Gordon Lillie—a gunfighter, rancher, buffalo hunter, and Indian agent better known as Pawnee Bill—was inspired to go West as a teenager in 1874 after reading the adventures of Buffalo Bill and Wild Bill Hickok in lurid weeklies and dime novels. Lillie soon started a touring Wild West Show of his own, demonstrating that the myth of the Old West is nearly as old as the Old West itself. All this makes it appropriate that the Hopalong Cassidy Museum, scheduled to open in early August, will be located in the Prairie Rose Chuckwagon Supper ( www.prairierosechuckwagon.com ), a “western complex” in Wichita, Kansas, where tourists can eat barbecue served by cowboys and then enjoy “an evening of western music and entertainment in a climate-controlled, family-friendly environment.” Besides holding a 250-seat theater to screen Cassidy’s 66 films and 52 television shows, the museum will exhibit a wide range of memorabilia from the “King of Merchandising Cowboys,” including comic books, lunchboxes, “Hoppy food products,” and children’s bedroom suites. There will also, of course, be a gift shop.
After being hidden away for two years, the Constitution is about to resume its traditional position of importance—the four-page paper Constitution of 1788, that is, which has been in storage since 2001 while the National Archives and Records Administration ( www.nara.gov ) renovated its exhibition space. Charters of Freedom, which also includes the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, will go on display in September in the rotunda of the National Archives Building, where it will eventually form the centerpiece of “The National Archives Experience,” with interactive exhibits and a 275-seat theater. Reinstallation ceremonies begin on September 7, as replicas of the charters are carried on horseback from Philadelphia, their city of origin, to Washington, D.C.; the originals can be viewed starting September 18.