Happy Birthday, Wyoming: Telling Stories of the West

Watch Video: “Our Wyoming: Cowboys of the Sky” tells the story of the brave pilots who flew mail for the US airmail service through the rough skies of Wyoming.

Don’t put away those red, white, and blue birthday candles. Just six days after we celebrate our amazing country and its independence, Wyoming celebrates its statehood. One hundred and thirty-four years ago, on July 10, 1890, Wyoming became the 44th state in the U.S. Happy Birthday to the Equality State!

Wyomingites are proud of their heritage, proud of the stories they’ve heard and the ones they tell. This pride helps keep Western culture so strong across the state and the people so dedicated to their history. “Telling Wyoming's stories is vital to preserving our state's unique heritage and identity,” explains Joanna Kail, CEO of Wyoming PBS.

“Our state has a rich and diverse history featuring a wide range of experiences, from those of Indigenous peoples to pioneers, ranchers, and modern-day innovators. By sharing these stories, we honor the experiences and contributions of those who have shaped our state. It helps current and future generations understand where we've come from and how our past informs our present and future, all while highlighting the resilience, ingenuity, and spirit that define Wyoming's character.”


Embracing the past doesn’t mean we are stuck there, however. Instead, this reflection and study can provide an answer key for challenges we face in modern life as well. “Among other things, it can provide us perspective on our current struggles,” describes Kail. “Wyoming’s history also reveals the interconnectedness of our communities and the importance of cooperation in a state known for its vast landscapes and harsh conditions. By understanding our past, Wyomingites can make better decisions about our future.” 

This is where Wyoming PBS comes in, providing their meaningful work of collecting and preserving these stories and history. “Wyoming PBS plays a crucial role in making Wyoming’s stories accessible to all,” says Kail. “Through our local programming and community outreach efforts, we bring these stories directly to viewers across the state. As Wyoming’s sole public broadcast television station, we take that responsibility very seriously. In fact, our impact extends well beyond Wyoming, with viewers from across the globe tuning in on platforms like YouTube to learn about Wyoming's unique history and culture through our award-winning documentaries.

“As we enter the next one hundred and thirty-four years of statehood, it’s encouraging to know that patient and thoughtful organizations such as Wyoming PBS are taking the time to wrangle our incredible history and preserve it in up-to-date and impactful formats for future generations,” celebrates Molly Hughes of the Hughes Charitable Foundation.

Ready to dig into the database of stories, interviews, and episodes dedicated to Wyoming life? Here’s a look at some of Wyoming PBS's fascinating materials.

“Our Wyoming: Cowboys of the Sky” tells the story of the brave pilots who flew mail for the US airmail service through the rough skies of Wyoming.

Our Wyoming

“This series delves into the people, places, and events that make Wyoming unique, exploring the diverse facets of our state's character, from its natural wonders and historical landmarks to the extraordinary individuals who call Wyoming home. Our Wyoming captures the essence of our state's identity, showcasing the blend of tradition and innovation that defines us.” – Joanna Kail

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“Our Wyoming: Shoshone Buffalo Return” follows a coalition led by Jason Baldes that has taken the first steps in returning the North American Bison to their native lands.

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A State of Mind

The Mountain West is in the grips of a full blown mental health crisis, and Wyoming is ground zero. This documentary series traces patient journeys, weaving together expert interviews with man on the street commentary to examine solutions to Wyoming's mental health crisis.

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Wyoming PBS’s feature documentary “A Life Outside: The Legacy of American Mountaineering” is currently in production.