The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History

Ambassador Sullivan, Wind River water, missiles at F.E. Warren

Ambassador Sullivan, Wind River water, missiles at F.E. Warren

March 2019

Former Wyoming Gov. Mike Sullivan reminisces about his two and a half years as U.S. ambassador to Ireland at a time when the Brexit uncertainty has brought world attention back to the ongoing fragility of the peace in Northern Ireland. 

Two other topics that have seen plenty of controversy over the years-- water rights on the Wind River and nuclear missiles at F.E. Warren Air Force Base—are included in WyoHistory.org this month as well. 

And finally, March is Women’s History Month. We invite you to scroll down to find links to stories of many women featured on WyoHistory.org. 

Gov. Sullivan recalls ambassadorship 

Four years after he finished his second term as governor of Wyoming, Casper attorney Mike Sullivan was named U.S. ambassador to Ireland by President Bill Clinton. Sullivan arrived in Dublin in January 1999 at a time when the ink was barely dry on the Good Friday Agreement, signed nine months earlier, bringing an uneasy peace in Northern Ireland after decades of bombings, murders and stalled politics.

Key to the agreement was an essentially open border between Northern Ireland—still part of the United Kingdom—and the Republic. After nearly 21 years of peace, as this oral history is published, the entire arrangement is again in peril as the U.K. contemplates departure from the European Union—Brexit—which may mean the return to a hard border, and with it the return of many old, hard feelings that even now could jeopardize the peace.

This oral history interview was Jan. 8, 2019, at the Casper College Western History Center in Casper, Wyo., by WyoHistory.org Editor Tom Rea. Read the transcript and listen to the audio here

Native water rights

By treaty, Native Americans in 1868 were reserved land along—and water from—Wyoming’s Wind River. But it would take a century and a half for courts to work out what water was whose—and to begin to define what tribal owners of the water could and couldn’t use their water for. Read more about it in “Native Rights to Wind River Water,” by water-law scholar Anne MacKinnon, former Casper Star-Tribune editor-in-chief and former member of Wyoming Water Development Commission.

Digital Toolkits

Missiles and the F.E. Warren Air Force Base
This new digital toolkit for teachers provides thought-provoking material for classroom study and discussions as well as links to video content. To learn more, visit our Education page at Missiles and the F.E. Warren Air Force Base. For more information and background, read journalist Dan Whipple’s article Wyoming’s Nuclear Might: Warren AFB in the Cold War.

Women's History Month links 

Visit our Wyoming History Day page

The theme for the 2018-2019 competition is “Triumph and Tragedy in History.” The Wyoming History Day contest will be held April 14-15, 2019, and the National History Day competition is slated for June 9-13, 2019. 

Teachers, students and others interested in the Wyoming History Day contest, which will be held in Laramie April 14-15, 2019, can find more information—including contest dates and links and Wyoming History Sample Topics--by clicking on the “History Day” tab on the orange bar on the WyoHistory.org home page or by visiting  https://www.wyohistory.org/wyoming-history-day.