Wyoming, The Equality State

Wyoming, The Equality State

by Sandra Merville Hart

Wyoming’s nickname is the Equality State because women were first given the right to vote there.

Wyoming’s name comes from an Algonquian word mecheweamiing. It means “on the great plain” or “at the big flats.”

The early history of Wyoming

Cheyenne, Crow, and Arapahoe are among the Native Americans who lived in Wyoming before American settlers ventured west.

The 1803 Louisiana Purchase made most of Wyoming a part of the United States. After this, trading posts—like Ft. Laramie and Ft. Bridger—were set up by fur traders and trappers.

Many pioneers traveled west on the Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail, and the California Trail in the 1800s. Most chose not to build homes there because of the mountains and dry plains.

Women given the right to vote

The Wyoming Territory granted women the right to vote in 1869—the first law of its kind in the nation. Women in Wyoming were first to vote, hold public office, and serve jury duty.

This is the reason Wyoming is known as the Equality State.

Yellowstone National Park

yellowstone-national-park-1581900_960_720Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is the oldest national park. 96% of the park is in Wyoming; the rest is in Idaho and Montana.

The park has 300 geysers and hot springs—more than anywhere else on earth.

The most famous geyser is Old Faithful, which erupts every 1 ½ to 5 minutes. It reaches a height of 106 to 184 feet.

Wyoming becomes a state

Wyoming became the 44th state on July 10, 1890.

Devil’s Tower

wyomings-devils-tower-3915790_960_720In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt made Devil’s Tower the nation’s first national monument.

The tower, a place sacred to some Plains Indians tribes, is over 1,200 feet tall.

Other fun facts about Wyoming

Head to Cheyenne for Cheyenne Frontier Days. It is known as the “Daddy of All Rodeos.”

Top rodeo athletes can earn college scholarships from The National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.

Shoshone leader Chief Washakie negotiated with the military so that his people could remain on their land.

The state capital is Cheyenne.

The state bird is the western meadowlark.

The state flower is the Indian paintbrush.



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Cheney, Lynne. Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006.

Davis, Kenneth C. Don’t Know Much About The 50 States, HarperCollins Publishers, 2001.

Fast Facts About the 50 States. Children’s Press, 2010.

Keenan, Sheila. Greetings from the 50 States, Scholastic Inc., 2008.

“Wyoming History,” State of Wyoming, 2019/01/17  http://www.wyo.gov/about-wyoming/wyoming-history.





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