78 years ago Adolph Hitler invaded Poland on the first of September in 1939. Two days later, Great Britain and France declared war on Germany, and World War II was on. What was happening in Wyoming? Mostly it was life as usual in the Cowboy State.


America was staying out of any wars until we were attacked in December of 1941. It was then young men everywhere joined the U.S. Armed Forces. In 1939, though, Wyoming did have some of its own semi-historic moments:

Trona was discovered in Sweetwater County.

The finished Seminoe Dam went into hydroelectric operation on the North Platte.

Laramie High School basketball star, Kenny Sailors entered The University of Wyoming.

In September of 1939, future two-term Governor of Wyoming Mike Sullivan was born.

California Oil Company, later named Chevron, first drilled on the Pinedale Anticline.

Weston County bentonite was being shipped all over the United States and world.

Wyoming’s first ski area, Snow King, was opened later in 1939 in Jackson.

A very young John Wayne starred in “Wyoming Outlaw