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Buffalo Bill invented modern rodeo

Throwback Thursday
Buffalo Bill put together a smaller version of what, eventually, becomes his Wild West shows and invented modern rodeo.
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 6:36 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - The NEBRASKAland days festival celebrates the culture of the Wild West and captures it for entertainment with the various rodeos. The “Old Glory Blowout,” a Wild West show hosted by Buffalo Bill Cody, helped invent modern.

In 1882, city leaders and Buffalo Bill were trying to plan a celebration for the Fourth of July. The task fell onto Buffalo Bill; at this time, he was known for his Wild West shows in the East. He took segments from his shows to put together the “Old Glory Blowout.”

“Buffalo Bill put together a smaller version of what, eventually, becomes his Wild West shows and invents modern rodeo,” said Jim Griffin, Curator Director. “That is why the Buffalo Bill rodeo at Nebraskaland days is considered the oldest rodeo in the nation. It has been continuous since his Old Glory Blowout.”

Close to twenty thousand people attended Buffalo Bill’s first show. Buffalo Bill included steer roping, wrestling, and bull riding in his Old Glory Blowout. As popularity increased, Buffalo Bill added stage coach robberies, Native Americans, and other acts to his shows.

“That is the root of rodeo,” said Griffin. “Buffalo Bill brought the culture of the west to show people. What he did for the rodeo industry is part of the reason the Buffalo Bill Rodeo is inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame.”

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