The Equality State and Women’s History Month
March is Women’s History Month. In 1919, the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote. While we are celebrating the 100-year anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States, it gives us a great opportunity to spotlight my home state of Wyoming.
Wyoming is not just known as the “Cowboy State” or home to the Salt Creek Oil Field – once the largest producing oil field in the world that boomed and also busted, yet still produces oil today. Wyoming is also nicknamed, “the Equality State.”
2019 marks the 150th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Wyoming – a truly wonderful anniversary, as women were recognized as having the right to vote in Wyoming a good 50 years before women in the rest of the country were guaranteed the same right.
Why is Wyoming’s nickname “the Equality State?” Here are the takeaways:
- It is the home of the women’s vote, as it recognized that women have the right to vote in 1869.
- Esther Hobart Morris was the first female justice of the peace – check out this article from The New York Times – Overlooked No More: She Followed a Trail to Wyoming. Then She Blazed One.
- It allowed women to serve on juries as early as 1870.
- The first female governor in the United States was Nellie Tayloe Ross, elected in Wyoming in 1924.
In addition, the women of Wyoming have always been a different sort – full of grit, tenacity and strength. As part of our spotlight on Wyoming this month, a recent project created by Wyoming native, Lindsay Linton Buk, entitled Women in Wyoming must also be highlighted.
The project features “portraits and interviews of women who shape the West” and brings attention to the contemporary women in my home state who are remarkable role models. The project is broken into 3 amazingly inspiring chapters – trust me, it is worth checking out! Give it a listen:
- Chapter 1 – Breaking Boundaries – my favorite feature is on Wyoming’s first female Supreme Court Justice, Marilyn Kite
- Chapter 2 – Filling the Void – my favorite feature in this chapter focuses on Dr. Diane Noton
- Chapter 3 – Power – my favorite feature in this chapter is on Mickey Thoman, “cowgirl, mentor and ranching matriarch of the Thoman Ranch in Sweetwater County, Wyoming” (which is also my home county)
Each Chapter contains 5 separate stories – each with truly breathtaking photographs taken by Lindsay Linton Buk herself, and each story is recounted in the subject’s voice and displayed in podcast format. You get to actually hear the tales told in the subject’s voice, which is really a once in a lifetime opportunity to listen to true stories told by these amazing Wyoming women. This project is so unique and full of energy – it is an absolutely wonderful and inspiring project created by a Wyoming woman to bring these powerful stories to light – it is a “must see.” Check it out!
As part of the Rocky Mountain Energy Essentials blog, we typically discuss the energy and natural resources sector of Wyoming; however, Wyoming has been on the forefront in more ways than just the oil and gas and other extracted minerals area. Its nickname of the Equality State pays homage to that!