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The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History

Education

The University of Wyoming Textbook Controversy, 1947-48

After World War II, the University of Wyoming was bursting with returning veterans just as the nation, nervous about Communist expansion worldwide, was sliding into the Cold War. UW trustees called for the investigation of textbooks in use on campus to determine if they were “subversive or un-American.” The faculty overwhelmingly resisted the move, and both sides reached a compromise guaranteeing academic freedom in the future.

Samuel H. Knight, "Mr. Geology of Wyoming"

Samuel H. “Doc” Knight taught geology at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyo. from 1916 until his retirement in 1963. For a decade he was the only geology teacher, but as his classes began to grow in size and popularity the geology department expanded into a nationally recognized program. He established the university’s science camp in the mountains west of Laramie and revitalized the university’s geological museum. Knight taught an estimated 10,000 students throughout his career and was known to many “Mr. Geology of Wyoming.”

Stephen Downey

Stephen Wheeler Downey was a prominent Laramie lawyer active in public life in Wyoming for more than 30 years beginning in 1869. He served in the territorial and state legislatures where he was an early supporter of votes for women and introduced legislation to found the university of Wyoming. He served in the U.S. Congress as Wyoming’s territorial delegate, as a member of the convention that drew up the state constitution in 1889, as president of the University of Wyoming trustees, and, at the beginning and end of his career, as Albany County’s prosecuting attorney. He died in 1902 and is buried in Laramie.

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Oral Histories | Janel Dayton was teaching first grade at Cokeville Elementary School in Cokeville, Wyo., on May 16, 1986, when David and Doris Young took her and 153 other people hostage at the school, and detonated a bomb inside the school. The Youngs both died that day. Everyone else survived.
Oral Histories | Certified Bomb Technician Rich Haskell was attending a basketball game in Rock Springs, Wyo., on May 16, 1986, when David and Doris Young took 154 people hostage at Cokeville Elementary School in Cokeville, Wyo., and detonated a bomb inside. Haskell raced to the scene, driving so fast that he ruined his car’s engine. The Youngs both died that day. Everyone else survived.
Oral Histories | Kliss Sparks was teaching fourth grade at Cokeville Elementary School in Cokeville, Wyo. on May 16, 1986, when David and Doris Young took her and 153 other people hostage at the school, and detonated a bomb inside. The Youngs both died that day. Everyone else survived.
Oral Histories | Kathy Davison was the emergency management coordinator for Lincoln County, Wyo., on May 16, 1986, when David and Doris Young took 154 people hostage at Cokeville Elementary School and detonated a bomb inside. The Youngs both died that day. Everyone else survived. This was the first emergency Davison encountered in her position.
Oral Histories | Emergency Medical Technician Glenna Walker is also the mother of three children who attended Cokeville Elementary School in Cokeville, Wyo., on May 16, 1986, when David and Doris Young took her and 153 other people hostage at the school, and detonated a bomb inside. The Youngs both died that day. Everyone else survived. At the time of the incident, Mrs. Walker had just received her EMT certification. This was the first time she was called out for an emergency situation.
Oral Histories | Ron Hartley was the lead investigator for the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office in Cokeville, Wyo. on May 16, 1986, when David and Doris Young took 154 people hostage at Cokeville Elementary School, and detonated a bomb inside. Hartley is the father of four student survivors of the incident. The Youngs both died that day. Everyone else survived.
Encyclopedia | After World War II, the University of Wyoming was bursting with returning veterans just as the nation, nervous about Communist expansion worldwide, was sliding into the Cold War. UW trustees called for the investigation of textbooks in use on campus to determine if they were “subversive or un-American.” The faculty overwhelmingly resisted the move, and both sides reached a compromise guaranteeing academic freedom in the future.
Encyclopedia | In October 1969, University of Wyoming Head Coach Lloyd Eaton dismissed 14 black football players from his team when they showed up at his office wearing black armbands over their street clothes, to protest what they saw as racist policies of Brigham Young University. The incident sparked widespread controversy and swung the national news spotlight on Wyoming.

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