In 1898, Wyoming State Auditor Billy Owen and friends climbed the Grand Teton and claimed they were first to do so. Counterclaims quickly surfaced, dating back to 1872. In 1929, Owen persuaded the Wyoming Legislature to name him the first and had a plaque made to make it official. But the controversy continues.
Ever see the bucking horse and rider? In Wyoming you can’t miss it. The logo appears everywhere—license plates, web pages, the university, military insignia and all kinds of signage and merchandise. Ever wonder where it came from? For starters, try France—and Lander.
Frank Shepperson has ranched with his family northwest of Casper, Wyo., for many years. In this 2014 interview, Shepperson, a former national rodeo champion, talks at length about rodeo, ranching—and airplanes. He is a past president of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association and former chairman of the Natrona County School Board.
In October 1969, University of Wyoming Head Coach Lloyd Eaton dismissed 14 black football players from his team when they donned black armbands to protest certain policies of Brigham Young University. The incident stirred controversy in Wyoming and throughout the nation. Here, player Mel Hamilton shares his recollections of that time and of much of the rest of his life with interviewer Phil White, who was a UW student in 1969 and the editor of the student newspaper, The Branding Iron.
University of Wyoming basketball player Kenny Sailors, one of the early popularizers of the jump shot, grew up on a farm south of Hillsdale, Wyo. He was Wyoming’s only three-time All American, and in 1943 led the Cowboys to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. Later he played professionally in the BBA and the NBA, and was inducted into the University of Wyoming Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993. In this interview, Sailors also talks about his life after basketball, running a dude ranch in Jackson Hole, and later guiding hunters, teaching high school and coaching high-school basketball in Alaska.
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.
The youngest child of an Afton, Wyo., dairy farmer, Rulon Gardner wrestled his way to international fame, defeating three-time champion Aleksandr Karelin in Greco-Roman wrestling at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Australia. However, Gardner’s quest for more Olympic gold has been beset by numerous obstacles, including a toe amputation, a plane crash and bankruptcy.
Three-time All-American Kenny Sailors, of tiny Hillsdale, Wyo. led the University of Wyoming’s 1943 men’s basketball team to an NCAA championship in Madison Square Garden. Sailors was only 5 feet 10, but he was a great jumper and shooter, and highly skilled with a weapon of his own invention—the jump shot.