Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wyoming Firsts

I was watching the History Channel the other day, no surprise there. But their new series The States was on, and they were talking about Wyoming. It became a U.S. territory on July 25, 1868.

Reports of its vastness, beauty, and natural formations were thought to be greatly exaggerated. Accounts by Jim Bridger and John Colter (of the Lewis & Clarke Expedition) were dismissed as tall tales. How little did they know.

Once government sponsored expeditions to the Yellowstone country were
undertaken, the previous reports by men like Colter and Bridger were found to be
true. This led to the creation of Yellowstone National Park, which became the
world's first National Park in 1872.

But that’s not the point. The point is Votes for Women. (See previous blog.) As in Wyoming was the first to grant such. Yeah, sure, they wanted to ensure enough votes to be admitted as a state, but that’s almost secondary to the fact that they did it! Just check out their motto: The Equality State.

In fact, according to the History Channel thing, Wyoming refused to repeal women’s suffrage just because the U.S. didn’t want women in other states to get fanciful ideas in their pretty little heads. They were content to wait until the rest of the Union caught up with them, rather than take away suffrage.

Gotta admire that.

More Wyoming women firsts:
1869 Suffrage to women
1870 Women served on a jury in Laramie
1870 First female court bailiff (Mary Atkinson)
1870 First femal justice of the peace (Esther Hobart Morris)
1924 First elected female governor (Nellie Tayloe Ross)

If they could do it, why’d it take the rest of the country so long to catch up?

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