Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Today In Wyoming's History: September 22, 25

I'm not really a fan of John F. Kennedy in general, or as President, but I was surprised when updating the local history podcast the other day to run across two speeches he delivered n Wyoming in 1960 and 1963.  Both were quite well written, and presumably delivered, and remain amazingly topical.

Here's the 1963 one:  Today In Wyoming's History: September 25:

1963  John F. Kennedy spoke at the University of Wyoming.  His address:

Senator McGee--my old colleague in the Senate, Gale McGee--Governor, Mr. President, Senator Mansfield, Senator Metcalf, Secretary Udall, ladies and gentlemen:

I want to express my appreciation to you for your warm welcome, to you, Governor, to the President of the University, to Senator McGee, and others. I am particularly glad to come on this conservation trip and have an opportunity to speak at this distinguished university, because what we are attempting to do is to develop the talents in our country which require, of course, education which will permit us in our time, when the conservation of our resources requires entirely different techniques than were required 50 years ago, when the great conservation movement began under Theodore Roosevelt--and these talents, scientific and social talents, must be developed at our universities.

I hope that all of you who are students here will recognize the great opportunity that lies before you in this decade, and in the decades to come, to be of service to our country. The Greeks once defined happiness as full use of your powers along lines of excellence, and I can assure you that there is no area of life where you will have an opportunity to use whatever powers you have, and to use them along more excellent lines, bringing ultimately, I think, happiness to you and those whom you serve.

What I think we must realize is that the problems which now face us and their solution are far more complex, far more difficult, far more subtle, require a far greater skill and discretion of judgment, than any of the problems that this country has faced in its comparatively short history, or any, really, that the world has faced in its long history. The fact is that almost in the last 30 years the world of knowledge has exploded. You remember that Robert Oppenheimer said that 8 or 9 out of 10 of all the scientists who ever lived, live today. This last generation has produced nearly all of the scientific breakthroughs, at least relatively, that this world of ours has ever experienced. We are alive, all of us, while this tremendous explosion of knowledge, which has expanded the horizon of our experience, so far has all taken 'place in the last 30 years.

If you realize that when Queen Victoria sent for Robert Peel to be Prime Minister-he was in Rome--the journey which he took from Rome to London took him the same amount of time, to the day, that it had taken the Emperor Hadrian to go from Rome to England nearly 1900 years before. There had been comparatively little progress made in almost 1900 years in the field of knowledge. Now, suddenly, in the last 100 years, but most particularly in the last 30 years, all that is changed, and all of this knowledge is brought to bear, and can be brought to bear, in improving our lives and making the life of our people more happy, or destroying them. And that problem is the one, of course, which this generation of Americans and the next must face: how to use that knowledge, how to make a social discipline out of it.

There is really not much use in having science and its knowledge confined to the laboratory unless it comes out into the mainstream of American and world life, and only those who are trained and educated to handle knowledge and the disciplines of knowledge can be expected to play a significant part in the life of their country. So, quite obviously, this university is not maintained by the people of Wyoming merely to help all of the graduates enjoy a prosperous life. That may come, that may be a byproduct, but the people of Wyoming contribute their taxes to the maintenance of this school in order that the graduates of this school may, themselves, return to the society which helped develop them some of the talents which that society has made available, and what is true in this State is true across the United States.

The reason why, at the height of the Civil War, when the preservation of the Union was in doubt, Abraham Lincoln signed the Land Grant College Act, which has built up the most extraordinary educational system in the world, was because he knew that a nation could not exist and be ignorant and free; and what was true 100 years ago is more true today. So what we have to decide is how we are going to manage the complicated social and economic and world problems which come across our desks-my desk, as President of the United States; the desk of the Senators, as representatives of the States; the Members of the House, as representatives of the people.

But most importantly, as the final power is held by a majority of the people, how the majority of the people are going to make their judgment on the wise use of our resources, on the correct monetary and fiscal policy, what steps we should take in space, what steps we should take to develop the resources of the ocean, what steps we should take to manage our balance of payments, what we should do in the Congo or Viet-Nam, or in Latin America, all these areas which come to rest upon the United States as the leading great power of the world, with the determination and the understanding to recognize what is at stake in the world--all these are problems far more complicated than any group of citizens ever had to deal with in the history of the world, or any group of Members of Congress had to deal with.

If you feel that the Members of Congress were more talented 100 years ago, and certainly the Senators in the years before the Civil War included the brightest figures, probably, that ever sat in the Senate--Benton, Clay, Webster, Calhoun, and all the rest-they talked, and at least three of them stayed in the Congress 40 years--they talked for 40 years about four or five things: tariffs and the development of the West, land, the rights of the States and slavery, Mexico. Now we talk about problems in one summer which dwarf in complexity all of those matters, and we must deal with them or we will perish.

So I think the chance for an educated graduate of this school to serve his State and country is bright. I can assure you that you are needed.

This trip that I have taken is now about 24 hours old, but it is a rewarding 24 hours because there is nothing more encouraging than for those of us to leave the rather artificial city of Washington and come and travel across the United States and realize what is here, the beauty, the diversity, the wealth, and the vigor of the people.

Last Friday I spoke to delegates from all over the world at the United Nations. It is an unfortunate fact that nearly every delegate comes to the United States from all around the world and they make a judgment on the United States based on an experience in New York or Washington; and rarely do they come West beyond the Mississippi, and rarely do they go to California, or to Hawaii, or to Alaska. Therefore, they do not understand the United States, and those of us who stay only in Washington sometimes lose our comprehension of the national problems which require a national solution.

This country has become rich because nature was good to us, and because the people who came from Europe, predominantly, also were among the most vigorous. The basic resources were used skillfully and economically, and because of the wise work done by Theodore Roosevelt and others, significant progress was made in conserving these resources.
The problem, of course, now is that the whole concept of conservation must change in the 1960's if we are going to pass on to the 350 million Americans who will live in this country in 40 years where 180 million Americans now live--if we are going to pass on a country which is even richer.

The fact of the matter is that the management of our natural resources instead of being primarily a problem of conserving them, of saving them, now requires the scientific application of knowledge to develop new resources. We have come to. realize to a large extent that resources are not passive. Resources are not merely something that was here, put by nature. Research tells us that previously valueless materials, which 10 years ago were useless, now can be among the most valuable natural resources of the United States. And that is the most significant fact in conservation now since the early 1900's when Theodore Roosevelt started his work. A conservationist's first reaction in those days was to preserve, to hoard, to protect every non-renewable resource. It was the fear of resource exhaustion which caused the great conservation movement of the 1900's. And this fear was reflected in the speeches and attitudes of our political leaders and their writers.

This is not surprising in the light of the technology of that time, but today that approach is out of date, and I think this is an important fact for the State of Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain States. It is both too pessimistic and too optimistic. We need no longer fear that our resources and energy supplies are a fixed quantity that can be exhausted in accordance with a particular rate of consumption. On the other hand, it is not enough to put barbed wire around a forest or a lake, or put in stockpiles of minerals, or restrictive laws and regulations on the exploitation of resources. That was the old way of doing it.

Our primary task now is to increase our understanding of our environment to a point where we can enjoy it without defacing it, use its bounty without detracting permanently from its value, and, above all, maintain a living balance between man's actions and nature's reactions, for this Nation's great resources are as elastic and productive as our ingenuity can make them. For example, soda ash is a multimillion dollar industry in this State. A few years ago there was no use for it. It was wasted. People were unaware of it. And even if it had been sought, it could not be found--not because it wasn't here, but because effective prospecting techniques had not been developed. Now soda ash is a necessary ingredient in the production of glass, steel, and other products. As a result of a series of experiments, of a harnessing of science to the use of man, this great new industry has opened up. In short, conservation is no longer protection and conserving and restricting. The balance between our needs and the availability of our resources, between our aspirations and our environment, is constantly changing.

One of the great resources which we are going to find in the next 40 years is not going to be the land; it will be the ocean. We are going to find untold wealth in the oceans of the world which will be used to make a better life for our people. Science is changing all of our natural environment. It can change it for good; it can change it for bad. We are pursuing, for example, new opportunities in coal, which have been largely neglected--examining the feasibility of transporting coal by water through pipelines, of gasification at the mines, of liquefaction of coal into gasoline, and of transmitting electric power directly from the mouth of the mine. The economic feasibility of some of these techniques has not been determined, but it will be in the next decade. At the same time, we are engaged in active research on better means of using low grade coal, to meet the tremendous increase in the demand for coal we are going to find in the rest of this century. This is, in effect, using science to increase our supply of a resource of which the people of the United States were totally unaware 50 years ago.

Another research undertaking of special concern to this Nation and this State is the continuing effort to develop practical and feasible techniques of converting oil shale into usable petroleum fuels. The higher grade deposits in Wyoming alone are equivalent to 30 billion barrels of oil, and 200 billion barrels in the case of lower grade development. This could not be used, there was nothing to conserve, and now science is going to make it possible.

Investigation is going on to assure at the same time an adequate water supply so that when we develop this great new industry we will be able to use it and have sufficient water. Resource development, therefore, requires not only the coordination of all branches of science, it requires the joint effort of scientists, government--State, national, and local--and members of other professional disciplines. For example, we are now examining in the United States today the mixed economic-technical question of whether very large-scale nuclear reactors can produce unexpected savings in the simultaneous desalinization of water and the generation of electricity. We will have, before this decade is out or sooner, a tremendous nuclear reactor which makes electricity and at the same time gets fresh water from salt water at a competitive price. What a difference this can make to the Western United States. And, indeed, not only the United States, but all around the globe where there are so many deserts on the ocean's edge.

It is in efforts, I think, such as this, where the National Government can play a significant role, where the scale of public investment or the nationwide scope of the problem, the national significance of the results are too great to ignore or which cannot always be carried out by private research. Federal funds and stimulation can help make the most imaginative and productive use of our manpower and facilities. The use of science and technology in these fields has gained understanding and support in the Congress. Senator Gale McGee has proposed an energetic study of the technology of electrometallurgy--the words are getting longer as the months go on, and more complicated-an area of considerable importance to the Rocky Mountains.

All this, I think, is going to change the life of Wyoming and going to change the life of the United States. What we regard now as relative well-being, 30 years from now will be regarded as poverty. When you realize that 30 years ago r out of 10 farms had electricity, and yet some farmers thought that they were living reasonably well, now for a farm not to have electricity, we regard them as living in the depths of poverty. That is how great a change has come in 30 years. In the short space of 18 years, really, or almost 20 years, the wealth of this country has gone up 300 percent.

In 1970, 1980, 1990, this country will be, can be, must be--if we make the proper decisions, if we manage our resources, both human and material, wisely, if we make wise decisions in the Nation, in the State, in the community, and individually, if we maintain a vigorous and hopeful 'pursuit of life and knowledge--the resources of this country are so unlimited and science is expanding them so greatly that all those people who thought 40 years ago that this country would be exhausted in the middle of the century have been proven wrong. It is going to be richer than ever, providing we make the wise decisions and we recognize that the future belongs to those who seize it.

Knowledge is power, a saying 500 years old, but knowledge is power today as never before, not only here in the United States, but the future of the free world depends in the final analysis upon the United States and upon our willingness to reach those decisions on these complicated matters which face us with courage and clarity. And the graduates of this school will, as they have in the past, play their proper role.

I express my thanks to you. This building which 15 years ago was just a matter of conversation is now a reality. So those things that we talk about today, which seem unreal, where so many people doubt that they can be done--the fact of the matter is, it has been true all through our history--they will be done, and Wyoming, in doing it, will play its proper role.

Thank you.

And this one from 1960:

 Today In Wyoming's History: September 23:

1960  Senator John F. Kennedy, Presidential candidate, spoke in Cheyenne.  His speech stated:

My friend and colleague, Senator McGee, your distinguished Governor, Governor Hickey, Secretary of State Jack Gage, your State Chairman, Teno Roncalio, your National Committeeman, Tracy McCraken and Mrs. McCraken; your next United States Senator, Ray Whitaker, your next United States Congressman, Hep Armstrong, ladies and gentlemen: I first of all want to express on behalf of my sister and myself my great gratitude to all of you for being kind enough to have this breakfast and make it almost lunch. (Laughter) I understand from Tracy that some of you have driven nearly three or four hundred miles to be here this morning. Yesterday morning we were in Iowa, and since that time we have been in five states, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Colorado, and now Wyoming. We have come, therefore, all of us, great distances, and I think we have come great distances since the Democratic Convention at Los Angeles. I know that Wyoming is a small state, relatively, but it is a fact that Wyoming, which was not talked about as a key state in the days before the convention, when they were talking about what California and what Pennsylvania and what New York, and Illinois would do at the convention, not very many people talked about what Wyoming would do, and yet, as you know Wyoming did it.
So you can expect in other days, other candidates, will all be coming here. I don't know whether it is going to be that close in November. I don't know whether Mr. Nixon and I will be three votes apart, but it is possible we will be. If so, Wyoming having gotten us this far, we would like to have you take us the rest of the way on November 8. (Applause)
My debt of gratitude, therefore, to everyone in this room and everyone at the head table, goes very deep. As Gail said, I have been to this state five times. My brother, Teddy, has been here ten times, and I think that the Kennedys have a high regard and affection for the State of Wyoming

Bobby has been here, I guess, several times. We have been here more than we have been to New York State. I don't know what the significance is, but in any case, I am delighted to be back here this morning. (Applause) I am delighted to be here because this is an important election, and because Wyoming elects not only a President of the United States this year, but it elects a United States Senator and a Congressman. The Electoral College and the organization of the states is an interesting business. New York has 15 million people, Wyoming has 300,000 people; you have one Congressman, they have many Congressmen – you have more than that? (Laughter) Odd people? Well, they have a few in New York, I guess. (Laughter) But in any case, you have two Senators and New York has two Senators. This causes a great deal of heartburn in New York but it should be a source of pride and satisfaction to you that when Wyoming votes, it votes the same number of United States Senators as the State of New York, and the State of Massachusetts, and the State of California. All states are equal, and, therefore, the responsibility on the people of Wyoming is to make sure that they send members to the United States Senate who speak not only for Wyoming, who serve not only as ambassadors from this state, but also speak for the United States and speak for the public interest, and that, I think has been the contribution which Senator O'Mahoney has made to the United States Senate and Gail McGee now makes. They speak for this state, they speak for its interests, they speak for its development, they speak for its needs, but they also speak for the country. And, therefore, our system works, and Wyoming and the United States flourish together
I think we have a chance to carry on that tradition. To send as a successor to Senator O'Mahoney, who grew up in Chelsea, Massachusetts, and who saw the wisdom and came west, I think we have a chance to carry on that tradition when you elect Ray Whitaker as United States Senator next November 8.
Actually, as you know, the Constitution of the Untied States confines and limits the power of Senators. We are given the right to approve Presidential nominations, and to ratify treaties. But the House of Representatives is given the two great powers which are the hallmark of a self-governing society: One, the power to appropriate money, and the second is the power to levy taxes. If you don't like the way your taxes are, if you don't like the way your money is being spent, write to the House of Representatives, not to the United States Senate, because our powers and responsibilities are somewhat different. Therefore in sending a man to fulfill these two functions, we want a man of responsibility and competence and energy. I therefore am sure that the people of this state will send to the House of Representatives to share in the great constitutional powers given to that body, Hep Armstrong, with whom I served in the Navy and hope to serve in the Government of the United States next November.
During this campaign, there are many efforts made to divide domestic and foreign problems and I don't hold that view. I think there is a great interrelationship between the problems which face us here in the United States and the problems which face us around the world. I think if the United States is moving ahead here at home the United States power and prestige in the world will be strong. If we are standing still here at home, then we stand still around the world. I think in other words, as Gail McGee suggested, that the 14 points of Woodrow Wilson were the logical extension of the New Freedom here in the United States. (Applause) And the Good Neighbor Policy of Franklin Roosevelt had its counterpart in his domestic policy of the New Deal. And the Marshall Plan and NATO and the Truman Doctrine carried out in foreign policy under the administration of Harry Truman and Point IV, all had their logical extension in the domestic policy of President Truman here in the United States. I say that because I think that there is a direct relationship between the efforts that we make here in the Sixties, here in the West, here in the State of Wyoming, here in the United States, and what we do around the world.
Two days ago I spent the day in Tennessee. I think that there is a direct relationship between what was done in the Tennessee Valley by Franklin Roosevelt and the Democratic Party in the Thirties, and what other countries in Africa and the Middle East and Asia are attempting to do to develop their own natural resources. I stand and you stand today in the middle of the Great Plains of the United States. There are great plains in Africa, and in my judgment Africa will be one of the keys to the future. The people of Africa want to develop their resources. They want to develop their resources of the great plains of Africa and they look to see what to do here to develop the resources, of the Great Plains of the United States.
I don't think that there can be any greater disservice to the cause of the United States and the cause of freedom than for any political party at this watershed of history to put forward a policy for developing the resources of the United States of no new starts. I don't say that we can do everything in the Sixties, but I say we can move and start and go ahead, and I think it is that spirit which separates our two parties.
I come from Massachusetts, but it is a source of satisfaction and pride that the two Americans who did more to develop the resources of the West both came from New York, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt, and they did it because they saw it not as a state problem, not as a regional problem, but as a national opportunity, and it is in that spirit that I look to the future of the Great Plains of the United States in the Sixties.
We are going to have over 300 million people living in this country in the year 2000. Many of them will live in this state. We are going to have to make sure that we pass on to our children a country which is using natural resources given to us by the Lord to the maximum; that every drop of water that flows to the ocean first serves a useful and beneficial purpose; that the resources of the land are used, whether it is agriculture or whether it is oil or minerals; that we move ahead here in the West and move ahead here in the United States. I think that there is a direct relationship between the policy of no new starts in developing our water and power resources, and irrigation and reclamation and conservation, and the fact that our agricultural income has dropped so sharply in the United States in recent years, and the fact that we are using our steel capacity 50 per cent of capacity. Pittsburgh, Wyoming, Montana, Wisconsin are all tied together. A rising tide lifts all the boats. If we are moving ahead here in the West, if we are moving ahead in agriculture, if we are moving ahead in industry, if we have an administration that looks ahead, then the country prospers. But if one section of the country is strangled, if one section of the country is standing still, then sooner or later a dropping tide drops all the boats, whether the boats are in Boston or whether they are in this community.
I can assure you that if we are successful that we plan to move ahead as a national administration, with the support of the Congress, in using and developing the resources which our country has. This is a struggle, not only for a better standard of living for our people, but it is also a showcase. As Edmund Burke said about England in his day, "We sit on a conspicuous stage", what we do here, what we fail to do, affects the cause of freedom around the world. Therefore, I can think of no more sober obligation on the next administration and the next President and the next Congress than to move ahead in this country, develop our resources, prevent the blight which is going to stain the development of the West unless we make sure that everything that we have here is used usefully for our people.
The Tennessee Valley in Tennessee, the Northwest Power Development, the resources of Wyoming, all harnessed together, the Missouri River, the Columbia River, the Mississippi River, the Tennessee River - all of them harnessed together serve as a great network of strength, a stream of strength in this country which is going to be tested to its utmost. So I come here today not saying that the future is easy, but saying that the future can be bright. I don't take the view that everything that is being done is being done to the maximum. I think the difference between the Republicans and the Democrats in 1960 is that we both think it is a great country, but we think it must be greater. We both think it is a powerful country, but we think it must be more powerful. We both think it stands as the sentinel at the gate for freedom, but we think we can do a better job. I think that has been true of our party ever since the administration of Theodore Roosevelt, and I think we can do a job in the Sixties.
I have asked Senator Magnuson, who is the Chairman of our Resources Advisory Committee, to hold a conference on resources and mineral use here in the City of Casper in the State of Wyoming during the coming weeks, because I think we should identify ourselves in the coming weeks with the kind of programs we are going to carry out in January. If there is any lesson which history has taught of the administrations of Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt, it is the essentiality of previous planning for successful action by a new administration. Unless we decide now what we are going to do in January, February, March and April, if we should be successful, we will fail to use the golden time which the next administration will have. I come here today speaking not for Wyoming or Massachusetts, but speaking for a national party which believes in the future of our country, which will devote its energies to building its strength, and by building our strength here we build the cause of freedom around the world. Thank you.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré?

Would anyone happen to recognize the location of this photograph?  It's been suggested to me that it may have been taken at the Shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre in Quebec, and I think that might be correct based upon the net photographs I've found of that location, but I'm not sure of that.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Painted Bricks: The Halls of Natrona County High School

Painted Bricks: The Halls of Natrona County High School: When I attended NCHS, back in the misty dawn of time, there were no interior paintings in the building.  Now, to my surprise, there are.  W...

Hidden America?

NPR recently interviewed author Jeanne Marie Laskas regarding her new book, Hidden America.  The apparent thesis of the book is to explore the hidden employments that keep the nation running, noting that the author explores such hidden jobs as coal miner and cowboy.

Hidden, really?

Perhaps its just because I'm from Wyoming, but I know coal miners and lots of cowboys, photographs of some of which appear on this blog.  I'm even a sort of cowboy myself.  I didn't know I was hiding. 

It isn't that the gist of the book doesn't have some relevance. I've often been amazed about all sorts of occupations that never would have occurred to me when I was young, and thinking about what to do for work.  There are, indeed, many such jobs that I really don't know how people even think to get into.  Court Reporter, for example, is one such occupation.  I've known many court reporters due to my work as a lawyer, but when I was a teenager, in school, that occupation wouldn't have even crossed my radar screen.  I didn't know any then, and I didn't know anybody thinking of becoming one.  Indeed, I don't know of anyone who was amongst my school associates back then who in fact became one.  I don't know why that is, but even thinking of it is something that I don't think most of us could have done, as there wasn't any real way to know about the occupation.  I suppose there are many other such occupations, many such as court reporting, that require a special education, but which we generally just don't think about.

So, to a degree, I'd have to confess there is a certain "hidden" set of occupations, in that they're hidden from us unless we become exposed to them somehow.

But the focus of this radio interview had less to do with that, it seems to me, than it did with agricultural, industrial and manual labor.  It really seemed the author was amazed to learn that not everyone works in a cubicle in a large city.

For example, there was the reference to coal miners.  They seemed amazed that there are coal miners.  Are we that far removed from reality in some parts of the country that we don't know that?  They even seemed surprised the US mines coal. And the U.S. mines a lot of coal.  Huge amounts.  To be ignorant of the existence of coal miners is to be ignorant of one of the major U.S. extractive industries and energy sources. Simply stunning.

Migrant farm workers was another.  Are people really not aware that there are migrant farm workers?  Or farm workers in general?

Which brings me to cowboys.  They seemed stunned there are cowboys with horses.  Here, I have to admit that reaction seems common.  Horse mounted cowboys remain a feature of stock raising in a major way, and not just on the range, but at the stockyard as well.  Indeed, the horse has survived repeated predictions of its demise, and outlasted numerous mechanical attempts to supplant it.  The current form of horse use we now have basically dates back to the late 1940s, when stock raising was heavily impacted by the introduction of the 4x4 vehicle, but in its pattern of use from about 1945 forward it continues on (supplanting the use that dated from around 1920 to 1945).  But, for whatever reason, it always surprises me that people are surprised that the occupation still exists.  I'm not sure how people figure steak or lamb get into the meat display at Safeway.

Perhaps, in thinking on it, what this really serves to illustrate is that the often cited divide between the rural and the urban is bigger than I imagine.  The jobs that tend to catch me off guard are jobs that are largely metropolitan in nature, in the sense that they're jobs that occur in town.  Not one of the jobs mentioned on the NPR interview surprised me in the least.  I was aware of them all.  I guess that they were "hidden" to the author and interviewer as they were city oriented.  That may mean that there's not one, but two, hidden Americans, depending upon where a person lives.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Casper Mountain Fire, September 12

Early morning, September 12.  Smoke from the Sheep Herder Hill Fire and the Elk Horn Canyon Fire still rising.

 Fire picking back up, mid afternoon.

Fire Fighting Aircraft, Natrona County International Airport

 DC 10 Fire Bomber.

 Wyoming Air National Guard Blackhawk helicopters.

A collection of aircraft brought in to fight the Sheep Herder Hill fire on Casper Mountain.