1882 "Old Glory Blowout" -- Lincoln County Courthouse, North Platte NE
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 41° 08.161 W 100° 45.792
14T E 352014 N 4555354
A historic marker plaque commemorating the "Old Glory Blowout" that would become "Buffalo Bill's Wild West" show -- a sensation for 25 years.
Waymark Code: WMK3H0
Location: Nebraska, United States
Date Posted: 02/07/2014
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
Views: 1

The "Old Glory Blowout" on 4 Jul 1882 would become "Buffalo Bill's Wild West", a western show and exhibition that would tour the US and Europe from 1883 - 1906.

The plaque reads as follows:

"In commemoration of the
July 4, 1882

This event held in Lincoln County Nebraska ws the manifestation of a dream that became a reality as the:


and was witnessed by millions of people throughout the United States and parts of Europe.

The “Old Glory Blowout” parade on the morning of that historic day was routed past this spot on its way to the exhibition site, now Cody Park.

Dedicated to

A industrious Nebraska Citizen
Presented by the Fletcher Family"

From the American Cowbot website:

"Nebraska: The Old Glory Blowout
Experience Nebraska Buffalo Bill style.

Author: Candy Moulton

William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody had already established his presence on stage in theatrical performances and on the pages of dime novels when he launched a new, bold program: a spectacle that featured fearless horseback riders, daring stagecoach drivers, and carefully choreographed “fights” between soldiers, settlers, and American Indians. He birthed his Buffalo Bill Wild West Show in 1882 to celebrate North Platte’s “Old Glory Blowout.” The town needed a celebration—an extravaganza—and Bill Cody was the man they knew could pull it off .

. . . .

Cody’s Wild West Show was so well received that he put together a company of cowboys and Indians and toured across America and Europe. Cody easily merged these disparate characters as he had experience with both. He’d ridden for the Pony Express (you can still see original structures used for that service at Rock Creek Station and at Gothenburg), and he worked along the cattle trails (in Ogalalla you can visit a recreated Front Street and Cowboy Museum). He fought Indians, and served with the North brothers (Frank and Luther), who organized the Pawnee Scouts and provided essential services to the frontier military. Today you can experience the “Indian War” period by visiting Fort Hartsuff or Fort Robinson. When his Wild West show was in its heyday, Cody returned to Nebraska and his Scouts Rest Ranch—Now Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park—at North Platte."

A general biography of Buffalo Bill can be found here: (visit link)

From the WETA website: (visit link)

"Cody’s own theatrical genius revealed itself in 1883, when he organized Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, an outdoor extravaganza that dramatized some of the most picturesque elements of frontier life: a buffalo hunt with real buffalos, an Indian attack on the Deadwood stage with real Indians, a Pony Express ride, and at the climax, a tableau presentation of Custer’s Last Stand in which some Lakota who had actually fought in the battle played a part. Half circus and half history lesson, mixing sentimentality with sensationalism, the show proved an enormous success, touring the country for three decades and playing to enthusiastic crowds across Europe.

In later years Buffalo Bill’s Wild West would star the sharpshooter Annie Oakley, the first "King of the Cowboys," Buck Taylor, and for one season, "the slayer of General Custer," Chief Sitting Bull. Cody even added an international flavor by assembling a "Congress of Rough Riders of the World" that included cossacks, lancers and other Old World cavalrymen along with the vaqueros, cowboys and Indians of the American West.

Though he was by this time almost wholly absorbed in his celebrity existence as Buffalo Bill, Cody still had a real-life reputation in the West, and in 1890 he was called back by the army once more during the Indian uprisings associated with the Ghost Dance. He came with some Indians from his troupe who proved effective peacemakers, and even traveled to Wounded Knee after the massacre to help restore order.

Cody made a fortune from his show business success and lost it to mismanagement and a weakness for dubious investment schemes. In the end, even the Wild West show itself was lost to creditors [in 1906]. . . . "
Marker Name: Old Glory Blowout

City: yes

Roadside: no

Other: no

Web Address if available:: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
Post Pictures:
1. Close up of historical marker
2. Picture of surrounding area (would prefer to have the marker in the picture also). Thanks!
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Benchmark Blasterz visited 1882 "Old Glory Blowout" -- Lincoln County Courthouse, North Platte NE 08/08/2013 Benchmark Blasterz visited it