Moreholidays July Day of the Cowboy


National Day of the Cowboy

Cowboy Cattle Drive

About the National Day of the Cowboy

When is the National Day of the Cowboy? This holiday is celebrated on the fourth Saturday of July

Yippie ki yay! Put on your hat and boots, and don’t forget your spurs. Then, hop on your horse and either hit the trail or join a cattle drive. Today is the National Day of the Cowboy. On this day we celebrate the fabled men and women who helped to tame America’s Wild West. 

National Day of the Cowboy was created in 2005 to preserve the role and contributions cowboys and cowgirls made to the Western heritage and history of our country. Every year on this day, the NDOC organization gives recognition awards to individuals, organizations, and projects that contribute to the preservation of both pioneer history and the promotion of cowboy culture.

Shortly after the Civil War, cowboys and cowgirls began to appear in America’s heartland. At the time, the Wild West was truly wild and dangerous. It was a hard life. They were largely ranchers and ranch hands, raising cattle, horses, and other animals. To this very day, they watch over the herds, lead them to pastures, and work as ranch hands. Then, when the cows are ready for the market, they lead the cows on a cattle drive across the sometimes-dangerous plains ultimately to slaughterhouses to feed a growing American population. The distance to a slaughterhouse or a train station is much shorter than it was in the Wild West when a cattle drive took weeks. It was a wild and often lawless time.

In the absence of the rule of law, Cowboys developed their own code to live by, known as the “Cowboy Code of Conduct” or the “Cowboy Code of Ethics”. They were simple and logical rules of behavior. The rules could readily apply at any time, even today.

Happy Trails to you on this fun-filled day.

Cowboy Code of Conduct

Most cowboys and cowgirls were good and honest people. They lived by the following code of conduct:

  • Live each day with honesty and courage.
  • Take pride in your work. Always do your best.
  • Stay curious. Study hard and learn all you can.
  • Do what has to be done and finish what you start.
  • Be tough, but fair.
  • When you make a promise, keep it.
  • Be clean in thought, word, deed, and dress.
  • Practice tolerance and understanding of others.
  • Be willing to stand up for what is right.
  • Be an excellent steward of the land and its animals
Longhorn Cattle, Cow

How to Celebrate the National Day of the Cowboy

Here are a few ideas on how to celebrate the National Day of the Cowboy:

  • Go to a rodeo, where cowboy skills are on display.
  • Watch a cowboy movie or western.
  • Dress like a cowboy with a hat and boots. If you don’t have them, buy them today.
  • Ride a horse.
  • Read about cowboy and cowgirl history.

Today's Quote

“Until we meet again, may the good Lord take a liking to you.” – – Roy Rogers

Cowboy Day

History and Origin of the National Day of the Cowboy

The non-profit organization National Day of the Cowboy (NDOC) created National Day of the Cowboy and made this an annual event.

This is a true “National” holiday. U.S. Senate resolution 138 on July 23, 2005 proclaimed National Day of the Cowboy, and the impact cowboys have had in our country’s history.

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