Wyoming is nicknamed the Equality State

November 28, 2012 7:35 am

Wyoming is nicknamed the Equality State. Women in Wyoming had equal voting rights with men before any other American women did. Wyoming women first voted in 1870. The Constitution did not give the vote to women across the nation until 1920, 50 years later. Wyoming also was the first state to let women hold public office and serve on juries.
Facts About Wyoming
523,000 people
Rank among states in population
Major cities
Cheyenne, Casper, Laramie
97,800 square miles
253,000 square kilometers
Rank among states in area
July 10, 1890, the 44th state
State nickname
The Equality State
Name for residents
State bird
Western Meadowlark
State flower
Indian Paintbrush
State tree
Wyoming is also known as the Cowboy State. Wyoming grasslands are good for grazing cattle. In the 1860s, ranchers from Texas began bringing their cattle to fatten up in Wyoming. They hired cowboys to look after their cattle. Cowboys drove the cattle to railroad stations so the cattle could be shipped to market. Ranching is still important to the state. Visitors to Wyoming can stay on dude ranches to learn about cowboy life. Every summer, many rodeos are held. Cowboys compete in rodeos in such events as bull riding and cattle roping.
Wyoming is a land of mountains and high plains. The name Wyoming comes from a Native American word meaning “at the big plains.” Wyoming has many wonders of nature, including Devils Tower and Yellowstone National Park.
Devils Tower is in the northeastern corner of Wyoming. A volcano created this towering pillar of rock. Melted rock shot into the air from the volcano. It formed Devils Tower when it cooled. Columns of a rock called basalt make up the tower.
Devils Tower is a sacred site for many Native Americans. Several tribes called this rock Bears Lodge. They created stories to explain the cracks in the rock between the columns of basalt. According to the stories, a giant bear made the cracks by scratching its claws down the sides of the tower. In 1906, Devils Tower became the first national monument in the United States.
In 1872, the United States Congress created Yellowstone National Park. It was the world’s first national park. Did you know that Yellowstone National Park is as large as the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined? Yellowstone gets its name from the yellow cliffs along the Yellowstone River. The river runs through the park.
Millions of tourists visit Yellowstone each year. They watch Old Faithful and other geysers in the park spout hot water into the air. They see steaming hot springs and bubbling mud pots. The mud pots are made of heated clay. Tourists also watch bears, bison, deer, elk, moose, and other wildlife.
The Crow, Blackfoot, Shoshone, and other Native American peoples lived in the Yellowstone region first. Fur trapper John Colter visited the region in 1807. He was probably the first explorer to see Yellowstone. Colter told tales of geysers, boiling mud, and other natural wonders. No one believed him.
Tourists also visit the Teton range south of Yellowstone. Stunning, snowcapped mountains rise abruptly from the Wyoming plains to form the Tetons. Grand Teton National Park is a popular place for hiking, viewing wildlife, and enjoying scenic beauty.
Fur traders came to Wyoming to trap beaver. The beaver pelts were used to make hats for men in Europe. The traders also helped open the West for settlement. They discovered and marked a trail over the Rocky Mountains. This route was called South Pass. It provided a fairly easy route over the Rockies. South Pass enabled settlers to move west on the Oregon Trail.
Thousands of pioneers crossed Wyoming in wagon trains on the Oregon Trail. The pioneers were traveling to California or the Oregon Territory. They usually stopped on their way at Fort Laramie, Wyoming’s first permanent settlement. The fort was established in 1834. Stagecoaches and the Pony Express also followed the Oregon Trail. The Pony Express carried the mail.
Buffalo Bill Cody founded the town of Cody, Wyoming, and named it after himself. Buffalo Bill got his name from hunting buffalo. The animals provided meat for hungry workers building railroads in the West. In the 1880s, Buffalo Bill organized a popular Wild West Show and took it on tour. His outdoor show featured sharpshooters, attacking Indians, buffalo hunts, and Pony Express rides.
In 1867, gold was discovered at South Pass. Several thousand gold-seekers rushed to the area. The miners wanted a government to run the region. In 1868, Wyoming became a territory. That same year, a railroad across Wyoming was completed. The railroad builders knew there was coal in Wyoming. They could use the coal as fuel for their trains. They could sell any extra coal.
The railroad also brought settlers to the Wyoming Territory. Many of the settlers were miners. On July 10, 1890, Wyoming became the 44th state. Cheyenne, a town on the railroad line, became its capital.
Oil also became big business in Wyoming. Casper and other Wyoming towns grew because of nearby oil discoveries. A major government scandal in 1920 involved the Teapot Dome oilfields near Casper. Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall secretly gave oil companies the rights to oil in the Teapot Dome fields. In return, the oil companies gave Fall money. Fall resigned and went to jail. For many years, the Teapot Dome scandal stood as an example of corruption in American government.
Mining remains an important industry in Wyoming. Coal, oil, and natural gas provide the state with more income and jobs than ranching and farming do.
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