Have you ever heard of National Day of the Cowboy (NDOC)? No? Well, I hadn’t either but it’s today, July 24th, 2021. When I hear cowboy I think of Sam Elliot and Clint Eastwood, but there’s more to it than that.
In 2005 the organization for NDOC sponsored a bill in the Wyoming House and Senate to preserve and celebrate cowboy culture in the state. It passed, and as of July 2019, 15 other states have recognized it as a holiday.
The NDOC organization’s goal is for the bill to be passed in all 50 states. They work to raise awareness and enthusiasm for rodeos, cowboy history museums, and roping demonstrations. They want the image of the cowboy to live on.
According to the NDOC website, “The National Day of the Cowboy non-profit organization works to contribute to the preservation of America’s cowboy culture and pioneer heritage so that the history and culture which the National Day of the Cowboy bill honors, can be shared and perpetuated for the public good, through education, the arts, literature, celebrations, gatherings, rodeos, and other community activities.”
What is cowboy culture?
For the frontier cowboy, culture meant his horse and saddle, his lariat cracking in the air, and the smell of burning hair and flesh as the red-hot branding iron met the hide of a calf. For a cowboy, culture is sleeping under a blanket of stars, tasting the dust on a long, hot trail drive, smelling thick, steaming coffee on a frosty morning. A cowboy’s culture, both historically and in contemporary times, is defined by his tools and their trappings, from custom-made boots and hats to hand-tooled saddles and finely braided reatas.
St George News says, the modern cowboy is a symbol of defiance, representing “freedom-loving Americans who are willing to stand firm for their natural rights in the face of an unreasoning, heavy-handed federal government.”
People celebrate National Day of the Cowboy by attending rodeos, using the hashtag #NationalDayOfTheCowboy, and learning more about cowboy culture.
Do you think National Day of the Cowboy should be passed in all 50 states? Let us know in the comments below!