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The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History

Voting on voting rights; upgrading national parks

Voting on voting rights; upgrading national parks

October 2019

This month, we report on the Wyoming Legislature's January 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and also on updated National Park lodgings and visitor centers designed to accommodate growing numbers of tourists while preserving their experience of natural beauty.

Votes for women—again

In 1919, 50 years after Wyoming women won the right to vote, Congress finally passed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the same rights nationwide. Before the measure could become law, however, 36 of the 48 states would have to ratify it. Wyoming suffragists organized for a final push. Learn more from Rebecca Hein's article “Wyoming Ratifies the 19th Amendment.”

A mid-century mission

The National Park Service’s Mission 66, initiated in 1956, modernized facilities, built new ones, built roads and added dozens more parks and historic sites. In Wyoming, architects designed buildings meant to enhance visitors’ experiences while protecting the wonders they came to see. The results recast Americans’ relationships with natural beauty. Read more in John Clayton's article “Modernizing National Park Facilities: Mission 66 in Wyoming.”

For more on Women’s Suffrage

On Dec. 10, 1869, Wyoming Gov. John Campbell signed into law the territorial legislature’s bill granting women the right to vote. In September of the following year, Louisa Swain of Laramie became the first Wyoming woman to cast a ballot.
 
In 1892, Wyoming’s women were the first to vote in a presidential election. In 1920, Wyoming ratified the 19th Amendment to the Constitution and in 1973, the Equal Rights Amendment. Read more about suffragists and other rights pioneers in more than a dozen articles linked from our steadily growing landing page, Women's Suffrage and Women's Rights.