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Celebrating 60

Aug 15, 2013 - By Steven R. Peck

Today is Riverton's 107th birthday, and The Ranger is marking its 60th

This date -- Aug. 15 -- is marked as Riverton's birthday.

Although there are other significant dates from 1906 that could make a legitimate "birthday" claim, Aug. 15 is the date when would-be settlers did lots for the settlement of what is now known as the Riverton Valley. The land had just been removed -- yes, removed -- from the Wind River Indian Reservation and was open to settlement by anyone willing to take the chance, endure the hardships, carry the risk, and stay the course as a new municipality took shape.

That was 107 years ago. Riverton made it.

Today we also are devoting two pages of our newspaper, with some support from generous advertisers, to note the 60th anniversary of our newspaper called The Ranger. In 1953, the first edition of The Ranger was published. Actually, that first paper rolled off the press in March, but Aug. 15 is an important newspaper date for us as well. It was on Aug. 15, 1960, that our paper began daily publication, increasing its frequency to five days a week from two. Also on Aug. 15, this time in 1999, we began publication of our Sunday edition.

So we are using the birthday and a couple of our landmark dates in the newspaper business to reflect on 60 years of community newspaper publishing under The Ranger name. You'll see some pictures from the past six decades on pages six and seven in today's edition. Thanks to those advertisers who have joined us in celebrating their own longevity today.

What follows is an editorial written on the occasion of Riverton's 60th birthday -- that's Aug. 15, 1966 -- written by the late Ranger publisher Bob Peck.

Read through the few paragraphs and see if the sentiments -- that the greatest of all Riverton supporters and optimists expressed back then -- still might apply today:

About this time of year -- with the fair completed, school getting ready to start, and peak agricultural season at hand -- people get so busy that it's hard to sort out what's important and what's trivial.

This is a pressured time of year for farmers, business people, mothers and children alike. Then add to all that the flurry of specific details of our own family lives, and it's hard to keep a frantic feeling from taking over.

On this, Riverton's birthday, the bedrock or quality that is most important during both busy and usual times is community friendship, the concert of man and his neighbor.

As a dwindling number of original British citizens took their bows at the 60th birthday celebration in Riverton City Park yesterday, this feeling of oneness prevailed.

Sixty years after its origination in the sage brush prairie, Riverton has grown too large for each to know personally every other resident. There are still those among us who can remember when that was not so. But there still is an acquaintanceship of camp experience that holds us together as a community, as Westerners, and as Americans.

It is a privilege to be part of a community. Our friendship and civic pride minimize the problems that have torn less fortunate cities and states apart.

The confidence many people have about this community -- born back there 60 years ago when the pioneers tackled the sagebrush -- will sustain for many more years to come. Generations gathered in City Park yesterday. The feeling of community regeneration surges through people.

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MAIL SUBSCRIBERS: Wednesday's edition of The Ranger was delivered to the Riverton post office at 3:30 p.m., in time to meet the postal deadline for next-day mail delivery.

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