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Woman voting in Johnson County

A woman votes in Johnson County in an undated photo. Wyoming was the first state to extend the right to vote to women.

CHEYENNE (WNE) — Wyoming’s Office of Tourism is celebrating the 150th anniversary of women’s suffrage next year, declaring 2019 the “Year of Wyoming Women.”

On Dec. 10, 1869, the Wyoming territory became the first in U.S. history to grant women the right to vote and hold public office – more than 50 years prior to the ratification of the Constitution’s 19th Amendment.

Now, tourism office representatives are encouraging communities throughout the state to host their own events honoring important women in history.

The state will mark the anniversary all year with various activities, events, retreats and historic destinations that commemorate Wyoming as a frontier for women.

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“Determination, resiliency and the pioneering spirit is built into the DNA of the West, so it’s no surprise to me that the strong women of Wyoming helped to pave the way for women’s suffrage,” said Diane Shober, Wyoming Office of Tourism executive director.

Piper Singer, tourism office public relations manager, has suggestions for anyone looking to brush up on their women’s history this year:

  • Visit the Wyoming House For Historic Women – Since its 2001 inception, the Louisa Swain Foundation has funded construction of a large plaza and the Wyoming House for Historic Women in downtown Laramie. The centerpiece of the plaza is a life-sized bronze sculpture of Louisa Swain, who in 1870 became the first woman to cast a ballot in a U.S. general election.
  • Learn about the Wyoming Capitol Restoration Project – Wyoming’s Capitol Building in Cheyenne is currently undergoing historic restoration as one of only 20 state capitols designated as a National Historic Landmark. The project includes restoring the Territorial House Chamber/Historic Supreme Court Chamber, where women’s suffrage was ultimately upheld.
  • Visit the Cowgirls of the West Museum – A nonprofit, volunteer-run museum in Cheyenne honoring the women of the West.

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