The Right Coast

July 10, 2005
The Equality State's 115th Anniversary
By Gail Heriot

Wyoming is called the "Equality State" for good reason. Wyoming woman have been voting in elections there since before statehood.

Indeed, when it came time for Wyoming to apply for statehood, some in Congress initially balked at the idea, fearing that such a move would give women from other states dangerous ideas. Repeal women's suffrage and then we'll make you a state, they said, figuring that Wyoming men wanted statehood badly enough to sell out their own grandmothers for it.

But the Wyoming Legislature didn't blink. "We may stay out of the Union for a hundred years, " its dispatch read, "but we will come in with our women." In the end, it was Congress and not the Equality State that surrendered, admitting Wyoming on July 10, 1890.

Happy 115th, Wyoming. If there's a heaven, then there are a lot of Wyoming grandmothers up there smoking corncob pipes and smiling.