Archives On The Air 206: The P.F.E. Navajo—William R. Jeffreys' Essay

Jul 20, 2020

A train rolled into Laramie, Wyoming, on a chilly autumn day in 1945 carrying some unexpected visitors.

More than 300 international laborers had arrived to reduce a labor shortage at the Pacific Fruit Express Company's icehouse.

Of the 300, nearly 265 were Navajo men.

The Navajos piqued the interest of a UW student named Bill Jeffreys who also worked at the icehouse.

He was interested in what the Navajos thought of Laramie, and what Laramie thought of them.

He conducted interviews throughout town, both with the laborers and locals.

Both communities lived in harmony and respected each other despite tensions that had arisen in the wartime era.

Come read Bill Jeffreys' analysis for yourself at UW's American Heritage Center.