The Wyoming Office of Tourism (WOT) announced 2019 is 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.
On the anniversary of that historic law, Wyoming Office Tourism wants to encourage visitors to The Equality State to celebrate that history, as well as the strong Wyoming women of today. Across the state, residents will mark the anniversary with activities, events, retreats, and 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 Wyoming Office of Tourism, in a press 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. With significant events, including our state Capitol building reopening this coming summer, Wyoming is truly a top destination for travelers next year.”
For the list of official events celebrating Wyoming women and the anniversary, click here.
Travelers are also encouraged use #ThatsWYWomen to share their experiences on social media.
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 women to serve on a jury (1870) – Laramie, WY
- First female Justice of the Peace (1870) – Esther Hobart Morris
- First female court bailiff (1870) – Martha Atkinson
- First woman confirmed by U.S. Senate to serve in federal position (1895) – Estelle Reel
- First town governed entirely by women (1920) – Jackson, WY
- 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.