Superman’s Pal – Mort Weisinger

After World War II, superhero comics, which had been a welcome diversion for American servicemen, stalwart champions of War Bonds, and other support for the home front during the conflict, largely lost their audience and were gradually replaced by comics with horror, romance, science fiction, war, and western themes.  Following the setbacks to the industry by the establishment of the Comics Code Authority in 1954, superhero comics all but vanished with only Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman continuing to be regularly published.  It wasn’t until 1956 that the genre revived when DC Comics editor Julius Schwartz, published issue #4 of “Showcase” which featured a reimagining of the Golden Age character, “The Flash”.

Mort Weisinger (1915-1978) began writing for pulp magazines while in college and, along with his good friend Julius Schwartz, founded the first literary agency to specialize in the related genres of science fiction, horror, and fantasy.  Weisinger joined National Periodicals (later DC Comics) in 1941 and, much like his contemporary, Stan Lee over at competitor Marvel Comics, he was very much a part of the comics community throughout both the Golden and Silver Ages of Comics.  In addition to editing “Batman” and creating such characters as “Aquaman”, and “Green Arrow, Weisinger was also the editor of the Superman comic books from 1945-1970 and the story editor of “The Adventures of Superman” television show which ran from 1952-1957.

Weisinger’s tenure on Superman was marked with a number of new concepts, story ideas, and supporting characters which became standards in the Superman mythos, which are recognizable today by millions of people who aren’t otherwise familiar with the character.  These include the introduction of Supergirl, Krypto the Superdog, the Phantom Zone, the bottle city of Kandor, the Legion of Super-Heroes, and a variety of types of kryptonite.  It was also under Weisinger that the rationalization that Superman’s powers stemmed from his being from another planet and living under Earth’s yellow sun (instead of Krypton’s red sun) was first used to explain the character’s abilities.

Advertisement for a talk by Mort Weisinger at the University of Kansas, 1974. Box 1, Mort Weisinger papers, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

The Mort Weisinger collection at the American Heritage Center contains materials relating to Weisinger’s work as a writer and editor from 1928-1978. The collection includes correspondence (1932-1978) mostly regarding his work as a writer and editor for “This Week” and other magazines and with companies who were included in “1001 Valuable Things”; the galleys and manuscripts for “The Contest,” “The Complete Alibi Handbook” and “1001 Valuable Things”; the manuscript for an unpublished novel about a U.S. President (ca. 1975); legal agreements between Weisinger and “This Week” and Bantam Books (1954-1978); and photographs of Weisinger, the Weisinger family and various celebrities.  The collection also includes newspaper clippings on Weisinger and Superman (1928-1978); a script for the motion picture version of “The Contest” (1971); 2 16 mm films from “The Adventures of Superman” television show (1957); 5 scrapbooks; comic books; miscellaneous art work for the Superman comic book; and the board game “Movie Millions,” which was developed by Weisinger.

Anyone interested in the history and inner workings of the comics industry in the United States is invited to explore both the Mort Weisinger and Stan Lee collections at the American Heritage Center to learn more about this fascinating aspect of American popular culture.

Post contributed by AHC Collections Manager Bill Hopkins.

#alwaysarchiving

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2020 Parade of Turkeys

We at the American Heritage Center wish everyone a warm and happy Thanksgiving holiday.  To celebrate, we would like to share some images of the turkeys and Thanksgiving scenes in our collection.  However, in several of the photographs, the turkey has already been consumed.  Or hurled from the roof of a building . . .

Sill Brothers Turkey Throw, Laramie, Wyoming, 1925. Look at the roofline to see members of the community who just tossed a turkey down on the very eager crowd. If you look carefully you can see the bird flapping its wings rather desperately on the right of the Sill Bros. Bakery building sign. Ludwig-Svenson Collection, negative number 12615.2. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

You most likely won’t see a scene like below this year with Covid-19 in our lives. But we can certainly recall those warm celebrations and know that one day they’ll return.

Will McMurray and friends toasting one another after a turkey dinner, 1940. Ludwig Svenson Collection, negative number 32517. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

And here’s the traditional guest of honor at many Thanksgiving tables . . .

Turkey in a barnyard, with ducks and geese in the background. James K. Moore Family Papers, Accession Number 51, Box 22, 1319. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

#alwaysarchiving

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Finis Mitchell (and Matthew Troyanek) Trailing through the Wind Rivers

In my preparations to become a backpacker seeking adventures in Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains, my research led me to take the footsteps of a man from the golden age of American mountaineering, whose chronicles and photographs bade me to these mountains with a romantic charm. 

Finis Mitchell drew on decades of experience in the Wind Rivers, describing the trails, routes, wildlife, glaciers, lakes, and streams in Wyoming’s fabulous two-and-a-quarter million acre Wind River Range, published into a guidebook called Wind River Trails.

Over the course of his life, Mitchell climbed 244 of the 300 peaks in the range, with four ascents of Gannett Peak, the highest mountain in the state.


Front and back of a postcard illustrating a view of the Cirque of the Towers taken by Finis Mitchell from Mitchell Peak in the Wind River Range.
Finis Mitchell papers, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming

As a vigorous wilderness advocate, he put together breathtaking slide presentations showing people their own public lands. Mitchell would pour out his philosophy at the public meetings with amazing attention to detail.

Of the 105,345 pictures he took as a hobby, 8,884 that have been digitized for your viewing pleasure. To learn more about Finis Mitchell, see the Finis Mitchell papers at the American Heritage Center.

Post contributed by AHC staff member Matthew Troyanek.

#alwaysarchiving

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It’s UW Giving Day!

We hope you will think of UW while you’re planning your holiday giving. Whether it’s one dollar or a hundred dollars, every gift makes a difference. The State of Wyoming provides a solid base of funding, but it’s donors like you who elevate Wyoming’s university to new heights of excellence!

Your support impacts university colleges through undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, internships and career preparation, professorships, research, excellence funds, facilities and technology, operating funds, outreach and extension, or the department or affiliated program of your choice. So, give today! Any amount makes a difference, and it all adds up to a better University of Wyoming.  What a difference a day makes!

If you would like to consider the AHC in your giving plans, the UW Foundation has established a site for the AHC.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

IS MY GIFT TAX-DEDUCTIBLE?

Yes. The University of Wyoming is a non-profit institution that aspires to be one of the nation’s finest public land-grant research universities.

DOES MY GIFT COUNT TOWARDS MY ANNUAL GIVING TOTAL FOR THE YEAR?

Yes!

HOW CAN I HELP GIVING DAY SUCCEED?

Spread the word! Let your UW friends, family, and fellow alumni know that you’ve made a gift, and encourage them to give too. Post on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #uwgivingday. Send an email; make a call. Whatever method you choose, your support will make an enormous difference in the success of UW Giving Day.

HOW CAN I GIVE?

To have the most immediate impact, give online by clicking here, or you may call toll-free 888-831-7795 or (307) 766-6300

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Celebrating UW Veterans

Being a land-grant university, the University of Wyoming is no stranger to military service. Currently home to the Army ROTC Cowboy Battalion and the Air Force ROTC 940th Cadet Wing, military service at UW stretches back to the university’s early days including a School of Military Science and Tactics established in 1891 and the establishment of ROTC on campus in 1916.

As early as the Spanish-American War, students from UW served their country in war. With the onset of both World War I and World War II, military training that occurred on campus changed to deal with the necessities of war time. The campus reflected this change as more of those that walked campus made their way overseas.

UW, proud of the men and women that represented the brown and gold, recognized those that had served their country through pamphlets released on campus.

543001 Box 3 Folder 4-page-001

Dedication to UW’s World War I military personnel by UW President Aven Nelson, University of Wyoming Department of Military Science Records, Accession #543001, Box 3, Folder 4, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming

The pamphlets created for both World Wars included brief histories of the conflicts.

300002 Box 27 Folder 10.1-page-001

Pages from a UW pamphlet regarding American entry into World War II and subsequent UW reaction, University of Wyoming War Activities Council Records, Accession #300002, Box 27, Folder 10.1, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming

300002 Box 27 Folder 10.2-page-001

Pages from a UW pamphlet regarding American entry into World War II and subsequent UW reaction, University of Wyoming War Activities Council Records, Accession #300002, Box 27, Folder 10.2, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming

The pamphlets also included a listing of every student, professors, and alum that had served in any capacity with special recognition for those that paid the ultimate price.

300002 Box 27 Folder 10.3-page-001

List of UW students and personnel who died in World War II, University of Wyoming War Activities Council Records, Accession #300002, Box 27, Folder 10.3, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming

While these pamphlets serve as reminders of those that served their country with ties to UW, on Veteran’s Day we celebrate those from across the country that have donned the uniform in the name of the United States Armed Forces.

– Originally submitted in 2017 by Katey Myers, American Heritage Center student aide.

Posted in University of Wyoming, University of Wyoming history, World War I, World War II, Wyoming history | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Joseph O’Mahoney, FDR, and “Court Packing”

The topic of “packing” the U.S. Supreme Court has become a hot button issue in the 2020 presidential campaign. But this isn’t the first time members of the federal government and the public have debated the matter.

The Judicial Act of 1869 established that the Supreme Court would consist of a chief justice and eight associate justices. Justices were, and are, slated to serve lifetime appointments. This court structure reinforced the idea that the judicial branch was apolitical and one of three co-equal branches of American government.

However, beginning in 1935, the Supreme Court struck down several pieces of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation for being unconstitutional. Roosevelt’s frustration with the court grew.

Soon a controversial plan was formed. FDR proposed adding as many as 6 additional judges to the court, thus “packing” it in favor of his policies. He intended to neutralize the justices who disagreed with him.

Roosevelt selected the morning of February 5th, 1937, for the announcement of his bombshell, first to a group of congressional leaders and then at a press conference. His Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937 was to put restrictions on the court when it came to age. Out with the old, and in with new more progressive judges.

FDR’s plan met instant opposition in Congress and with the public.

A surprising opponent was Wyoming’s senior U.S Senator Joseph O’Mahoney, a typically loyal FDR lieutenant. A Cheyenne newspaper editor and later attorney, O’Mahoney had risen through the Democratic ranks beginning as an aide to U.S. Senator John B. Kendrick before becoming a stalwart in the national party as a committeeman and campaign organizer. When his mentor Kendrick died in 1933, O’Mahoney was appointed to fill his Senate seat. During his early tenure in the Senate, O’Mahoney supported most of Roosevelt’s New Deal programs, with the notable exception of the “court-packing plan.”

Joseph O’Mahoney, ca. 1940.
Joseph O’Mahoney papers, Box 390, Folder 45, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

O’Mahoney’s resistance to the plan was not without anguish. He was acutely aware of the political adage that nothing is more rewarded than loyalty, nor more punished than disloyalty. He choice was to surrender to political expediency or heed his reverence for checks and balances and for the Supreme Court as an institution. Adding to his angst was his strong desire for a Supreme Court seat. Long after the Court fight, newspapers mentioned O’Mahoney’s name whenever a vacancy occurred on the Court. A succinct summary of his procedural objections to FDR’s plan can be found in the transcript of a radio address from May 6, 1937, with the unconfusing title “The Judiciary Bill Should Not Pass.” The transcript can be found in the O’Mahoney papers at the American Heritage Center.

The Wyoming Senator tried a tack with FDR of proposing an amendment that would limit the terms of all federal judges to fifteen years, make their salaries subject to the income tax, and provide for compulsory retirement at the age of seventy-five. All were substantive measures, O’Mahoney argued, that Roosevelt wanted. The President didn’t budge.

O’Mahoney pushed his amendment adamantly in the halls of Congress but gained little traction. At last, in the middle of April 1937, he concluded that the amendment tactic was doomed. That he had clung to the amendment approach as a practicable compromise for so long provides eloquent testimony to his extreme reluctance to break with Roosevelt. But break he did.

Eventually President Roosevelt got his way by packing the Court the old-fashioned way, through attrition, naming nine members.

Post submitted by AHC Simpson Archivist Leslie Waggener. She thanks AHC Archives on the Air writer Kathryn Billington for her contributions. Also contributing to the post is text from Dr. Gene M. Gressley’s article “Joseph O’Mahoney, FDR, and the Supreme Court” published in the Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 40, No. 2 (May 1971), pp. 183-202.

Posted in Political history, Wyoming History Day | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

William Beaudine, Bela Lugosi, and Horror Films Out West

For Halloween 2018 and 2019, we brought you blog posts on The Killer Shrews and The Giant Gila Monster, two low-budget horror movies financed by Texas radio pioneer Gordon McLendon. This year, we shine a spotlight on the career of film director William Beaudine (1892-1970). 

Beaudine, who began his career in the film industry in 1909, directed silent films (including shorts known as “one-reelers”), sound films and, beginning in the early 1950s, episodes of TV series, including The Mickey Mouse Club, Naked City, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, The Green Hornet, and Lassie

What is his connection to the horror genre? His filmography includes The Ape Man (1943), Voodoo Man (1944), and Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla (1952), all of which starred Bela Lugosi. Additionally, Beaudine’s last two feature films were the notorious Billy the Kid Versus Dracula (1966) and Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (1966), each part of the outré horror-western genre. Billy the Kid co-starred two veterans of John Ford’s westerns, John Carradine and Olive Carey. It is also worth noting that in that film, the vampire is never called “Dracula” and his opponent has virtually nothing in common with the historical Billy the Kid. Presumably, the film’s producers decided that the title Billy the Kid Versus Dracula had more “oomph” than “Cowboy Versus Vampire.”

Double feature poster from box 119 of the Forrest J. Acklerman papers at the American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

The American Heritage Center has a small collection devoted to Beaudine. The collection, which was donated by Lucille Warden, Beaudine’s daughter, and Wendy Marshall, author of William Beaudine: From Silents to Television (2004), contains scripts and story outlines, as well as movie posters for one-reelers, including these films released in 1913: The Stolen Bride (Beaudine was an assistant on the film and also appeared in it, along with Lillian Gish), The Sheriff’s Baby (Beaudine, along with Lionel Barrymore, Harry Carey, and Donald Crisp, appeared in the film, which was directed by D.W. Griffith), Brothers (Beaudine, along with Harry Carey and Mabel Normand, appeared in the film, which was directed by Griffith), and The Lady in Black (Beaudine was an assistant on the film, which was written by Anita Loos). 

Beaudine’s career as a director of horror films is also represented in the papers of Forrest J. Ackerman, the editor of the fanzine Famous Monsters of Filmland. That collection includes a still from The Ape Man and a poster for a double feature of the Billy the Kid and Jesse James movies.

Publicity still from The Ape Man, Box 105, Forrest J. Ackerman papers, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming

You will also find the following on Youtube:

Trailers:

The Ape Man

Voodoo Man

Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla

Billy the Kid Versus Dracula

Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter

Full Feature Films:

The Ape Man

The Voodoo Man

Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla

Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter

The American Heritage has numerous collections devoted to various aspects of popular culture, including movies, comic books, and television.

Happy Halloween!

Post by AHC Archivist Roger Simon (our resident film expert).

#alwaysarchiving

Posted in Holidays, Hollywood history, Horror, Motion picture actors and actresses, motion picture history, popular culture, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Brigham Young’s Promotion of the Deseret Alphabet

Brigham Young is best known as a religious leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints. In his capacity as president of the church, he was also the force behind an intriguing educational reform. In the early 1850s, in his second term as Utah Territorial Governor, he announced that he would like a new phonetic alphabet, called Deseret, taught in the schools.

Regents of the university in Salt Lake City, including George D. Watt, W.W. Phelps, Parley P. Pratt, and Heber C. Kimball, developed the new system of orthography. It was still English, but just a different written form of it that President Young believed would make more sense, as well as take up less space and, therefore, save paper. Also, the early days of the Church, pioneers came to Utah Territory from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, England, Scotland, and other countries. Once in Utah, they found it hard to understand each other. And English, with its many inconsistencies, was difficult to learn, especially in its written form.

The original Deseret alphabet had 40 letters; a copy of it was reproduced in an 1861 book in the AHC’s Toppan Rare Books Library by Jules Remy called Journey to Great Salt Lake City. After slight revision to some of the letters, a 38-letter alphabet was used in three primers. The Toppan Library has copies of all three of these. The first and second primers were published in 1868; the third, published in 1869, was the first book of Nephi (usually referred to as First Nephi or 1 Nephi) from the Book of Mormon.

The new system was slow to catch on, however. This was partly due to cost. Early on, in 1859, it had already been estimated that the cost of supplying all Utah Territory schoolchildren with suitable textbooks would be more than $5,000,000. By 1870, the effort was largely abandoned.  

In July 1877, Young tried one more time at a spelling reform, ordering lead type designed for the orthography of Benn Pitman with the intention of printing an edition of the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants using it. Most of the type had arrived by August, but with Young’s death on the 29th of that month, the translation was never undertaken and the type never used. His death marked the end of Mormon experimentation with English spelling reforms.

For more detailed information on this subject, see the article by Stanley S. Ivins “The Deseret Alphabet,” in the Utah Humanities Review (1, 1947: pp.223-239), the entry with that title in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism (Vol.1, 1992: pp.373-374), and another one with the same title by Sam Weller and Ken Reid in True West (Sept./Oct., 1958: pp.14- 16). The latter article has an illustration of the front page of the Salt Lake City newspaper, Deseret News, in 1859, showing use of this alphabet.

This post is based on an article originally published in the American Heritage Center’s Heritage Highlights, Summer 2001.

#alwaysarchiving

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Blacklisted! – The Albert Maltz Papers

Brooklyn-born Albert Maltz grew up in affluence. His Russian immigrant Jewish parents had made good in their new American home. Maltz’s education credentials were those of an elite. He studied philosophy at Columbia University, graduating in 1928. He then attended the Yale School of Drama, where he earned a master’s degree in the craft of playwriting.

Despite his well-to-do beginnings, the plight of those less fortunate tugged at him. His own father had begun as a grocer’s boy before becoming a successful contractor and builder. Maltz was also influenced by fellow Yale student George Sklar, whose radical politics ignited his own budding leftist leanings.

Albert Maltz, ca. 1930. Box 60, Albert Maltz papers, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Adding to the mix, Maltz read the works of political philosopher Karl Marx and later told journalist Victor Navasky, “I still think it to be the noblest set of ideals ever penned by man…. Where else in political literature do you find thinkers saying that we were going to end all forms of human exploitation? Wage exploitation, exploitation of women by men, the exploitation of people of colour by white peoples, the exploitation of colonial countries by imperialist countries. And Marx spoke of the fact that socialism will be the kingdom of freedom, where man realizes himself in a way that humankind has never seen before. This was an inspiring body of literature to read.”

As a young playwright in the New York theater community, Maltz became known for staging pointed dramas acted by progressive companies such as the Theatre Union and the Group Theatre. By 1935, Maltz had joined the American Communist Party. Professional people, journalists, teachers, writers, artists and working people on factories and farms had come to respect the Communist Party for their words and deeds over the past decade in support of the working man. Maltz channeled his political views into his writing. His short story “The Happiest Man on Earth,” about unemployment during the Depression, won the 1938 O. Henry Award.

Actors of the Group Theater performing Waiting for Lefty, a play of vignettes about cab drivers planning a labor strike, ca. 1935. Photo from https://stellaadleralifeinart.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/when-audience-and-actors-were-one-waiting-for-lefty/

Soon, in 1941, Maltz moved to Los Angeles to take a job with Warner Brothers. His first screenwriting credit was for the gritty noir film This Gun for Hire (1942). For his script for Pride of the Marines (1945), Maltz was nominated for an Academy Award. He received an Academy Award for his 1942 work on The Defeat of German Armies Near Moscow and in 1945 for The House I Live In, a 10-minute film with singer-actor Frank Sinatra opposing anti-Semitism through the use of a staged incident of young bullies chasing a Jewish boy, prompting Sinatra to speak and sing about why such behavior is wrong.

Meanwhile Maltz had not abandoned his career as a writer of published fiction and stage drama. In 1944 he published the novel The Cross and the Arrow chronicling German resistance to the Nazi regime. It was distributed in a special Armed Services Edition to more than 150,000 American fighting men during World War II.

Despite his contribution to the war effort, Maltz was subpoenaed in 1947 to testify at hearings of the House Un-American Activities Committee, which was created to investigate alleged disloyalty and subversive activities on the part of private citizens, public employees, and organizations suspected of having Fascist or Communist ties. While refusing to answer questions on First Amendment grounds, Maltz was able to get a statement on the record: “I am an American, and I believe there is no more proud word in the vocabulary of man.” Nevertheless, he was tried and convicted of contempt of Congress.

Mug shot of Albert Maltz taken at Mill Point Federal Prison in West Virginia on July 17, 1950. Albert Maltz papers, Box 1, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Before he was sent to the federal lockup in Ashland, Ky. — the same facility that housed Adrian Scott, a fellow member of the Hollywood Ten — he recruited his friend Michael Blankfort to front for him on an adaptation of his 1944 novel The Cross and the Arrow, which became the film Broken Arrow, starring James Stewart. The sympathetic treatment of Native Americans in the Western earned Maltz an Oscar nomination for adapted screenplay.

After prison, Maltz moved to Mexico City, where he wrote novels and uncredited screenplays for The Robe (1953) and other films. By 1970, producers agreed to give Maltz credit for writing Two Mules for Sister Sara, a Western starring Clint Eastwood.

His papers at the American Heritage Center include material pertaining to the Hollywood Ten and Maltz’s blacklisting from Hollywood, including photos, correspondence, court documents, advertisements, and pamphlets. Reel-to-reel audio tapes of his testimony before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1947 is also included.

Post contributed by AHC Archivist Leslie Waggener

#alwaysarchiving

Posted in Authors and literature, Blacklisting, Cold War, Communism, Hollywood history, Hollywood Ten, Motion picture actors and actresses, motion picture history | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Living Through a Pandemic: Eight Months of Donations to the American Heritage Center’s COVID-19 Collection Project

The AHC COVID-19 Collection Project began in April 2020 as an effort to collect stories, photographs, poems, and other creative works that show the impact coronavirus has had on our community. Not just the University of Wyoming employees, students, and alumni, but the larger Laramie, and Wyoming communities as well. In March 2020, the University of Wyoming closed its campus to in-person instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The students received an extra week of spring break giving instructors time to move all courses to an online format.

These unprecedented events in our own community and the global impact of this crisis inspired the AHC COVID-19 Collection Project. As the pandemic continues to evolve and effect everyday life (professional and personal), the AHC encourages our community to continue the conversations, support for each other, donate descriptions of what you see, feel, and hear, and take our survey as your observations change.

Pop Up Paint Party in Laramie, Wyoming started hosting free online paint parties to foster safe community interactions. Photo taken by Hanna Fox and Amanda Wells, April 2020.

To date, the AHC has received forty-two survey responses from people of a variety of demographics including age groups, genders, ethnicities, and nationalities. The survey has sixteen questions including “what were your first thoughts when you heard about COVID-19”; “what are some things that are making you feel happy or hopeful”; and “what are some things that are making you feel frustrated, anxious, or angry.”

One response to our question about what people 100 years from now should know about the impact of COVID-19 in our community is as follows:

For me, the pandemic has deepened ideological, cultural, and political divisions more than uniting us as a society. The pandemic has revealed the lack of national leadership, the dearth of resources and programs to protect the most vulnerable in US society, and the historically high levels of economic inequality that currently exist in the US. It’s shameful that the pandemic has stripped bare the illusion that the US, as a society, is a shining beacon for other countries to emulate (Germany, for instance, responded very well & had inspiring, uniting leadership). When all is said & done, the US will be remembered as the country with the least effective national response and the highest death toll.

Another response to the same question is as follows:

It has been nice to see people come together to support each other. It also needs to be remembered how small groups of people can make a big impact, positively or negatively.

People view this crisis differently and reactions are diverse. Members of the community have taken to supporting each other through hosting virtual events or even simply placing a bear in the window of their house to bring a smile to their neighbors’ faces.

Sally Sarvey from Casper dressed up William “Shakesbear” Shakespeare and displayed him in the window for children passing her house. Photo taken by Sally Sarvey, May 2020.

Others have turned to creating artwork or photographing visual representations from the community to express the pandemic’s impact.

VISCERAL, charcoal and pastel on prepared polyester, 43″ x 43″, 2020. This is drawing is of a gut pile from a pronghorn antelope harvested fall 2019 just outside Laramie, WY. The animal fed the artist’s family through the continuing lock down. Artwork created by Shelby Shadwell.
Downtown Laramie mural depicting a jackalope and pronghorn wearing masks. Photograph taken by Hanna Fox and Amanda Wells, April 2020.

Here are a few last thoughts from our survey responses to keep in mind as we continue living through these strange times:

This has been a trying time for many people, and I am happy to see those that are trying to make the best of it, through whatever means necessary. I’ve seen family and friends come together to help where possible, whether that shopping for compromised people, sewing masks, using 3D printers to make needed things, help teach students online, or any number of things. Communities are coming together and it shows.

Always be kind to yourself and others. We are all doing our best within our current capacity to do so. Those actions are what will be remembered and have the most impact.

To contribute to the historical record of this momentous time or learn more about the project, please visit the AHC COVID-19 Collection Project webpage at https://www.uwyo.edu/ahc/covid-19-collecting.html. All donors can elect whether to remain anonymous and even to keep their contributions from being viewed for up to five years. #COVID19WY #alwaysarchiving

– Post contributed by AHC University Archivist Sara Davis

Posted in Coronavirus outbreak, Current events, Local history, Pandemics, popular culture, Uncategorized | 1 Comment