National Wyoming Day is celebrated every year on May 24 to celebrate the day it became the 44th state that joined the union. The territory was brought into existence by an act of Congress on July 25, 1868, with the government being formally inaugurated on May 19, 1869. The day also marks another important occasion on which women were granted the right to vote.
History of National Wyoming Day
National Wyoming Day celebrates two occasions, the first is the day it became the 44th state of the U.S. and the second is the day the Wyoming territory passed the bill to grant voting rights to women. It is sometimes even celebrated on December 10 at the behest of the Wyoming Federation of Women’s Clubs who requested this particular day to commemorate the passage of the bill to vote.
The states in the West approved of women’s suffrage as some of the men recognized the important role women played. The state of Wyoming has been inhabited for roughly 13,000 years. However, in around 1869, it was observed that the territory had a huge imbalance in the male and female population. The territory was occupied by 6,000 adult males but only 1,000 females. Men hoped that more women would settle down in the isolated territory and alleviate their issue of loneliness if they were granted the right to vote. Moreover, a territorial legislator by the name of William Bright was convinced by his young wife that it would be a gross injustice to deny women the right to vote. Thus, in 1869, the then governor signed the bill that officially allowed women to vote.
Wyoming boasts many monuments and historical sites. These include the Fossil Butte National Monument and the Fort Laramie National Historic Site. The state even provides magnificent views in the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park.
National Wyoming Day timeline
Wyoming becomes an official U.S. territory.
John Campbell, the governor of the Wyoming Territory, signs the bill allowing women to vote.
Wyoming Territory is granted statehood.
Wyoming approves the first state constitution including women’s suffrage.
National Wyoming Day FAQs
What is Wyoming famous for?
Wyoming is home to seven national parks including Yellowstone, which draws millions of tourists every year. The park features the Old Faithful geyser and the largest hot spring in the U.S.
How did Wyoming get its name?
A congressman from Ohio was the first person to propose the name but later had doubts when he saw Wyoming’s dry and wide plains, as ‘Wyoming’ means ‘at the big river flat.’
Who settled Wyoming?
Spain and Mexico had nominally claimed the southern parts of modern-day Wyoming, however, they did not actually live there. It’s believed that John Colter, who was a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, was the first American to set foot in Wyoming.
How To Celebrate National Wyoming Day
Read Wyoming’s history
If you don’t know enough about this territory, now is the time to start. Use National Wyoming Day to read up about the state’s history and evolution. You can head to a public library or just look up information online. Even better, why not try reaching out to some Wyoming natives who can share their history?
Why not take a trip to Wyoming to see first-hand the beauty of this state? Plan your itinerary a few days before heading out to explore the Equality State. You can visit the Grand Tetons, Devils Tower, Yellowstone National Park, and much more.
Advocate for women’s rights
Wyoming is also known as the Equality State, owing to its contribution to advancing women’s rights. Why not carry forward that legacy on National Wyoming Day and advocate for women’s rights issues that still need to be addressed?
5 Interesting Facts About Wyoming
A small population
Wyoming is the least populous state in the United States with a population of close to 575,000 people.
More than half of the land in Wyoming is owned by the federal government including national forests, Thunder Basin National Grassland, and the F.E. Warren Air Force Base.
Its official state sport
Wyoming’s official state sport is rodeo and its trademark symbol is the Bucking Horse and Rider.
A few nicknames
Wyoming has nicknames such as the Equality State, Cowboy State, and Big Wyoming.
Legal drinking age
Wyoming was the last state to increase the legal drinking age to 21 from 19 in the late 1980s.
Why National Wyoming Day Is Important
It represents equality for women
At one point in history, Wyoming was a territory that led the nation in advocating for women’s voting rights. Pursuant to their efforts, the bill granting voting rights to women was signed. This is indeed a historic moment and proves why National Wyoming Day is important and must be celebrated.
Wyoming has a rich history
Wyoming has so much history packed into it. It was actually formed from sections of the Dakota, Utah, and Idaho territories. There are a variety of monuments and sites that speak of the rich history of the state.
It celebrates a milestone in U.S. history
National Wyoming Day marks the day when Wyoming became the 44th state to officially join the union. This is an important milestone in the history of the U.S. and helps us remember this moment and celebrate it.
National Wyoming Day dates