150th Anniversary of the First Ride
Put into action as an attempt to speed up delivery of mail across the western frontier, the Pony Express guaranteed that mail from St. Joseph, Missouri would reach Sacramento, California within ten days. Imagine traveling by horse on a 1,966-mile trail at breakneck speeds with a deadline through Indian Territory in all kinds of weather. Although in operation for less than two years (it was forced out of business by the transcontinental telegraph), the Pony Express made such an impact on the history of the United States that its story lives on almost 150 years later.
April 3, 2010 will mark the 150th anniversary of the first ride of the Pony Express, and the National Pony Express Association already has plans in place to celebrate. Be sure to check their website for events leading up to, and surpassing, the anniversary date.
The National Park Service considers the Pony Express a National Historic Trail and has maps, suggestions of sites to visit, and stories of the Pony Express available on their website.
The Pony Express National Museum also has many exhibits that delve into the history of the times including a well, items from a dig, a map, and a living diorama to provide reality to the experience.
Another exciting prospect is to participate in the Pony Express Trail Challenge Geocache.
Learn more about the Pony Express @ your library:
Enjoyable for Kids:
Black Storm Comin’
Wilson, Diane Lee
Twelve-year-old Colton, son of a black mother and a white father, takes a job with the Pony Express in 1860 after his father abandons the family on their California-bound wagon train, and risks his life to deliver an important letter that may affect the growing conflict between the North and South.
Buffalo Bill and the Pony Express
Sixteen-year-old Bill finds adventure when he becomes a rider for the Pony Express (though his letters home never hint at the dangers he encounters).
The Club members decide to help raise money for the head groom at Thistle Ridge Farm, whose house has burned down, by turning their re-creation of the Pony Express ride through Tennessee into a fundraiser.
Pony Express Christmas
A Pony Express rider stops to help a family in need at Christmas despite his mission to deliver the mail without delay.
Enjoyable for Adults:
National Historic Trails: Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guide: Nebraska and Northeastern Colorado
Provides an historical overview of four trails including the Pony Express, as well as sharing the thoughts and experiences of those following the routes.
Orphans Preferred: The Twisted Truth and Lasting Legend of the Pony Express Corbett, Christopher
Covering both fact and fiction about the short-lived Pony Express and the ensuing legend that lives on.
The Pony Express: A Thrilling and Truthful History
Visscher, William Lightfoot
An excerpt from the antique original book
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