1846- Sonoma, California- a group of U.S. settlers declare Mexico’s California to be a republic.
1865- Idaho Territory- Crazy Horse leads an escape of mostly Sioux Indians, being relocated to Fort Kearney, Nebraska, from the U.S. Cavalry.
1872- Dakota Territory- Fort McKeen is established, south of present day Bismarck, North Dakota.
1875- Texas- Jefferson Davis declines offer to become the first president of Texas A&M.
1877- Lampasas, Texas- a big shootout erupts on the street as friends and brothers of Clint Barkley run into rival ranchers. Frank Mitchell is killed.
1882- California- outlaw poet Black Bart robs the Little Lake-Ukiah stage.
1882- Arizona Territory– outlaw John Ringo’s body was found sitting under a tree by passing teamster John Yoas, at the western end of Turkey Canyon in the Chiricahua Mountains. A .45 slug entered his right temple and exited his left temple. Ringo’s .45 had one spent cartridge in the pistol clutched in his right hand. Despite the lack of powder burns the coroner ruled it a suicide. Ringo had a college education and could speak Greek and Latin.
1884- Pasadena, California- snow and hail are reported.
1914- Lassen Peak, Colorado- a dormant volcano erupts.
1917 – Lash LaRue was born on this day. Actor: Pair of Aces, The Back Lash, Thundering Trail, Law of the Lash, Return of the Lash; passed away May 21, 1996.
1918- Sanderson, Texas- outlaw, who rode with Billy the Kid, turned lawman David Anderson AKA: Billy Wilson AKA Buffalo Billy died on this date when he was asked to go to the train station in Sanderson, Texas to quell a disturbance. At the depot he found a drunken cowboy named Ed Valentine whom he knew. Anderson felt he could reason with the rowdy who had been drunkenly brandishing his pistol. But when Anderson arrived the young cowboy ran to a shed and refused to come out. Sheriff Anderson stepped in front of the opened door and called into the darkness for Valentine to come out. A single shot came out of the gloom and pierced Anderson’s chest. He fell mortally wounded, dying within an hour. So incensed were local residents by this senseless killing that Valentine was lynched an hour later.
1919-New York City, New York- actor Gene Barry was born. He later played “Bat Masterson” on TV.
1836– Arkansas is admitted into the Union as the 25th state.
1846- Great Britain and the United States agree on a joint occupation of Oregon Territory.
1867- Big Timbers, Kansas- Indians and the 3rd Infantry fight.
1873- Cypress Hills Saskatchewan – Renegade American whisky/fur traders massacre Assiniboine Indians in their camp; leads to formation of the North-West Mounted Police.
1877- John Day’s Creek, Idaho Territory-General Howard reports four civilians are killed by Nez Perces.
1878- Lincoln, New Mexico Territory- a military escort takes Jesse Evans from Lincoln to Mesilla to stand trial for the murder of John Tunstall.
1881- Winston, Missouri- the James-Younger gang rob the Chicago and Rock Island train, only gaining $1,000.
1883- Helena, Montana Territory- the first eastbound Northern Pacific train comes to town.
1867- Gallinas Mountains, New Mexico Territory- Indians and the 3rd Cavalry fight.
1868- Arizona Territory- four members of the 1st Cavalry on mail escort at Toddy Mountains are reported killed by Indians.
1871- El Dorado, Kansas- a huge tornado does significant amount of damage to the town.
1894- Edmonton, Alberta – the Edmonton Bulletin reports presence of oil in what is now Alberta.
1897– the Alaska gold rush began.
1898- Dawson Yukon – the first issue of the Klondike Nugget is published at 50¢ an issue.
1906- Indian Territory & Oklahoma Territory- an act of congress is signed by Theodore Roosevelt, which combined Indian Territory with Oklahoma Territory into a single state. Congress overruled the citizens who wanted to name the new state “Sequoyah”, after the inventor of the Cherokee alphabet.
1859- Santa Barbara, California- the temperature is reported at 133 o, due to the Santa Ana Wind.
1872- Dodge City, Kansas- George M. Hoover begins selling whiskey. Dodge City up to this time had been dry.
1876- Montana Territory- General George Crook’s command is bested on the Rosebud River by 1,500 Sioux and Cheyenne under the leadership of Crazy Horse.
1876- Plum Creek, Nebraska- a man named Hallowell shoots and killed Omaha Deputy Sheriff Mace. Howell was apprehended immediately and at midnight a mob took him from his cell and lynched him.
1877- Idaho Territory- After young warriors killed some settlers in Idaho Territory, General O.O. Howard ordered Captain David Perry at Fort Lapwai to go get them. Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce attacked Captain David Perry who had 90 men. Perry was forced to retreat leaving a third of his command dead in White Bird Canyon. Perry, however, had neither the U.S. Army’s finest horsemen nor top skirmishers; many were troopers who passed the day doing odd jobs or construction work at Fort Lapwai in northern Idaho Territory. The Nez Perce warriors were expert riders, and their hunting skills made them superior adversaries.
1878- Mesilla, New Mexico Territory- Samuel Perry names Jesse Evans, William Morton, and Tom hill as the murderers of John Tunstall.
1881 – Missouri– frontiersman Jim Bridger died: Jim Bridger was one of the most able and influential mountain men. The words on his large headstone summarize his life: “Celebrated as a hunter, trapper, fur trader and guide. Discovered the Great Salt Lake 1824, The South Pass 1827, visited Yellowstone Park and geysers 1830, founded Fort Bridger 1838, opened Overland Route by Bridger’s Pass to Great Salt Lake. Was Guide for U.S. exploring expeditions, Albert Sidney Johnston’s army in 1857 and G. M Dodge in Union Pacific survey’s and Indian campaigns 1853 – 1865.” Later Jim purchased a farm near Westport, Missouri, but soon became ill and blind. Jim was born 17 March 1804. Jim Bridger is buried in the Mount Washington Cemetery in Independence, Missouri.
1864- Colorado Territory- Cheyenne and Arapahos are believed to have massacred an entire family 25 miles west of Denver.
1877- Palo Duro Canyon, Texas- John George Adair partners with Charles Goodnight in a cattle business.
1878- Lincoln, New Mexico Territory- as part of the ongoing Lincoln County War McSween and his men head for the hills of San Patrico as Sheriff Peppin and soldiers arrive too late to catch him.
1879 Phoenix, Arizona Territory- Arizona’s first ice plant opens.
1880- Pennsylvania- John Sutter, on whose property gold was first found in California died penniless at the age of 77.
1899- Lethbridge Alberta – Opening of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) line through Crows Nest Pass to Kootenay Landing; the effort was subsidized by the 1897 Crows Nest Pass Agreement, which also set fixed freight rates on Prairie grain traffic.
1934- the Indian Reorganization Act granted more control over internal affairs to tribes. This updated the Dawes Act of 1887 and reversed the policy of forced assimilation.
1961 – Gunsmoke was broadcast for the last time on CBS radio. The show had been on for nine years. It was called the first adult Western. The star of Gunsmoke was William Conrad, who would become a major TV star (Cannon, Jake and the Fatman), as well. When Gunsmoke moved to TV, James Arness filled Conrad’s boots.
1973- Fredrak Fraske, the last official veteran of the Indian wars, died at the age of 101. Fredrak served with the 17th Infantry in 1894 when it was sent to Idaho to quell a disturbance, there was no fighting.
1865- Galveston, Texas- Union forces retakes the city.
1867- Mexican Emperor Maximilian is executed.
1867- Fort Ellsworth, Kansas- the Kansas Pacific Railroad reaches the fort from Kansas City, Missouri.
1874- Pembina Manitoba – 200 new NWMP recruits arrive at Fort Dufferin.
1876- Montana Territory- Rosebud Creek- Washakie and 200 Eastern Shoshone warriors arrive too late to aid General Crook.
1876- Virginia City, Nevada- fire destroys twenty-five buildings including a hotel.
1880- Caldwell, Kansas- J. Frank Hunt was the deputy marshal of this frontier boomtown. On this date, George Flatt, a drunken former lawman was shot to death as he neared a Caldwell restaurant. A man identified as Hunt was seen fleeing the murder scene. Flatt’s death was avenged on Oct. 11, 1880, when an unidentified gunman fatally wounded Hunt as he sat near a window at the Red Light saloon and dance hall.
1881- Texas– Texas Ranger John B. Jones was born in South Carolina on Dec. 22, 1834, and was four when his family resettled in Travis County, Texas. After serving in the Confederate Army in the Civil War, Jones was elected to the Texas legislature in 1868. He was later commissioned a major in the Frontier Battalion of the Texas Rangers and he became one of the leading law enforcement administrators in Texas, commanding six companies of Rangers and sending them across thousands of miles to battle outlaws and Indians. Jones was involved with a number of gun battles with outlaw bands and he was responsible for bringing the bloody Horrell-Higgins Feud to an end. Jones died in Austin, Texas, on this date.
1867- Black Hills, Dakota Territory- Major Frank North led a company of Pawnee scouts against the Sioux.
1876- Montana Territory-. George A. Custer and the 7th Cavalry begin marching toward the Little Bighorn River, after being reviewed by General Alfred Terry, as the band played “Garry Owen.” Scouts informed Custer that 2,000 to 4,000 warriors were camped on the Little Bighorn.
1876- Goose Creek, Montana Territory- General Crooks command is joined by Crow and Snake Indians as they begin marching, hoping to find Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull within four days. Crow scouts report a large Sioux village on the Tongue River.
1887- London, England– Buffalo Bill’s Wild West performs for Queen Victoria.
1910- Congress passes the act that allowed separate statehood for Arizona and New Mexico.
1924 – Audie Murphy was born. American hero: most decorated GI of WWII [27 US decorations including Medal of Honor plus 5 decorations from France and Belgium]; actor: The Red Badge of Courage, The Unforgiven, Arizona Raiders, To Hell and Back; killed in plane crash May 28, 1971.
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