January 5, 2010

The First Woman Governor in the U.S.!

On this date in 1925, Nellie Tayloe Ross became the first woman to be governor of any state in the U.S.

She was elected to the position of Wyoming's governor after her husband William Ross, who had been governor, died. She continued his policies and served in office for two
years, and she was only narrowly defeated by the Republican candidate at the next regularly-scheduled election. (She had refused to campaign for herself, which may have caused her to lose the race.)

In 1933, Presi
dent Franklin Roosevelt appointed Ross as the first female director of the mint, which makes the nation's money. She served five full terms of office until her retirement at age 77 (WOW!).

Even after retirement, Ross stayed active, writing and traveling extensively. She lived to b
e 101 years old.

Has your state ever had a female governor? (If you live out of the U.S., has your nation ever had a female President / Prime Minister?) Only slightly fewer than half of the 50 states has...is yours one? How can you find out?

Learn more about Nellie Tayloe Ross here.

Wyoming was, not just the first state with a “lady governor,” but also the first state to allow women to vote—even bef
ore it WAS a state! In 1869, the territory of Wyoming voted to grant women suffrage (which means the right to vote). In 1890, Wyoming was admitted to the Union—thus becoming the first state with women's suffrage.

In 1920, the U.S. Constitution was amended, giving
all women in the nation the right to vote—and at that point, women in Wyoming had already been voting for half a century!

That's why Wyoming's official nickname is
“Equality State,” and it's official motto is “Equal rights.”

Which country was the first to allow women to vote? Do all countries now allow women to vote? Find answers here.

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