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The 307 in The NYT

Wyoming was featured as one of the NYT's 52 Places To Go in 2019 (No. 40). They had this to say back in December when the feature ran:

In 1869, the Territory of Wyoming passed the first law in United States history granting women the right to vote — nearly 51 years before the 19th Amendment guaranteed the same entitlement to all American women. This year, visitors can celebrate the 150th anniversary of Wyoming women’s suffrage at the Wyoming House For Historic Women, which honors the first woman to officially cast a ballot in a general election, and 13 other trailblazing women in the state’s political history. The restored Capitol building (reopening midyear), Wyoming State Museum and Cowgirls of the West museum also feature exhibits and artifacts celebrating women’s history. In addition, a variety of all-female trips are on offer throughout the year including Women’s Wellness Pack Trips on horseback from Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch, cattle herding and archery at the WYLD West Women retreat, Hike Like a Womannature adventures and fly-fishing clinics at the Proud Wyoming Woman Retreat.


Today, the NYT ran a piece titled, "In Praise of Pioneer Women and Rocket Scientists" wherein the esteemed NYT travel columnist confessed to having driven to Cheyenne from Casper (even though his layover was in Denver and it was February) and we made fun of him on Twitter. (It was a gentle ribbing and he took it well.)

The author of the piece, and the Traveler for the year, Sebastian Modak, had this to say about the complicated history of the Equality State's legacy with women:

"The anniversary is forcing Wyomingites to confront that history and ask those questions. The result is that a major focus of the sesquicentennial is on encouraging more civic engagement from the women of Wyoming.

"Senator Affie Ellis, for example, felt compelled to run for office when she took her daughter to a Senate debate. At the time, there was only one woman in the State Senate. Looking around the room, Ms. Ellis’s daughter asked her, 'Mom, do they let girls be in the Senate?'"

"'It was all I needed to hear to turn my life upside down,' Ellis told me."

Last week, Wyoming was in the NYT, too, as part of a story called, "Building Grit in Girls Through Mountain Biking."

"Two years ago, Nola and Brent Peacock of Jackson, Wyo., weren’t sure their daughter, Annika, then 13, was ready to take on the Cache Creek Mountain Bike Race."

“'It’s really hard, it’s not a kid’s race. It’s not that long, but there’s a lot of elevation gain,' said Mrs. Peacock, whose husband decided he’d ride behind his daughter in case she needed extra motivation. She didn’t. 'She had her own grit and eye of the tiger inside her, and I had not seen that before that race,'” Mrs. Peacock said.

What's amazing to us about the two stories - much like yesterday's two stories, there is some unexpected symmetry - is the role of the bicycle in women's suffrage. According to the article, “Suffragists used to say, ‘Woman is riding to suffrage on a bicycle,’” said Dr. Danielle Swiontek, a professor of women’s history at Santa Barbara City College.

Bicycles have a storied historical role in empowering women. “This was independent transportation that allowed women to go and do what they wanted.”


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