Wyoming Day Questions (& Answers)

In honor of the Wyoming Day festivities at the Historic Governor’s Mansion in Cheyenne, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle published five questions yesterday about Wyoming. For those who are interested, here is “the rest of the story.”

1. What is Wyoming’s “almost” state cookie?

The Chocolate Chip Cookie almost became our official state cookie in 1995. House Bill 158 was introduced in the by Representative James C. Hageman of Goshen County, but died in the general file. The legislation even included a proposed official recipe:

(i) The following ingredients:

(A) One (1) cup granulated sugar;
(B) One (1) cup brown sugar;
(C) Two-thirds (2/3) cup butter or
(D) Two-thirds (2/3) cup shortening;
(E) Two (2) eggs;
(F) Two (2) teaspoons vanilla;
(G) Three (3) cups flour;
(H) One (1) teaspoon soda;
(J) One (1) Teaspoon salt;
(K) one (1) twelve (12) ounce package of chocolate chips.

(ii) Mixed and baked as follows:

(A) Cream sugars, butter or margarine and shortening together;
(B) Add eggs and vanilla and mix well;
(C) Sift together remaining ingredients, add to creamed mixture and mix well;
(D) Bake eight (8) to ten (10) minutes at three hundred seventy-five (375) degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Who sent the telegram informing Wyoming of statehood?

During the summer of 1890, Territorial Governor Francis E. Warren traveled to Washington, DC, to help lobby for support of Wyoming statehood in Congress. Congress seemed favorably disposed toward adding states to the union, having added North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington and Montana in November 1889.

The first official step toward statehood had come in February 1888 when the Territorial Assembly passed a jointed resolution asking Congress  for legislation that would enable to people of Wyoming to draft a constitution and organize as a state. Though several members questioned Wyoming’s readiness in terms of finances and population, Governor Warren, Wyoming’s lone congressional delegate Joseph M. Carey, and several of Wyoming’s political heavyweights campaigned mightily.

The bill for statehood was introduced into the House of Representatives by Carey in December 1889. Desipite much vocal support, it was not until July 10, 1890 that an act was finally signed into law by President Benjamin Harrison. That same day, Carey sent a telegram to Acting Governor (Territorial Secretary) John Meldrum announcing the news.

Telegram announcing statehood sent by Senator Carey in Washington DC to Acting Governor John W. Meldrum (WSA Secretary of State record group, Constitutional Convention)

Telegram announcing statehood sent by Senator Carey in Washington DC to Acting Governor John W. Meldrum
(WSA Secretary of State record group, Constitutional Convention)

3. The Cheyenne Daily Sun used what color ink to celebrate Statehood?

In 1890, nearly every newspaper was published using black ink but the Cheyenne Daily Sun changed things up a bit to celebrate statehood. They used red and blue ink throughout the 8 page paper on June 29th. This issue reported the passage of the statehood bill in both the Senate and House of Representatives. All that remained was a signature by President Harrison, which was assumed to be imminent.

Colored inks were more costly than the standard black and dual tone copy, like the red and blue used that day, were also more labor intensive than using a single color. But it was well worth the extra cost and time to celebrate such a momentous occasion.

The Cheyenne Daily Sun printed their June 29th, 1890 issue in red and blue ink to celebrate statehood.

The Cheyenne Daily Sun printed their June 29th, 1890 issue in red and blue ink to celebrate statehood.

 

4. The official Wyoming 44 star flag was presented by whom?

Esther Morris presented the official 44-star American flagon behalf of the women of Wyoming to Governor F.E. Warren at the statehood celebration on July 23, 1890.  Money was contributed by women around the then territory and covered the cost of the flag. Co K of the Wyoming Girl Guards was the guard of honor for the flag.

Cover of the booklet listing all of the women who contributed to the purchase of the 44-star flag presented during the statehood celebration in 1890.  (WSA P2004-8)

Cover of the booklet listing all of the women who contributed to the purchase of the 44-star flag presented during the statehood celebration in 1890.
(WSA P2004-8)

 

5. How long was the original Wyoming State Constitution?

The original Wyoming State constitution includes 40 hand-written pages. Wyoming’s constitution is one of the longest in the nation and includes over 300 sections. It is nearly 5 times longer that the United States Constitution!

Preamble of the original, hand-written Wyoming Constitution. (WSA Secretary of State RG)

Preamble of the original, hand-written Wyoming Constitution.
(WSA Secretary of State RG)

Don’t forget to stop by the Historic Governor’s Mansion tomorrow, June 21st, to join in the fun!

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