Today marks another commemorative moment in history for the Equality State: the 100th anniversary of the State of Wyoming ratifying the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
On Jan. 27, 1920, Wyoming voted to ratify the 19th Amendment, ensuring the right to vote could not be denied to women. Wyoming was one of 36 states to vote in favor of the amendment to become law.
“Wyoming’s role in the women’s suffrage movement is not widely understood in America and has not been clearly integrated into the national narrative of the decades-long fight for women’s right to vote and the final ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920,” said Shannon Smith, executive director of Wyoming Humanities and member of the Governor’s Council for the Wyoming Women’s Suffrage Celebration.
On Dec. 10, 2019, Wyoming commemorated the 150th anniversary of the passage of the Wyoming Suffrage Act in 1869 by the Wyoming Territorial Legislature, less than five months after the territory was created by Congress and a full 50 years before the U.S. Constitution was amended to include women’s suffrage. On Aug. 18, 2020, the rest of the nation will celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.
Last month, the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce hosted the Women’s Leadership Award Luncheon, presented by State Farm Insurance – Suzanne Cork, to recognize local leaders for their contributions to unconditional suffrage. The keynote speaker at the luncheon, Senator Tara Nethercott, recognized the award finalists as well as the efforts of historic female trailblazers for their strength and willingness to make a place in history.
In 2020, Wyoming will continue to celebrate the trailblazing women of the west, including the 150th anniversary of the first woman in the world to cast a ballot under permanent, unrestricted suffrage in Laramie. The Governor’s Council for the Wyoming Women’s Suffrage Celebration continues to encourage organizations and communities to be involved in a variety of ways.
Cover photo: Statue of Louisa Swain, the first woman to cast a ballot. Location: The House for Historic Women in Laramie. Photo courtesy of Visit Laramie.