History

Heart Mountain Interpretive Center

The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation is spearheading an effort to improve communication between 10 former Japanese American Confinement Sites.

The All Camps Consortium is a group of Japanese-American advocates and people in charge of historic sites like Heart Mountain near Powell.

The Modern West 25: Take A Trip On The Lincoln Highway

Jul 18, 2017
ERIN DORBIN

The Lincoln Highway was the first road to run coast-to-coast. Join us for a road trip with stops at some of the quirkiest roadside attractions along Wyoming’s stretch of the highway. 

Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office

A dedication ceremony is set for Saturday, July 8 at the Ames Monument in southeastern Wyoming. It was listed as a National Historic Landmark last November. 

Bobbie Barrasso will act as Master of Ceremonies, while her husband U.S. Senator John Barrasso will be in attendance alongside Governor Matt Mead and U.S. Representative Liz Cheney.

Completed in 1880, the monument was built in honor of Oaks and Oliver Ames—two brothers who helped to finance the Union Pacific Railroad.

PBS

Wyoming is one of 45 states that officially celebrates Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the freedom of African-American slaves in the United States.

Even though President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, abolishing slavery, in 1862, it was three years later on June 19th, 1865 when slaves in Texas received word of their freedom. Celebrations of this day became known as Juneteenth.

In 2003 the state legislature passed a bill dedicating the third Saturday of every June to honor this historic moment.

Will Dinneen

May is Historic Preservation Month, and the City of Cheyenne kicked it off by loading three 19th century homes onto trailers and moving them to a new neighborhood.

Clay Landry

The era of the mountain man was brief—the high point of the Rocky Mountain beaver fur trade was between 1820 and 1840. But the period still holds fascination today. Clay Landry has written extensively on the subject.

He’ll be speaking on non-fiction writing at the Wyoming Writers Conference June 2-4 in Gillette. As Landry told Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer, he recently served as a historical advisor for the 2016 film The Revenant.

Timothy Egan

National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Timothy Egan’s newest book The Immortal Irishman, tells the story of Irish revolutionary Thomas Francis Meagher and how he changed the course of history in Ireland, Australia, and the United States. Egan will be coming to the University of Wyoming campus in Laramie Tuesday, April 18 to give a talk on his book. He spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard, and said he first discovered Meagher’s story on a visit to Montana.

Kunio Yamamoto facing Heart Mountain, 1944.” George and Frank C. Hirahara Photograph Collection, 1932-2016 (SC14). Courtesy Manuscripts, Archives & Special Collections,Washington State University, Pullman.

This year is the 75th anniversary of the executive order that lead to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

To mark the occasion, the University Of Wyoming College Of Law is hosting Heart Mountain Week – a week of programming that explores what can be learned from this chapter in American History. Director of the International Human Rights Clinic and Assistant Professor of Law Suzie Pritchett joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to talk about Heart Mountain Week.

 

Val Burgess

 

Sheridan resident Val Burgess has put a lot of miles on her car speaking to school children and others about the experiences of World War II vets and prisoners of war. Burgess is finishing up another round of talks next month and will be speaking in Northeast Wyoming next week. She tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck about her interest in the subject.

The Modern West 20: U.S. Citizens Incarcerated In The West

Feb 20, 2017
Discover Nikkei

It’s the 75th anniversary of an executive order that incarcerated thousands of Japanese Americans in internment camps across the nation. This episode includes first-hand accounts from this era. 

Wyoming State Historical Society

In 1969, fourteen African-American football players were dismissed from the University of Wyoming team because they wanted to wear black armbands as a sign of protest in their upcoming game against the Mormon owned and operated Brigham Young University.

At the time the Mormon Church barred black men from the priesthood. The incident divided the UW community and broke the Cowboys winning streak that year. Education reporter Tennessee Watson talks to River Gayton, a high school student circulating a petition to increase awareness of the Black 14, and their decision to take a stand.

Richard Cahan

A new book compiles government photos of Japanese-Americans in World War II incarceration camps, including Heart Mountain in Wyoming. For the first time, some of the people in the photos have been interviewed. 

Those interviews are included in Un-American: The Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II. Author Richard Cahan joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Erin Jones to talk about the stories of the photos.

Buffalo Bill Center of the West

William F. Cody, also known as Buffalo Bill, died in Denver, Colorado on January 10, 1917.  One hundred years later, his name adorns a 300,000 square foot museum complex in Cody, Wyoming: The Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

That complex holds a Buffalo Bill Museum, but it also houses a research library and four other Museums, featuring Western Art, Plains Indians, guns, and the wildlife and wild places of the Yellowstone area. What else did the world famous showman leave behind?

Flickr

A new documentary will air on PBS that tells the biographical story of Clara Brown, a former slave who came west and made a fortune. The film Clara: Angel of the Rockies was a winner of PBS’s “To The Contrary: All About Women” film festival in the women’s U.S. history category.

Its creator Patricia McInroy grew up in Wyoming and went to Casper College. She joined Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard to talk about Clara Brown's life and the upcoming documentary.

Clara: Angel of the Rockies will air on Wyoming PBS Sunday, January 8 at 11 a.m.

Flickr

PBS will air a documentary created by Wyoming native Patricia McInroy. Her film Clara: Angel of the Rockies was the winner of PBS’s “To The Contrary: All About Women” film festival in the women’s U.S. history category.

The documentary tells the story of Clara Brown, a former slave who came to Colorado and set up a laundry business for miners, eventually making a fortune. McInroy said Brown ended up winning over almost everyone she met because of her kindness, earning her the nickname “Angel of the Rockies.”

Maggie Mullen

Last year, the Arizona Final Salute Foundation asked University of Wyoming student Cassidy Newkirk to paint the sinking of the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Prints of the painting would help raise money to fly the six remaining survivors of the Arizona to Hawaii to be honored at the 75th anniversary ceremony. But as soon as she began the work, Newkirk said strange things started happening.

When Newkirk was commissioned she said she was given certain guidelines. 

Wyoming State Archives

In recent years, more and more bills have been introduced in Wyoming’s legislature that would transfer the management of federal public lands into the state control. In fact, legislators will discuss a constitutional amendment to allow state management of public lands in Cheyenne on December 14.

Robert Kelly

As America contemplates its future with a new president, one man has been looking to the past for cues about our future. Robert Kelly, an archaeologist at the University of Wyoming, has written a new book called The Fifth Beginning.

In it, he argues humanity has encountered four transition points - or “beginnings” - in its history: the invention of technology, like stone tools, culture, agriculture, and the state. He sat down with Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to discuss the period of transition humans are facing right now.

Edward S. Curtis

  

It’s been a long time since a large market book has tackled the history of the Indian Wars in the American West. But just last month, a new one hit bookstores, titled The Earth Is Weeping.

Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards chatted with author Peter Cozzens about why he felt it was time to get people thinking about this tragic era in American history.

Melodie Edwards

  

Look around Lynette St. Clair's Shoshone language and culture classroom at Wyoming Indian Middle School, and you’ll see this isn’t the usual Wyoming social studies class. There’s vintage photos of famous Shoshone people, a miniature tepee, and the white board is scribbled with Shoshone words and translations. And what the kids are learning is unusual too. The students are reading a speech by Shoshone chief Washakie from the 19th century. St. Clair teaches them key words from the speech in Shoshone.

Edward S. Curtis

A new history of the Indian Wars of the late 19th century hit bookstores on Tuesday. The author set out to debunk myths about the settling of the American West. Historian and author of The Earth Is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West, Peter Cozzens, said he wrote the book because he saw the need for an objective account of the Indian Wars.

Todd Guenther

It’s late afternoon at the base of Dinwoody Glacier, and its creek is roaring with melted ice nearby. It's been a long day of digging for archeology students Crystal Reynolds, Morgan Robins and Nico Holt. 

“We love digging holes!” they say, laughing. “We love playing in the dirt.”

“It's like playing hide and seek with people you never met,” says Holt.

Rebecca Huntington

In Grand Teton National Park, the White Grass Dude Ranch entertained visitors who came for mountain views and the chance to play cowboy. It closed in 1985 and soon the ranch's cabins and lodge started falling apart once people stopped using them.

That's how White Grass joined a backlog of some twenty-seven thousand historic properties nationwide that the National Park Service couldn’t afford to maintain. But things have changed.

Courtesy of the Wyoming State Archives

This week we have been celebrating the 50th anniversary of Wyoming Public Radio and in that time we’ve encountered some interesting characters, dignitaries, and just plain interesting folks. One person that qualified for all three of those categories was former Governor Ed Herschler. 

Cassidy Newkirk

The Arizona Final Salute Foundation has commissioned a University of Wyoming student to create a painting of the USS Arizona for the 75th anniversary of its sinking at Pearl Harbor. Cassidy Newkirk received the commission last October 17, 100 years to the day after the USS Arizona itself was commissioned.

thebrintonmuseum.org

  

There’s an old joke from the movie The Blues Brothers:  “What kind of music do you usually have here?” asks Elwood. “Oh, we got both kinds,” answers the bartender. “We got Country and Western!”

 

Donning

 

In 1914 John Woody started a Wyoming phone company that is now known as Union Wireless. These days it’s a multi-million dollar corporation and one of the state’s great success stories.

Author Terry Del Bene has written a book about the company called A Phone Where The Buffalo Roamed. He explains why this phone company survived for over 100 years while others have faltered. 

Photo courtesy Jennie Lawrence

In stories of the American Revolution, the Civil War, and westward expansion, the lives and roles of women often go untold.

Laramie Author Jennie Lawrence is aiming to change that a bit, with her new book Soap Suds Row: The Bold Lives of Army Laundresses 1802 – 1876. Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard sat down for a conversation with the author about the secret lives of laundresses.

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