Archive for December, 2015

Grandma Gets the Vote (and so do 999 other Wyomingites)

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

On December 10, 1869, women were granted the right to vote in the Wyoming Territory.

Life in the territories was harsh, and women were equal partners with men in building up the frontier. But that’s not really why they were granted the vote. In 1869, the Wyoming Territory had around 6,000 men and only 1,000 women. The thought was that granting the vote to women might attract more of them to make the trek out West. And the move was bound to bring a lot of publicity to the territory, which it did.

So in 1870, Eliza A. “Grandma” Swain of Laramie, Wyoming became the first woman to legally vote in a U.S. election.


Suffragists back East were surprised by this move. They expected the more “educated” states of the East Coast to be the first to get universal suffrage. But by 1914, all the states West of the Rockies would grant women the vote. Maybe it was the rugged individualism of the Western settlers, maybe it was an easy place to break with tradition, and maybe it was a publicity stunt, but Wyoming was ahead of the curve by nearly 50 years. Women wouldn’t be allowed to vote across the United States until 1919.

And Wyoming had another breakthrough in 1924, when it elected Nellie Tayloe Ross the first female governor of a U.S. state.


Besides Wyoming suffrage, December 10th turns out to be a landmark day for some other women. Coincidence? Well, yes. But how about these other anniversaries today?

1902: women granted the right to vote in Tasmania

1903: the Nobel Prize for physics awarded to Pierre and Marie Curie

1931: Nobel Peace Prize co-awarded to Jane Addams

1935: Marie Curie’s daughter Irene Joliot-Curie wins the Nobel Prize in chemistry

UPG Supports NY Classical Theatre

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

It’s Giving Tuesday! UPG is supporting New York Classical Theatre, a theater company that specializes in performing classic theater in non-traditional spaces in NYC. That Henry V that included a boat ride? That was them. We’re big fans, and today you can have a chance to win a Shakespeare gift basket, and if you place an order from our website with code NYCLASS through December 24th, we will donate 30% of the sale to them! PLUS you will get a free tin of Shakespearmints! More info here.