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5 Fun Facts About June 16 In Wyoming History

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1. In 1923, the famous outlaw, Butch Cassidy, allegedly returned to Wyoming for a brief visit. Cassidy, whose real name was Robert Leroy Parker, was born in Beaver, Utah, but spent many years in Wyoming as a ranch hand, rustler, and bank robber. While wanted by the law, Cassidy fled to South America, where he supposedly died in a shootout in 1908. However, some claim that he actually escaped and lived the rest of his life under an assumed name.

2. On June 16, 1934, a massive dust storm known as Black Sunday swept across Wyoming and other states in the Great Plains. The storm, which was caused by severe drought and over-farming, devastated crops, livestock, and buildings, and caused widespread respiratory problems for humans and animals alike. The disaster prompted the US government to establish the Soil Conservation Service, which aimed to promote sustainable land use practices.

3. In 1977, a large section of the Teton Dam in eastern Idaho collapsed, causing a catastrophic flood that affected Wyoming and other states. The incident, which was caused by a combination of design flaws and geologic instability, led to the deaths of 11 people and caused over $2 billion in damage. This event highlighted the need for better safety standards and engineering practices in the construction of large dams.

4. June 16, 2014 marked the 150th anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre, a brutal attack on a peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho encampment by US soldiers led by Colonel John Chivington. The massacre, which took place in eastern Colorado but had significant impacts on Wyoming's indigenous communities, resulted in the deaths of over 200 Native Americans, many of whom were women and children. The incident is now widely recognized as a shameful chapter in US history and a stark example of government-sanctioned violence against indigenous peoples.

5. In 2015, the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled in favor of a group of same-sex couples who had previously been denied marriage licenses by county clerks. The ruling was a landmark victory for LGBTQ rights in Wyoming, which had previously been one of the few states without any legal protections for same-sex couples. The decision paved the way for further progress in the fight for marriage equality and other LGBTQ rights.
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