By Earl Goldsmith
Historians tell us the most newsworthy event on Sunday, June 22, 1941 was Germany's invasion of Russia to the surprise of practically the whole world.
The two countries had signed a 1939 treaty that they wouldn't go to war against each other, but they were headed by two of the worst tyrants who ever lived, Hitler and Stalin.
They couldn't trust each other and both were secretly planning to attack the other when they thought the time was right. Hitler beat Stalin to the move. 
While I learned that day that Germany had invaded Russia earlier on June 22, I remember something that happened in Henryetta that day that was more important to an 11-year-old kid like I was then.
I lived on Henryetta's State Street, near the old K. O. & G. tracks. The northernmost of a series of five large oil tanks was just west of the K. O. & G. on the south side of Corporation Street. They were the Texaco pipeline pump station tanks that extended from north to south between the K. O. & G. and Frisco for about a mile.old building
Each tank and its surrounding embankment took up what would have been about a square block and a half. The embankment around each of them was apparently to contain oil if the tank leaked.ì I never knew of a noticeable leak.
At points among the five tanks, there was a pit full of tar, a large pond of water with endless cattails, Coal Creek, the Texaco pump station, a swimming hole called “Seven Falls" and another called the “Ice Box" because it was shady and fed by a spring that might have been the beginning of Coal Creek, and a little vacant land.
Raised walkways connected the three south tanks, all of which were south of Coal Creek and its K. O. & G. trestle. Between the two northernmost tanks was an oil sludge pond we called the tar pit.
We boys climbed the tanks (each had long stairs up the west side) to throw bandana parachutes off and get chased off by Texaco people, gathered cattails at the pond, swam at Seven Falls near the K. O. & G. trestle and without swimsuits at the Ice Box, walked rails while watching out for approaching trains, etc.
Our mothers had told us that if we got stuck at a point where the rails split for a siding when a train was approaching, we should forget trying to save the shoe just get your foot out and leave the shoe there.
We generally looked at the whole area as a place to play, explore, look for diamond crystals in railroad chat, pick blackberries, shoot BB guns at the tanks to hear them ping, jump our bicycles over the tops of the embankments around the tanks, which we called the dumps, gather cattails to dry and the put kerosene on them to make them our torches, or whatever. One day, some friend's dog fell from the trestle and we made a stretcher out of my shirt to carry it home to the delight of my mother. 
The older Withrow boys, who lived across Corporation to the north, hit golf balls at the first (northernmost) tank. But we kids didn't mess with that tar pit except once when it snowed and we rode sleds down its bank and across the top of the tar. The sled runners carved the tar and our clothes got pretty oily that day, another delight for Mother.
That 1941 Sunday afternoon, we kids saw that Jack Water's cow, Buttercup, was stuck in the tar pit. Jack lived across the street from us and Buttercup had been a calf of my mother's cow, Bossy. When we moved to Kansas for two and a half years in 1935, Mother gave Buttercup to Jack, who was in high school then.
She sold Bossy and never had a cow again. When we got back to our former house in Henryetta in the spring of 1938, I was just turning eight and sort of looked on Buttercup as a an old friend or relative.
tar pitWe kids ran and told Jack and the neighborhood about Buttercup being stuck, and several men showed up to try to help Jack get her out of the tar pit. They tied ropes around her neck and body and men were pulling on them.
Men were in the tar pushing on her and trying to lift her legs to move her toward the bank. Some guy twisted her tail up to try to make it hurt to the point she would jump. Finally, she got to the place where she could get a firm footing and was able to get to the bank.
I don't know if the men helped her get out or if they were such a nuisance that she got there on her own to get away from them. It must have taken an hour or more and she was one greasy cow when she got out. I have no idea how Jack managed to get that tar off. Maybe she shed it as new hair replaced it, if cows do such a thing.
Naturally, the kids in the neighborhood were watching all this action from the banks of the tar pit, and I heard those men in the pit with Buttercup saying words I hadn't heard before, or if I had, I wouldn't dare say them myself. It was quite an afternoon.
And while we kids were watching, some neighborhood men on the bank, who were apparently there to supervise instead of help, were talking about the German invasion of Russia that morning. So, while I recall that was the day of that Germany invaded Russia, that wasn't the most important thing to me that day.
And since I knew it was Sunday afternoon, I've always had the day down pat. Jack Water's Buttercup got stuck in the Henryetta tar pit Sunday, June 22, 1941. Coincidentally, Germany invaded Russia that very same day