The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) National Historic Trails Interpretive Center (NHTIC) is hosting summer evening programs from July 10 until Sept. 4. The programs are free and open to the public.
“We are pleased to offer a variety of exciting and engaging programs on Wyoming and local history,” said Trails Center Director Mike Abel.
The following is a schedule of programs:
- July 10, 7 p.m., “A History of the Wild West”
“Buffalo Bill” Boycott will present a multi-media program that covers 4.5 billion years of Western history in 45 minutes. Boycott will perform with a fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar and vocals. Over 200 slides of historical paintings and photographs secured from museums and galleries throughout the West will be presented.
Topics include: Before the white man came, Lewis and Clark, the historic trails of the West, and Buffalo Bill.
Boycott has performed throughout the United States and has shared the stage with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Riders in the Sky. Boycott lives in Lander, Wyo.
- July 17, 7 p.m., “The Death of Crazy Horse”
Crazy Horse, war leader of the Oglalla Sioux, was bayoneted by an American soldier at Fort Robinson, Neb., in 1877. This presentation will examine the great man's life and death in the light of the difficult politics at the end of the Indian Wars as victory for the tribes trailed off into hunger, confinement and compromise. The program is one hour.
The speaker, Tom Rea, is a journalist and author of “Devil’s Gate: Owning the Land, Owning the Story.” He lives in Casper, Wyo.
- July 24, 7 p.m., “Ten Events that Changed Wyoming”
Dr. Phil Roberts will suggest 10 historical events that made enduring changes in Wyoming. Examples are the natural resource nature of the economy and the boom-and-bust cycles that have affected the state’s economy since territorial days. The audience will be asked to “grade” the events in respect to their importance and suggest additions to the list. The program is one hour.
Roberts has taught the history of Wyoming and the American West at the University of Wyoming since 1990. A native of Wyoming, he holds a law degree from the University of Wyoming and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Washington. He has spoken and written widely on various aspects of Wyoming history.
- July 31, 7 p.m., “From Cowboy to Cattle Baron: The Rags to Riches Story of John B. Kendrick”
A penniless, ill-educated orphan from Texas, John B. Kendrick rose from obscurity to national prominence in the late 1890s and early 1900s. From the plains of eastern Wyoming to the governors' mansion and beyond, Kendrick's life is one of the greatest "rags-to-riches" stories in Wyoming history. The program is one hour.
The speaker, Cynde Georgen, is superintendent of Trail End State Historic Site in Sheridan, Wyo. She is the author of “One Cowboy’s Dream: John B. Kendrick, His Family, Home and Ranching Empire.”
- Aug. 7, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., & Aug. 8, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., “Wyoming Heritage Days: Bringing Wyoming’s Frontier History to Life”
Smell the whiff of gun smoke and touch a historic wagon at a re-enactment held at the Trails Center. During the re-enactment, cavalry and infantry re-enactors will perform drills and discuss the hardships and rigors of frontier military life on the campaign trail. This family-friendly event will also provide traditional music and children’s games.
The re-enactment includes tents for officers and infantrymen, cavalrymen and horses, and a restored 1866 military escort wagon. The wagon was originally used at Fort Fetterman, a remote army fort that helped protect emigrants on the Bozeman Trail.
Re-enactors and living historians will bring civilian, military and pioneer history to life. Stations include: mountain men, fur traders, western emigrants, Indian War infantry, frontier cavalry and Dutch oven cooking.
- Aug. 14, 7 p.m., “My Life in Story and Song”
Hub Whitt, a true Wyoming cowboy, will take us back in time, before modern wonders such as the radio, television and movies, when cowboys entertained themselves with stories, poems and songs. The program is one hour.
Whitt has performed with Chris LeDoux and Riders of the Purple Sage and has participated in the annual Buffalo Bill Historical Center’s “Cowboy Songs and Range Ballads” since its inception. Whitt lives in Thermopolis, Wyo.
- Aug. 28, 7 p.m., “Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch: Wild Men, Wilder Women”
According to Bob Edwards, the classic western movie, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” was “a good movie, but bad history.”
During a one-hour program, Edwards will correct the misinformation about Butch Cassidy and his gang, which operated in Natrona and Johnson counties during the late 1890s.
Edwards is the former museum educator and assistant director of the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum in Buffalo, Wyo. He is also the co-author of “Frontier Wyoming” and author of “Guns of the Gatchell.”
- Sept. 4, 7 p.m., “The View from the South End of the Cow”
Jim Garry claims that ranchers tend to laugh at things they can’t control: the weather, the banks and the government. Garry’s one-hour program will explore how to use humor to make living in non-humorous situations possible and will demonstrate the basic cowboy assumption that anything that ain’t fatal is probably funny.
Garry is author of “This Ol’ Drought Ain’t Broke us Yet (But We’re All Bent Pretty Bad): Stories of the American West” and “The First Liar Never Has a Chance.” He is also a folklorist and story teller and lives in Cody, Wyo.
Photographs of the speakers and entertainers are available online at http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/NHTIC/evenings.html.
The NHTIC is a part of the BLM's National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS). The areas of the NLCS are specifically designed to conserve, protect and restore the exceptional scientific, natural, cultural, ecological, historical and recreation values of these treasured landscapes.
The NHTIC is a public-private partnership between the BLM and the National Historic Trails Center Foundation. The facility is located at 1501 N. Poplar Street, Casper, Wyo. The Center is currently operating on summer hours and is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.