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.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Today In Wyoming's History: August 19

Today In Wyoming's History: 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 f...


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.

Today In Wyoming's History: August 18

Today In Wyoming's History: August 18: 1813         Battle of the Medina River at which Royalist forces defeat Mexican-American Republican Guetierrez-Magee Expedition south of Sa...


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

Monday, August 17, 2015

The New (upcoming) $10.00 Bill and Esther Hobart Morris. What about Nellie Tayloe Ross

The new $10.00 bill, design yet to be announced, will feature the image of a woman on it for the first time since 1896.  If you've seen this reported, you've probably seen it stated that this will be the first time a woman has been featured on U.S. paper money, or even "U.S. currency", but that's wholly incorrect.  Martha Washington was on the $1.00 silver certificate briefly in the early 1890s, and allegorical women have been on bank notes of various kinds as well, perhaps even after that.  Susan B. Anthony was on the unpopular $1.00 coin from 1979 to 1981, and Sacajawea  has been in the $1.00 coin since 2000, so putting a woman on the $10.00 bill is not quite as novel as some apparently believe.

At any rate, there's a move afoot to have Esther Hobart Morris appear on the $10.00 bill.  Hobart, of course, appears here on several different entries:
February 17
1870  Esther Hobart Morris officially appointed Justice of the Peace. As noted, she was approved for this position several days prior.

 Ester Hobart Morris statute on the Wyoming State Capitol Grounds.
Putting Mrs. Morris on the $10.00 bill would certainly given a serious sober look to our $10.00 bill, given her stern visage, but it's not going to happen.  Not that her 1870 territorial appointment as the first female Justice of the Peace in the United States wasn't a significant event, it was, but her eight difficult months in that role (she wasn't universally accepted by any means) just don't measure up enough in terms of a national presence to merit that sort of memorial, and it won't be happening.  Indeed, it's a bit odd that Wyoming would back this when we consider that the appointment was a very local one, and a Territorial one, as opposed to one that we did as a state.  For a Territorial figure to merit a presence on a $10.00 bill, she'd have to have real national renown.

Which Sacajawea does.  

I've always been a fan of the Sacagawea coin and, heck, maybe I'm just a fan of Sacajawea. But the Shoshone teenager was as tough as nails and representative, I think, of a lot of the things Wyomingites admire. She basically overcame kidnapping, involuntary servitude and the natural environment to rise to a a known figure in our nation.  And she undoubtedly has living relatives in the state to this day. She'd be my choice.

But the best choice would be Nellie Tayloe Ross.

For one thing, Ross has a real chance.  Morris doesn't have a ghost of a chance.

But moreover, Ross is the more significant figure, and we should be proud of her.

Morris is a real figure, and an admirable one, but as noted she was a Territorial figure.  She became Justice of the Peace in Sweetwater County when she applied for it, a Territorial District Court judge approved her application, and it was further approved by the Sweetwater County Commission by the vote of 2 to 1.  All good stuff, to be sure.

But Ross became Governor in 1925 when we elected her to that position. That is, the voters of the state did so.  That's a bigger deal.

And after her term in office was over (she was not re-elected, but then she supported Prohibition and she didn't campaign in either of her Gubernatorial races, and shoot Morris was only JP for eight months at that), she became Director of the United States Mint from 1933 to 1953.  Twenty years.  In other worlds she occupied that position, which is of course associated with currency, throughout the entire Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman administrations.  Her being on the $10.00 bill would not only honor the state, but makes sense.

So, while a shout out to Morris is no doubt merited, how about backing somebody who makes more sense?  Nellie Tayloe Ross

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Clearing scandal, eh?

In the news today was that DNA confirms that President Warren G. Harding had an illegitimate child by Nan Britton, with whom he apparently had a long running affair. The rumor had long existed, in no small part because Ms. Britton, after his death (and likely in need of income) wrote a book about their affair, which various Harding adherents discredited.  Now it seems to be proven that she was telling the truth.

Harding has long been at best forgotten and at worst not viewed as a particularly good President.  Knowledge of at least one other infidelity seems established, so how much this changes our view of Harding I don't know.  In Wyoming, Harding might be best remembered for the Teapot Dome Scandal.

Harding was actually a really popular President while he was President, but his reputation sank thereafter, with Teapot Dome playing a prominent part in that.  News of his infidelity, of course, came after his death, and was ultimately widely contested.  Up until the news of the DNA test results, it still was contested.

Anyhow, it's not so much this news that causes me to post this item about Harding, as this odd statement that appeared in one of the news reports on this item:
And, secondly, he hopes the discovery will begin to clear the air around Harding’s scandalized reputation in history.
“This book really ruined Warren Harding’s reputation, and as a result the important lessons of his presidency have been lost,” Robenalt said, who points out that Harding argued for non-interventionist policies before World War I that continue to be relevant following the lessons of the war in Iraq.
Hmmm. . . .

It's true that Harding had some things to his credit, but it's hard to see how confirmation of his marital infidelity in this instance will serve to "clear the air around" his "scandalized reputation in history".

This is not to say that this wasn't worth investigating for the family, or worth reporting in the news.  Just the concept of this repairing a "scandalized reputation" is odd.