearly affirmed the same rule. The words and conduct relied on as amounting to false representations were those of the seller of a large herd of cattle, ranging over an extensive territory and related to the number of the herd itself, of which he had full knowledge or means of information not readily accessible to a purchaser coming from abroad, and the plaintiff introduced evidence tending to show that the defendant, while going over the ranch with the plaintiff's agent, made positive false representations as to the number of calves branded during the year and also fraudulently prevented him from procuring other information as to the number of calves, and consequently as to the number of cattle on the ranch.
In giving the fourteenth instruction, the judge expressly declined to say that if the defendant prevented the plaintiff's agent from prosecuting inquiries which might have led to information that less than 2,000 calves had been branded, such acts of the defendant would amount in law to misrepresentations, but, on the contrary, submitted to the jury the question whether the defendant fraudulently and improperly prevented the plaintiff's agent from procuring the information demanded, and only instructed them that if he did, that was making, or equal to making, false and fraudulent representations for the purpose in question.
So the clear meaning of the sixteenth instruction is that the jury were not authorized to find material misrepresentations by the defendant unless he purposely kept silent as to material facts which it was his duty to disclose, or by language or acts purposely misled the plaintiff's agent about the number of cattle in the herd or the number of calves branded, or, by words or silence, knowingly misled or deceived him, or knowingly permitted him to be misled or deceived in regard to such material facts, and in one of these ways purposely produced a false impression upon his mind.
The defendant objects to the fifteenth instruction that the judge submitted to the jury the question whether the defendant made misrepresentations about the number of cattle, and about the loss upon the herd as well as about the calf brand of 1882. It is true that the principal matter upon which the testimony was conflicting was whether the defendant did make the representation that 2,800 calves had been branded in that year. But the chief importance of that misrepresentation, if made, was that it went to show that the herd of cattle which produced the calves was less numerous than the defendant had represented, and the petition alleged that the defendant made false and fraudulent representations both as to the number of calves branded and as to the number of the whole herd. So evidence of the loss of cattle by death beyond what had been represented by the defendant tended to show that the herd was less in number than he represented.
The remaining objection argued is to an instruction given by the judge to the jury in response to a question asked by them upon coming into court after they had retired to consider their verdict. It is a conclusive answer to this objection that no exception was taken to this instruction at the time it was given or before the verdict was returned. The fact that neither of the counsel was then present affords no excuse. Affidavits filed in support of a motion for a new trial are no part of the record on error unless made so by bill of exceptions. The absence of counsel while the court is in session at any time between the impaneling of the jury and the return of the verdict cannot limit the power and duty of the judge to instruct the jury in open court on the law of the case as occasion may require, nor dispense with the necessity of seasonably excepting to his rulings and instructions, nor give jurisdiction to a court of error to decide questions not appearing of record.
Judgment affirmed.
1890  A butcher in Merino was arrested for stealing cattle.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1903  The Battle of Lightning Creek occurred in Weston County Wyoming when Sheriff William Miller and a party of men under his leadership, having already arrested twelve Sioux in the area for hunting violations, engaged in a firefight with Sioux under Chief Charley Smith.  Miller, Deputy Louis Falkenberg and Chief Smith died in the battle.  Nine Sioux men alleged to have participated, and twelve women, were later arrested by Crook County Sheriff Deputy Lee Miller, but they were released for lack of evidence.

1916   The Wyoming Tribune for October 31, 1916: Wyoming Guard returning?
 

On the last day of October, the Wyoming Tribune was reporting rumors that the Wyoming and Colorado National Guard would be returning to Wyoming to muster out.

A big Russian offensive in the war was big news, and the Tribune was campaigning for the Republican candidates.

1918 October becomes the deadliest month of the 1918 Flu Epidemic in the US.


Amongst those who would be infected by the disease was my great aunt Ulpha, who did not die immediately of it, but who was so weakened that she would never recover, and would die a few years later.

1922  Anthony Raich of Kemmerer is granted a patent for a Lunch Pail.

1938 The day after his "War of the Worlds" broadcast had panicked radio listeners, Orson Welles expressed "deep regret" but also bewilderment that anyone had thought the show was real.

1941 U-552 sinks USS Reuben James (DD-245), the first US ship lost in WW II, although the ship, which was assigned to escort duty and was based at Hvalfjordur, Iceland, was not in a declared war from the US prospective. The sinking is memorialized in a Woody Guthrie song, set to the tune of Wildwood Flower. The sinking itself was a case of mistaken identity, as the ship's profile was essentially identical to some US ships transferred earlier to the British. The crew of the U-552 didn't realize for several days that they had sunk an American vessel, and only learned of that by way of a British radio broadcast.

Have you heard of a ship called the good Reuben James
Manned by hard fighting men both of honor and fame?
She flew the Stars and Stripes of the land of the free
But tonight she's in her grave at the bottom of the sea.

Tell me what were their names, tell me what were their names,
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James?
What were their names, tell me, what were their names?
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James

Well, a hundred men went down in that dark watery grave
When that good ship went down only forty-four were saved.
'Twas the last day of October we saved the forty-four
From the cold ocean waters and the cold icy shore.

It was there in the dark of that uncertain night
That we watched for the U-boats and waited for a fight.
Then a whine and a rock and a great explosion roared
And they laid the Reuben James on that cold ocean floor.

Now tonight there are lights in our country so bright
In the farms and in the cities they're telling of the fight.
And now our mighty battleships will steam the bounding main
And remember the name of that good Reuben James.


1942  Birth of Wyoming educator and politician, Tom Walsh (death January 1, 2010), in Thermopolis Wyoming.

1942.  Residents of the town of Parco voted to change the name of the town to Sinclair.

1942 Production of new typewriters ceased in the United States as manufacturers had switched over to war materials.

1945  Wyoming Game and Fish agents Bill Lakanen and Don Simpson were shot and killed responding to a report of poaching in the Rawlins, Wyoming area. They are two of five Wyoming Game and Fish employees to be killed in the line of duty.  Their case is particularly unique as there was at least a suspicion that their killer, a native German known to be sympathetic with recently defeated Nazi Germany, and there had been some earlier reports of interior radio traffic in the general region (a very broad area) directed towards German receipt regarding the weather, a fact useful to submarines.  This, however, was not proven to be anything, and the FBI did not track down the source of the alleged broadcast.  The suspected killer was never found, but was believed to be inside a cabin located where the Game Wardens were killed.

1996 The State of Wyoming's lease on Ft. Bridger concludes.  The following day the property passed into the ownership fo the Fort Bridger Historical Association..

1999 Samuel Knight chosen as Wyoming's Citizen of the Century by  the University of Wyoming's American Heritage Center.  Knight was a long time and influential geology professor at the University.

2007 A 4.0 earthquake occurred 93 miles from Riverton.

October 30, 1918-2013

1918-2013.  And, as indicated might occur yesterday, the Boston Red Sox in fact won the World Series whiling playing at home in Boston, making it the first time since September 11, 1918 that they have won the World Series at  home.

The 1918 World Series was in a short season, due to the Wilson Administration's Work or Fight order of that year.  Baseball had to conclude in early September as a result.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

October 30, 1918-2013

As a short addendum to today's entry, it's interesting to note that tonight the Boston Red Sox will attempt to wrap up their bid for World Series Champion in their hometown. If they are successful, it'll be the first time that Boston has won the Series at home since 1918, the year of the short season caused by the World War One "Work or Fight" ban on continued play.

That's sort of interesting in and of itself, but it's also interesting in the historical context in the contrast it offers between World War One and World War Two. The Wilson Administration really took a much heavier handed approach toward the home-front than FDR later did in a wide variety of ways.

October 30

1866  A grand pass and review was held at recently established, and semi beseiged, Fort Phil Kearny.

1889:  CB&Q RR entered Wyoming. Attribution: Wyoming State Archives via the Wyoming Historical Calendar, published by the Wyoming State Historical Society and the American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

1913  Superior approved an ordinance declaring animals and livestock at large to be a nuisance. 

1916   The Wyoming Tribune for October 30, 1916. War in Europe and a special on outrages in Mexico
 

The Tribune, which always angled towards the sensational, was in peak form for its Monday October 30, 1916, edition.
1937  Officials started to move into the new Waskakie County Courthouse.

1945  Shoe rationing ends.

1947  The decommissioned USS Wyoming was sold for scrap.It was a World War One era battleship, but had been used as a training ship after the Washington Naval Treaty caused it to be deprived of its main armament.

 The USS Wyoming in April 1945.

1959  Wyoming's 4th uranium  mill began production in the Gas Hills.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

October 29

 Today is National Cat Day.


1890  Two silver-tipped bear cubs brought into Laramie from Laramie Peak to be sold. Attribution:  Wyoming State Archives website, which attributes History courtesy of the Wyoming Historical Calendar, published by the Wyoming State Historical Society and the American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

1917  Record cold struck the West with Soda Butte Wyoming's temperature falling to to -33° F a U.S. record for October.  Lander's temperature fell to-14° F and Cheyenne's to 2° F.


The Laramie Boomerang correctly noted the oncoming cold snap as well as noting the war news while featuring a rather dramatic cartoon on the Germans in Russia.

1928  Jacques (Jack) Sidi, long time Wyoming politician and educator, born in Marsailles France.  He entered the United States by serving in the US Air Force, which he had joined overseas.

1929. Stock Market Crashes, sending the United States and Canada into the Great Depression.  The Depression had already commenced in some other regions of the globe, such as Germany. 

It had also already started in Wyoming.  Wyoming's economy then, as now, was dependent upon agriculture and the oil and gas industry, both of which sustained a major decline starting in 1919, when the economic boom created by World War One started to fade.  As Wyoming's boom of the teens was strongly associated with the war, the end of the war created a decline, common to other oil and agricultural regions, which had seen a full recovery when the big Depression of 1929 commenced.

  
Lex Anteinternet: The Big Crash: Today In Wyoming's History: October 29 . Today is the day, in 1929, when the legendary Wall Street Crash occurred. In spite of what we mi...

1942  The Alaska Canada Highway (ALCAN) opened as a military highway.

What does this have to do with Wyoming?  Well, arguably not much.  But the story is relevant, as depicted here, for a couple of reasons.  For one thing, it was the first really all year around, all weather, rural highway in the United States. The trucks depicted here are travelling in conditions that would be familiar to most Wyoming drivers, but which most people avoided travelling in for the most part, for long distances anyhow, prior to World War Two.

Pat of the reason that, after the war, they would travel in conditions like this has to do with a technology depicted here which wasn't common at all prior tot he war. . . the all wheel drive.  In this case, the vehicles are 6x6 2 1/2 ton military trucks, but it was the 4x4 military truck that would really cause a revolution in post war rural travel, when it put on civilian colors.

1943  The National Housing Agency approved 100 trailers for Casper Wyoming for essential immigrant war workers.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society calendar.

1950  A significant snowstorm struck northern Wyoming.

1950  Powell's  acting Chief Tony Nelson, a World War One veteran, died of a heart attack while responding to a call for assistance from two other officers.

1993  Fennis Dembo, former University of Wyoming basketball player, inducted into the Wyoming Athletics Hall of Fame.


Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28

1835  Texas forces fought Mexican forces at the battle of Concepción.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1897  The Congregational Church in Sheridan became the first church in Northern Wyoming to be heated with a furnace.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

Lex Anteinternet: Today in History. October 28, 1919: The Volstead Act goes into effect. Booze, banned. The movement to ban alcohol had really been around for a good twenty or so years, and...


Wyoming had actually been "dry" since July 1, showing the strength of the growing movement.  Ironically, Wyoming would be quite non compliant with Prohibition, in spite of having voted for it locally and nationally, during the national Prohibition.

 Poster expressing the sentiments of the dry movement.

Wyoming's Senator F. E. Warren was instrumental in the passage of the Volstead Act, which he supported, having cast the deciding vote in its passage.

1926  The Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody formed.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1928   Rancher N. K. Boswell of Albany County organized a "Vigilance Committee" to deal with the "unruly element" in Laramie.  Apparently several lynchings occurred.  The Albany County town of Boswell is named for him.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1933  The Wyoming Highway Patrol announced that its cards would be painted black and white.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1982  President Regan spoke at a rally for Senator Malcolm Wallop in Casper.  Attribution:  On This Day.

2011  This blog was created, and the first entry was made.

The blog has evolved a fair amount since 2011, with many more entries on a daily basis.  The very first idea was simply to note interesting items when they came up, but that concept quickly changed.  The next plan was to get one full year in, which was done as of yesterday, but for at least now the plan is to update the old entries daily, adding new items as they are discovered, and in a fashion that will keep the old comments so that they are not lost.

When the blog was started it was hoped that not only would this blog serve as a daily record of events in the state, but it would also spark commentary on items, and that people might come in and add others they were aware of. It has only been partially successful in these regards. While there are a fair number of comments on various anniversaries, there are no added dates posted by somebody who happened to stop in.  I hope that changes a bit over time.

I also hope that people continue to enjoy the blog.  I know that people do stop in, although it can't be said that this blog is "viral" by any extent.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

October 27

 Today is Navy Day

1817  Fransisco Xavier Mina's force defeated at Venadito, Mexico, by Spanish forces.  Attribution:   On This Day.

1858 Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States, North Dakota rancher, and hunter in Wyoming was born in New York City.

1862  Captain Peter Van Winkle, 6th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, reported that he had 28 men on station, had completed quarters and had completed construction of a stable, at Platte Bridge Station.  The location was not an entirely new one, as it was the location of Guinards Bridge on the Oregon Trail and had periodically been occupied by the Army previously.  His construction efforts, which essentially completed the original post, were new, however.  He also reported that he had sufficient stores of food to last until April, although the size of his command would double by the end of the week.

1867  Troops from Ft. D. A. Russell destroyed squatters shanties on the Union Pacific line near Cheyenne.

1873 Joseph F. Glidden applied for a patent on barbed wire. Barbed wire would have a huge impact on the western range.

1880 Theodore Roosevelt married Alice Lee.

1918  Ed Herschler born in Kemmerer. He was governor from 1975 to 1987.

1922  The Schwartz Brothers Haberdashers store opened in Cheyenne.   Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1933 Ernest Hemingway's collection of short stories "Winner Take Nothing", including "Wine of Wyoming", was published.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1943   1,281 people in Lusk registered for Ration Book IV.  The Big Piney Examiner published the application form in its newspaper for the same several days earlier and many newspaper around the country ran articles in their papers about the application dates for the new ration book, such as the Tulia Herald in Texas

This book replaced No. 3, an example of which is below:




1947     "You Bet Your Life," starring Groucho Marx, premiered on ABC Radio.

2009  A funeral service for former Governor Clifford Hanson was held in Jackson's St. John's Episcopal Church.
 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

October 26

1865  Companies A, C, F, and G of the 6th West Virginia Volunteer Cavalry arrived at Platte Bridge Station, Wyoming.  They were certainly very far from home.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1880  The Cheyenne Club incorporated.

The Cheyenne Club was a legendary early Cheyenne institution, with many significant Wyoming figures visiting the club, depicted here in as the second building from the right in the row of significant Cheyenne buildings.  It was ornately furnished and courtly conduct was expected within it.  By some accounts, plans for the Johnson County War were developed there, although that is not necessarily undisputed.

1889  Governor F. E. Warren addressed citizens in Lander on the topics of the constitution and citizenship.   Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1942  The Torrington Post Office robbed. Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1956  USS Crook County decommissioned.

1976   Yellowstone National Park was designated an International Biosphere Reserve.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1909  Frederic Remington died in Connecticut at age 48.

2010  It was reported that Wyoming mystery writer C. J. Box donated his papers to the University of Wyoming.

Charles James Box is fairly unusual for a widely popular "Wyoming" writer, in that he is actually from Wyoming, which most nationally read "Wyoming" authors have not been in recent years.  Box was born in 1967 and lives outside of Cheyenne.  He's the author over a dozen novels, most of which are in a series featuring a fictional Wyoming Game Warden, Joe Pickett, as the protagonist.  While I haven't read any of the novels, the choice of a Game Warden as the protagonist is an insight that would perhaps be unique to a Wyoming author.  Box worked a variety of jobs, including that of cowboy, correspondent, and columnist, before his novels allowed him to be a full time writer.

In contrast, the very widely popular "Wyoming" author Craig Johnson, who is also typically mentioned in that fashion, "Wyoming author", was actually born in Huntington, West Virginia and lived in a wide variety of places.  He's lived, however, in Ucross for the past 25 years, so he's been located in Wyoming for at least half of his life, however, and worked some iconic Western jobs in his youth, I believe.  Ironically, Johnson's series of novels based on the experiences of a fictional sheriff in a county loosely based on Johnson and Sheridan Counties, are more widely popular than Box's novels, which are written by an actual native Wyomingite.  Johnson's novels have recently been made into a television series which is popular with Wyomingites and one can even now observe election bumper stickers for the fictional sheriff of the fictional town.  According to some who have read them (which I have not) at least a few place names in the books are real.  One such place is the Busy  Bee cafe in Buffalo.

For a period of time Annie Proulx was cited as being a "Wyoming author", which is far from correct for the Norwich Connecticut born author of "The Shipping News", amongst other novels.  She has had a residence in Wyoming since 1994, however.  At one time she was indicating that she was going to relocate to New Mexico, although I do not know if she did, and she lives part of the year in Newfoundland.  Proulx made some comments noting that residents of Wyoming near her residence in Wyoming lacked in some degree of friendliness, and her novel "Brokeback Mountain" was not well received in Wyoming.  Proulx is perhaps unique in that early in her career she was frequently cited as being a "New England author" and then later as a "Wyoming author".

Another "Wyoming author", Alexandra Fuller, is actually a Zimbabwean ex-patriot, which her most significant work, "Don't Lets Go To The Dogs Tonight", would make plain, if her thick English like accent did not.  Fuller is the author of a book attempting to reflect the true story of a young man who died in the oilfield due to a tragic accident, but at least in my view, interviews of her tend to very much reflect an outisders view of her adopted state.  Fuller doesn't claim to be a Wyoming native by any means, but at least in the one book attempts to present insights on her adopted state. Here too, I haven't read the book.

Independent writer and author of a book generally critical of Wyoming's politics and economy ("Pushed Off The Mountain, Sold Down The River), Sam Western, likewise lives in Wyoming, but is not, I believe, from here.  Western is frequently quoted within Wyoming, but the author built his career as a magazine writer for a variety of magazines, including Sports Illustrated and The London Economist.  His book on Wyoming's economy brought him to the attention of Wyomingites, where he's remained, and is still frequently debated.  At least one insightful criticism of the book noted that the main point of the book seemed to be that Wyoming wasn't like every other US state in terms of its economy, which would be true, but which would raise more questions than it would answer.  I also haven't read this book.

This even extends to newspaper columnists, to a degree, although its easier to find Wyoming authors in the newspapers.  An example of the ex-patriot columnist, however, would be provided by the Casper Star Tribune's Mary Billiter, who is a relocated Californian.  Her columns (which I find to be repetitious and maudlin) have brought her enough attention that she was put on a board of some type by Governor Mead recently, although I don't recall the details.  She is also the author of a novel, although I know none of the details about it.  In spite of my criticism of her I'd note that she does not claim to be a Wyoming author.

Coming closer to home, author Linda Hasselstrom is sometimes noted as being a resident of the state, which she is, but she doesn't claim to be a Wyoming author. She's a South Dakotan who writes on ranch topics from a woman's prospective, which reflects her background.  I probably ought not to note her in this list, but her status is kind of interesting in that her youth and early adult years associated with ranching would be quite familiar to Wyomingites, and she has had long residence here, but she's mostly noted as being in another genre, which is "women ranching authors".

Even such legendary (at least at one time) figures such as Peggy Simpson Curry, who occupied the position of Wyoming's Poet Laureate, are not actually Wyomingites by birth.   Curry was born in Scotland, but she grew up in North Park Colorado, where her father worked for a ranch.  She did live, however, in Casper for many years, and on Casper Mountain as well.  As a slight aside, I recall Curry reciting poetry at Garfield Elementary School in Casper when I was a child, where she was introduced as the state Poet Laureate. She scared me to death, as she had a sort of odd high pitched matronly voice and recited her poetry very loudly.  From a child's prospective, that didn't work well.  Curry was also celebrated in Walden Colorado, where she grew up, and is noted as a Western author, which reflects her overall life.

A more recent Poet Laureate, Charles Levendosky was born in the Bronx and moved to the state to work for the Casper Star Tribune when he was in his 30s.  Governor Sullivan, also from Casper, made the appointment and Levendosky was well known in Wyoming academic circles at the time.  He was a pretty powerful columnist for the Star Tribune at a time in which they had some very respected columnists, a status which, in my view, they no longer occupy as strongly.  In the same era the Tribune had a well respected local physician, Dr. Joseph Murphy, who doubled as a columnist. Dr. Murphy was indeed not only from Wyoming, but from Casper.

The point of all of this, if there is one, is not to suggest that only Wyomingites can write about Wyoming.  But, rather, to point out an odd phenomenon regarding written works and the American West in general, and more particularly Wyoming.  It's been long the case that many widely read authors on Western topics are either arrivals to the region, or emigrants from it who no longer reside there.  Mari Sandoz, for example, was a Nebraska native, but left the state and then wrote about it.  Wila Cather is likewise associated with Nebraska, but spent her adult years outside of the state.   Aldo Leopold grew famous with "A Sand Country Almanac", which remains a classic, but Leopold was from the Midwest, not New Mexico. Wyoming has produced one notable fiction writer in recent years, C. J. Box, but oddly he's the least widely read of authors sometimes cites as being "Wyoming authors", with most of the other individuals who are referred to in that fashion having ties to other regions.

What does this mean, if anything?  Well, it might not mean anything at all.  American society is highly mobile, far higher than most others.  We'd expect a German author, for example, to have been born and raised in Germany, or an Irish author to have been born and raised in Ireland.  But Americans are nomadic.  For that reason, perhaps, we shouldn't really be surprised by this phenomenon.  

It might also mean something a bit deeper.  Perhaps those who come from the outside are particularly attuned to the nuances of anyone culture.  That is, perhaps, things that are really unique to many people are not to people living an experience.  It's often been noted, for example, that one of the best (supposedly) anti-war books is The Red Badge of Courage, even though the author had not experienced war at the time he wrote.  Maybe a really experienced person can no longer note what's unique about his experience, although plenty of books in that same arena, such as Leckie's "A Helmet For My Pillow" or even Maldin's "Up Front" would suggest otherwise.  Having said that, I think I've come to that conclusion with historical novels, one of which I've been trying to write.  After really studying it, I'm fairly certain that many of the routine things a person would experience in any one era of history are novel to people in later eras.  It's hard for the writers to note those, however, because unless they've experienced them in a non routine fashion, they won't even know about them.  That's what caused me to create my Lex Anteinternet blog, in an effort to learn and explore those details.

However, if there's an element of truth in that, it certainly isn't universal.  Texas has produced a large number of writers over the decades that had a deep understanding of that state, or the West in general.  J. Frank Dobie, for example, was a Texan and his work "The Voice of the Coyote" remains an absolute classic.  Larry McMurtry, perhaps best known for his novel "Lonseome Dove", wrote what may bet he most insightful and accurate novel of modern ranch life ever written, "Horseman, Pass By" (the basis for the movie "Hud").  University of Nebraska professor and Nebraskan author Roger Welsch has written a series of brillian entertaining books on Nebraska themes.  So clearly a local observant writer can indeed write insightful works of great merit.

I guess, in the end, that's the point of this long entry.  Not to criticize outside authors, resident or note, who have written on the state, but rather to point out there are not doubt some great authors from here, many probably slaving away, who, hopefully, will have their works see the light of day, or at least the black of print.


Friday, October 25, 2013

October 25

Today is World Pasta Day.

Why, I don't know, but that's what it is. The University of Wyoming's American Heritage Center has a post up for today, October 25, 2012, on this event, and asks the question of whether pasta was part of your diet growing up.  It was for me, fwiw, and I suspect for most other people as well, but not with the many fine varieties available today.  "Macaroni and Cheese" was a frequent noon meal when I was a kid, and not the kind that comes out of a box.  Indeed, I've never liked the box kind, which strikes me as somewhat anemic.  Spaghetti was also a frequent at our house, which was the regular boxed spaghetti noodle type, with a red sauce made from tomato soap and with, typically, antelope or deer as the meat in the sauce.  I can't ever recall having ground beef used in spaghetti sauce as a kid at our house.  And macaroni noodles, i.e., elbow noodles, occasionally showed up in shrimp salad, which my mother occasionally made.  And of course, there were canned "beenie weenies, etc." that had noodles in them.

I'm sure I didn't have any of what I would have regarded as exotic pastas, like lasagna, in a homemade example until I was in university.  Otherwise, that was exotic restaurant fare.

On a somewhat more topical note, while not the most memorable day in Wyoming's history, October 25 has been a momentous day in world history, as three significant battles have occurred on this day, all of which will long be remembered.

1415. English forces numbering 12,000 defeat French forces numbering 60,000 at Agincourt.

This is the event so famously recalled by Shakespeare in his "band of brother's speech for Henry V:
Enter the KING

WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here
    But one ten thousand of those men in England
    That do no work to-day!

KING. What's he that wishes so?
    My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
    If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
    To do our country loss; and if to live,
    The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
    God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
    By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
    Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
    It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
    Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
    But if it be a sin to covet honour,
    I am the most offending soul alive.
    No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
    God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
    As one man more methinks would share from me
    For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
    Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
    That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
    Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
    And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
    We would not die in that man's company
    That fears his fellowship to die with us.
    This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
    He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
    Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
    And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
    He that shall live this day, and see old age,
    Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
    And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
    Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
    And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
    Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
    But he'll remember, with advantages,
    What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
    Familiar in his mouth as household words-
    Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
    Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
    Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
    This story shall the good man teach his son;
    And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be remembered-
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition;
    And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
    Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day
1854  The legendary British cavalry charge at Balaclava occurred: 
            Half a league, half a league,
            Half a league onward,
            All in the valley of Death
            Rode the six hundred.
            "Forward, the Light Brigade!
            "Charge for the guns!" he said:
            Into the valley of Death
            Rode the six hundred.

            2.

            "Forward, the Light Brigade!"
            Was there a man dismay'd?
            Not tho' the soldier knew
            Someone had blunder'd:
            Their's not to make reply,
            Their's not to reason why,
            Their's but to do and die:
            Into the valley of Death
            Rode the six hundred.

            3.

            Cannon to right of them,
            Cannon to left of them,
            Cannon in front of them
            Volley'd and thunder'd;
            Storm'd at with shot and shell,
            Boldly they rode and well,
            Into the jaws of Death,
            Into the mouth of Hell
            Rode the six hundred.

            4.

            Flash'd all their sabres bare,
            Flash'd as they turn'd in air,
            Sabring the gunners there,
            Charging an army, while
            All the world wonder'd:
            Plunged in the battery-smoke
            Right thro' the line they broke;
            Cossack and Russian
            Reel'd from the sabre stroke
            Shatter'd and sunder'd.
            Then they rode back, but not
            Not the six hundred.

            5.

            Cannon to right of them,
            Cannon to left of them,
            Cannon behind them
            Volley'd and thunder'd;
            Storm'd at with shot and shell,
            While horse and hero fell,
            They that had fought so well
            Came thro' the jaws of Death
            Back from the mouth of Hell,
            All that was left of them,
            Left of six hundred.

            6.

            When can their glory fade?
            O the wild charge they made!
            All the world wondered.
            Honor the charge they made,
            Honor the Light Brigade,
            Noble six hundred.
1890  Miners in Rocks Springs demanded that a "Miner's Ton" be reduced from 2,250 lbs to the English ton of 2,000 lbs.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1906  Lovell incorporated.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1923 The Teapot Dome scandal came to public attention as Senator Thomas J. Walsh of Montana, subcommittee chairman, revealed the findings of the past 18 months of investigation.

1943  A family in Prairie, Wyoming, family received a card from their son in Japanese POW camp.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1944 In the Battle of Leyte Gulf, Japan uses 'kamikaze' pilots for the first time, sinking the USS 'St Lo'.

1962 U.S. ambassador Adlai E. Stevenson presented photographic evidence of Soviet missile bases in Cuba to the U.N. Security Council.  After a dramatic exchange with the Soviet Ambassador, he said the following:

 I want to say to you, Mr. Zorin, that I do not have your talent for obfuscation, for distortion, for confusing language, and for doubletalk. And I must confess to you that I am glad that I do not!

But if I understood what you said, you said that my position had changed, that today I was defensive because we did not have the evidence to prove our assertions, that your Government had installed long-range missiles in Cuba.

Well, let me say something to you, Mr. Ambassador—we do have the evidence. We have it, and it is clear and it is incontrovertible. And let me say something else—those weapons must be taken out of Cuba.

Next, let me say to you that, if I understood you, with a trespass on credibility that excels your best, you said that our position had changed since I spoke here the other day because of the pressures of world opinion and the majority of the United Nations. Well, let me say to you, sir, you are wrong again. We have had no pressure from anyone whatsoever. We came in here today to indicate our willingness to discuss Mr. U Thant’s proposals, and that is the only change that has taken place.

But let me also say to you, sir, that there has been a change. You—the Soviet Union has sent these weapons to Cuba. You—the Soviet Union has upset the balance of power in the world. You—the Soviet Union has created this new danger, not the United States.

And you ask with a fine show of indignation why the President did not tell Mr. Gromyko on last Thursday about our evidence, at the very time that Mr. Gromyko was blandly denying to the President that the U.S.S.R. was placing such weapons on sites in the new world.

Well, I will tell you why—because we were assembling the evidence, and perhaps it would be instructive to the world to see how a Soviet official—how far he would go in perfidy. Perhaps we wanted to know if this country faced another example of nuclear deceit like that one a year ago, when in stealth, the Soviet Union broke the nuclear test moratorium.

And while we are asking questions, let me ask you why your Government—your Foreign Minister—deliberately, cynically deceived us about the nuclear build-up in Cuba.

And, finally, the other day, Mr. Zorin, I remind you that you did not deny the existence of these weapons. Instead, we heard that they had suddenly become defensive weapons. But today again if I heard you correctly, you now say that they do not exist, or that we haven’t proved they exist, with another fine flood of rhetorical scorn.

All right, sir, let me ask you one simple question: Do you, Ambassador Zorin, deny that the U.S.S.R. has placed and is placing medium- and intermediate-range missiles and sites in Cuba? Yes or no—don’t wait for the translation—yes or no?

(The Soviet representative refused to answer.)

You can answer yes or no. You have denied they exist. I want to know if I understood you correctly. I am prepared to wait for my answer until hell freezes over, if that’s your decision. And I am also prepared to present the evidence in this room.

(The President called on the representative of Chile to speak, but Stevenson continued:)

I have not finished my statement. I asked you a question. I have had no reply to the question, and I will now proceed, if I may, to finish my statement.

I doubt if anyone in this room, except possibly the representative of the Soviet Union, has any doubt about the facts. But in view of his statements and the statements of the Soviet Government up until last Thursday, when Mr. Gromyko denied the existence or any intention of installing such weapons in Cuba, I am going to make a portion of the evidence available right now. If you will indulge me for a moment, we will set up an easel here in the back of the room where I hope it will be visible to everyone.

The first of these exhibits shows an area north of the village of Candelaria, near San Cristóbal, southwest of Havana. A map, together with a small photograph, shows precisely where the area is in Cuba.

The first photograph shows the area in late August 1962; it was then, if you can see from where you are sitting, only a peaceful countryside.

The second photograph shows the same area one day last week. A few tents and vehicles had come into the area, new spur roads had appeared, and the main road had been improved.

The third photograph, taken only twenty-four hours later, shows facilities for a medium-range missile battalion installed. There are tents for 400 or 500 men. At the end of the new spur road there are seven 1,000-mile missile trailers. There are four launcher-erector mechanisms for placing these missiles in erect firing position. This missile is a mobile weapon, which can be moved rapidly from one place to another. It is identical with the 1,000-mile missiles which have been displayed in Moscow parades. All of this, I remind you, took place in twenty-four hours.

The second exhibit, which you can all examine at your leisure, shows three successive photographic enlargements of another missile base of the same type in the area of San Cristóbal. These enlarged photographs clearly show six of these missiles on trailers and three erectors.

And that is only one example of the first type of ballistic missile installation in Cuba.

A second type of installation is designed for a missile of intermediate range—a range of about 2,200 miles. Each site of this type has four launching pads.

The exhibit on this type of missile shows a launching area being constructed near Guanajay, southwest of the city of Havana. As in the first exhibit, a map and small photograph show this area as it appeared in late August 1962, when no military activities were apparent.

A second large photograph shows the same area about six weeks later. Here you will see a very heavy construction effort to push the launching area to rapid completion. The pictures show two large concrete bunkers or control centers in process of construction, one between each pair of launching pads. They show heavy concrete retaining walls being erected to shelter vehicles and equipment from rocket blast-off. They show cable scars leading from the launch pads to the bunkers. They show a large reinforced concrete building under construction. A building with a heavy arch may well be intended as the storage area for the nuclear warheads. The installation is not yet complete, and no warheads are yet visible.

The next photograph shows a closer view of the same intermediate-range launch site. You can clearly see one of the pairs of large concrete launch pads, with a concrete building from which launching operations for three pads are controlled. Other details are visible, such as fuel tanks.

And that is only one example, one illustration, of the work being furnished in Cuba on intermediate-range missile bases.

Now, in addition to missiles, the Soviet Union is installing other offensive weapons in Cuba. The next photograph is of an airfield at San Julián in western Cuba. On this field you will see twenty-two crates designed to transport the fuselages of Soviet llyushin-28 bombers. Four of the aircraft are uncrated, and one is partially assembled. These bombers, sometimes known as Beagles, have an operating radius of about 750 miles and are capable of carrying nuclear weapons. At the same field you can see one of the surface-to-air anti­aircraft guided missile bases, with six missiles per base, which now ring the entire coastline of Cuba.

Another set of two photographs covers still another area of deployment of medium-range missiles in Cuba. These photographs are on a larger scale than the others and reveal many details of an improved field-type launch site. One photograph provides an overall view of most of the site; you can see clearly three of the four launching pads. The second photograph displays details of two of these pads. Even an eye untrained in photographic interpretation can clearly see the buildings in which the missiles are checked out and maintained ready to fire, a missile trailer, trucks to move missiles out to the launching pad, erectors to raise the missiles to launching position, tank trucks to provide fuel, vans from which the missile firing is controlled, in short, all of the requirements to maintain, load, and fire these terrible weapons.

These weapons, gentlemen, these launching pads, these planes—of which we have illustrated only a fragment—are a part of a much larger weapons complex, what is called a weapons system.

To support this build-up, to operate these advanced weapons systems, the Soviet Union has sent a large number of military personnel to Cuba—a force now amounting to several thousand men.

These photographs, as I say, are available to members for detailed examination in the Trusteeship Council room following this meeting. There I will have one of my aides who will gladly explain them to you in such detail as you may require.

I have nothing further to say at this time.

(After another statement by the Soviet representative Stevenson replied:)

Mr. President and gentlemen, I won’t detain you but one minute.

I have not had a direct answer to my question. The representative of the Soviet Union says that the official answer of the U.S.S.R. was the Tass statement that they don’t need to locate missiles in Cuba. Well, I agree—they don’t need to. But the question is, have they missiles in Cuba—and that question remains unanswered. I knew it would be.

As to the authenticity of the photographs, which Mr. Zorin has spoken about with such scorn, I wonder if the Soviet Union would ask its Cuban colleague to permit a U.N. team to go to these sites. If so, I can assure you that we can direct them to the proper places very quickly.

And now I hope that we can get down to business, that we can atop this sparring. We know the facts, and so do you, sir, and we are ready to talk about them. Our job here is not to score debating points. Our job, Mr. Zorin, is to save the peace. And if you are ready to try, we are.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

October 24

1859  Residents of what are now parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and Kansas voted to form the Territory of Jefferson.  The extralegal putative territory would have included some of Wyoming, but also would have included parts of what are now the neighboring states including nearly all of Colorado.  It was never afforded recognition by the United States although, amazingly, it did elect a government and legislature.  Admission of Kansas, and more particularly Colorado, into the Union ended it.

1861 The first transcontinental telegraph message was sent from California to President Abraham Lincoln.

1861  The Pony Express was terminated.

Contrary to widespread popular belief, they weren't all orphans. Nor were they all young, as at least one rider was in his 40s.

The hard riding part, however, is correct.

1861 West Virginia seceded from Virginia.  This rather obviously has nothing directly to do with the history of Wyoming, but it's included here to note what was otherwise going on, on this momentous day in 1861.  The Pony Express ended, cross continental telegraph communications began, and the Civil War was ripping the country apart.  In some ways, the closer future and the disparate present was particularly prominent on this day.

1877  Famous suffragette Susan B. Anthony visited Cheyenne.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1902  A jury, having gone out the day before for deliberation, found Tom Horn guilty of the murder of Willie Nickell.

1929 Black Thursday—the first day of the stock market crash which began the Great Depression.  A significant recession, however, had been going on in Wyoming, following the economic declines following World War One, in Wyoming since 1919.

1939. Nylon stockings sold publicly for the first time.

1940 The 40-hour work week went into effect in the United States under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Interesting to note that this happened right before WWII, which would temporarily suspend it.

1989   Brooklyn Lake Lodge added to the National Register of Historic Places.  Attribution:  On This Day.

2008  "Bloody Friday" saw many of the world's stock exchanges experience the worst declines in their history.

2014   Long time Wyoming Federal Judge Clarence Brimmer passed away.

Judge Brimmer was a Rawlins native who went on to law school following World War Two, during which he had entered the Army Air Corps late war.  He served as the Attorney General for the State of Wyoming in the early 1970s and then was briefly U.S. Attorney for Wyoming before being appointed to the Federal bench in 1975 by Gerald Ford..

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October 23

1884   Gilbert E. Leigh, an English remittance man who was was the guest of the Bar X Cattle Company, died in a 200 foot fall while hunting Big Horn Sheep in Tensleep Canyon.  He had spent most of his adult life as a big game hunter, one of a collection of occupations common to remittance men.

See the comments below for more information.

1890 Five dray licenses (freighting licenses) issued in Newcastle Wyoming.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1908  Oil struck at Salt Creek. The prodigious oil field remains in production today.

1972   Fossil Butte National Monument created.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October 22

1812  Robert Stuart and a small party of Astorians crossed South Pass, making them the first Euro-Americans to do so.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1844 Louis Riel, Metis leader, Montana school teacher, was born, the eldest of eleven children, in a log cabin near St-Boniface, Manitoba.

1861 The first telegraph line linking West & East coasts of the US was completed.  The route went along the Oregon Trail.

1885 The Canadian Judicial Committee of the Privy Council rules against the appeal of Louis Riel's sentence resulting from the Metis Rebellion..

1943  Faced with the shortages caused by wartime,  the Green River Sportsman's Club discussed ammunition shortage situation and a rumored black market operating in the vicinity.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1964  Richard Nixon campaigned in Wyoming for Barry Goldwater. Attribution:  On This Day.

If anyone has the specifics on this item, I'd really appreciate knowing them. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21

1803  The Senate authorized President Jefferson to take possession of the Louisiana Territory and establish a temporary military government for the territory.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1822  The first chartered bank west of the Mississippi, and the first in territory that included a part of Wyoming, was established inn San Antonio, Texas by Mexican Governor José Félix Trespalacios. Attribution:  On This Day.

1866 Fort Philip Kearny completed.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1872  Construction at the Territorial Prison in Laramie completed.

1873  Wyoming, Iowa, incorporated.

1909  The cornerstone for Jireh College, in Jireh was laid. Jireh College was a Protestant College that no longer exists.  The town likewise no longer exists.  It's history was relatively short, but it featured a combined effort to create a Christian school with a farming community.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1941  It was reported on this day that 53 Wyoming public school teachers were called to military service, a significant number given the population of the state.  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1995  State hit by a statewide blizzard.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

October 20

1803  Louisiana Purchase ratified.

1889  Oil discovered near Douglas.

1906  Southeast Wyoming hit by a three day blizzard.

1913  The Burlington Norther arrived in Casper.

1917   Louis Senften  was murdered near Leo.  This resulted in his neighbor, John Leibig, who was the only one to witness the death, being accused of murder.

The accusations against Leibig seem to have been motivated, at least in part, by his being of German origin.  Senften had just purchased his ranch after a long effort to do so but there were details concerning that purchased that may have caused Leibig's neighbors to wish him gone.  Be that as it may, he was acquitted of murder but was also held on an additional eleven counts of espionage, a fairly absurd accusation against somebody who lived in such a remote location.  Leibig, perhaps wanting to simply get past the matter, entered a guilty plea to those charges as part of a plea bargain.  He was accordingly sentenced to a year and a half in a Federal Penitentiary, but President Wilson commuted the sentence to one year.  The short length of the sentence would suggest that both the Court and the President doubted the espionage claims' veracity.

Wyoming's U.S. Attorney continued Quixotic efforts to strip Leibig of his citizenship until 1922, although he had in fact lost it by operation of his sentence.  He ultimately would relocate to Colorado after being released from the Federal Penitentiary at Ft. Leavenworth Kansas.

More can be read about his trial on the WyomingHistory.org webiste.

1958  Northeast Wyoming and Southeast Montana hit by a severe blizzard.

2009  Clifford Hanson, former Governor of Wyoming and Senator from Wyoming, died.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

October 19

1848  John Fremont moved out from near Westport, Missouri, on his fourth Western expedition.

1867  Ft. Caspar, Wyoming abandoned.  It would be subsequently burned by the Indians. Attribution:  On This Day.

1890   Troop A, 1st Cavalry Rgt, relieved from assignment to Yellowstone National Park  The Army patrolled the park until 1915.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1915  US recognized General Venustiano Carranza as the president of Mexico, and imposed an embargo on the shipment of arms to all Mexican territories except those controlled by Carranza.  Ironically, Carranza, who was a strongly leftist political theorist, held the US in disdain.

1944  A bomber from the Casper Air Base crashed killing three crewmembers.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1951     Harry S. Truman signed an act formally ending the state of war with Germany.

1996  A 4.2 earthquake occurred 85 miles from Gillette.  Attribution:  On This Day.

Friday, October 18, 2013

October 18

1854 Reciprocity Treaty between the US and Canada comes into effect.

1868 Vigilantes hanged three members of the Asa Moore Gang in Bosler, where some of the gang members owned a bar. One of the gang members, Big Steve Long, asked to leave his boots on, stating:  "My mother always said I'd die with my boots on".  He was lynched with his boots off.

1871  A gunpowder explosion on the Colorado Central saw 600 kegs of powder explode, but with no injuries.

1919  Robert Russin's statute of Lincoln on the Interstate Highway between Laramie and Cheyenne dedicated.  That route was part of the Lincoln Highway at the time, hence the dedication.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1929   The Historical Landmark Commission of Wyoming set up an advisory committee to explore acquiring  the grounds of Ft. Laramie. Attribution:  On This Day.

1931  A Pony Express Historical marker was dedicated at Independence Rock.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1969  The football game between the University of Wyoming and BYU that sparked the protest of the Black 14 occurred.  Wyoming won the game.


1989  The Contract to build  SSBN 742, an Ohio Class nuclear submarine, was awarded to General Dynamic's Electric Boat Division.