Wyoming Statehood Celebration

Talk of statehood began soon after the Organic Act was signed by President Andrew Johnson, making Wyoming a territory in 1868. Over the next 20 years, the territory worked to develop Wyoming politically and economically, to ensure her growth into statehood. A formal petition for admission into the Union was sent to Congress by the Territorial Assembly in 1888 which produced bills from both houses of Congress. The enabling act failed to pass initially, but this didn't deter territory leaders, who decided to proceed anyway.

A vote of the territory resulted in 55 delegates to Wyoming's Constitutional Convention and 49 took part in drafting the constitution in September of 1889. The voters approved the document November 5th, and in December, both houses again introduced bills for Wyoming's statehood.

On July 10, 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed the bill which created the the 44th state in Union -- Wyoming. The formal celebration of Wyoming's statehood occurred July 23, 1890, and was recounted in two of Wyoming's newspapers of the time, the Cheyenne Daily Sun, which sported the headline, "A GREAT DAY," and the Wyoming Commonwealth.

This online exhibit takes us back to that great day to explore the event through newspapers, distinguished people, the speeches were presented, and the other documents. A great day indeed.

Pages to Explore in this Exhibit

A special thanks to the volunteers who helped record audio and recruit volunteers: Judy Englehart, Robin Everett, Brian Greene, Carey Hartmann, Court Schilt, Rachael Svoboda, and Chris Van Burgh.