Posted on July 10, 2016
Because on this date in 1890, it went from Wyoming Territory to the 44th state of the United States.
Here are some of Wyoming's nicknames:
Equality State – this is the official nickname, and it goes along with its official motto, Equal Rights, to point out something wonderful: Wyoming gave women the right to vote before any other state. As a matter of fact, it did so when it was just a territory, in 1869, so it also can lay claim to being the first territory to grant women suffrage.
Wyoming also led as a pioneer in welcoming women into politics. Here are some of the firsts: First women juries; first woman who served as a court bailiff; first woman who served as a justice of the peace; first woman elected as state governor.
Cowboy State – There are a lot of ranches in Wyoming, and its state symbol is a cowboy trying to keep its seat on a bucking bronco.
Apparently, way back when, pioneers trying to get to Oregon, Utah, and California often traveled with their livestock. They wanted the livestock in their new homes, and of course cattle would provide milk on the way there. But these pioneers felt the anxiety of getting to their new homes before winter set in – they had to get over the Rocky Mountains before the snows!
So some of the pioneers ditched their cattle and other herds in Wyoming, just before the mountains, because they were worried that the livestock would slow them down. The animals that were left behind thrived on the high plains of Wyoming, so eventually people figured out that it was a great place to round up some livestock, fence off a chunk of prairie, and call it a ranch!
Wonderful Wyoming – Wyoming is SOOOO wonderful, people thought the reports about it were fictional. John Colter was a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and he first described the Yellowstone area in 1807. Clearly, he was spinning us some yarns, people thought. Half a century later, Jim Bridger explored Yellowstone and filed his reports on the region. Them were some tall tales! people said.
Nobody believed that there could be bright bright bright blue pools of steaming hot water fringed by rainbow colors! Nobody believed in the stories of towers of hot water and steam shooting up 180-some feet into the air! Nobody believed the descriptions of weird bulbous rocks and terraces and bubbling mud pots and and and....
But of course, all of that was real. And when the public discovered that all those wild tales were true, Yellowstone was set aside for all to see for themselves. There had never, in all the world, been a national park set aside for everyone to own and see – a place to be protected just as it was – until Yellowstone became the first national park in the world, in 1872.
Like women's suffrage, that was even before Wyoming became a state!
Yellowstone isn't all steam and bubbles; there are regular old (cold) lakes and rivers and waterfalls and...famously...loads and loads of wildlife.
Here are some other wonderful things about Wyoming:
The Grand Tetons
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