History

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show was so famous by the end of the 19th century it traveled to Europe. These shows were celebrated back in America by billboard-sized posters. These posters are rare to find. This was the time when posters were plastered on walls, then the next show would come in and a new poster would be plastered over it. So eventually the poster would be scraped off the wall.

A specific western furniture style was born in Cody in the 1930s. And for the past 30 years, its biggest fans have tried to spread it beyond the West by holding annual furniture expositions around the northwest Wyoming city. The style in question is an old-west, rustic look you might relate to the 1800s. Only when the community lost the exposition 15 years ago did locals realize what impact it had on the local economy.

The National Park Service is donating more funds to preserve, restore and increase education about Japanese American internment camps scattered across the U.S.  Most of them are in the West. 

Recently Rebecca West, the curator of the Plains Indian Museum, discovered an unique feather bonnet in the Paul Dyck Buffalo Culture Collection. The bonnet didn’t look like any of the typical bonnets seen previously.

IMDb

The independent film Neither Wolf Nor Dog is set to screen in Jackson this week. Set in Indian Country, it showcases Native actors and explores the history of the Wounded Knee massacre.

The Oglala Lakota leader Crazy Horse helped lead The Battle of the Greasy Grass. That the tribe’s name for what non-Natives call the Battle of Little Big Horn. Crazy Horse has had many biographies written about him, but never from someone related to the leader.

Floyd Clown and William Matson have changed that.

The two have recently collaborated on a book, Crazy Horse: The Lakota Warrior’s Life and Legacy, an oral history of Crazy Horse from his direct decedents. Only recently has the family felt that it was time to tell their story.

Stan Honda

A documentary and book explores what happened to the barracks at Heart Mountain detention camp for Japanese Americans after World War Two. The film released in December 2017, “Moving Walls: The Barracks of America’s Concentration Camps,” tells the little-known story of how hundreds of the barracks were sold to veterans to homestead in Northwest Wyoming. Sharon Yamato, the filmmaker, wanted to explore the connection between these two different communities in an effort to create a dialogue. Wyoming Public Radio’s Kamila Kudelska asked Yamato what was the significance of the barracks to the homesteaders.

Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, Wyoming. Gift of The Coe Foundation. 11.70

 

The painter, Alfred Jacob Miller, was an early artist explorer depicting the American West. But it turns out, he only went out to the West once. His patron, William Drummond Stewart, commissioned Miller to come along to a rendezvous out near present day Pinedale, Wyoming. A rendezvous was a gathering of fur traders and trappers of Native American suppliers. They convened to get ready before the fur trade season came.

Archives On The Air 27: Union Pacific Rail Boss Jack Casement

Jul 24, 2018
American Heritage Center

Jack Casement and his brother Dan won the track laying contract for the Union Pacific Railroad from Omaha, Nebraska to Promontory Point, Utah.

Spoken Words 23: Kevin Powers—A Shout In The Ruins

Jul 20, 2018
Kevin Greenblat

In his new novel A Short in the Ruins, Kevin Powers explores the dark history of slavery in this country, using one plantation near his home in Virginia as the fictionalized setting and following characters generationally from the Civil War to the 20th century in order to examine the ways we live with history and legacy of suffering and violence.  

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.”

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.

The Modern West 35: Forgotten Women Of The West

Jun 21, 2018

From washing the army’s clothes to solving murders, three authors tell the stories of strong Western women.

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.

Archives On The Air 2: Who Was The Virginian? – Owen Wister Papers

Jun 19, 2018
American Heritage Center

Around 1891 western author Owen Wister began to create his most famous character. He created a Southern-born ranch hand who was hardened to the West, yet genteel. The character also voiced Wister’s conservative blue-blooded values. This character came to be known as The Virginian.

Kamila Kudelska

During the 19th century, Winchester Repeating Arms Company and Colt’s Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company frequently played with each other’s markets. One would manufacture double barrel shotguns another would then import double barrel shotguns. But Colt always had the lever while Winchester had the revolver.

1996. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles B. Israel of Aspen, Colorado. Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

George Custer is most famous for the battle he did not survive: The Battle of the Little Bighorn. Popularly known as “Custer’s Last Stand,” it took place in Montana Territory against a coalition of Native American tribes. But a new exhibition at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West portrays Custer and his wife, Libby’s, personal possessions in an effort to create a picture not focused on his last battle.

Caroline Ballard

Nearly a quarter of Wyoming’s population is Native American. But how they are portrayed—by Natives and by whites—is complicated.

When a museum receives a mass donation of artifacts, it’s up to the museum staff to document every single object. And this is what happened when the Plains Indian Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West received the Paul Dyke Buffalo Cultural Collection

Jessica Flock

Over the last few weeks, Native Americans from across the Northern Plains have been traveling toward Fort Laramie National Historic Site in Wyoming. They came by bus, by foot and even by horse. They're here to recognize the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty. 

Fort Laramie National Historical Site

Native Americans from tribes all around the Northern Plains are running on foot, riding on horseback or driving by vehicle to convene at the Fort Laramie Historic Site in eastern Wyoming for the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868.

The famous aviator first visited Wyoming in 1934. She traveled to Meeteetse for summer break where she stayed on local guide Carl Dunrud’s dude ranch. Earhart fell in love with the region right away. 

Native Wellness Institute

Native American students, faculty, and staff at the University of Wyoming in Laramie recently participated in a wellness training. The idea was to explore how to process trauma left behind by a dark history. 

Mayor Grace Miller, third from left, and the Jackson Town Council, 1921.
Wyoming Tales and Trails.

The National Elk Refuge is commemorating the role of women in American conservation for Women’s History Month with an exhibit at the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center. The temporary exhibit includes a timeline of Jackson Hole women who played a vital role in the area, including Grace Miller, the town's mayor who presided over an all-female town council from 1920 to 1923. 

Wyoming State Historical Society

The Wyoming House passed a bill to create a day commemorating Estelle Reel. She was the first woman elected to a statewide office in 1894, as the Superintendent of Public Instruction.  

 

While the majority of lawmakers wanted to recognize Reel’s accomplishment, House Minority Leader Cathy Connolly said Reel’s discriminatory attitude toward Native Americans and women should make them think twice.

 

Connolly said she researched Reel and read multiple articles.

 

Jason Vlcan / National Historic Trails Interpretive Center

February is Black History Month, and an exhibit at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center in Casper is displaying photos and artifacts of a little-known piece of Wyoming History: an all-black town founded and then abandoned in the early 20th century. Shawn Wade is responsible for temporary exhibits and tours at the Center. He told Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard about the history of Empire, Wyoming.

University of Oklahoma Press

When you think of the American West, you don’t often think of Europe. But William F. Cody, widely known as Buffalo Bill, did. The American frontiersman, army scout and eventual showman was the founder of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West exhibition, a popular traveling show in the late 19th and early 20th century. When he first created the show, Cody’s ultimate goal was to make it to Europe.

 

 

Meghan Chapman Twitter: @mrs_chapman3

Teachers and educators globally are beginning to incorporate technology more in their classrooms. Microsoft’s Skype in the Classroom breaks the walls of classrooms, allowing students to take virtual field trips to museums, zoos, and other institutions. One of the facilities is the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody. The museum has situated itself to be one of the program’s most prolific partners.

Photo by Cqfx via CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en

For six hours a day for the last five days straight, volunteers have read off the names of the six million Jewish and five million other victims of the Nazi regime, as a part of Holocaust Remembrance Week at the University of Wyoming. But the week also wrapped up with a letter from President Laurie Nichols to the campus, addressing recent issues of free speech and inclusiveness at UW.

 

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