Wyoming’s First Drunk Driver: How Calamity Jane Got Lit, Then Got Lost
The term drunk driving may have been invented in Wyoming. On June 10, 1876, a Cheyenne jury acquitted "Calamity" Jane of grand larceny and the wildest woman in the west was in the mood to celebrate.
The party began at the Tivoli Saloon, where Jane was a well-known regular. In those days, women weren't allowed in bars, except for Jane, who dressed like a man and was a feared gunslinger. A few hours into her bender, Jane rented a buggy and set out for Fort D.A. Russell, just a few miles away. Unfortunately, Calamity Jane never made it.
According to a story in The Cheyenne Daily Leader, which was later reprinted by the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, "By the time she had reached the fort, however, indulgence in frequent and liberal potations completely befogged her not very clear brain, and she drove right by.”
When she woke up the next morning, Calamity Jane was convinced that the fort had been relocated. Undeterred, she continued searching, and drinking, and eventually ended up at Fort Laramie, 90 miles from Fort D.A. Russell.
When Jane rode back into town the following month, word of her wild ride had traveled and she was no longer allowed to rent a horse and buggy in Cheyenne.