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Wyoming State Museum
Barrett Building
2301 Central Avenue
Cheyenne, Wy 82002
(307) 777-7022

Featured Artifact

Wyoming Day

Category: Events

Oil Painting (A-1958.48.1)

Newspaper Clipping (G-1958.48.2)

December is full of holidays. We are all aware of National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day, Humbug Day, and Festivus, but did you know that December 10th is Wyoming Day? This holiday became official in 1935 and has been celebrated since 1917. This begs the question, why is this not observed on July 10th, the day Wyoming became a state? On December 10th, 1869, Wyoming Territorial Governor John A. Campbell signed the bill known as women’s suffrage into law.

This was the first legislation passed in U.S. history to insure women the right to vote in all state-wide elections and the right to hold public office. The new law predated the 19th Amendment by 51 years.

This newspaper clipping includes an illustration of women voting at the polls in Cheyenne from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly Newspaper. It was published Nov. 24, 1888, perhaps as part of the national discussion about women’s suffrage. Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, later renamed Leslie’s Weekly, was an American illustrated literary and news magazine founded in 1852 and published until 1922.

Publisher and illustrator Frank Leslie provided weekly illustrations and reports of many historical news events including John Brown’s raid at Harpers Ferry, the Civil War, Spanish-American War, and the First World War.

This stylized painting was made by Zella Harrington in 1955 and based off the Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly Newspaper image. She was the founder of Golden Age Clubs throughout Wyoming. Although she had no formal training, Zella was rated as one of the best artists in Wyoming, at the time.

Written by Mariah Emmons, Curator of Collections

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