From the beginning of exploration into our country's interior, the American West embodied all the elements of a mythical land of great proportion. Our nation had no legendary Robin Hood or King Arthur, but from its wild and dangerous frontier emerged the cowboy who quickly became a hero, symbolic of American independence, chivalry, morality, courage, loyalty, generosity, strength, and good prevailing over evil. He was made more famous by dime novels and eventually films. Who hasn't wanted to be a cowboy at some point in their lives?
In a campaign by American Cowboy Magazine and its readers, a tribute to the cowboy was signed into effect by President George W. Bush in 2005, officially making the fourth Saturday of July the National Day of the American Cowboy. Around the West, celebrations and ceremonies are now taking place every summer to honor this icon of American history.
I haven't heard about any celebrations in my area, which is a disappointment, but I hope to get the word out as I promote my new book, The Last Rodeo. Watch for a cover and blurb coming soon. And if you have any tributes in your locale for Day of the Cowboy, I'd like to hear about them.