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Politics & Government

Baseball, Politics, Triumph and Tragedy: The Career of Lester Hunt

Democrat Lester Hunt, a charismatic wartime governor in heavily Republican Wyoming, won a U.S. Senate seat in 1948. There, he clashed with Sen. Joseph McCarthy. After Hunt’s son was convicted for soliciting homosexual contact, Hunt was blackmailed by Republican senators and committed suicide—circumstances that remained largely unknown for three decades.

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Encyclopedia | Black strikebreakers were imported to the company coal town of Dana on the Union Pacific line in February 1890, but may instead have joined a strike there against unfair pay. Their presence made Dana the only coal town ever in Wyoming with a Black majority. Later, many settled in Hanna and Rock Springs.
Encyclopedia | Invented by Samuel F. B. Morse in the 1830s, the telegraph was already maturing when it crossed what soon became Wyoming in the 1860s. From the early days of settlement and through the railroad period, Wyomingites—and the nation—relied  on it.
Encyclopedia | Under a Cold War-era U.S. government program, University of Wyoming faculty taught vocational agriculture and engineering at Kabul University and other schools in Afghanistan, and Afghan exchange students studied in Laramie. At least one personal account survives, a shrewd, engaging memoir by faculty wife Ruth Southworth Brown.
Encyclopedia | The Americans with Disabilities Act was far in the future when a group of Lusk, Wyo. residents first met to propose statewide legislation to make buildings, sidewalks and other public areas accessible for disabled people.
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 | With the question of Vietnam deeply dividing both parties, Democratic Senator Gale McGee of Wyoming was a leading hawk—strongly pro-war. At the same time, he strongly favored a U.S. Senate committed to civil discourse and compromise, where all sides had room to air their disagreements.
Encyclopedia | Laramie-born attorney Thurman Arnold became head of the U.S. Justice Department’s Antitrust Division in 1938. Later he served as a federal judge in Washington, D.C. Earlier, Arnold had practiced law in Laramie, served in the Wyoming House of Representatives and helped found the University of Wyoming College of Law.
Encyclopedia | Democrat Lester Hunt, a charismatic wartime governor in heavily Republican Wyoming, won a U.S. Senate seat in 1948. There, he clashed with Sen. Joseph McCarthy. After Hunt’s son was convicted for soliciting homosexual contact, Hunt was blackmailed by Republican senators and committed suicide—circumstances that remained largely unknown for three decades.

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