Cowboys and Fireworks, Yee Haw!

July, that wonderful month where we get to celebrate our country’s independence. The Fourth of July is a fun time for both young and old alike. But did you know that the 4th Saturday of July is National Day of the Cowboy? Yep! That’s right. It’s the day we celebrate the contribution cowboys and cowgirls made to our country’s wonderful heritage.

  Do you know when the era of the cowboy came about? It was after The War Between the States and was birthed in the heart of Texas. Of course, folks had been herding cattle for years beforehand, but in Texas ranchers allowed their cattle to roam free. Unfortunately, over time, they grew wild and unruly.

As the country recovered from the aftermath of the war and life moved on and more and more folks moved west, the demand for beef grew. This meant all those cows had to be rounded up. Cowboys drove large herds to market across miles of prairie and other terrains. About five million head were driven to wherever the most profitable markets were which in turn, created a lot of stories of the Cowboys’ adventures and untold riches. Well, sort of. Adventures probably outweighed the riches most of the time.

But over the years a certain romanticism developed around the cowboy. Part of what made them what they are today. We celebrate the hard work it took to gain our independence in July, but also the hard work of the cowboy that helped shape our country later on.

Can you imagine being a cowboy driving thousands of cattle across the great plains? Can you imagine the dangers the cowboys had to keep an eye out for? Sudden storms, rough terrain, predators, cattle rustlers. Violence was ripe at times and the cowboy had to protect his herd however he could. Cowboys had to be tough to endure the frontier life. For them, that meant a lot of time outdoors, sleeping under the stars. Cowboys worked hard, Period. A working cowboy still does. As some of you know, my little sister is a retired racehorse jockey and now trains horses. This means she knows other trainers from all over, some of which are working cowboys and ranchers who do their horse clinics on the side. Sure they have modern conveniences, but the work is still just that. Work.

So the next time you read a western, think of all the guts and grit it took to do the job of a cowboy. This is one of the reasons we like westerns. Western romance, even better. After all, there’s nothing quite like reading about a cowboy that comes to the rescue to save the day and gets the girl.

             

 

Celebrate July Fourth and have a ball. Come the 4th Saturday in July, which this year is July 27th, think of the hard-working cowboy that helped shape this great country, smile a little smile, and say a little thank you.

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Kit Morgan is the author of over 100 books of historical and contemporary western romance! Her stories are fun, sweet stories full of love, laughter, and just a little bit of mayhem! Kit creates her stories in her little log cabin in the woods in the Pacific Northwest. An avid reader and knitter, when not writing, she can be found with either a book or a pair of knitting needles in her hands! Oh, and the occasional smidge of chocolate!

43 thoughts on “Cowboys and Fireworks, Yee Haw!”

  1. WOW! That is amazing about the cowboys. I’ve never wondered how the era of the cowboys came about. I always thought there were cowboys. ? I’ve always love cowboys and one of the reason is the HARD work they did.

  2. Happy 4th of July Kit.
    Yes I can imagine those drives. I live in SW Kansas and as I’m out going to my feedyards to inspect I think about what the cowboys and folks heading west in covered wagons had to endure in this flat unforgiven world.
    Also the 4th of July is considered “Cowboy Christmas”. You know why? Because it’s the most active week for rodeo’s and the rodeo cowboys and cowgirls can make as many rodeos in that week that their wallets, sleep deprived bodies, can take. Lots of driving to get to the next rodeo in time to compete, load up and head to the next. I grew up in the rodeo world so as a youngster that’s the only thing I related 4th Of July too. Rodeo’s and honoring our great country. Because we all know The Cowboy & Cowgirl are an honorable breed and still believe in the Home of the brave and the land of the free.
    Great blog thanks for sharing.

    • I had completely forgotten about “Cowboy Christmas”! Thanks for the remind!

    • Tonya, I did not know that either. The things we learn from each other. I just love writing about and watching cowboys, especially while they’re working. The man and his horse are one, each knows what the other is thinking. Here’s to Cowboy Christmas! 🙂

    • I had no idea about Cowboy Christmas! Just goes to show how many rodeos I go to! Maybe one every few years. Now I’ll have to catch one this summer! What a life you’ve had!

  3. I imagine being a cowboy required long hours and lots of hard work. I shall smile and think of them on July 27.

  4. I had no idea there was National Day of the Cowboy. They are definitely worth celebrating. Thanks for your interesting post today.

    • Actually, I didn’t know either. I was searching for something else when I stumbled across the information! So then I researched and voila! Found the other stuff!

  5. I grew up around cowboys because we employed several true cowboys over the years. I’m the daughter of a cattle broker and former owner of feedlots. We had hired hands and then we had the bow-legged, chap and cowboy hat wearing, horse riding cowboys in our employ. I’ve always had a great sense and awe of what it had to take to be a cowboy and getting the cattle to market as well as having the cattle just roaming free back in the old days. We had a feedlot in Tennessee that was in a mountainous area that pasture cattle were a challenge to gather, especially for me because I’ve extremely afraid of heights and can’t ride a horse up and down steep hills. Needless to say I didn’t do it after the first time I tried. I have a great respect for cowboys and know several that insist to be that old fashioned cowboy even though those jobs are hard to come by these days. We lived several places over the years and had feedlots in various states but I call home the “Cowboy Capital of the World”, Stephenville, Texas. Great blog and I did not know that there was a day that celebrated the cowboy and cowgirls, thanks for sharing. Have a great 4th of July!

    • By the way I just added the day of the cowboy to my calendar in my phone. Isn’t cell phone technology awesome I could set it up to remind me every 4th Saturday in July forever! So cool!

      • I need to put it on my phone! And that’s so cool about your dad and growing up around real cowboys. Wow, we should be picking your brain when writing contemporaries!

    • Stephanie, I do believe you & I are very lucky to both be from Stephenville and were able to have the pleasure of Bri g around real cowboys and getting to know the honor they hold. When you talked about several that still live by the old codes, I instantly thought of several, I bet we both have the same ones in mind.
      Love you my sweet dear friend.

    • I, too, have so much respect for the cowboys and cowgirls who choose to work cattle and horses out on the ranches. The work is so hard and the long hours grueling. And during all kinds of weather. Just amazing.

  6. Interesting post I didn’t know about National Day of the Cowboy but will try to remember it on the 27 of the month.

  7. Great post. These cowboys had to have been truly dedicated and fierce to live the life a cowboy lives. I can’t imagine the intensity of those cattle drives. God Bless our cowboys. 🙂

  8. Great post. Welcome today. Oh I didn’t know about the 4th Saturday in July. Sweet. Hope you have a fabulous weekend.

  9. Happy 4th of July and WoW Kit I did not know this about the Cowboy I always wondered why the Cowboy was so Romanticized I mean cause truthfully being a Cowboy is a Sweaty smelly job what so Romantic about that but there is something about a hard working guy that makes my heart beat a little faster than a Suit wearing office type of guy Lol. I dated a guy before my hubs that wanted to be and did make a Dr but something about the hard working cattleman/mechanic I married just ruled out the clean cut Dr guy Lol. Although we no longer have Cattle I actually do miss having the Cows and have even in recent years ask my hubs to get a few again. Have a Grand Day Kit

    • Yep, as my father used to say, busy boys are better boys, and cowboys were certainly busy! That hard work under the conditions they had to endure developed the men they became. Hard working, rugged, tough, protective. Is it any wonder we love to read and write about them?

  10. Kit, love your post. My love is cowboys and cowgirls and I can’t imagine writing about anything else. I feel an obligation, too, of making sure history doesn’t die.

  11. Thank you for the information. I know they work hard but have to admit in my heard the first thing I think when I hear the word cowboy is HUNK. I did not know about your sister all I can say is WOW.

  12. Thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone’s comments. Even though I live in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, my heart belongs to the West, the Oregon Trail, Cowboys, Indians, Mail order brides, the Calvary, Texas Rangers, etc. Blessings on your celebration of our great nation. God bless America!

  13. This article makes me want to stop in Waco, TX on the way to Wimberly to see the Texas Rangers Museum over the 4th of July. Every time I want to stop, the hubs is in too much of a hurry. LOL
    I also need to go see the Cowgirl Museum in Fort Worth. I mean, it’s only a few miles from my house.

  14. Hi, I enjoyed reading this blog, Thank you so much, I learned a little more about Cowboys and Cowgirls! This was very , very interesting and I learned some things. Thank you! God Bless you.:)

  15. I’ve always admired the American cowboy! Their grit is amazing! I am proud to live in the West myself and now all my adult kids live in Texas – crazy when they all grew up on the West coast….don’t know how they gravitated to Texas!!!!

    • Where in Texas do they live Valri? I love Texas, but not sure I’d want to live there. Those Texas summers can be brutal. I can’t imagine driving cattle in that sort of heat back in the day.

  16. It was the invention of barbed wire which helped tame the cattle by keeping them from roaming too far, thus ending some of the free-range cattle those cowboys corralled.

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