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Earthly Afterlife of Billy Kid: History Lecture at Branigan Cultural Center

Dr. Jeff Schwehn will present the September 2014 History Notes lecture at Branigan Cultural Center on Thursday, September 11 at 1pm. His lecture is titled The Earthly Afterlife of Billy the Kid.

We all know of Billy the Kid. We all have our opinions of his role in New Mexican and American history. Dr. Schwehn will explore the circumstances and characteristics of Billy the Kid that place him in the forefront of our imagination of the American frontier. How on earth did a very young laborer from a non-descript background become arguably the most popular icon of the American West? This presentation will examine territorial Lincoln County, The Lincoln County War, William H. McCarty’s (Billy the Kid’s) journey to and role in the Lincoln County War, Billy the Kid’s ascent to legendary status, and the character traits that ensure Billy the Kid’s continuing prominence in the Myth of the American West. Join us to continue to create, through learning and discussion, “the earthly afterlife of Billy the Kid.”

Dr. Jeff Schwehn is a retired Clinical Psychologist who has practiced in Albuquerque, Los Alamos, Alamogordo, and Las Cruces, New Mexico. Dr. Schwehn has a Master’s Degree in Psychology from New Mexico Highlands University and a Ph. D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of New Mexico. Dr. Schwehn’s psychological research focused on how culture influences individuals’ perceptions and values. Dr. Schwehn is currently an amateur historian with a special interest in the New Mexico Territorial Period, 1850-1912. He has spent the last two years studying the many records and interpretations of the life of Billy the Kid.

History Notes, monthly lectures on historical topics, take place on the second Thursday of each month at 1 pm. Please check our webpage or Facebook for a full listing of these and other Branigan Cultural Center public programs.

The Branigan Cultural Center is located at 501 North Main Street. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9am to 4:30pm. The Branigan will be reopening after renovation for the First Friday Arts Ramble on September 5. For more information, contact the Branigan Cultural Center at (575) 541-2154 or visit the Center’s website at

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