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The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History

A talented bike builder, and Women’s History Month

A talented bike builder, and Women’s History Month

March 2022

This month, we feature the first car built in Wyoming.

Significant tinkering

The automobile age arrived in Wyoming almost unnoticed. While the Spanish American War dominated headlines, Elmer Lovejoy was building Wyoming’s first car in his Laramie bicycle shop during the winter of 1897-98. Townspeople thought the machine an “interesting toy,” but Lovejoy stuck with his tinkering, with some surprising long-term results. Read more in Phil Roberts’ article, “Lovejoy's Toy: Wyoming's First Car.”

Calendar Events

Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody
Cody Culture Club: History of the Irma, Thursday March 10, 2022, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

History of the Irma Hotel, with Mike Darby, owner of the Irma. In 1902, Buffalo Bill Cody built the hotel and named after his youngest daughter, Irma. Join us as Mike walks us through the history of this historic downtown gem. For more details, click here.
 
Tickets are $20 per person and may be bought by clicking here and scrolling down the page for ticket purchase information.
 
Wyoming State Museum, Cheyenne
Saturday March 5, 2022, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 
Join the Wyoming State Museum for Family Day as we celebrate 150 years of preservation, conservation, research and FUN at Yellowstone National Park. Have you ever wondered why we have national parks, or why they are important? Hear from organizations around the state, see an exclusive exhibit on display and participate in tons of hands-on-activities to learn why we should love and protect these extraordinary places.
 
To keep all families COVID-safe, we are requiring timed registration for this event. Click here to reserve your one-hour time slot for free.
 
Friday, March 25, 2022, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Party in honor of Yellowstone's 150th birthday. Organizations and researchers from across the state will be on hand, speaking and sharing information about Yellowstone on topics from geysers and wildlife management to forest fires and fishing tips. Enjoy beer, wine, a raffle, music, art making, trivia, games and presentations from former rangers who worked in the park during the centennial celebrations in 1972. 
 
Adults 21 and older only. Click here to reserve free tickets.
 
Natrona County Historical Society, Casper
March 24, 6:30 p.m., Crawford Room, Natrona County Library. Member Al Fraser will present “Mysterious Vernon, Wyoming.”
 
Washakie Museum, Worland
Continuing through Saturday March 16
World War I America traveling exhibit. Click here for more information on this and other temporary exhibits.
 
Thursday March 10, 6:00 p.m., “History of Businesses in Downtown Worland,” presentation by Jim O’Connor, $8/members, $10/non-members. Click here for more information on this and other events.
 
Wyoming Symphony Orchestra
March 9, 2022,
 free panel discussion, “A Legacy of Women’s Suffrage in Wyoming.” Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center. Happy hour,” 5:15 p.m., panel at 5:45 p.m. Tickets are not required, but please RSVP..
 
The Suffragette Symphony: March 12, 2022, 7:30 p.m., concert, live at the John F. Welsh Auditorium, Natrona County High School.The concert will debut a new symphony, Julia Louisa Esther, by American composer Stephanie Ann Boyd. Named for Wyoming women’s-rights pioneers Julia BrightLouisa Swain and Esther Hobart Morris, the piece was specially commissioned by the WSO in 2019 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of women's suffrage in Wyoming and the 100th nationwide.
 
In-person tickets are available for sale on the WSO website, or watch a free livestream of the concert March 12, 2022, 7:30 p.m. and March 13, 2022, at 2:00 p.m.

Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month and a good time to remember women’s contributions to making Wyoming what it is today. In 1869, Wyoming’s territorial legislature passed a law granting women the right to vote, and Gov. John Campbell signed the bill into law on Dec. 10. The following year, in March, women first served on juries in Laramie and on Sept. 6, 1870, also in Laramie, Louisa Swain became the first Wyoming woman to cast a ballot under the world’s first law granting women equal and unrestricted voting rights with men.
 
On Jan. 27, 1920, Wyoming became the 27th state to ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment became part of the Constitution when Tennessee ratified it on August 18 of that year, making votes for women the law of the land. And  on January 26, 1973, Wyoming became the 23rd state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
 
For much more, visit our landing page on women’s suffrage and women’s rights.