CHEYENNE — Ahead of the new year, the Wyoming Office of Tourism announced 2019 as the “Year of Wyoming Women,” as the state prepares to celebrate the 150th anniversary of women’s suffrage.
On Dec. 10, 1869, Wyoming territory passed the first law in United States history granting women the right to vote and hold public office — more than 50 years prior to the U.S. ratification of the 19th amendment, according to a press release from WOT.
With the milestone anniversary, Wyoming wants to encourage travelers to plan a visit to celebrate the history and the strong women of today. Throughout the state, WOT will mark the anniversary with activities, events, retreats and must-visit historic destinations that commemorate the spirit of Wyoming as the first frontier for women.
“We are proud to declare 2019 the ‘Year of Wyoming Women,’ as the home of many firsts for women in the country and the world,” said Diane Shober, executive director of WOT, in the release. “Determination, resiliency and the pioneering spirit is built into the DNA of the West, so it’s no surprise to me that the strong women of Wyoming helped to pave the way for women’s suffrage.”
Wyoming Women’s History
While often referred to as the “Cowboy State,” Wyoming’s true nickname is the “Equality State” for its role in women’s suffrage and throughout history.
Wyoming has been home to many firsts for women including:
- First woman to vote in a general election in the U.S. (1870): Louisa “Eliza” Swain
- First town in which women served on a jury (1870): Laramie
- First female Justice of the Peace (1870): Esther Hobart Morris
- First female court bailiff (1870): Mary Atkinson
- First woman confirmed by U.S. Senate to serve in federal position (1895): Estelle Reel
- First town governed entirely by women (1920): Jackson
- First female elected governor (1925): Nellie Tayloe Ross
Twenty years after the 1869 law passed, Wyoming sought statehood and it famously refused to enter the Union if women’s suffrage was not upheld. And in 1890, Wyoming officially entered the Union as the 44th state and the first state to allow women these rights.
FAB Women’s Conference 2019
The Sheridan Press is doing its part to celebrate Wyoming women by sponsoring the annual FAB Women’s Conference.
FAB is a first-of-its-kind conference: for, about and by women. The seventh annual event is scheduled for April 12 at Sheridan College.
The 2019 conference will recognize and empower women in the Mountain West through seminars, demonstrations, an awards lunch, a keynote address by New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert and much more.
Women will learn, network and celebrate each other.
Discover the details and find early-bird tickets to FAB Women’s Conference 2019 here.