Day of the American Cowboy

Today, July 28th, is National Day of the American Cowboy, introduced into the Senate by Wyoming Senator Thomas Craig* on March 21, 2007 and passed by the Senate May 25, 2007. S. Res. 130 .

The Cowboy is not only an American tradition, but a very real part of western life, which I grew to appreciate while living in South Dakota. The opening lines of the resolution relate the importance of the American Cowboy very well:

  • Whereas pioneering men and women, recognized as cowboys, helped establish the American West;
  • Whereas that cowboy spirit continues to infuse this country with its solid character, sound family values, and good common sense;
  • Whereas the cowboy embodies honesty, integrity, courage, compassion, respect, a strong work ethic, and patriotism;
  • Whereas the cowboy loves, lives off of, and depends on the land and its creatures, and is an excellent steward, protecting and enhancing the environment;
  • Whereas the cowboy continues to play a significant role in the culture and economy of the United States;
  • Whereas approximately 800,000 ranchers are conducting business in all 50 States and are contributing to the economic well being of nearly every county in the Nation;
  • resolution continues

Some of the best library programs we sponsored in South Dakota featured cowboy poets. There’s a great cowboy poetry site Cowboy Music and Poetry from the Western Folklife Center in Elko Nevada. For a modern poet, I especially like Linda Hasselstrom. Read or listen to her Carolyn, Miranda, and Me.

*Senator Thomas served in the Senate for 12 years, and died June 4, 2007 of complications of leukemia following treatment. (Wikipedia)