How To Use This Site

How To Use This Site

This blog was updated on a daily basis for about two years, with those daily entries ceasing on December 31, 2013. The blog is still active, however, and we hope that people stopping in, who find something lacking, will add to the daily entries.

The blog still receives new posts as well, but now it receives them on items of Wyoming history. That has always been a feature of the blog, but Wyoming's history is rich and there are many items that are not fully covered here, if covered at all. Over time, we hope to remedy that.

You can obtain an entire month's listings by hitting on the appropriate month below, or an individual day by hitting on that calendar date.

We hope you enjoy this site.

Friday, November 29, 2013

November 29

Today is Nellie Tayloe Ross Day

 Ross in 1938 at her Maryland tobacco farm.

Nellie Tayloe Ross Day is a state holiday in Wyoming, although it is little observed. 

1847   Missionaries Dr. Marcus Whitman, his wife Narcissa, and 15 others are killed by Cayuse and Umatilla Indians in what is today southeastern Washington, causing the Cayuse War.  The Whitmans conducted the first Protestant religious service in Wyoming.

1864         Sand Creek Massacre in which Colorado militia attack Black Kettle's Cheyenne band in Colorado.  Black Kettle was at peace, and the attack was unwarranted.  The unit would muster out shortly thereafter.  The attack would drive many Cheyenne north into Wyoming and western Nebraska, where they would link up with Sioux who were already trending towards hostility with the United States.  This would result in ongoing unbroken armed conflict between these tribes and the United States up through the conclusion of Red Cloud's War.

Today the Cheyenne trek north is memorialized in the Sand Creek Massacre Trail, a highway designation for the combination Interstate Highways and State highways that lead to the Wind River Indian Reservation. The Wind River is not a Cheyenne Reservation, but it is an Arapaho and Shoshone reservation, and the Arapahos were allied to the Cheyenne and Sioux in this period. 

Black Kettle had the added misfortune of having his camp attacked later by the 7th Cavalry, under Custer, at Washita, in 1868.  He was killed in that attack, which likewise was a surprise and found his band at peace with the US, although others in the area were not.

 Cheyenne prisoners, in artist's depiction, following Washita.

1873  Laramie County Stockgrowers Association forms in Cheyenne.The organization was one of the precursors of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association.

1876  Nellie Tayloe Ross born in Missouri.

1888  Territorial Governor Moonlight proclaimed the day one of Thanksgiving, Prayer and Praise.

1901  Mildred Harris, movie actress, born in Cheyenne.  She was a significant actress in the silent film era, having gone from being a child actor to a major adult actress, but had difficulty making the transition to talking pictures.

Harris is also evidence that, in spite of my notation of changes in moral standards elsewhere, the lives of movie stars has often been as torrid as they are presently.  Harris married Charlie Chaplin in 1918, at which time she was 17 years old and the couple thought, incorrectly, that  she was pregnant.  She did later give birth during their brief marriage to a boy who was severely disabled, and who died only three days after being born.  The marriage was not a happy one.  They divorced after two years of marriage, and she would marry twice more and was married to former professional football player William P. Fleckenstein at the time of her death, a union that had lasted ten years.  Ironically, she appeared in three films in 1920, the year of her divorce, as Mildred Harris Chaplin, the only films in which she was billed under that name. While an actress probably mostly known to silent film buffs today, she lived in some ways a life that touched upon many remembered personalities of the era, and which was also somewhat stereotypically Hollywood.  She introduced Edward to Wallis Simpson.

She died in 1944 at age 42 of pneumonia following surgery.  She has a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  A significant number of her 134 films are lost or destroyed due to film deterioration.  Her appearances in the last eight years of her life were minor, and unaccredited, showing the decline of her star power in the talking era.

Stories like hers, however, demonstrate that the often held concept of great isolation of Wyomingites was never true.  Harris was one of at least three actors and actresses who were born in Wyoming and who had roles in the early silent screen era.  Of those, she was arguably the most famous having risen to the height of being a major actress by age 16.

1908   Major Harry Coupland Benson appointed acting Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park.

1916:   The Wyoming Tribune for November 29, 1916: Villa in the headlines

Scary headlines in the Tribune, which reported that Juarez, on the Mexican border, might be Villa's next target.
The Cheyenne State Leader for November 29, 1916: Chihuahua in Villa's hands = Carranza agreeing to Protocol?

The Leader made the curious assumption that Villa taking Chihuahua would cause Carranza to agree tot he draft protocol with the US that was designed to bring about an American withdrawal.

Now, why would that be the case? Carranza had been opposed to American intervention, but as it was, the American expeditionary force amounted to a large block of troops in Villas way if he really intended to move north.

A curious assumption.

And the US acting on behalf of besieged Belgium was also in the news.
1919  A four week coal strike causes as serious coal shortage in Cokeville, Wyoming. Attribution, Wyoming Historical Society.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1931  An Oregon Trail marker was dedicated at Torrington. The decade of the 1930s saw an increased interest in Wyoming in marking the state's early history which was coincident with the pioneer generation passing away.

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