Features

Archives On The Air 21: Jack Benny's "Magic" Violin

23 hours ago
American Heritage Center

Legendary entertainer Jack Benny was a pretty good violinist. In 1911 Benny was a 17-year old professional violinist playing in Chicago’s vaudeville theaters.

But Benny found more success with his comic timing than the violin. By 1921, his fiddle was more of a prop and comedy took over.

A running gag was his hopeless attempts to play the violin. He made the illusion seem real by trying to play pieces too difficult for his skill level.

Steve Mattheis

Steve Mattheis is a Jackson native and a wildlife photographer. A couple of years ago, he fell in love with photographing great gray owls. It turns out, they aren’t that easy to find. But he got a hang of it. And this year, one of his striking photos of the owl won the Audubon Society, Grand Prize award. Mattheis speaks with Wyoming Public Radio’s Kamila Kudelska on how he’s learned to spot great gray owls. But first Kudelska asks about the story behind the winning photo.

Archives On The 20: Frank Allyn—Wyoming's Road Map Pioneer

Jul 13, 2018
American Heritage Center

Frank Allyn joined the newly created Wyoming Highway Department in 1920 as a draftsman. At the time, the department was surveying existing roads across the state. By 1924 the survey was completed. From the results, Allyn created the first road map of Wyoming for the motoring public.

Kamila Kudelska


It's Christmas Eve 2000. The curator of the Draper Museum of Natural History, Dr. Charles Preston and his wife were driving along the North Fork corridor when they spotted a truck.

Country Blues Musician Reverend Freakchild On Wyoming Sounds

Jul 12, 2018
Anna Rader

Reverend Freakchild on Wyoming Sounds recorded 07/12/18.

Archives On The Air 19: Marie Montabe, Determined WAC Recruiter

Jul 12, 2018
American Heritage Center

Marie Montabe was the wife of Albany County’s Woman’s Army Corps recruiter Harry Horton. She worked tirelessly to help her husband enlist young women, especially UW coeds, into the Corps during World War II.

Nashville-Based Singer-Songwriter Taylor Kropp On Wyoming Sounds

Jul 11, 2018
Anna Rader

Taylor Kropp on Wyoming Sounds recorded 07/11/18.

Steve Mattheis

Jackson native won a national award for a photo of a great gray owl taken in Teton County. The Audubon Society awarded Steve Mattheis the 2018 Grand Prize Winner.

Archives On The Air 18: Owen Wister—Extinct Species of the West

Jul 11, 2018
American Heritage Center

Young novelist Owen Wister made his first trip to the West in the summer of 1885. He stayed at a ranch on Deer Creek located south of what is now Glenrock, Wyoming. Wister was from an upper-crust Philadelphia family. So, what did he think of Wyoming upon his arrival?

Archives On The Air 17: The Flying Feline—Roscoe Turner Collection

Jul 11, 2018
American Heritage Center

The 1930s usually conjure images of dust and despondence – not of lion cubs sitting in the back of racing airplanes. But from 1930 to 1938, legendary Pilot Roscoe Turner was flying in cross-country airplanes with his pet lion Gilmore.

Archives On The Air 16: Snow Chi Minh Trail

Jul 9, 2018
American Heritage Center

The 77 mile stretch of Interstate 80 between Laramie and Walcott Junction has been dubbed the “Snow Chi Minh Trail.”

Archives On The Air 15: Brassy Barbara Stanwyck

Jul 9, 2018
American Heritage Center

In 1934, the Hays Code was being strictly enforced in Hollywood to clean up alleged indecency in movies.

What spurred the prudish policing? Movies like Baby Face.

Archives On The Air 14: The Lone Scouts

Jul 9, 2018
American Heritage Center

Have you heard of the Lone Scouts? It was a brother organization to the Boy Scouts.

Archives On The Air 13: "Tom Dewey of the West"—Byron Hirst

Jul 9, 2018
American Heritage Center

Byron Hirst was called the “Tom Dewey of the West” after Thomas Dewey, a well-known New York prosecutor who fought organized crime.

Archives On The Air 12: Superhero Stan Lee

Jul 9, 2018
American Heritage Center

The superhero business is booming now, but that was not always the case.

When young Stanley Lieber landed his first job in 1939 with Timely Comics, the comics industry was lowbrow publishing.

Archives On The Air 11: Hopalong Cassidy

Jul 9, 2018
American Heritage Center

"The highest badge of honor a person can wear is honesty. Be truthful at all times.”

Many children in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s were familiar with these words - part of Hopalong Cassidy’s Creed for American Boys and Girls.

 

 

Native American women used whatever materials they had to create objects. Hunter Old Elk, the curatorial assistant of the Plains Indian Museum, came across a very square, beaded box. The squareness surprised her and as she observed the object more, she realized the structure was made out of a commodity cheese box.

Folk Singer-Songwriter Jennifer Niceley On Wyoming Sounds

Jun 29, 2018
Anna Rader

Jennifer Niceley on Wyoming Sounds recorded 06/29/18.

A year and a half into the Trump presidency and several federal land agencies do not have directors—

including the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Former land managers say the lack of leadership has grave consequences for the future of public lands.


 


Archives On The Air 10: Antelope Charlie—Charles Belden Papers

Jun 29, 2018
American Heritage Center

Charles Belden became known as the Antelope King. This name came from his clever ways of reducing the number of pronghorn on his Pitchfork Ranch near Meeteetse.

Thomas Moran was one of the artist documenting the expansion to the West. He was on the first formal expedition in 1871 to Yellowstone country to document the geological wonders of the area.

Caroline Ballard

A new mural in downtown Laramie will be dedicated as one of the first events of Laramie PrideFest. The mural features notable people affiliated with social justice and civil rights in the state - including suffragists, the University of Wyoming Black 14, and the action angels that blocked Westboro Baptist Church protestors at the Matthew Shepard murder trial almost 20 years ago. Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard visited the mural and spoke with the artist behind it, Adrienne Vetter.

Archives On The Air 8: Dean Cullen Smith—Bush Pilot Of The Antarctic

Jun 27, 2018
American Heritage Center

A courageous pilot known for navigating in severe weather gained the attention of Admiral Richard Byrd. Byrd was looking for personnel to man his first journey to Antarctica.

Archives On The Air 7: Mary O'Hara—"My Heart Is In Wyoming"

Jun 26, 2018
American Heritage Center

Could successful screenwriter and socialite Mary O’Hara exchange her glitzy lifestyle for that of a Wyoming ranch wife? Her friends did not think so.

Brenda Mallory

Portland, Oregon-based artist Brenda Mallory received the Ucross Fellowship for Native American Artists. She will spend a month in Ucross, receive a stipend of $2,000, and the residency will culminate in an exhibition of her work.

Archives On The Air 6: Hell On Wheels

Jun 25, 2018
American Heritage Center

Wyoming had its share of end-of-track towns during construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. These tent cities were known for their criminal element and earned the name “Hell on Wheels.”

Kamila Kudelska

The American cheetah is a prehistoric mammal that roamed Northern Wyoming in the Miocene and the Pleistocene Epoch. The American cheetah is thought to be the driving evolutionary force responsible of the speed of today’s pronghorn antelope.

Archives On The Air 5: Carl Stalling—Music Animator

Jun 22, 2018
American Heritage Center

A chance meeting in the 1920s at a Missouri movie theater led to some of the most beloved characters ever created.

Archives On The Air 4: Who Gets License Plate Number 1?—Jacob M. Schwoob Papers

Jun 21, 2018
American Heritage Center

The State of Wyoming began issuing motor vehicle license plates in 1913. Who got license plate number 1? The man who wrote the motor vehicle licensing law: Park County’s state senator Jacob M. Schwoob.

Archives On The Air 3: Gasoline Gypsies—The Cross-Country Drive Of Grace & Ester Robinson

Jun 20, 2018
American Heritage Center

In the 1920s, the automobile age was in full swing. American women began enjoying unprecedented social freedom by driving cars. The newfound freedom is illustrated by the cross-country drive of Grace Robinson and her sister Ester.

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