National Day of the Cowboy is observed annually on the fourth Saturday in July.
The era of the cowboy began after the Civil War in the heart of Texas. Cattle were herded long before this time, but in Texas, they grew wild and unchecked. As the country expanded, the demand for beef in the northern territories and states increased. With nearly 5 million head of cattle, cowboys moved the herds on long drives to where the profits were.
The draw of riches and adventure mixed with tales of violence and a backdrop of the Great Plains gave way to the mythological image of the cowboy.
Where the dust settles reveals much of the stoic truth of the American cowboy and cowgirl. The life of a cowboy required a particular ability to live in a frontier world. To do so requires respect, loyalty and a willingness to work hard.
In the words of the former President Bush, “We celebrate the Cowboy as a symbol of the grand history of the American West. The Cowboy’s love of the land and love of the country are examples for all Americans.”
HOW TO OBSERVE
Celebrate with a cowboy you know and post on social media using #NationalDayOfTheCowboy. Enjoy a western novel or movie, attend a rodeo and embrace the cowboy way of life.
According to the National Day of the Cowboy Organization, this day “…is a day set aside to celebrate the contributions of the Cowboy and Cowgirl to America’s culture and heritage.” The NDOC continuously pursues national recognition of National Day of the Cowboy. Currently, 11 states recognize this day. The first celebration was in 2005.
I’m celebrating National Day of the Cowboy by posting photos of real cowboys. Most of the men below are past champions in bull riding or calf roping– Hey, wait! Is that Sam Elliott?