WyoHistory.org

The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History

Rebecca Hein

Rebecca Hein

Rebecca Hein, assistant editor of WyoHistory.org, is the author of more than 100 published articles and essays, in journals as diverse as The Writer, the CAG Quarterly (California Association for the Gifted), and the American Reporter online. She is the former principal cellist of the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra and wrote arts columns for the Casper Star-Tribune from 2000-2006. She blogs about the connection between music and writing at www.musicofwriting.wordpress.com, and about the special needs of gifted children at www.caseofbrilliance.wordpress.com.

John Wesley Powell: Explorer, Thinker, Scientist and Bureaucrat

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. 

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Encyclopedia | 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.
Encyclopedia | In the fall of 1970, two community orchestras in Wyoming celebrated the 200th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. At a time of dedicated local involvement, audience turnout was good and civic pride for these performances overflowed.
Encyclopedia | 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.
Encyclopedia | 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.
Encyclopedia | During the 1928 Smith-Hoover presidential race, WCTU activist Minnie Fenwick was quite clear where she stood on Prohibition. Former Wyoming Gov. Nellie Tayloe Ross, however, a ‘dry’ working hard for the ‘wet’ candidate, navigated a more complicated route.
Encyclopedia | Would the Equal Rights Amendment jeopardize alimony and child support, or would it bring women better opportunities and a fairer society for all? As the 42nd Wyoming legislature prepared to vote, concerned citizens lobbied, wrote letters and argued on all sides of the question.
Encyclopedia | 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.
Encyclopedia | In September 1967, Loren Evans, a ninth grader at Casper’s Dean Morgan Junior High, was suspended for refusing to get a haircut. Public controversy, vigorous on both sides, continued for three years while Evans studied college-level books at home.

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