Pony Express Diamond Jubilee

April 10, 2010 - During the Great Depression, the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Pony Express captivated public attention. Boy Scouts carried mail along the trail route and presented it to President Roosevelt, who said This is something fine to add to my stamp collection. This lecture includes photographs and film clips from the Howard R. Driggs Archive at Southern Utah University that capture the excitement of the historic rerun. Driggs, a historian, was president of the Oregon Trail Memorial Association, which sponsored the Diamond Jubilee. Today's speaker Camille Bradford, an attorney in Denver, Colorado, is the stepdaughter of Howard R. Driggs and founder of the Howard R. Driggs Memorial Foundation.

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00:07

so hello and welcome to the Smithsonian

00:09

National Postal Museum I'm Erin blasco

00:11

and I'm the public

00:13

at the Museum and we're really glad that

00:15

you could be with you're here with us

00:16

today Camille's husband Phil told me to

00:19

speak slowly so I'm going to try to do

00:21

that thank you for that too for the next

00:23

18 months we'll be celebrating 150

00:25

a--the anniversary of the Pony Express

00:26

and even though the pony express itself

00:29

didn't last that long it left a really

00:31

big impact on the American memory and

00:32

pop culture and as you'll learn in

00:34

today's talk the 75th anniversary of the

00:36

Pony Express during the Great Depression

00:37

truly captivated the public before I

00:40

introduce our speaker today I'd like to

00:42

mention that today's talk is being

00:43

broadcast live online two people around

00:46

the world who are watching so during the

00:48

Q&A; session that follows today's talk we

00:50

ask that you use this microphone so that

00:53

everyone online can hear your question

00:54

and be part of the conversation and if

00:56

they have a question I'll be asking here

00:58

as well so that Camille can answer it so

01:01

Camille Bradford is an attorney in

01:03

denver colorado she is the stepdaughter

01:04

of howard our jigs and founder of e

01:06

Howard our Drake's Memorial Foundation

01:08

she is a member of the National Pony

01:10

Express Association and is also

01:11

president the Colorado cherokee trail

01:13

chapter of the Oregon California trails

01:15

association and I hope you enjoy her

01:18

presentation today the Pony Express

01:19

Diamond Jubilee revisiting the

01:21

excitement of the 1935 rewrite

01:37

Thank You Erin it's a great pleasure to

01:40

be here today and a great honor to have

01:42

the opportunity to speak at the National

01:44

Postal Museum during the

01:46

sesquicentennial of the Pony Express the

01:50

Pony Express exhibit in this museum is a

01:52

wonderful tribute to its dramatic role

01:53

in postal history and to the history of

01:56

America during the early 1860s in

01:59

addition this exhibit captures the skill

02:01

and the bravery of Pony Express riders

02:04

and the station keepers in a very

02:06

dramatic way it also portrays the manner

02:09

in which the Pony Express became part of

02:11

our popular culture last Saturday was

02:15

the 150th anniversary of the first day

02:17

of Pony Express service in 1860 when

02:20

riders left both st. Joseph Missouri in

02:23

Sacramento California to speed the mail

02:25

and relays along a route of nearly 2,000

02:28

miles many celebrations will take place

02:31

along the trail this year including the

02:34

annual rear ID it's organized by the

02:36

National Pony Express Association this

02:39

year's rear ID will be accompanied by

02:41

particularly festive celebrations along

02:44

the trail route the 75th anniversary of

02:48

the Pony Express in 1935 was observed

02:51

during the Great Depression to gain a

02:54

better understanding of an event or a

02:55

period in our history it's always

02:57

relevant and interesting to look back at

03:00

how it was remembered by a subsequent

03:02

generation how the public remembered the

03:05

Pony Express in 1935 is the topic of my

03:08

presentation today I hope to convey both

03:11

the excitement of the diamond jubilee to

03:13

the public at that time and the

03:15

passionate interest in preserving the

03:18

story of this trail that inspired the

03:20

Oregon Trail memorial association to

03:22

organize the celebration

03:31

the depression the highlight of the

03:37

Jubilee was the rerun of the trail route

03:39

in August from Sacramento to st. Joseph

03:41

the beginning of which is shown in this

03:44

film clip the riders were members of the

03:46

Boy Scouts about five hundred thousand

03:49

people a very large percentage of the

03:53

people in our country at that time

03:54

attended celebrations and communities

03:57

along the route many state governors and

04:00

other dignitaries also participated in

04:03

these events and the culmination of the

04:05

rerun was the ceremony on the White

04:07

House lawn in which President Franklin D

04:10

Roosevelt participated the rerun even

04:19

received corporate support from the Ford

04:21

Motor Company Henry Ford had been a

04:23

friend of the founder of the Oregon

04:26

Trail memorial association Ezra Meeker

04:29

who had died before the diamond jubilee

04:31

but he remained as supportive of the

04:35

organization and the ford motor company

04:37

provided this vehicle to accompany the

04:41

scouts along the route of the rerun to

04:48

enhance our understanding of why the

04:50

public was so captivated by the event in

04:52

1935 it's interesting to look back at

04:55

the Depression era and see what other

04:57

things lifted the spirits of the public

05:00

this museum currently has a fascinating

05:02

exhibit delivering hope FDR and stamps

05:06

of the Great Depression this exhibit

05:08

demonstrates how President Roosevelt

05:10

used stamps to communicate with the

05:12

American people he was a stamp collector

05:16

himself and understood the power of

05:18

visual imagery and how stamps could be

05:20

utilized to convey messages of hope and

05:22

optimism he became very involved in the

05:25

design of some of the stamps to ensure

05:27

that the visual images were consistent

05:29

was the positive messages of hope and

05:32

optimism that he wanted to convey the

05:35

museum is noted that he became involved

05:37

in selection of colors for the stamps

05:39

feeling that softer colors

05:41

stamps might facilitate a more positive

05:43

reception of the message of the stamp

05:46

they breathed optimism into the nation's

05:49

beleaguered sold the exhibit notes

05:52

Cheryl Gans the chief curator of

05:54

philately at this museum is also the

05:57

author of a book on the 1933 chicago

05:59

world's fair the theme of the fair was a

06:02

century of progress she noted how

06:05

progress as the theme of the fair and

06:07

the design of various exhibits

06:10

successfully conveyed a sense of

06:12

optimism about the future the final

06:15

speaker at the closing ceremony

06:17

concluded his remarks on a very upbeat

06:19

note about the impact of the fair will

06:23

redeliver thousand years we would never

06:25

forget it for it lifted our spirits

06:26

restored our souls and brought us hope

06:29

the exhibit in this museum summarized it

06:32

very well and noting that millions

06:35

escaped their daily concerns by visiting

06:37

the fair where forward-looking exhibits

06:40

allowed them to believe in a better

06:42

future the construction of major

06:46

projects during the Depression such as

06:48

the Empire State Building and the

06:50

boulder dam which is now known as Hoover

06:52

Dam became symbols of progress and

06:55

optimism about the future during this

06:57

time in a radio interview nearing the

07:06

conclusion of the Pony Express Diamond

07:08

Jubilee Howard our dregs the president

07:11

of the Oregon Trail memorial association

07:12

was asked well some of the values were

07:15

that came out of the celebration he

07:18

replied first of all it has helped the

07:20

helped us get the minds of a good many

07:22

Americans off the depression and it has

07:25

given them a challenging example of the

07:27

heroism of earlier days he also noted

07:31

that there had been an outpouring of

07:32

support from communities and schools

07:34

along the trail interested in saving

07:37

landmarks and helping to monument the

07:39

trail the littles the Pony Express

07:45

symbolized the people in 1935 after all

07:49

it was a major financial failure for

07:51

Russell majors in widell the partner

07:54

the firm that launched it but it was a

07:57

glorious chapter in postal history as

07:59

well and financial failure was

08:02

irrelevant to the enthusiastic crowds

08:04

who participated in the celebrations to

08:13

understand the significance of the Pony

08:14

Express to the public in 1935 it's also

08:18

important to recall the history of the

08:20

period in which it operated in the

08:23

mid-1800s there had been a large

08:25

migration to the west partly as a result

08:27

of the gold rush people in the West

08:31

longed for communication from back home

08:33

one service delivered mail from coast to

08:37

coast by ship via Panama which took

08:40

several weeks are longer this was before

08:42

the Panama Canal and Mail had to be

08:44

transported over the Isthmus and

08:46

reloaded onto another ship to complete

08:49

the voyage to California cross-country

08:52

delivery of mail within the United

08:54

States could also take as long as a

08:57

month The Telegraph was in its early

08:59

years and not yet completed coast to

09:01

coast in 1860 the country was on the

09:05

verge of the Civil War and the need was

09:07

recognized for speedier service to keep

09:10

communication with the West alive and

09:14

kicking people they aware of what was

09:16

going on and hoped to maintain their

09:18

allegiance with the Union in 1861 the

09:23

pony express carried President Lincoln's

09:25

inaugural address to the West in seven

09:27

days and 17 hours which was a record

09:29

news of the attack on Fort Sumter was

09:32

carried in eight days and 14 hours the

09:36

Pony Express by bringing the ends of the

09:39

country into closer communication did

09:41

much to help save the Union this was one

09:45

of the central themes of the diamond

09:47

jubilee that the Oregon Trail memorial

09:50

association sought to convey as this

09:52

slide indicates the Pony Express

09:56

operated for only 19 months when the

09:59

transcontinental telegraph was completed

10:01

in October of 1861 the service became

10:04

obsolete and it

10:06

was forgotten by many people as the

10:08

excitement shifted to the marvel of

10:11

technology which allowed instantaneous

10:13

communication from coast to coast later

10:22

in the 1800s William Cody who was

10:25

popularly known as Buffalo Bill started

10:28

his Wild West shows these shows included

10:31

dramatizations of the Pony Express and

10:35

revived public awareness the show's

10:38

continued into the early 1900s and drew

10:41

large audiences both in the United

10:43

States and overseas there were a big

10:45

factor in the introduction of the Pony

10:47

Express into our popular culture in the

10:52

1920s the movement to preserve the

10:54

heritage of the Pony Express became

10:55

intertwined with the activities of the

10:58

Oregon Trail memorial association and

11:00

its leaders there was a physical

11:02

connection between the two trails

11:04

because the Pony Express followed the

11:06

Oregon Trail for about a thousand miles

11:08

which is about half of its distance in

11:12

southwest Wyoming the Oregon Trail

11:16

turned north and the Pony Express

11:18

betrayal headed south into Utah and from

11:21

there on into Nevada and California

11:24

three key figures in the Association

11:27

where Ezra maker Howard our driggs and

11:29

Liam Henry Jackson their diverse

11:32

backgrounds help shape a successful

11:34

vision and agenda for the organization

11:36

which received a major financial support

11:39

from a number of large donors

11:46

Ezra Meeker founded the Association in

11:50

the 1920s he was a well-known pioneer of

11:52

the Oregon Trail himself he had been

11:55

successful earlier in the 20th century

11:57

and attracting public attention

11:59

financial support from marking the

12:01

Oregon Trail in the early 1900s he

12:05

feared that the trail would not be

12:07

preserved and he set out on a

12:09

cross-country trip to raise both public

12:12

awareness and funds for a project to

12:15

mark and save the trail he traveled in

12:18

the covered wagons shown in the photo at

12:20

the top left this was in nineteen six

12:24

and a strip ultimately took him to

12:26

Washington where he was one we received

12:29

by President Theodore Roosevelt in the

12:33

late 1920s Henry Ford provided the

12:35

vehicle shown in the lower left photo

12:37

because he wanted as her to have a more

12:39

comfortable way to travel this became

12:42

known as the ox mobile unfortunately as

12:45

we died in 1928 before he could make a

12:48

trip in this vehicle but as a tribute to

12:51

ezra's the ox nabil later became part of

12:53

the celebration of the pine excuse me

12:56

Pony Express Diamond Jubilee he's shown

13:00

here in 1913 in a picture with Buffalo

13:03

Bill at an event in the Midwest in 1924

13:10

he had a truly breathtaking opportunity

13:13

he was able to take a trip by airplane

13:16

from west to east to retrace the route

13:19

of the Oregon Trail that he had traveled

13:21

in the 1850s as a pioneer he then went

13:25

on to Washington where he was

13:27

congratulated by President Coolidge on

13:30

the White House lawn his project to

13:33

raise funds for the preservation of the

13:35

Oregon Trail received major support from

13:37

Congress in 1926 when it passed

13:40

legislation authorizing the issuance of

13:43

a special commemorative half-dollar

13:44

which is shown here these coins were

13:48

issued to the Association legislation

13:51

provided that only the Oregon Trail

13:53

memorialization memorial association

13:55

could purchase these coins at

13:58

paid fifty cents which was the value of

14:00

them but they were allowed to sell them

14:02

at a profit and retain the profit for

14:05

the trail making project and this was an

14:09

extraordinary gesture of support from

14:13

Congress to a private organization these

14:16

items still appear on ebay they're high

14:19

value high value collectibles oops

14:34

how are they doing my stepfather was

14:37

well known as an author of books both on

14:39

English education his field is a

14:41

professor at New York University and on

14:44

Western history which was a passionate

14:46

lifelong interest that he had developed

14:48

as a child growing up in Utah as the son

14:51

and grandson of pioneers he became

14:54

acquainted with Ezra maker and helped as

14:57

a write his book on the story of his

14:58

life ox team days he ultimately

15:02

succeeded Ezra as the president of the

15:04

Oregon Trail memorial association while

15:06

continuing his career as a professor at

15:08

NYU radio was in its early years at this

15:13

time and my stepfather was frequently

15:15

invited to appear on programs in New

15:17

York to talk about Western history enjoy

15:20

talking about the development of the

15:22

west and the stories of trail pioneers

15:24

and Pony Express riders who had shared

15:27

their experiences with him firsthand

15:29

these programs were very popular with

15:31

the public in the 1920s he also once

15:35

took as romika down to the studio with

15:37

him to tell his story firsthand and as

15:40

we wrote about it later as a very

15:42

exciting event in his life in the 1930s

15:46

my stepfather had blamed Campbell who

15:48

was one of the last known Pony Express

15:49

riders at that time appear on one of the

15:52

programs with him my stepfather and

15:54

program originated in New York and mr.

15:57

Campbell participated by phone from

15:59

California which was certainly an

16:01

extraordinary leap and communication

16:03

from mr. Campbell's days as a Pony

16:05

Express rider my stepfather also wrote

16:09

series of articles on Pony Express

16:11

riders and their first-hand accounts he

16:14

one of his major concerns as historian

16:18

was the spread of misinformation about

16:20

the Pony Express and he was very focused

16:24

on getting the real stories out he wrote

16:27

the series of articles which were

16:30

syndicated in newspapers throughout the

16:32

country and were very well received at

16:35

the time William Henry Jackson the third

16:41

figure that I mentioned in the

16:42

association was renowned for his early

16:45

photo

16:46

of the west and the late 1800s my

16:49

stepfather collaborated with Jackson and

16:51

the publication of his biography pioneer

16:53

photographer and later years mr. Jackson

16:57

became famous for his paintings of the

16:59

western scenes a number of these

17:02

paintings were used in books that my

17:03

stepfather wrote including westward

17:06

America the Old West speaks and the Pony

17:09

Express goes through the Pony Express

17:12

goes through was published in 1935 to

17:15

coincide with the diamond jubilee mr.

17:22

Jackson is shown here in the photograph

17:24

on the left and his favorite environment

17:27

the traveling around the West at the

17:30

writer two of his most famous paintings

17:32

the one on top is the Pony Express rider

17:34

and the one on the bottom it shows a

17:37

change of horses at a relay station most

17:40

of his paintings today are at the

17:43

scottsbluff national monument in

17:45

Nebraska and a special wing of the

17:49

monument which the Oregon Trail

17:51

memorialist American excuse me American

17:53

painter Trails Association the successor

17:55

organization had a very generous donor

18:00

who provided funds around the time of

18:02

mr. Jackson's death to create a special

18:05

wing at scotts bluff to archive these

18:07

paintings Jackson became the research

18:13

association for the Oregon Trail

18:15

memorial association in the late 1920s

18:17

and later participated in the diamond

18:20

jubilee enjoyed in addition to paintings

18:23

he enjoyed preparing trail maps one of

18:26

which was a map of the Pony Express

18:27

trail which is enlarged version of it is

18:31

on display in this museum and the Pony

18:33

Express exhibit you also see this map in

18:37

the slide with the after was created and

18:40

then a smaller version of it is on

18:42

display in the room here today this map

18:47

was later reissued in 1960 in

18:49

conjunction with the Pony Express

18:51

centennial of the American which the

18:54

American pioneer Trails Association was

18:58

the issue of the map

19:02

the decision of the organization to

19:05

sponsor the diamond jubilee was actually

19:08

conceived in 1930 when the country was

19:13

celebrating the covered wagon centennial

19:15

the organization was the national

19:17

sponsor of this event this is the

19:21

highlight of it of celebration on July

19:24

4th at independence Rock Wyoming

19:27

independence Rock was a famous landmark

19:30

on the trails that people that cost

19:34

there as pioneers inscribed their names

19:37

in the rock and if you visit there today

19:38

you can still see these inscriptions the

19:42

significance of calling it independence

19:44

Rock was to pioneers if they reach there

19:47

by July 4th they could be fairly certain

19:50

that they would be able to reach the

19:53

west before the bad weather said in

19:55

later in the year at this event on july

20:01

4th there were seven thousand people in

20:03

attendance and the Boy Scouts from all

20:06

over the country came and participated

20:08

in the ceremony pitched their tents on

20:11

the grounds around the rock independence

20:14

Rock is a little west of Casper Wyoming

20:17

and is a massive rock formation that you

20:20

go there it's a truly breathtaking

20:22

experience that's all that's out there

20:26

and you see this massive rock which was

20:28

a very important landmark to the

20:31

pioneers at the time the organization

20:35

held this event the recognition arose

20:41

that something should be done to

20:43

commemorate the Pony Express 75th

20:46

anniversary which was coming up in five

20:48

years and my stepfather wrote all of the

20:51

Pony Express riders say very few had

20:54

died before 1930 the story and it's true

20:57

outline was becoming blurred and the

20:59

records of the achievement were rapidly

21:01

disappearing the Pony Express is an epic

21:04

fact and influence of an American life

21:06

was in danger of disappearing to when

21:09

the Oregon Trail memorial association

21:10

issued a

21:11

challenging appeal to the American

21:13

people in 1930 to reclaim the precious

21:16

traditions of the covered wagon period

21:20

the publication continued we America

21:23

must again thrill to the hoofbeats of

21:25

the Pony Express rider of eighteen sixty

21:27

sixty one he must again live as the

21:30

symbol of adventure and daring courage

21:32

skill and patriotism his individual

21:36

feats of gallantry and self-sacrifice

21:38

must again inspire and entertain us

21:47

one of the associations very generous

21:50

supporters was George Pratt who's shown

21:52

in the photograph here in the center he

21:55

donated funds for the creation of

21:57

beautiful bronze plaques by the sculptor

21:59

Phi mr. Proctor mr. Proctor is shown

22:03

here making a presentation of the design

22:05

to mr. Pratt and William Henry Jackson

22:07

these plaques became part of a program

22:09

to create monuments along the trail in

22:11

conjunction with other groups and

22:13

individuals in 1931 this program gained

22:18

further national attention in a ceremony

22:20

on the White House lawn excuse me and

22:29

the ceremony on the White House lawn in

22:31

which both this plaque and an Oregon

22:33

Trail plaque were presented to President

22:34

Hoover to thank him for his support the

22:38

Secretary of the Interior way ray Lyman

22:41

Wilbur is also one of the people who

22:43

participated in the ceremony he was also

22:46

a director of the Oregon Trail

22:48

Association the Boy Scouts of the

22:50

picture were from a troop in Long Island

22:52

who had dedicated a marker on the Oregon

22:54

Trail and memory of the scouts of

22:56

yesterday the monument program continued

23:00

in the years leading up to nineteen

23:01

thirty-five

23:12

in this picture Arthur Proctor who

23:15

served as such Jubilee is shown in the

23:19

picture on the right with governor Frank

23:20

Miriam on the left in this photo and

23:23

william henry jackson at the beginning

23:25

of the rerun in sacramento mr. Proctor

23:28

was an attorney in New York and a member

23:30

of the board of the Association as part

23:35

of the diamond jubilee celebration

23:38

western union donated this building to

23:42

the state of California to be a museum

23:44

and library to the paw for the Pony

23:45

Express the Pony Express had originally

23:49

used this building as its Western

23:50

terminal and later it was used by

23:53

Western Union as their headquarters of

23:55

their Telegraph building in Sacramento

24:05

the association also issued a

24:07

commemorative medallion in conjunction

24:09

with the diamond jubilee the designs and

24:13

this were based on paintings by William

24:15

Henry Jackson which you'll recall from

24:16

one of the earlier slides the picture on

24:19

the right is the Pony Express rider and

24:21

the one on the left is shows the change

24:23

of ponies at the relay station this is

24:27

now also an item which appears

24:29

frequently on ebay as a collectible the

24:35

hope of the association in the rerun was

24:39

that mail which was bound for Washington

24:42

could be postmarked as point of origin

24:45

and then given to the Pony Express the

24:49

scouts participating in the rerun to

24:52

carry in their mochila as the saddle bag

24:55

for the mail was called however the post

24:58

office would not permit an end run

25:00

around their regulations they said once

25:02

the mail is postmarked it has to stay

25:04

within the postal system and it can't be

25:07

given to anybody else so that's the way

25:11

the plan involved in this picture shows

25:14

the postmaster of Sacramento placing the

25:17

final piece of mail in the bag for the

25:20

rider to leave with and this picture

25:28

shows want many of the some of the

25:30

dignitaries anyway who participated in

25:32

the opening ceremony ously exciting

25:34

event and in this movie clip should be

25:47

movie clip um governor mary and michelle

25:50

had Wayne Henry Jack saw

25:56

at spoke to the the newsreel cameras and

26:03

off they went

26:15

and more dignitaries as the

26:26

vided was used to carry mr. Jackson mr.

26:31

Proctor and a physician from Utah dr.

26:34

Snoopy the need was recognized to have a

26:37

physician accompanied the rerun in case

26:40

the need arose for scouts to have

26:43

medical attention mr. Jackson was 92

26:47

years old at that time and all reports

26:50

whether he did spectacularly well making

26:53

this cross-country trip by car in the

26:58

heat of summer there are many seems like

27:02

this of photographs of these

27:05

celebrations along the route this one

27:06

took place in folsom california and

27:09

here's another another seeing of folsom

27:18

another scene of a monument dedication

27:21

of one of the bronze plaques provided by

27:24

mr. Proctor and the rerun ultimately

27:32

reached Carson City Nevada the capital

27:35

of them Adam and this picture shows the

27:37

dignitaries awaiting the arrival of the

27:40

rerun and then this movie footage shows

27:47

the progression of the rerun leading up

27:50

to Carson City and a few seconds you'll

27:52

see the rider overtaking the car

28:00

you

28:04

you

28:06

the hell out of graphs and somebody read

28:10

a problem a the Boy Scouts who were

28:20

selected to participate in it was a big

28:22

honor at the time to be selected to be

28:25

one of the scouts on the rerun at least

28:28

some of them that i read about were

28:30

descendants of original

28:35

lamb so there was the quick change and

28:42

off again really mom I through you

29:02

us we're able to travel by truck this

29:12

picture was taken in Rock Springs

29:13

Wyoming and it's always interesting to

29:16

note the very formal dress of the men in

29:19

those days even in the heat of summer

29:21

they wore their suits and ties more

29:30

excitement here I'm not sure where this

29:33

particular footage was taken video part

29:37

of the archives every writer in the

29:40

original Pony Express had to sign an

29:44

oath saying I do hereby swear before the

29:48

great and living God that during my

29:50

engagement and while i'm an employee of

29:52

russell majors in law dell i will under

29:55

no circumstances use profane language i

29:58

will not drink intoxicating liquors i

30:01

will not quarrel or fight with other

30:03

employees of the firm and that in every

30:05

respect i will conduct myself honestly

30:08

be faithful to my duties and so direct

30:11

all my axis to win the confidence of my

30:13

employers so help me God and this even

30:20

concluded with a brass band

30:26

then from there the rerun cross Nebraska

30:29

which actually of all the states and the

30:33

Pony Express er who had the longest

30:36

longest mileage of the route from there

30:39

into Kansas and this was a major

30:41

ceremony in Marysville Kansas in which

30:44

governor Alf Landen participated and

30:50

from there the rerun concluded in st.

30:56

Joseph Missouri the original origin of

30:59

the Pony Express from there they had to

31:01

get the mail to Washington for the

31:03

ceremony with President Roosevelt

31:06

originally my stepfather had asked for

31:09

the post office to provide one of the

31:11

planes that was used for airmail service

31:13

to fly the mail from st. Joseph to

31:17

Washington for some reason they were

31:19

unable to do so but the War Department

31:23

stepped in and said they would provide

31:25

an army airplane to take the mail but as

31:31

you will note it's had to comply with

31:34

all the regular had to have proper

31:36

postage and never have been deposited

31:38

with any post office along the route so

31:43

this was the plane that's my stepfather

31:47

in the middle and I'm not sure who the

31:50

person on the weapon perhaps the pilot

31:52

and believe it was mr. Proctor on the

31:55

right they proved from st. roasted to

32:00

Washington on august twenty-first and

32:02

then on August 22nd the ceremony took

32:07

place on the White House lawn the

32:12

ceremony had originally been planned to

32:16

coincide with the boys first Boy Scout

32:18

Jamboree that was to have taken place in

32:20

Washington at that time but because of

32:23

an outbreak of polio they had to cancel

32:24

the Jamboree which wasn't rescheduled

32:27

until two years later but fortunately

32:30

members of the local Boy Scouts were

32:34

able to come in right in on the horses

32:37

with the mail

32:38

and as the tribute Ezra maker they

32:42

bought the awesome abeel along in the

32:44

procession and this was a ceremony where

32:48

President Roosevelt received the mail he

32:51

was reported in the news who have said

32:53

he was delighted to have all this mail

32:55

because it brought many new stamps for

32:57

his stamp collection and as the museum

33:02

noted in the exhibit he spent time each

33:05

night I believe about half an hour per

33:08

night going over his stamps which was I

33:12

guess an a distressing exercise for him

33:16

at the end of the day so this mattila of

33:20

mail for him gave him a lot of new

33:23

stamps to work with so that was the end

33:31

of the rerun which takes us back to the

33:34

original question how was the Pony

33:36

Express received and perceived by the

33:39

public in 1935 and it was remembered for

33:43

its role in history and the bravery of

33:46

the people involved in it and that the

33:48

obstacles they had to overcome in order

33:50

to get the mail through there were

33:53

several forces at work in the planning

33:57

of the diamond jubilee which I believe

33:59

contributed to its success the Oregon

34:02

Trail memorial association had an

34:04

impressive background in gaining public

34:06

attention and support for the

34:09

preservation of the trails and support

34:13

of both the public and the presidents of

34:15

the United States at that time in

34:17

Congress mr. Jackson's paintings were

34:20

very powerful visual images of the Pony

34:23

Express environment and the bravery and

34:26

skill of the riders and just as

34:29

President Roosevelt had recognized the

34:32

importance of visual imagery as a

34:35

vehicle for conveying powerful messages

34:39

mr. Jackson did so in his paintings of

34:42

the Pony Express my stepfather very

34:46

effectively conveyed the drama of the

34:48

Pony Express and the importance of

34:52

role in postal history and American

34:54

history generally in his books and

34:57

articles and in his radio programs and

34:59

again radio was a very powerful medium

35:02

at this time which made a tremendous

35:04

impact upon people he received many warm

35:08

letters of enthusiasm and appreciation

35:11

after his radio programs which is very

35:14

nice lovely handwritten letters from

35:16

listeners he didn't know one of the

35:20

letters I've often commented upon to

35:24

people to appreciate the impact of the

35:27

new medium of radio was the letter he

35:29

received from his brother in North

35:31

Dakota who said I just can't believe

35:34

that the voice of my brother is coming

35:37

into my living room and similarly

35:41

letters from other listeners conveyed

35:44

the excitement of hearing these stories

35:45

of the Pony Express over the radio the

35:48

organization also partnered very

35:50

successfully with the Boy Scouts and

35:52

involving them in the various marketing

35:56

programs and celebrations that they had

35:58

and it's interesting to note the people

36:02

who were the Boy Scouts who were

36:03

teenagers in 1935 who were all the

36:07

riders were teenagers were people that

36:11

would have been born in the early 1920s

36:14

or late teens and this is the the

36:17

generation that went on to fight in

36:19

World War two which itself became

36:21

remembered as the greatest generation by

36:25

Tom Brokaw and it seems very evident

36:31

that the Boy Scouts who participated in

36:34

the rerun really appreciated the

36:37

opportunity to replicate the skill and

36:40

bravery of the riders of the Pony

36:43

Express so that's that's just a brief

36:47

summary of what the impact of the rerun

36:50

was on the population in 1935 the trail

36:54

marking program of the organization did

36:56

not stop there however in 1938 they

37:01

inaugurated a new program to mark the

37:04

trail

37:05

with plaques which would design by Perry

37:07

driggs one of my stuff other sons my

37:10

step-brother each state along the ridge

37:14

of the trail received about one plaque

37:16

for each mile and various members of the

37:20

organization delivered the plaques all

37:23

over the West in this photo held

37:26

Dollinger and Harry Peterson who were

37:28

two very devoted members went out on a

37:32

trek to find these places and deliver

37:35

the monuments there are many many

37:38

photographs in my stepfather's archive

37:41

of the trail of the trail marking

37:46

ceremonies this is one very poignant

37:49

picture taken in septo Valley Nevada

37:52

Wayne drugs on the far left was my

37:55

stepfather's older son my step-brother

37:58

also my stepfather was holding his

38:01

plaque in his hand and John Ellen Becker

38:04

a member of the organization from Kansas

38:07

and one of their colleagues the same

38:11

design that Perry had used for the

38:14

plaques was adapted into a memorial flag

38:18

and part of a separate program that the

38:21

organization inaugurated to find all the

38:25

graves of the Pony Express riders the

38:28

station keepers and the promoters and to

38:30

decorate their graves with these

38:32

memorial flags and again they partnered

38:35

with the Boy Scouts in this program and

38:37

at each location where they identify two

38:41

grades they would have a local ceremony

38:43

at which the local Boy Scouts would

38:45

participate in the marking of the graves

38:52

the legacy of the Pony Express lives on

38:55

today in later in the 1930s 1940s up

39:03

father wrote what has been a successful

39:05

beginning towards marking every mile of

39:07

the Pony Express trail and monumental

39:09

every station along the route is just

39:12

the beginning and they went on they

39:16

changed the name of the organization to

39:18

the

39:18

American pioneer Trails Association and

39:20

continued trail marking projects with

39:24

other trails during the 1940s and 50s

39:26

and up until the time of my stepfather

39:29

staff in 1963 in a radio interview about

39:34

his book Pony Express goes through my

39:38

stepfather was asked what the lasting

39:40

impact of his book would be on the

39:43

preserving the heritage of the Pony

39:45

Express and he said books would just one

39:48

one element of this that the legacy

39:50

would live on through sculpture and

39:52

artwork and many other forms of

39:56

expression and sculpture many lovely

40:00

sculptures to the Pony Express that have

40:03

been placed in the interim the sculpture

40:07

in the photo on the right is of the

40:10

National Pony Express monument at this

40:12

is the place Heritage Park in Utah this

40:15

sculpture was designed by average

40:17

fairbanks a very famous sculptor who was

40:20

a close friend of my stepfather and the

40:26

miniature version of it a replica of it

40:29

is on display here in the conference

40:32

room today the sculptor son and one of

40:37

his sons David Fairbanks is here with us

40:40

today we're honored to have him with us

40:42

and his nephew and during the

40:47

question-and-answer period i want to ask

40:49

david just a comment a little bit about

40:52

what the Pony Express meant to his

40:54

father I feel a special kinship with

40:57

David Davis father created a sculpture

41:02

of my stepfather which is now in Salt

41:06

Lake City there was an elementary school

41:07

in salt lake city named the Howard our

41:09

driggs school and Davis father's

41:12

sculpture is there lovely lovely tribute

41:16

to him at the entrance to the school the

41:22

trail today in 1968 Congress passed the

41:27

national trail system

41:29

and in 1992 the Pony Express trail was

41:34

added as a National Historic Trail what

41:38

that means is that the trail is

41:40

administered by the National Park

41:42

Service and it's managed by the Bureau

41:46

of Land Management the Forest Service

41:47

other federal and state agencies and

41:50

private and local landowners there's a

41:55

vast network of organizations involved

41:58

in the preservation of the Pony Express

42:00

trail today my stepfather were alive he

42:04

would be truly overwhelmed by the degree

42:07

to which the legacy has been preserved

42:10

and the comment that he made and in the

42:16

earlier slide that this was just the

42:17

beginning I think you would regard today

42:19

is just a wonderful tribute to the trail

42:24

preservation movement that started way

42:27

back many years ago the National Park

42:32

Service publishes wonderful brochure is

42:38

called Auto tour route interpretive

42:41

guides and there's one for each state

42:44

along the historic trail routes and it

42:49

provides mile by mile if you're going

42:52

along a certain Highway what you'll see

42:54

on that on that highway that pertains to

42:58

the historic trails these are a

43:00

wonderful resource for anybody who has

43:02

time and ability to travel the West and

43:07

take in everything along the way that

43:09

this this is just one of them mrs. Ford

43:12

nebraska and colorado in there as I said

43:14

there's one for each segment of the

43:17

route the Pony Express legacy also lives

43:22

on today in the collectibles market

43:24

there's just tremendous number of items

43:26

just on ebay alone of collectible items

43:31

in addition there was a major auction in

43:36

December of Pony Express items at a

43:39

gallery in New York the letter that's

43:42

shown

43:43

in this slide is one of three known

43:45

living are free still existing envelopes

43:49

were carried on the first day of the

43:51

Pony Express this letter sold for four

43:55

hundred sixty thousand dollars so in

43:59

today's troubled economic times maybe

44:02

this is a greater return to be made and

44:05

Pony Express collectibles than the stock

44:08

market my stepfather's papers are

44:17

archived at Southern Utah University in

44:19

Cedar City he was on the first faculty

44:22

of this institution when it opened

44:24

originally as a branch of the University

44:26

of Utah his correspondence thousands of

44:30

photographs that he and others took rare

44:32

documents files of the organization's

44:35

memorabilia notes of his firsthand

44:38

research with trail pioneers and wider

44:41

it's it's all there including a very

44:44

extensive collection of items related to

44:46

Ezra maker and william henry jackson

44:48

with whom he had worked so closely this

44:52

is a wonderful resource for anybody

44:54

interested in researching the early

44:57

years of the trail preservation movement

45:03

and i want to thank the gerald r share

45:09

at library at Southern Utah University

45:11

for the use of the photographs and other

45:13

material and how it are drugs archive

45:17

seem to have gone backwards here

45:33

this is the sheriff library at Southern

45:36

Utah so I thank them very much for their

45:40

help in organizing this presentation and

45:43

the all the time that they spent helping

45:47

me find the needles in a haystack that I

45:51

knew were there and photographs so thank

45:54

you very much I've certainly enjoyed

45:55

having the opportunity to cross today

46:05

so if you have a question for Camille if

46:08

you can just raise your hand and give me

46:09

a few seconds to run over to you with

46:11

the microphone so we can make sure

46:13

that's recorded I was wondering who kind

46:24

of had the idea originally are starting

46:26

the Pony Express was there any means of

46:29

getting letters backwards and forwards

46:32

even to a small degree in that area r or

46:36

was this like major stars to cover all

46:39

those states well there had been other

46:43

companies that had contracts from the

46:45

government to deliver the mail but they

46:47

took a long time and there was a gap in

46:51

the telegraph service the telegraph that

46:55

started west to east part of the way in

46:57

east to west another part of the way but

46:59

there was a big gap in between that

47:01

wasn't served by the telegraph so when

47:05

the need arose for or the desire rose to

47:09

have speedier service but the Russell's

47:14

majors and Waddell firm stepped in and

47:18

started the Pony Express to fill that

47:20

gap but yes there were other ways to get

47:24

mail or managers that they took longer

47:31

the pictures always show the horses

47:34

galloping how far did a one horse travel

47:37

and it's a it's the horses were traveled

47:41

well to 15 miles and then they would

47:44

change I think they did about that and

48:02

the involvement of the Boy Scout seems

48:06

like a natural thing but I don't think

48:09

you ever touched on how that happened

48:11

how did the Boy Scouts get so involved

48:13

in the Pony Express remembrance she's

48:15

through personal relationships between

48:19

the head of the organization ahead of

48:22

the Boy Scouts and my stepfather and

48:24

other members of the Oregon Trail

48:26

Association and they had a long series

48:29

of partnerships on these various

48:30

projects and they were very effective in

48:33

getting public attention public interest

48:36

and it's always a human interest element

48:39

to have young young people involved and

48:42

it also had for the scouts involved the

48:45

corollary effective they were trying to

48:49

imitate the bravery of the original

48:53

writers and and their skill

49:05

I'm just curious did your stepfather

49:07

ever Howard did he ever say anything at

49:10

home I mean when you were sitting around

49:12

did he ever bring it up and talk about

49:13

it passionately about the Pony Express

49:15

and I mean I'm just curious in his

49:18

personal life obviously he was dedicated

49:20

it at the time in 1935 but how that

49:23

carried on through throughout the rest

49:24

of his life yes he did I I guess I

49:29

developed my interest in all things

49:31

postal as a child and of my grandparents

49:38

and other family members lived a long

49:39

way from us in New York and I always

49:42

awaited the arrival of mail that was a

49:44

exciting event amazes the late 40s and

49:48

50s when that was the only way to

49:50

communicate and if we place a

49:53

long-distance call to my grandmother

49:56

that was like once a month and letters

50:00

in the interim I was very excited to get

50:03

mail and then reading about reading his

50:07

books about the Pony Express and the

50:09

accounts of people he and it was just

50:13

very exciting to me

50:19

it was obviously a tremendous investment

50:21

of money and resources to set this up

50:25

and I'm just wondering what the business

50:28

plan would company they would try to

50:30

make money by doing this must been very

50:32

expensive to send a letter by this

50:35

system can you say anything about the

50:36

nature of the letters that were sent

50:39

well I don't I don't know specifically

50:44

news from home mangas was the main main

50:47

letters that went back and forth both

50:54

yeah both the original cost of sending a

51:01

letter was five dollars for half an

51:03

ounce which is a mind-boggling figure

51:05

translated into today's currency however

51:09

it did go down if you had varying rates

51:12

after that but for people who are in

51:16

California who I guess had had a boom in

51:18

the gold rush maybe five dollars was not

51:21

a not a big deal but people valued

51:27

communication enough to to spend that

51:30

money if there are no other questions I

51:36

wanted to ask David Fairbanks just to

51:38

comment briefly on what the Pony Express

51:41

meant to his father and

51:49

thank you enjoyed you talk very much

51:53

thank you um my father came under the

51:57

influence of the harder drugs as young

51:59

sculptor even before that is the young

52:03

sculptor who came under the influence of

52:05

as a maker so between the two of them

52:09

the influence fathering only in the

52:12

great moments and a great people of the

52:15

West and in fact of America father did

52:21

April Express statue in ring on toggle

52:27

for the centennial of the Pony Express

52:30

and it's the more tradition of you the

52:33

people see of the single horse and rider

52:36

but his favorite artistic creation was

52:41

was the change of the horses and Daniel

52:45

Daniel is my nephew who's the grandson

52:49

of that would Fairbanks wouldn't pick

52:52

that up and bring him up here so people

52:54

can see it when the father returned to

52:58

the rest for the Utah Centennial

53:03

dreamers and painting he created this

53:07

moment of the Pony Express and

53:10

originally is a parade float for the

53:13

Centennial and you can see it here in

53:16

white plaster who is a very exciting

53:20

piece of artwork for the Centennial

53:23

parade and it was intended to become a

53:26

monument to honor the Pony Express and

53:29

this is the artistic vision

53:34

the most because it shows what artists

53:37

love to show balance was an excitement

53:43

anatomy he was also approach to

53:46

anonymous the rasul honored more just

53:51

the Pony Express riders by the way there

53:54

were teenagers so best Scouts who are

53:56

appropriate to rerun it they were

53:59

teenagers it only noticed these brave

54:02

riders but also the station keepers many

54:07

of them lost their lives maybe maybe two

54:11

of The Daily Express riders may have

54:13

lost their lives history doesn't tell

54:16

but many of the station keepers lost

54:19

their lives and so it shows the contrast

54:22

of the spankers that the boy is this

54:27

room with me when you see by the old man

54:31

in a contrast is amazed and vigor of the

54:36

rider the excitement is the fresh horse

54:41

show besides me so it's a very exciting

54:44

piece and um father father also love the

54:50

symbolism of it because it shows of the

54:54

interaction the interdependence of the

54:58

generations young rider counts on the

55:02

old man to be there in the old man if

55:06

Godspeed to the young rider to go on an

55:10

exciting concept this then this monument

55:14

which was originally in plaster

55:16

deteriorated over the years and then 51

55:19

years later my nephew here started

55:23

recreating this piece he in his father

55:27

and then from this model and original

55:30

diagrams and photographs we recreated my

55:34

father's statue on now in nine foot high

55:38

figures in salt lake city and also

55:41

Casper Wyoming so this is the exciting

55:45

moment a change

55:47

the riders they had to do this in less

55:51

than three minutes the boy would come in

55:54

the saddlebags would come off tossed on

55:58

the new horse that the station keeper

56:00

had ready and waiting and the boy would

56:03

jump on the horse and off they'd go

56:05

nothing to slow them down you imagine

56:09

this event it's exciting event occurring

56:13

at what 200 times going across the

56:17

plains 200 times how exciting that would

56:21

have been for each city or station as

56:25

they see that that boy come in the new

56:28

horse off a go in less than three

56:31

minutes that was an exciting time thank

56:34

you Daniel is a sculptor in his own

56:37

right as well as being a professor in

56:39

Utah so thanks so much for joining us

56:51

today where you really appreciate it you

56:52

have got a little evaluation for you to

56:54

fill out it's the bright yellow thing in

56:57

your program and if you could just drop

56:59

it into the dropbox that would be

57:00

wonderful and thank you so much Camille

57:02

and to both of you for being here