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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.

Who gets to hunt Wyoming's elk? Tribal Hunting Rights, U.S. Law and the Bannock 'War' of 1895

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.

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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.
Encyclopedia | Through some of Wyoming’s roughest terrain in 1874, future Gov. William A. Richards surveyed the western boundary of the territory. Felling trees, clambering through canyons, dodging lightning bolts and watching mules flip from cliffs were only a few of the privations he and his party endured.
Encyclopedia | After Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis on April 4, 1968, newspaper editors across the nation expressed varying degrees of shock and outrage. Wyoming joined in, but some editorials hinted at mixed sentiments about the killing and its aftermath.
Encyclopedia | 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.
Encyclopedia | 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.
Encyclopedia | 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.
Encyclopedia | 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.

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