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The 31st Annual Western History Celebration Will Focus On Calamity Jane

Hulton Archive,Getty Images

Casper College Western History Center’s 31st Annual Western History Celebration is Thursday, March 27th at 3pm. Glenda Bell will be giving the presentation on Calamity Jane.

“We went with the topic of Calamity Jane because so much uncertainty surrounds her stories and the accounts of her life. Glenda gives both an entertaining and well-researched presentation helping to shed some light on this famous frontier figure,” said Vince Crolla, Western History Center archivist.

Bell, who has been researching Calamity Jane since 1987, will share her insights into “this complicated woman, a legend in her own lifetime, who chose to ignore social expectations imposed on Victorian women. Rather, she wore men’s trousers, consumed strong drink in pubic places, smoked cigars, chewed tobacco, and could spit with talent,” Bell said.

“Calamity Jane is woven into the fabric of the American West. What can you believe about this kind, generous, and rowdy woman? Is there any truth to any of it, or is it just a can of worms?” Bell asked.

Bell, a resident of Powell, Wyo., is a graduate of the University of Wyoming and a retired librarian.

“Researching Calamity Jane” is sponsored by the Wyoming Humanities Council as part of its Humanities Forum, and “will explore the contradictions, exaggerations and ‘truths’ surrounding the life of Martha Jane Canary,” said Bell.

The presentation is free and open to the public and will take place in the Gateway Building, Room 225 on the Casper College campus.

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