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Politics & Government

Adam LeRoy Strausner: Educators Are “Merchants of Hope”

LeRoy Strausner served as the fourth president of Casper College from 1991-2004. In September 2013, Dana Van Burgh interviewed him at the facility’s Western History Center about his life and his long career at the college.

From Bootblack to Congressman: the Career of Teno Roncalio

The voluble, gregarious Teno Roncalio of Rock Springs, Wyo., a Democrat, became a powerful and effective figure in the state’s political landscape, serving five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives during the 1960s and 1970s.

Rural Electrification Changed Farm Life Forever in Wyoming

Rural electrification brought welcome changes to farms and ranches throughout Wyoming in the 1930s and 1940s, despite numerous early challenges—including opposition from existing utilities— that threatened to thwart the effort.

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Clarence D. Clark, Longtime U.S. Senator

Evanston lawyer Clarence Clark became Wyoming’s first congressional representative in 1890. In 1895, the legislature elected him to the U.S. Senate. Sen. F. E. Warren, Rep. Frank Mondell and Clark made an all-Republican congressional triumvirate for more than two decades until Clark lost to John B. Kendrick in 1916.

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Thyra Thomson, Wyoming Secretary of State 1963-1987

The popular Republican Thyra Thomson served as Wyoming’s secretary of state from 1963 to 1987, when she retired. While in office, Thomson witnessed the continuing presence of gender discrimination in the Equality State, and became a fierce advocate for equal rights. She died in Cheyenne June 11, 2013. She was 96.

Estelle Reel, First Woman Elected to Statewide Office

Educator Estelle Reel fought hard to obtain the Republican nomination for Wyoming superintendent of public instruction in 1894, after which she became the first woman in the nation elected to a statewide office. In 1898, President McKinley named her national superintendent of Indian schools.

Anchor Dam and the Reservoir that Wouldn’t Hold Water

Anchor Dam was built in the 1950s on upper Owl Creek in Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin. The bedrock under the reservoir site is porous, and the reservoir has never held much water. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation more than doubled its initial costs with subsequent mitigation efforts, which proved unsuccessful. The dam stands today high above a small pool of water.

Amalia Post, Defender of Women’s Rights

In 1870, Amalia Post of Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory, became one of the first women to serve on a jury in the United States. Soon, she began advocating for women’s rights on a national level. She was an independent businesswoman from the time her first husband abandoned her in Denver in the early 1860s, through her marriage to her second husband, Cheyenne banker and politician Morton Post and up to the time of her death in 1897.

Right Choice, Wrong Reasons: Wyoming Women Win the Right to Vote

In the fall of 1869, lawmakers in Wyoming’s first territorial legislature passed a bill allowing women the right to vote. The governor signed the bill into law Dec. 10, 1869, making the territory the first government in the world to grant full voting rights to women. The lawmakers mixed partisan politics, racial fears and an eye for national publicity in with a desire among some, at least, to do the right thing.

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Francis E. Warren: A Massachusetts Farm Boy Who Changed Wyoming

Businessman, family man, territorial and state governor, U.S. Senator: Francis E. Warren succeeded in all of these roles, but he is best known for long service in the U.S. Senate on behalf of Wyoming. A Massachusetts native, Warren arrived in Cheyenne in 1868, when the city was still a mass of tents and other temporary structures, and quickly became involved in its business and politics. By around 1900 he was Wyoming’s most powerful Republican, and ran his party’s so-called Warren Machine for decades by patronage and pork-barrel politics.

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