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Dignitaries arriving at Riverton Regional Airport for Fremont County Space Day 50 years ago included, seated from left, Wyoming U.S. Sen. Milward Simpson, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Curtis LeMay and Gov. Cliff Hansen, pictured June 4, 1964. File photo

The way it was: Big-name visitors

Jun 23, 2014 - From staff reports

During the excitement of the 1960s "space race," Fremont County caught space fever as well. NASA astronauts were frequent visitors to the Lander One Shot Antelope Hunt, and Riverton hosted an annual "Space Day" for a few years.

The event attracted the attention from members of Congress and the military. Fifty years ago this month, several of both arrived for Space Day.

The biggest name that year was U.S. Air Chief of Staff Gen. Curtis LeMay, who arrived on a gleaming U.S. Air Force jet accompanied by Wyoming Gov. Cliff Hansen (grandfather of current Gov. Matt Mead), U.S. Sen. Milward Simpson, Secretary of State Thyra Thomson, and others.

Space Day also included the shell of a Minuteman missile and a C-121-G aircraft.

LeMay spoke at a keynote luncheon at the Riverton Elks Club.

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