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. 

The Utah War in Wyoming

Crossing what’s now Wyoming in sub-zero cold, Elizabeth Cumming suffered a badly frostbitten foot in November 1857. She and her husband Alfred—the new governor of Utah Territory—and about 2,000 U.S. troops were unsure if they’d be welcomed in Salt Lake City—or faced with armed resistance.

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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.
Encyclopedia | 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. 
Encyclopedia | Mountaineer Finis Mitchell shared his love of the Wind River Range through postcards, public talks and a famed, hip-pocket hiking guide. He ran a fishing camp, worked on the railroad, stocked mountain lakes with fingerling trout and served in the Wyoming House of Representatives. Mitchell Peak was named in his honor. 
Encyclopedia | The Mountain Shoshone, sometimes called Sheepeaters, lived at high elevations in what’s now northwestern Wyoming from prehistoric times down through the mid-1800s. Recent archaeological discoveries shed increasing light on the lives of these peoples, ancestors of some of today’s Eastern Shoshone.
Encyclopedia | Recent, surprising discoveries including a prehistoric village in the Wind River Range above Dubois, Wyo., suggest humans—most likely ancestors of today’s Shoshone people—lived high-mountain lives as long as 10,000 years ago. 
Encyclopedia | Scientist, scholar and poet June Etta Downey, an internationally recognized expert in personality testing, was longtime head of the University of Wyoming psychology department. She published seven books and scores of articles, and served on the UW faculty for 34 years before her death in 1932. 

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