It was a day like no other in American history, in that it brought out the best and worst in man to conquer his environment and leave his mark on the American landscape. On Sunday, June 25, 1876, America was celebrating its 100th birthday with the grand “Centennial Exposition” being held in Philadelphia. The “Expo” was in its second month that began on May 10 and would conclude six months later on November 10. On that Sunday, Alexander Graham Bell would demonstrate a device bearing patent number 174,465. Those who were present were in awe as they heard a voice transmitted through a wire for the first time. “IT SPEAKS,” thus was born the telephone.
But on that Sunday, 1,600 miles to the west, death would be the order of the day for LT. Colonel George Armstrong Custer and members of the 7th U.S. Cavalry. Custer was just 22 years old when he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1861. His time at West Point was undistinguished and he graduated last in his class of 34 cadets. He had been a veteran of a half dozen battles during the Civil War, but when Custer led his forces of some 200 men against 2,000 Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians at the Little Big Horn, it proved to be his last battle.
On that Sunday, when Bell gave birth to the telephone, death came to every last man at the Little Big Horn. It was King Richard who said: “A Horse, A Horse! My Kingdom for a Horse!” But in the wilds of Montana Territory that Sunday, Custer’s more urgent need was for a telephone than a horse.
Submitted by Chic DiFrancia