Talk of statehood began soon after the Organic Act was
signed by President Andrew Johnson, making Wyoming a territory in 1868. Though
a petition for admission into the Union would not be made by the Territorial
Assembly and sent to Congress for another 20 years, the territory used that
time to develop Wyoming politically and economically in order to ensure her
growth into statehood. The petition for admission into the Union resulted in bills being introduced into both houses of Congress. However, Congress failed
to pass an enabling act for Wyoming. This did not deter the leaders of the
territory, including Governor Francis E. Warren, as they decided to proceed anyway.
A vote of the territory resulted in 55 delegates to Wyoming’s Constitutional
Convention, of which 49 of them took part in drafting the constitution during
September, 1889. The voters approved the document in a vote on November 5th
and in December both houses of Congress had bills introduced for Wyoming’s
statehood. On July 10, 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed the bill which
created the new state of Wyoming, the 44th
state in the United
States of America. The formal celebration of Wyoming’s statehood occurred July
23, 1890. The day’s celebration was recounted in a couple of Wyoming’s
newspapers of the time, the July 24, 1890 Cheyenne Daily Sun
and the July 27, 1890 Wyoming Commonwealth
. The Cheyenne Daily Sun had a headline of “A GREAT
.” As we celebrate this 125th
Anniversary of Wyoming’s statehood,
this online exhibit takes us back to that “GREAT DAY” to explore the event
through those newspapers, encountering the distinguished people that were there, the speeches and poem that were presented, and the important documents. “A GREAT DAY” indeed.
Audio re-creation of the official statehood celebration (44 min.)
Please click on the links below to explore the exhibit.
A special 'thank you' to the volunteers who helped record audio and who helped recruit volunteers. Their creativity, ideas, and suggestions were greatly appreciated and add character to the audio: Judy Englehart, Robin Everett, Brian Greene, Carey Hartmann, Court Schilt, Rachael Svoboda, and Chris Van Burgh.