The Casper-based Wyoming Symphony Orchestra’s roots reach back to an all-amateur, no-budget ensemble of local musicians in the 1920s. Now, with a half-million dollar budget, an endowment fund and planned giving, the symphony performs difficult repertoire on few rehearsals—with a substantial number of its musicians from Colorado.
In October 1903, six Oglala Lakota Sioux and two white men died in a tragically unnecessary armed confrontation on Lightning Creek, northeast of Douglas, Wyo. But 35 years later, both sides made a public effort at a kind of reconciliation—at the Wyoming State Fair.
Two years after they were married in 1910, a Lander bank took almost everything from John and Ethel Love’s sheep ranch in central Wyoming. Still, despite floods, blizzards, wild dogs, rattlesnakes, barbed-wire cuts and the Spanish Influenza the family remained—and Ethel, in her letters and journals, kept track.
During the Civil War, varying companies of soldiers from five states served at Fort Halleck on the Overland Trail in what’s now south-central Wyoming. They defended stagecoach stations, passengers, freighters and emigrant trains. Some died in blizzards, some witnessed a legal hanging and some lynched an African-American ambulance driver.
In 1919, 50 years after Wyoming women won the right to vote, Congress finally passed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the same rights nationwide. Before the measure could become law, however, 36 of the 48 states would have to ratify it. Wyoming suffragists organized for a final push.
In 1869 and 1871, John Wesley Powell led two expeditions from Wyoming Territory down the Green and Colorado rivers. These and other explorations brought him to a profound understanding of how the West’s aridity limits its economic prospects. He directed the U.S. Geological Survey from 1881-1894, and his ideas still affect land and water policy today.