Wyoming Represents at National History Day!

Each year, a group of Wyoming students competes at the regional and state levels of National History Day for the privilege of continuing on to compete at the national level.  And each year, Wyoming performs exceptionally well at the national contest.  This year, Wyoming continued the tradition of stellar projects. Here are some photos of the students that placed in the top ten for their divisions.  Wonderful job, everyone!

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The three Lander students who won the junior and senior outstanding state awards. Sydney Polson and Sadie Thatch won for their senior group documentary “A Question of Loyalty, Civil Rights and Responsibilities: Heart Mountain Draft Resisters,” and Li Platz won for her junior paper “The One-Child Policy: A Violation of Human Rights or a National Responsibility?” Li place fourth in her category and Sadie and Sydney placed seventh in their category.

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London Homer-Wambeam minutes after he was awarded third place for his video documentary, “The Hollywood Production Code: A Right to Express, A Responsibility to Censor.”

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London talking to his judges during the competition.

If you are a teacher or student who would like to compete in next year’s National History Day contest, you can learn more about getting involved.  Congratulations to all of the Wyoming students who participated this year–it was another strong showing by our state’s students!

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A Virtual 4th of July Parade!

We at the American Heritage Center wish everyone a very happy Fourth of July! To get us in the spirit of celebrating, we present you with a parade–from 1928!  These photographs show some of the floats in Laramie’s July 4th parade and were all taken by the Ludwig Svenson studio in Laramie. So, enjoy this parade for a Throwback Thursday and set your sights to celebrating tomorrow!

ah301782 ah301783 (2) ah301789 ah303184 ah301781We wish you a wonderful Fourth of July weekend!

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Sports, Recreation, and Leisure

Sports, recreation, and leisure are so entwined with life in American and the human experience itself, it should not be surprising that many of the collections held at the American Heritage Center contain at least some information related to these endeavors.

Though Sports, Recreation, and Leisure represent one of the center’s smaller collecting areas, the AHC holds about 500 collections that contain significant amounts of material related to these topics. Our main areas of focus include mountaineering, rodeo, dude ranching, national parks recreation, adventure travel and sports writers, and, not surprisingly, University of Wyoming athletics.

By far the most popular sport-related interest is with the University of Wyoming Intercollegiate Athletics Records. Fans, former athletes and their families, sports writers and filmmakers often request copies of game footage especially for memorable games such as the 2007 WNIT Championship where the women’s basketball team knocked off Wisconsin, and the football team’s 1958 victory over Hardin Simmons in the Sun Bowl and their 1968 Sugar Bowl appearance against LSU. The collection contains films dating back to the 1930s. Let’s not forget the men’s basketball team’s crowning as national champions in 1943!—in fact, recently two independent documentary film teams have visited the AHC for prospective programs on this amazing feat.  Indeed, the most popular aspect of UW sports, recently, has been Kenny Sailors, the inventor of the jump shot and member of the 1943 championship team.  The AHC is pleased to announce that recently 90 films from the University of Wyoming Intercollegiate Athletics Records were digitized and are now available online.

Film still of 1943 NCAA National Basketball Championship Team (University of Wyoming vs. St. John’s). University of Wyoming Intercollegiate Athletics Records, #515001, Boxes 266-267.

Film still of 1943 NCAA National Basketball Championship Team (University of Wyoming vs. St. John’s). University of Wyoming Intercollegiate Athletics Records, #515001, Boxes 266-267.

UW sports material can be found in a variety of contexts.  Milward Simpson’s collection of papers consists of more than 600 boxes of material mostly related to his political career. However, amidst all of those political files, is a box containing a small amount of material related to his time as a three-sport athlete at the University of Wyoming.

For those patrons who prefer a bit more dirt and mud, the AHC holds numerous prominent rodeo collections including Abe Morris, a UW African-American student who was one of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association’s (PRCA) premier bull riders in the 1980s and 1990s, and the J.S. Palen Collection that contains rodeo history of numerous western rodeos including Cheyenne Frontier Days– posters, photos, correspondence, scrapbooks, publications, schedules, and much more—from the 1890s to the 21st century.

Cheyenne Frontier Days parade, early 20th century.  J.S. Palen papers, #10472, Box 24, Folder 1. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Cheyenne Frontier Days parade, early 20th century. J.S. Palen papers, #10472, Box 24, Folder 1. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

For those who wish for a bit more peace and quiet, the many dude ranch collections and national park collections contain material to help slow the soul. Dude Ranch holdings range from individual ranches including Eatons’ Ranch, often referred to as the nation’s first dude ranch, located in the Big Horn Mountains near Sheridan as well as organizational records including the Dude Ranchers Association Collection. National Park collections range from the personal collections of park rangers like Karl Allan who worked in numerous Western parks including Yellowstone and Grand Teton, to park concessioners like Howard Hays who operated camps sites and a stagecoach line in Yellowstone.

If one wishes to venture beyond the comfort of the dude ranch nestled in the foothills and aspires to reach lofty heights, the AHC holds more than 50 mountaineering-related collections.  Some climbing documentation is found in unsuspected places. Charles Coutant was a Cheyenne newspaper editor and author of an 1899 history of Wyoming. His small collection of papers contains five letters by Nathaniel P. Langford to Coutant regarding Langford’s exploration of the Teton and Yellowstone areas in 1870, including Langford’s ascent of the Grant Teton. Much more prominent is a collection from Betsy (Cowles) Partridge who was among the earliest women and Americans to attempt Mount Everest in 1950. Her collection includes diaries and photo albums of her many climbing expeditions. In the past few years a biography of her was published, as well as a few articles.

For those who enjoy learning more about sports and outdoor recreation from reading about it in the comfort of the recliner, the AHC has numerous collections from writers including Warren Page who was an editor of Field & Stream Magazine as well as a world-class big-game hunter, and Murray Olderman who was a prolific sports writer including writing scripts for ABC Sports Radio. The Center holds numerous travel and adventure writers’ paper including Buddy Mays whose writing ranged from whitewater rafting adventures to sight-seeing in the Desert Southwest.

Barnstorming?  We have at least half a dozen collections documenting this sport, including the papers of Roscoe Turner, who liked to perform stunts with his pet lion (yes, lion) accompanying him in the plane.  We also have the collection of Roger Williams, now essentially unknown, but a pilot in both world wars.  Roger Quincy Williams (1894-1976) became a barnstormer and stunt flyer during the 1920s. In 1929 he became the second flyer to cross the Atlantic, flying from New York to Rome.

Roscoe Turner and Gilmore the Lion sitting on plane. Roscoe Turner papers, #5267, Box 113, Folder 7. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Roscoe Turner and Gilmore the Lion sitting on plane. Roscoe Turner papers, #5267, Box 113, Folder 7. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

We’ll close with materials relating to sports journalists, from both print and broadcast venues.  Take, for instance, Barbara J. Brown who was a journalist who covered the American rodeo circuit. She had articles in such periodicals as World of Rodeo, Pro Rodeo Sports News, Rodeo Times, Western Sportsman, Hoof and Horn, and Western Horseman. Or take Henry E. Bradshaw (d. 1981), an outdoor journalist who, throughout his long career, contributed to Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, and Sports Afield among other publications. Bradshaw, along with his wife, Vera Foss Bradshaw, wrote more than 3,000 outdoor and travel articles.  We also hold the papers of legendary sports television broadcaster Heywood Hale Broun, as well as collections by radio sports commentators and even illustrators.

When it comes to the history of sports, recreation, and leisure, the American Heritage Center holds something for everybody.

 -Mark Green, Director and John Waggener, Reference Archivist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author C.J. Box to Launch Summer Book Tour for “Shots Fired”

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Please join us at the American Heritage Center for the first stop on C.J. Box’s Shots Fired book tour!

 

 

 

 

 

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How does the AHC use donations?

Watch this video message from AHC director Mark Greene to find out how monetary gifts are used. You’ll find more information about giving to the AHC located here, should you be interested.

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Documented

“I lived the American dream, building a successful career as a journalist, but I was living a lie…I’m actually an undocumented immigrant,” said Jose Antonio Vargas to radio weekly Democracy Now! in a recent interview.  He has shared his experiences with the world since he outed himself in 2011 as an undocumented immigrant in an essay published in The New York Times Magazine (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/magazine/my-life-as-an-undocumented-immigrant.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0).  Now a new film chronicles his experience. It’s called Documented: A Film by an Undocumented American.

Movie still from the film Documented: A Film by an Undocumented American.

Still image from the film Documented: A Film by an Undocumented American.

Documented narrates Vargas’ journey to America from the Philippines as a child and his more recent journey through America as an immigration reform activist.  Vargas’ story is told against the backdrop of Washington’s stalled immigration debate to highlight the pain of family separation and the frustration of undeveloped potential for the estimated 12 million+ undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.

Vargas was born in the Philippines.  His mother flew him at age 12 to live with his grandparents in the U.S.  He realized when he tried to apply for a driver’s license at age 16 that he is an undocumented immigrant.  He was four months too old to qualify for the Obama administration’s 2012 policy of deferring deportation and offering work authorization to undocumented immigrants who arrived as children.

Jose Antonio Vargas will be the keynote speaker for a symposium sponsored by the Simpson Institute for Western Politics and Leadership, which is housed at the University of Wyoming’s American Heritage Center.  The September 18 event will, among other things, explore the themes of nationhood, citizenship and belonging; values and social otherness; borders; questions of social justice; individual, national and cultural identities; the ways in which people reinvent themselves, their cultures and their worlds in new contexts; and the role language plays in controversial conversations such as assimilation and education.

Information about the symposium and links to the latest news on immigration reform can be found at ahc.uwyo.edu/symposium2014.  Information about the film Documented can be found at http://documentedthefilm.com/.  The film will be shown in Denver on June 20 at the Sie FilmCenter at 2510 E Colfax Avenue.

-Leslie Waggener, Simpson Institute Archivist

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Happy Birthday Aesop

While not much is known about the ancient Greek storyteller Aesop, including how much of the author’s life is legend versus fact, today many celebrate his birthday.  One of the Toppan Rare Books Library collection areas features items for and about children, including volumes of Aesop’s fables.

The Little Esop. Philadelphia: Smith & Peck, 1843. Fitzhugh Collection, Toppan Rare Books Library. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

The Little Esop. Philadelphia: Smith & Peck, 1843. Fitzhugh Collection, Toppan Rare Books Library. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

The library’s holdings include many works that go beyond the fables of Aesop, featuring stories that have enchanted children for centuries such as the well-known Cinderella, Old Mother Hubbard, Arabian Nights, and Pinocchio; others are stories by Newbery Award winning authors and have illustrations by Caldecott Award winners up through the mid-20th century.  The library also contains thematic children’s collections such as the Louise Jackson Collection of books about boys and girls having adventures in the American West.

Playthings and Pets. Chicago and N.Y.: Conkey, 1888. Toppan Rare Books Library, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Playthings and Pets. Chicago and N.Y.: Conkey, 1888. Toppan Rare Books Library, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

While many of the children’s items in the library feature fun and whimsy many other items depict societal expectations of children and are solely educational in nature.  Printed books teach children the proper way to behave in society, with texts teaching etiquette or religious expectations (some of which are based on gender).  Educational items show not only how children learned in the past, but can also depict the darker side of society, such as the perpetuation of racism.  Works of fiction from the nineteenth century serve a moral purpose in descriptions of orphans and the lower classes.

If you wish to view some of the library’s more light hearted items, currently on display in the American Heritage Center’s loggia is the exhibit, “Cute Children Dressed in Costumes and Clothes of the Past (plus a cat in an apron and a doll in a cradleboard).”

Dennison’s Costume Book. Framingham, Mass.: Dennison Manufacturing Co., ca 1920s. Toppan Rare Books Library, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Dennison’s Costume Book. Framingham, Mass.: Dennison Manufacturing Co., ca 1920s. Toppan Rare Books Library, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

For more information about the exhibit or the Toppan Rare Books Library, please contact the library’s curator Anne Marie Lane at 307-766-2565 or etoppan@uwyo.edu.

-Anne Marie Lane, Toppan Rare Books Library Curator and Amanda Stow, Reference Archivist

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