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Top 10 Interesting and Fun Facts About the Wild West and Cowboys

Amanda is a retired educator with many years of experience teaching children of all ages and abilities in various contexts.

An American cowboy, a staple of the old west.

An American cowboy, a staple of the old west.

Where Was the Wild West?

We can define the Wild West by both time and place. Geographically, it was that part of the United States of America to the west of the Mississippi River. Historically, it was the period in the latter half of the 19th century and the early 20th century.

Before the outbreak of the American Civil War, a common expansionist political doctrine known as Manifest Destiny swept through the country. The principle, promoted by the United States government, said it was an inevitable and divinely ordained movement to claim and settle the lands westward. So we are looking at the land between the Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean.

What Made the West so Wild?

The expansion into the west was no easy undertaking. The pioneers driving the expansion were often faced with extreme hardship, for one thing. For another, the westward movement was not by any means a peaceful one. The settlers forced their way to the Pacific by driving the Native Americans from their lands.

'The Wild West' An oil painting on canvas by Albert Beirstadt (1830-1902) now housed in the Newhouse Galleries, NY.

'The Wild West' An oil painting on canvas by Albert Beirstadt (1830-1902) now housed in the Newhouse Galleries, NY.

The culture that developed in this harsh and violent environment led to violence, a break-down in law and order, and a daily struggle for survival in the early days. The ongoing tensions between natives and settlers which ultimately resulted in the Indian Wars, with heavy loss of life on both sides and finally the genocide of many entire tribal populations, made the west a pretty wild place.

In this dangerous landscape, people developed a new philosophy which still holds fast in much of the west today, that everyone had a right to bear arms and defend their newly claimed property to the death.

The larger part of hostility was between the natives and the settlers, a fact which is not only historically accurate but has been enshrined in any number of 'westerns' or 'Cowboys and Indians' books and movies.

Top Ten Facts About the Wild West

So, that's a bit of historical and geographical context. Now, let's take a look at the top ten facts:

1. There's Gold in Them There Hills!

So the westwards expansion was finally completed with the settling of what is now California.

And if the settlers were happy at first just to have arrived safely on the beautiful shores of the Pacific, they were not destined to settle down and enjoy the peace. Oh, no.

In 1848, a discovery was made in California which initiated a wild, madcap rush of even more people to the West. The discovery was gold. Driven by the desire for easy riches, close to 175,000 people crossed over from the east to the west, prospecting for gold.

Some found gold and became wealthy. Others lost everything in the effort. There's no doubt, however, that 'the gold rush' as it became known, remains one of the most extraordinary moments in western history.

This was also the period of the long wagon trains, with people migrating along the Oregon Trail to buy the land which had been acquired after the massacre of the native populations.

The Gold Rush

2. Wagons Roll!

Many settlers also travelled westward along the Oregon Trail, which stretched from Independence in the east, all the way to what is now Oregon City in the west.

It was a long, hard journey, and while many folks made it across the country, many died on the way. They either succumbed to illness or exhaustion or otherwise were killed in conflicts with Native Americans defending their land and buffalo from what they must have seen as the plague of white, European expansion.

It is this movement along the Oregon Trail that is the origin of all those images of the wagon trails that we have grown up with in the western movies.

3. Who Were the Cowboys?

Sometimes we are tempted to talk about cowboys in the past tense. Of course, that is really a mistake as there are still plenty of real ones around today.

Even so, the cowboys of the nineteenth century lived a different lifestyle than the modern ones.

Real Cowboys

Real cowboys with a girl and a dog in Converse County, Wyoming; costume includes suspenders, bandanas, leather chaps, a pistol, holster, and ammunition belt. They are identified as: "Tom Black" "Chas Mayo" "Tex Biddick" and "Neal Hart."

Real cowboys with a girl and a dog in Converse County, Wyoming; costume includes suspenders, bandanas, leather chaps, a pistol, holster, and ammunition belt. They are identified as: "Tom Black" "Chas Mayo" "Tex Biddick" and "Neal Hart."

The cowboys we think of when we think of the Wild West started out as cattle herders who followed the imported Spanish style of ranching.

The herds were huge, replacing the slaughtered buffalo and many thousands strong. The land, however, was arid and hard and so the cattle had to roam, as the native buffalo once had, for many miles to find enough food and water. The cowboy's job was to follow the herds on horseback, to manage and care for the cattle and to drive them back to the ranch for slaughter.

The cowboys were often away from home for many weeks at a time. They lived rough, camping out under the stars and surviving largely on a diet of beans, dried meat and coffee brewed in a 'billy can' over the fire. It was a hard life and sometimes a lonely one but has also given rise to some wonderful songs and stories that are still sung and told today.

4. Cowboy Clothes and Lifestyle

Cowboy clothes were designed to be tough and warm. They had to withstand rough treatment in harsh conditions and still be comfortable as a cowboy might wear them without a change for weeks at a time.

The typical western outfit was denim jeans with leather covers known as 'chaps' which helped to protect the cowboy's legs.

As he would often ride through the baking heat and dust of the desert or the plains, cowboys also wore wide-rimmed hats called 'Stetsons' to protect them from the glare of the sun. They would also have a large neckerchief that they would tie around their necks and pull up to protect their nose and mouth from the dust of the cattle trail.

The famous Stetson hat, which many cowboys still wear today, would also double up as a drinking bowl for both the cowboy and his horse.

The cowboys always carried guns, both rifles and pistols, to protect themselves from natives, bandits and cattle rustlers and to protect the cattle from attacks by wolves and cougars.

We have said 'he' but the truth is that there were also cowgirls. It's true that there were not so many of them as there were cowboys, but it should be mentioned that the cowgirls did exactly the same work as the cowboys.

5. The Western Saloon

The cowboys and girls worked very hard, as you can imagine and when they landed in a town to rest for a few days, they would often head to the local saloon.

In the saloon, they would pass the time drinking beer and whiskey, often to the point of extreme drunkenness. Gambling was also rife, and there were often women who offered physical comforts in exchange for money or drink.

Violence would frequently break out in these saloons of the Wild West, and arguments were often resolved in shoot-outs. The Sheriff, whose only real authority was often the strength of his own personality and his ability to gain popular support, had a tough time trying to maintain law and order.

6. Gunslingers

We've all heard of the famed 'gunslingers' of the wild west and who doesn't remember any number of scenes in the movies when the good guy and the bad guy finally meet in the dusty, deserted street of a western town, pacing slowly towards each other, fingers poised over their holstered guns, survival dependent on being the fastest draw?

Poster - Jesse James - Directed by Henry King - 1939

Poster - Jesse James - Directed by Henry King - 1939

It's interesting that the handgun known as a revolver (and often referred to by its manufacturer's name as a 'Colt') was not actually invented or produced until 1836.

The gun was invented by Samuel Colt and was a revolutionary design in its day. The revolver was so called because it had a revolving barrel that could be loaded with six bullets and each bullet fired in rapid succession. That's also why you'll have heard the guns referred to as 'six-shooters.'

Before Colt's invention, each bullet had to be loaded and fired separately.

The rapid-firing Colt revolver was a fast and dangerous weapon. Cowboys commonly wore two of the guns, one strapped to the left thigh and one to the right in a tough leather pocket known as a holster.

7. The Pony Express, the Telegraph and the Railroad

The rapidly expanding occupation of North America by European settlers brought with it a new tide of invention and endeavor in the development of communications.

It soon became necessary to be able to convey messages and information quickly across the vast distances of the new continent. The first of these was The Pony Express.

This service operated for eighteen months and began in 1860. During that time, almost fifty letters and three newspapers were taken on horseback from Missouri to California. That's a distance of 1,980 miles. The horses were driven hard and fast, and so both mount and rider were changed over at 12-mile intervals.

It sounds slightly insane today, but at the time it was very effective, reducing the time it took to cross from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast to just ten days.

The Pony Express

The Invention of the Telegraph

Back in 1837, Samuel Morse had invented his famous 'electrical telegraph' which used a device to tap out a series of long and short electrical signals that came to be known as 'Morse Code' and that could then be transmitted through wire cables for many miles.

Once the cable infrastructure was in place, the new 'telegrams' soon took over from the old Pony Express and a vast network of rapid communications spread across the entire country.

If the telegraph enabled information to be transferred almost instantly from coast to coast, the development that would transform the country forever was the laying down of the railroads.

The Railroads

With the advent of the railroads, not only information but now people, livestock, fuel and goods of all kinds could be transported in bulk across vast distances.

The first railroad to cross the continent from east to west was built between 1863 and 1869, stretching from Iowa to California.

Nothing else had such an impact on the American west as the railroads. New towns rapidly sprang to life along their lengths, and the ability to transport timber and stone across the vastness of the plains led to ever faster expansion and development.

Native Americans might well have looked down on the steaming, noisy, clanking heat of the unstoppable iron engines that now drove across their lands and perhaps realised that not only was their culture drawing towards it end but the very nature of the land they had roamed for thousands of years was to be changed forever.

8. The Wild West Show

It wasn't long before the emerging culture of what was to become modern America began to mythologise itself.

In 1883 a man by the name of William Cody but known to the world as 'Buffalo Bill' presented the first Wild West Show.

An 1899 poster of Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World

An 1899 poster of Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World

The Wild West show was a mixture of a theatrical presentation and a kind of circus. Mock re-enacted battles between 'Indians' and 'cowboys' were staged. The native people, of course, were always presented as vicious savages and the cowboys as noble heroes. In part, the wild west shows—which soon became hugely popular and were imitated across the nation—served as a propaganda machine to support the continued genocide and expansion of the European occupation of North America.

 "Buffalo Bill's Wild West" show programme, featuring "Col. W. F. Cody," printed at South Brooklyn, New York. Image courtesy of the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University.

"Buffalo Bill's Wild West" show programme, featuring "Col. W. F. Cody," printed at South Brooklyn, New York. Image courtesy of the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University.

There were also demonstrations of prowess at horseback riding, shooting and rope skills.

As there were cowgirls as well as cowboys, there were several women who also performed in these shows. The most famous is Annie Oakley, known as 'the peerless lady wing-shot.'

In many ways, the wild west shows of the nineteenth century were the forerunners of the 'westerns' of the movie and TV age, in which the mythology of the gun-slinging outlaw and the 'cowboys and Indians' conflict was further developed.

Little wonder then that in our popular culture we now consider real-life outlaws such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Jesse James and Billy the Kid as folk heroes rather than the lawless criminals they probably really were.

Buffalo Bill and the Wild West Show

9. The Fate of the Native Americans

Before the invasion of white European settlers, many traditional tribal cultures lived out on the Great Plains. Their lifestyle was largely nomadic, as they followed the herds of buffalo, hundreds of thousands strong, on which they depended for their food, clothing and homes.

While the native peoples had established a sustainable relationship with these herds, the settlers slaughtered them indiscriminately. In part, they also used them for meat and for their hides, but there was also a policy to destroy the buffalo in order to starve the native people into submission and drive them onto the 'reservations.'

Even before the domination of the railroad, the buffalo were being killed, and the natives forced onto the reservations, which were the poorest land and frequently overcrowded, allowing no possibility of them continuing their traditional lifestyle.

Many natives refused to go quietly.

In 1868, a band of Sioux warriors who had acquired rifles as weapons launched a series of attacks on white strongholds. These forts were being constructed to protect prospectors and their families following the Bozeman Trail to the western gold mines.

The warriors did considerable damage and killed 81 soldiers. The Bozeman Trail followed more ancient trails traditional to the native tribes.

But the struggle to defend their land was finally lost, and the invading forces took control. It was the end of an era. The invaders would later, using the labor of enslaved Africans, change the face of America forever.

"The Custer Fight" by Charles Marion Russell. Lithograph. Shows the Battle of Little Bighorn, from the Indian side.

"The Custer Fight" by Charles Marion Russell. Lithograph. Shows the Battle of Little Bighorn, from the Indian side.

10. Battle of Little Bighorn and Custer's Last Stand

So to the final fact, which is known as Custer's Last Stand at the Battle of Little Bighorn.

This has become an iconic moment in the history of the Wild West and in many ways symbolizes the end of that period of the blood-stained history of our invasion of these lands known as 'The Wild West' and the beginning of the new era of modern America.

General George Custer led his regiment of soldiers into the Black Hills of Dakota in 1874. The area was then a Native reservation. However, Custer and his men saw that the tribes wore ornaments made from glittering, yellow metal: gold.

As word got out, the pact of reservation was broken as hordes of settlers came to the land to prospect for the precious metal.

In rebellion against this breach of the agreement, the native people left the reserved areas and made a war pact with the great warrior-leaders, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse.

Custer ordered them back to the reservation by the end of February that year. Understandably, they ignored this order.

A band of warriors from the Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho people attacked Custer and his regiment at the now famous Battle of Little Bighorn. General Custer made his last stand at that battle as both he and all his 225 soldiers were killed to a man.

But this was to be the final small victory in a war already lost by the native people, and within a few short years of this tragic event, the Buffalo had been slaughtered; the tribal people that remained, dispersed and contained on the reservations.

The period of 'The Wild West' was drawing to an end, and the new era of modern America was about to begin.

© 2014 Amanda Littlejohn

Have something to say? Say it here...

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on December 07, 2017:

Hi Kyle,

Thanks for your comment! The so-called "Wild West" was a fascinating, and tragic, part of our history. I'm glad you enjoyed this article.

Kyle on December 06, 2017:

I like it a lot! I have learned a lot about the Wild West!

Nadia davids on April 10, 2017:

Ever since I watched the Disney junior show called Sheriff Callies's Wild West I was more curious about the wild west and about the cowboys and cowgirls in the past, so I said I wanted to become a sheriff just like my hero. Sheriff Callie. but my parents say that its a dangerous job, and I asked my dad how many years did the wild west end, so he said it ended 100 years ago but when I googled last night how many years has it been 122 years ago since it ended and the wild west were there for 30 years

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on January 28, 2017:

Thank you. :)

flourishanyway on January 27, 2017:

love it:)

Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on September 02, 2014:


You are very welcome. I enjoy hubs about the West and Native Americans and their culture that in some ways, are more complex than our backgrounds. Keep up the fine work. And God bless you richly.

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on September 01, 2014:

Hi Kenneth,

Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you found this article about the Wild West, Cowboys and Native American people interesting. I think sometimes it is hard for us to take a balanced view of this period of history but that is what I have tried to do here.

Thanks again for your comment. Bless :)

Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on August 31, 2014:


Hubs like this always get my attention as well as those in-depth, truthful documentaries on The History Channel, Learning Channel and Discovery.

There is still a lot of things we, the modern society, need to discover or rather, uncover, about the West.

I want to be living when that happens.

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on August 30, 2014:

Hi Alun!

Yeah, I kinda think that Health and Safety as we think of it today was not even a vague consideration back then! But it's a nice thought... "Hey, careful with that thing, someone might got shot!"


Amanda Littlejohn (author) on August 30, 2014:

Hi SheGetsCreative!

Thanks for your comment. I wonder if you know from your first-hand experience of cowboys if they tended in the Old West to load five or six cartridges? What to the cowboys you've known say about that? It would be interesting - of course, maybe you never talked about it!

Thanks again for reading. Glad you liked it. :)

Angela F from Seattle, WA on August 30, 2014:

Great hub. Growing up in a rural part of Tucson, I had lots of first-hand experience with the lifestyle of the cowboys.

Greensleeves Hubs from Essex, UK on August 30, 2014:

Your comment about having five or six bullets in the six-shooter makes perfect sense. I'm sure anyone expecting to get involved in a gunfight would have wanted as many bullets as possible. But I kinda like the idea that many cowboys may have routinely used five - it would be an indication that health and safety considerations even existed in the Wild West! :-)

That's a nice site you referred to. I just took a look at it myself. Best wishes

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on August 30, 2014:

Hi Alun,

Thank you for a comment that is a truly wonderful contribution to the hub!

I'm delighted that you found it so interesting. I just checked out the idea that old-time cowboys only loaded five rounds in their six-shooters on a site called cowboytocowboy *dot* com and the opinion seems to be that many regular folks probably did do that as a security measure (the safety bar hadn't been invented yet) but the sheriffs and the gunslingers loaded a full chamber because, for them, the extra round was less of a risk than not having enough fire power if there was a shoot out.

Thanks again for your great comment! Bless you :)

Greensleeves Hubs from Essex, UK on August 30, 2014:

First rate account of the key aspects of Wild West mythology and truth. I love all the information, and the videos are well presented, very informative and carefully selected by you. Nice to see the old photos and paintings which show that gratifyingly much of the basic imagry of the west was true. Also interesting how the Wild West shaped even some modern attitudes in America, re-gun ownership for example.

I found the section on the Pony Express particularly interesting - such a short period of time it spanned, and yet it still remains a legendary name in communication across the nation.

One interesting fact I've heard which may or may not be true is that most cowboys only loaded their 'six-shooters' with five bullets for safety reasons, leaving an empty cartridge in the barrel to avoid accidental shootings.

The Wild West story has been revised, due to recognition of the tragic impact on native Americans, and because Hollywood glamourised the period for its movies, but it still remains an extraordinary time in American history with wonderfully colourful adventures, characters and events.

Great hub stuff4kids. Shared. Alun

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on August 26, 2014:

Hi starstream!

Glad you enjoyed this and thank you so much for commenting. And I agree with you wholeheartedly that we mustn't forget the cowgirls!

Bless you :)

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on August 26, 2014:

Hi Dolores!

Thank you so much for reading this and for your comment. I'm delighted that you found it edifying.

And I do agree with you, that the period of history that we refer to as the wild west was indeed a very complex one, full of heroism, villainy, wonder and tragedy in at least equal measure.

In fact, as in the case of the plight of First Nations People, that history is still alive in the present and very much demanding of our attention.

Thanks again for your comment. Bless you :)

Dreamer at heart from Northern California on August 26, 2014:

Fine work in this hub. Thanks for sharing all the photos too. You succeeded in presenting some very colorful history about the Wild West. Including the cowgirls was so interesting too.

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on August 26, 2014:

I enjoyed reading this article about the Wild West, a fascinating part of American history that still captivates us today. The romance of moving into a new land, the geography, the characters and tragedies all combine to make this time a remarkable one.

Kenneth Avery on June 04, 2014:


You are so welcome. And I scored 100% on your Wild West Quiz. I am not boasting. Just glad to know "something" about that great time in America.

And thanks for checking out my hubs--and I cannot wait until you follow me. I am very excited.

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on June 03, 2014:

Hi Kenneth!

Well, thank you for all those kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the article.

Sure, I'll find the time to check out your hubs.

Thanks again for your contribution.

Bless you. :)

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on June 03, 2014:

Hi Johnny!

Thanks for your comments. That's wonderful to have those photographs from your grandfather! Maybe you could build a hub around them and the story of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show visiting England. Do you know the dates?

Bless. :)

Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on June 02, 2014:

Hello, stuff4kids,

. . .Wow! Amazing! Breath-taking! And I could easily keep going. Voted up and away on this marvelous work. The text and graphics fit like a glove and were absolutely perfect!!!! Without flaw. I wish my hubs looked this smooth.

Check your fan mail for more from me to you.

I would consider it a great favor if you would read a couple of my hubs and then be one of my followers.

Keep up the great work.

Kenneth Avery, Hamilton, Al.

Johnny Parker from Birkenhead, Wirral, North West England on June 02, 2014:

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show came to England, must have been around the turn of the centuary. I have some photo's take by my Grandad of their visit to Liverpool.

Great article, I love the Wild West, I grew up on 'Cowies' as a kid. Well done.

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on May 30, 2014:

Hi daphne64.

Thank you for your comment and contribution to this hub. You know, you might be the first person to have gotten the real theme of this article!

Bless you. :)

daphne64 from Alabama on May 30, 2014:

I thought that this article was very interesting. I do not think I would have been happy then because I have both white and Indian relatives in my family tree. I LOVE them all and it would have been heartbreaking to say the least.

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on May 07, 2014:

Hi Maggie!

Thanks you so much - I'm delighted that you enjoyed this history of the old west, native peoples and the cowboys.

Bless you :)

Maggie.L from UK on May 05, 2014:

Thanks for sharing such an insightful and informative hub. I've certainly learned a lot of new and interesting facts about the wild west.

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on April 26, 2014:

Why, thank you, techygran!

Sure was nice of ya to make such a kind comment :)

Bless you.

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on April 25, 2014:

This is a well-organized, well-written hub about a fascinating topic.

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on April 10, 2014:

Hi Iolani!

Thanks so much for reading this article about the Wild West and taking the time to leave such a kind comment.

I'm happy you found it interesting.

Bless you :)

Iolani from USA on April 10, 2014:

Hi stuff4kids,

Thanks for writing such wonderful hubpage. Great efforts. really love it.

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on April 04, 2014:

Thanks, Diana,

You are very kind. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Bless you :)

Diana L Pierce from Potter County, Pa. on April 04, 2014:

This is a wonderful collection of information about the American west. I have always been fascinated by western stories fact or fiction. Well done. Voted up.

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on April 03, 2014:

Hi parrster!

Thanks for your kind comments. I'm glad that you enjoyed the hub.

Bless. :)

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on April 03, 2014:

Thanks, FlourishAnyway!

You are very kind. Bless you. :)

Richard Parr from Australia on April 02, 2014:

Amazing hub well deserving of its Hubpot Challenge achievements. Really is impressive the amount of effort you've put into this. Congratulations, voted up and awesome.

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 02, 2014:

Mindi, I'm back to say congratulations for being in the top 10 for the HubPot Challenge for the week! You have a great hub!

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on April 01, 2014:

Hi Purpose Embraced,

Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you found this interesting and informative.

Bless. :)

Yvette Stupart PhD from Jamaica on March 31, 2014:

This is a very interesting and informative hub on the wild west and cow boys. I love to watch westerns movies. Thanks for posting.

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on March 30, 2014:

Thanks for your comment ravi1991.

All the best.

Ashutosh Tiwari from Lucknow, India on March 30, 2014:


Though it might seem little irrelevant, but you should have certainly given some space for Sergio Leone-- the legendary producer, director who immortalized western spaghetti genre in movies.

Rest is wonderful.

Ah! I finished article with such an ease and interest.

Thanks for sharing such an article on the smart guys-- I call them as such.


Amanda Littlejohn (author) on March 30, 2014:

Hi carrie,

I'm pleased y0u enjoyed it. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Bless. :)

Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on March 29, 2014:

Love the Wild West history. Thank you for taking the time to write this hub. Have a great week.

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on March 29, 2014:

Hi Eiddwen,

Thanks for your comments. I guess that Wales is the wild west of the Uk, isn't it?

Bless you. :)

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on March 29, 2014:

Hi Bill,

Thanks for your contribution. I don't know that I would have relished living in those times. I might have found the conflicts far too difficult to reconcile.

Thanks for your contribution.

Bless. :D

Amanda Littlejohn (author) on March 29, 2014:

Hi FlourishAnyway

I'm so glad you liked this article about the wild west and cowboys. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Bless you :D

Eiddwen from Wales on March 29, 2014:

From a little girl I have always loved the cowboys and Indians; yes you have guessed right I was always such a tomboy. This great hub was a treat and I vote up without a single doubt.

Wishing you a great weekend.


Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 28, 2014:

If I could pick one period of American history to live in, this would be the period. I have always had a love affair with the old west.....of course, the life expectancy was about twenty, which is a bit of a downer. LOL

Nice summary my friend....I need to go saddle up and get busy.


FlourishAnyway from USA on March 28, 2014:

This is filled with entertaining and educational historical information. A big thumbs up and more for your thoroughness. Great writing and research.