June 2002 Newsletter from
"On This Date in North American Indian History"
by Phil Konstantin
Copyright © Phil Konstantin (1996-2002)

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                June 2002 Newsletter 
                Phil Konstantin 




I hope things are going well with you. I spent a couple of days at the CHP Academy in Sacramento this week. I forgot how hot it gets up there. 

Speaking of the state capital, in last month's newsletter, I mentioned that a legislator had introduced a bill to removed all Indian names from school mascots. That bill failed to pass through the State House.

Enjoy the newsletter...


This month's "Link of the Month" goes to a variety of websites about Code Talkers. Later this month, a movie about the Navajo Code Talkers will be released. It is called Windtalkers and stars Nicolas Cage. I have not seen the movie, therefore I cannot offer any recommendations either way. I do know that its director, John Woo, has made some pretty graphic films in the past. Early discussion about the movie said it was going to be graphic (meaning violent). However, having had a couple of VERY small parts in a couple of movies, I know that they can change all the way up to the day they are released. In fact, George Lucas, after the success of Star Wars, went back and undid the edits the studio had made to American Graffiti a couple of years after it was released. 

In any case, all of the sites below are about the various Code Talkers. While most are about the Navajos, they were not the only tribal group to do this (see my Uncle's comments in the e-mail discussion at the bottom of this section). 

The sites are sorted alphabetically by website address.

Senator Jeff Bingaman's Navajo Code Talkers
lots of info...

Code Talkers & Spies

The Choctaw Codetalkers: 

Navajo Codetalkers:

Codetalkers: Wind Talkers
a links page

American Indian Code Talkers

The Navajo Code Talkers (go down the page and click on the link by this name):

BBC News article

Navajo Code Talkers Author: Anna Mollo 

Navajo Code Talkers Author: Yvette Lopez 

Lesson Title: Navajo Codetalker Lesson 
lesson plan with info


The Navajo Code Talkers

Welcome to my Codetalkers page!

Code Talkers, America's Secret Military Weapon

Welcome to my "Navajo Codetalkers" page...

Warriors: Navajo Code Talkers

Navajo Code Talkers' Dictionary

Navajo Code Talkers: World War II Fact Sheet

Festival honors codetalkers and MacDonald

The Navajo Code Talkers By Jacob Frogget

Diné Bizaad Yee Atah Naayéé' Yik'eh Deesdlíí'
(The Navajo Language assisted the military forces to defeat the enemy) 
another of Harrison Lapahie's great websites

Windtalkers: The official movie website.

Rapid City Journal articles

Philip Johnston's letter:

The Navajo Code Talkers - the Navajo Nation site

Choctaw Code Talkers of WWI

Codetalkers Exhibit:
from the National Security Agency

Carl Gorman
One of the Navajo Code Talkers of World War Two -- recently died of cancer, at the age of 90. Hear about what they did in this remembrance of Gorman's role with the Code Talkers. (A co-worker is related to Carl).


Navajo Times Online: Codetalkers

THE NAVAJO CODE TALKERS: Code Talkers (Part of the Story)

...and finally


Here is an edited version of an e-mail conversation I had with the creator of this website:

Hi Phil:

I found your web site this afternoon.  It is stunning!  This message is about the Navajo Code Talkers and the upcoming movie about their code and the battle of Saipan.

We produce a free web site that is heavily used by teachers and students, both in the classroom and for home study.  The purpose of the site is to get kids excited about history and to tell them, and the general public, the real story behind famous people, places and events.  Because kids now study movies in school, we also have a channel on movies that are based on true stories.  We have about 100,000 links to primary sources, mostly from
national archives and universities, within our web site.

With the release of the upcoming movie "Windtalkers," the Navajo Code Talkers will finally have their story told to the world-at-large.  For the first time, teachers and students around the country will talk about this important part of American history.  But since the movie focuses on just the code, and how it had to be protected during the war, it cannot address the broader story of the Navajo people and their history.

In an effort to provide educators, students and the general public with more about the Navajo people than the code and the battle of Saipan, we have produced a detailed "story behind the movie." http://www.click2flicks.com/wind_talkers/wind_talkers_ch1.htm   It links to hundreds of primary sources within the web sites of American universities, national archives and Navajo- produced sites.  We created the story after a year of careful research, and it has been approved by families of CodeTalkers.  The point of the story is not just to give the Navajo people a higher profile.  It's also meant to address (and provide some answers) to the many questions people will have after they see the film.

Carole Bos
Hi Carole,

It is my understanding that one of the code talkers said they did not have a "bodyguard" as suggested by the movie. But, I understand artistic license.

One of my uncles was in WWII. He used to joke that the army was crazy because they put a Cherokee on one end of the line and a Navajo on the other, and expect them to understand each other.


Hi Phil:

Thanks a lot.

Families of Code Talkers have reviewed and approved our story.  They said they were unaware of orders to kill.  In all of our research, we found only one reference to it.  We read that the resolution passed by Congress to award the original developers a gold medal and the rest of the talkers a silver medal said they would be shot if capture were imminent.  BUT - we have been unable to find such a resolution anywhere.  We even wrote to our congressional representatives to ask for the resolution itself but we have not seen it.  Until we can verify it, we won't put it into our story - either to confirm or deny.

The other night an original code talker was interviewed on television.  The question was put to him:  What if it were true that orders were issued to protect the code at all costs?  His answer, quite understandably, was:  I would agree that was the right thing to do.

Thanks for agreeing to link us, Phil.  Let's hope the movie does extremely well.  It would be such a great thing to honor the code talkers.

Best regards,
Carole Bos


Speaking of movies, I saw Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron last weekend. I love the scenery of the American west. I had scene one of those "The Making Of..." programs about this animated movie. It is done by the same studio (DreamWorks) as "The Prince of Egypt." I also enjoyed that movie, so I decided to go see this one on the big screen. Movie prices are sooooo high, I seldom go out to see them. I usually wait for it to come out on cable. But, I do go see a few things which can be better apporeciated on a big screen. I was impressed by the quality of the animator's artwork. The story is about a wild horse who is captured by the army in the "Indian Wars" era. The horse and the Indians are the heroes in this movie. Daniel Studi (Wes Studi's son) provides the voice for the main Indian character. The story is simple, but well done. You might enjoy seeing this movie.


The Spirit movie brought my father to mind on several occassions. Dad, who is 73 and going strong, always wanted to be a rancher. At different times, he had several horses and a couple dozen head of cattle. This was all done as an absent landlord basis. We lived in, and around, Houston. We would travel to his property in east Texas (Alto, where he grew up) several times a month. An uncle and an aunt who lived in Alto also helped out. Eventually, Dad sold all of the animals and the land. Interesting enough, the property was in Cherokee County. Dad is not Cherokee. So, I get some Cherokee from my mother, and Cherokee County from my father. :-)  .

Dad was an excellent horseman. While I was really a cityboy at heart, I did appreciate my father's skills on horseback. We went to lots of rodeos when I was young. I thought they were OK, but I would never had gone if the choice had been up to me. There was one exception, when my dad rode. He was part of a mounted square dance team. Yes, square dancing on horseback. This takes great timing, endurance and horseriding ability. I always enjoyed watching Dad perform with this group. 

I share many things with my father. We have both had a career in law enforcement. We have both done radio and television programs as a part of that job. We have both worked in the movie theatre business. For most of our lives, we both also had more that one job at a time.

I can only hope that I can come anywhere near to matching my father's character. He is kind, generous, hard-working, well-mannered and just an all around good guy. I have been blessed by having two great parents.

Happy Father's Day, Dad!


Here are some messages I have received which you might find interesting:

Hello. I wanted to let you know about some Native People who are running for office. Two are running in Alaska: http://www.msnbc.com/local/KTUU/M180827.asp
And I am running in Washington. www.simahoyo.com
Please read about what we are doing, and why. If you would like to help, all of us need donations (I know I do), endorsements are good, and so is spreading the word along the old moccasin telegraph.
Linde Knighton aka/simahoyo

Kachora Yaqui Curandero is having A Gathering of Nations Powwow June 21, 2002. It is located near Rancho Vejar, which is approximately 20 miles south of Tecate, in Mexico. Follow the Indian Sign to event. Piped water is present, but still bring drinking water. Bring enough food for yourself and one other. Above all bring Respect. As we met only this past sunday on the event more info will be forthcoming. I am going down on the 12th to help set up and if possible I will pass on more info upon my return.


I had a few other messages to post, but they were accidently deleted while I was out of town...


Here are some random historical events....  

June 1, 1934: A legal definition of "Indian" is made by the United States government. 

June 2, 1752: Diego Ortiz Parrilla, Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal Armies, Proprietary Captain of the Dragoons of Veracruz, Governor and Captain-General of the Provinces of Sinaloa and Sonora in the Kingdom of New Andalucia declares the estalishment of a permanent Spanish community at what would become modern Tubac, Arizona. This would be the first significant Spanish settlement in Arizona. 

June 3, 1823: Yesterday a trapper is killed in a Arikara village. The Arikara warriors attack Jedediah Smith and his forty men who are camped on the nearby river. There are also ninety men stationed on boats in the river. Fearing for their lives, the men in the boats refuse to come help Smith’s men. Fifteen men are killed and almost as many are wounded in the fighting before they can swim out to the boats and flee.

June 4, 1696: A second Pueblo revolt takes place in modern New Mexico. Participating tribes were the Cochiti, Picuris, Santa Fe, Santo Domingo, Tano, Taos and Tewa. Twenty-one settlers and soldiers, and five missionaries are killed in the fighting. The revolt would not be long lived. 

June 5, 1836: Of the 407 "friendly" Seminoles who left Tampa Bay on April 11, 1836, only 320 arrive in their new lands in the Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma). Eighty-seven of the Seminoles die during the rigorous trip.

June 6, 1962: The Fort Apache Scout is first published.  

June 7, 1494: The "new world" is divided between Spain and Portugal by the Catholic church. 

June 8, 1758: General Jeffrey Amherst is leading a force of more than 10,000 soldiers on a fleet of almost fifty British ships. They land and attack the French fort at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia. The French forces are led by Chevier de Drucour. He has 3,100 soldiers, 1,000 Canadians and 500 Indians at his disposal. The French also have a fleet in port. The fighting continues until July 26th. The British are victorious. Fearing they will be executed, many of the Indians will flee because the British offer terms of surrender only to the French troops.  

June 9, 1870: Ely Parker (Donehogawa) commissioner of Indian Affairs invites Red Cloud, and several other Sioux to visit him, and the Great Father, in Washington. Red Cloud meets President Ulysses Grant. Red Cloud tells Grant the Sioux do not want a reservation on the Missouri River. Red Cloud also talks about some of the promises made in the treaty which were not actually included. They have a cordial meeting, but Grant knows the difference between the items promised, and the items actually in the treaty are grounds for contention in the future. He suggests the Indians be read the treaty in its entirety soon. 

June 10, 1909: The U.S. Supreme Court confirms and approves Guion Miller's new tribal rolls of the Eastern Cherokees who are entitled to share in the distribution of a $1,000,000 fund the Court established in 1906. 

June 11, 1848: Alexander Barclay establishes a trading post and fort and the juncture of the Sapello and Mora Rivers in northern New Mexico. The Santa Fe Trail runs past the post. It will eventually become a part of the later constructed Fort Union, one of the largest military outposts in the American Southwest.

June 12, 1755: Massachusetts posts its "Scalp bounty."  

June 13, 1660: Wamsetta, a Wampanoag, and his younger brother, Metacomet (various spellings), have requested "English" names from the Plymouth court. Their names are officially changed to Alexander and Philip Pokanoket. Philip is eventually called "King Philip." 

June 14, 1867: According to the Constitution of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe of Idaho, The Coeur d’Alene Reservation is established by Executive Order. 

June 15, 742: According to Maya engravings, King Itzamnaaj B'alam II (Shield Jaguar) of Yaxchilan, Mexico dies.

June 16, 1802: A treaty (7 stat. 68) with the Creeks is concluded near Fort Wilkinson, on the Oconee River, near present day, Milledgeville, Georgia. New tribal boundary lines are established, which cede lands along the Oconee and Ocmulgee creeks, and the "Altamaha" tract. The tribe receives $3000 annually, and some Chiefs get $1000 a year for ten years. The tribe gets $10,000 now, and $10,000 is set aside to pay tribal debts to local white traders. The Creeks also receive $5000 for lands that have been seized. They also get two sets of blacksmith tools, and trained blacksmiths to use them for three years. The United States gets the right to establish a garrison on Creek lands. The treaty is signed by thirty-nine Indians. The Americans are represented by General James Wilkinson, Benjamin Hawkins and Andrew Pickens. 

June 17, 1579: Sir Francis Drake lands north of San Francisco, probably at what is today called Drake's Bay, in California. He reports the Indians to be "people of a tractable, free and loving nature, without guile or treachery." 

June 18, 1934: The Indian Reorganization Act (48 Stat. 984-985) takes place. Among other things, it is to "permit any Indian to transfer by will restricted lands of such Indian to his or her heirs or lineal descendants, and for other purposes. To authorize the sale of individual Indian lands acquired under the Act of June 18, 1934 and under the Act of June 26, 1936." 

June 19, 1541: Hernando de Soto's expedition meets the Casqui Indians near modern Helena, Arkansas. There has been a drought in the area, and the padres offer to help. A large cross is erected and the Spaniards join in prayer. Soon it starts to rain. The Casquis become allies of the Spanish. 

June 20, 1763: As part of Pontiac's rebellion, a force of Senecas, Ottawas, Wyandots, and Chippewas attack Fort Presque Isle, at present day Erie, in northwestern Pennsylvania. They have had the fort under siege since June 15th. The soldiers numbering less than three dozen, surrender when the fort goes up in flames. All but Ensign John Christie and two others escape. The rest are killed. 

June 21, 1856: Non-hostile Indians along the lower Rogue River, and at Fort Orford, in southwestern Oregon, are put on a boat to be moved to a new reservation between the Pacific Ocean, and the Wallamet River. It is called the Grande Ronde Reservation. 

June 22, 1839: Elias Boudinot, first editor of the Cherokee Phoenix, Chief Major Ridge (Kahnungdaclageh) and his son, John Ridge (Skahtlelohskee) are members of the Cherokee "Treaty Party." They have generated many enemies by their stand agreeing to the removal of the Cherokees from their lands east of the Mississippi River. They signed the peace treaty which gave away Cherokee lands east of the Mississippi River. They moved to Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma) with the rest of the Cherokee Nation. Early this morning, John Ridge is dragged from his bed, and stabbed to death. Chief Major Ridge is shot and killed at 10:00 am in another part of the reservation. Later that day, Elias Boudinot is stabbed and hacked to death. These murders are committed by Cherokees for what they feel is their treasonous betrayal of the nation. A Cherokee law, which Chief Ridge helped to make, gives the death penalty to any Cherokee who sells or gives away Cherokee lands without the majority of the tribe's permission. These deaths are considered the execution of that law. Chief Stand Watie, brother to Elias, and nephew to Major Ridge, manages to avoid the warriors who planned to kill him.  

June 23, 1865: General Stand Watie, and his Cherokee Confederate sympathizers, surrender. Stand Watie is the last Confederate General to officially surrender. 

June 24, 1763: As part of Pontiac's rebellion, a group of Delaware surround Fort Pitt, in present day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The commander, Captain Simeon Ecuyer, has 338 soldiers in the fort, and he will not surrender. Not having enough warriors to attack the fort, the Delaware leave the fort with a few blankets as a present. Unknown to the Indians, the blankets came from a infirmary treating smallpox. The Delaware are the first to be affected by this form of biological warfare during the rebellion. Some sources says this happens on July 24th.  

June 25, 1876: At the Battle of the Little Big Horn, Colonel George Custer is commanding Troops C,E,F,I, and L; Major Marcus Reno has troops A,G, and M. Captain Frederick Benteen leads Troops H,D, and K. Captain Thomas McDougall guards the supply wagons with Troop B. It is a significant defeat for the U. S. Army. Army reports list thirteen officers, 189 enlisted men, and four civilians are killed in Custer’s command. Reno’s troops split from Custer’s. According to army documents, Lt. Donald McIntosh, Lt. B.H. Hodgson, forty-six soldiers, and one civilian are killed. Captain Benteen, Lt. C.A. Varnum and forty-four soldiers are wounded in the fighting which lasts through tomorrow. Army reports do not list how many Indians were killed or wounded in this defeat for the army. The following soldiers receive Congressional Medals of Honor for actions during this battle today and tomorrow: Private Neil Bancroft, Company A; Private Abram B. Brant, Co. D; Private Thomas J. Callen, Co. B; Sergeant Benjamin C. Criswell, Co. B; Corporal Charles Cunningham, Co. B; Private Frederick Deetline, Co. D; Sergeant George Geiger, Co. H; Private Theodore Goldin, Troop G; Private David W. Harris, Co. A; Private William M. Harris, Co. D; Private Henry Holden, Co. D; Sergeant Rufus D. Hutchinson, Co. B; Blacksmith Henry Mechlin, Co. H; Sergeant Thomas Murray, Co. B; Private James Pym, Co. B; Sergeant Stanislaus Roy, Co. A; Private George Scott, Co. D; Private Thomas Stivers, Co. D; Private Peter Thompson, Co. C; Private Frank Tolan, Co. D; Saddler Otto Voit, Co. H; Sergeant Charles Welch, Co. D; Private Charles Windolph, Co. H. 

June 26, 1874: The Comanches under Quanah Parker decide to punish the white hunters for killing their buffalo herds and taking their grazing lands. Joined by Kiowa, Cheyenne and Arapahos, they set out for the trading post called Adobe Walls in the panhandle of Texas. Medicine man Isatai of the Comanche promises the bullets of the white men will not harm them. A buffalo hunter named William "Billy" Dixon sees the Indians approaching, and he is able to fire a warning shot before the attack. The Indians charge the trading post. There are twenty-eight men, and one woman, in Adobe Walls, and the buffalo hunters there have very accurate, long-range rifles with telescopic sights. Dixon is reported to have knocked an Indian off his horse from 1538 yards away with one of these rifles. The adobe walls provide very good cover for them. Slightly more than a dozen Indians are killed in the fight, and Isatai is humiliated. The Indians give up the fight as hopeless, and they leave. Some sources report this fight happening on June 27, 1874 and lasting until July 1st.  

June 27, 1542: Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo leaves Mexico to go up the Pacific coast in exploration. Cabrillo is the first European to land in San Diego Bay, California. He goes as far north as the Rogue River, in California. 

June 28, 1878: Tambiago, the killer of Alex Rhoden on November 23, 1877, which led to the Bannock War, is hanged at the Idaho Territorial prison.  

June 29, 1906: The Anazasi ruins at Mesa Verde are declared a National Park

June 30, 1520: According to some sources, Montezuma dies. Some say he is killed by other Aztecs. Others say he is stabbed to death by Spaniards under Hernán Cortés. 


I am sure I have forgotten something....oh well.

Have a great month,





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