In July 1895, a posse of non-Indians, mostly outfitters, attacked a peaceful band of Bannocks south of Jackson Hole. The Indians believed they were legally hunting elk off their Idaho reservation, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state law overrode their treaty rights, a huge blow to tribal sovereignty. In 2019, the court finally upended that ruling, in a case involving a Crow Tribe member, also hunting in Wyoming and off his reservation.
Politics & Government
Browse Articles about Politics & Government
|1949, Blizzard of||Rebecca Hein|
|African-American women voters, early Wyoming elections||Wyoming State Archives|
|Anchor Dam, History of||Annette Hein|
|Anderson, A.A.||John Clayton|
|Arapaho tribe, arrival of on Shoshone Reservation, 1878||WyoHistory.org|
|Arthur, Chester A. and 1883 trip to Yellowstone||Dick Blust, Jr.|
|Banking, Wyoming history of||Tom Rea|
|Barber, Amos||Wyoming State Archives|
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Politics & Government
In 1919, when 17-year-old Austrian-born Joseph Omeyc shot Game Warden John Buxton with a revolver near Rock Springs after the officer confiscated his rifle, the crime appeared related to poaching. But Wyoming at the time required non-citizens to license guns, Omeyc didn’t have a gun license—and anti-immigrant feeling was running high.
Rock Springs was bursting in 1977 when “60 Minutes” came to town to cover sleaze and alleged corruption. Soon after, top cop Ed Cantrell shot his undercover agent, Mike Rosa, in a police cruiser in front of the Silver Dollar Bar. The crime, the trial and its drama fixed boomtime Wyoming in the national imagination as a new kind of wild West.
Thirteen hours before killer “Tricky” Riggle’s death sentence was to be carried out, Gov. Milward Simpson commuted his punishment to life in prison. Simpson family members later maintained that this cost the governor his second term, but other controversial stands—on gambling and the route of the new I-90—probably hurt him more.
When present Wyoming was still part of Dakota Territory, hunters already were killing elk, deer and antelope by the thousands, often to sell the meat and hides. Tentatively at first and then more strongly, Wyoming territorial and state legislatures began passing game laws—and providing for their enforcement.
Sherman Coolidge, a Northern Arapaho adopted and educated by whites, served 26 years as an Episcopal priest on the reservation on Wind River. During that time, he largely allied himself with government over tribal interests. But later, active in the pan-Indian movement, he came to value preservation of Indian cultures over assimilation.
In a saga of bitter hardship and resolve, 350 Northern Cheyenne led by Little Wolf and Dull Knife escaped the Darlington Agency in present Oklahoma late in 1878. Struggling north, they were imprisoned in Nebraska, broke out and, crossing a corner of Wyoming Territory, finally returned to their Montana homelands.
Nearly 1,100 Wyoming servicemen, representing every county, died in World War II. As in other states, Wyoming’s people gained a stronger sense of being part of the nation thanks in part to war bond drives, scrap metal drives, book drives, victory gardens—and their loved ones’ service at home and overseas.