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Utah celebrates the 150th anniversary of women getting the vote
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Utah celebrates the 150th anniversary of women getting the vote

Governor Gary Herbert signs a resolution marking the 150th anniversary of Utah women's suffrage in the Gold Room of the Utah State Capitol.

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah women, school children, and lawmakers celebrated the 150th anniversary of women getting the vote in the state during a series of events at the State Capitol.

The Utah legislature unanimously passed a resolution celebrating the 150th anniversary of women’s suffrage.

Senator Deidre Henderson (R-Spanish Fork) also gave a shout-out to the men who made the original 1870 law possible.

“[The law] was passed unanimously by an all-male territorial legislature. While most men in the nation were very unsupportive of women being allowed to vote, the men in Utah understood and recognized the value of women’s voices,” Henderson said.

Although Utah was the second state, after Wyoming, to give women the right to vote, Salt Lake City resident Seraph Young became the first woman in modern America to actually cast a ballot on February 14, 1870.

Governor Gary Herbert signed the resolution during a ceremony in the Gold Room in front of female lawmakers.

Herbert also praised the women legislators who came before, including Olene Walker, Utah’s first female governor and lieutenant governor, who he called “a visionary leader”.

Utah Poet Laureate Pasiley Rekdal, who read a poem about Young before the signing, was pleased to see women recognized.

“I was heartened to see that, but I would always say that we can always have more women in office…The reality is that we can always have more fighting for us, out there working for change,” Rekdal said.

Neylan McBaine is the founder and CEO of Better Days 2020 and helped organize the reception. She also invited 2,000 school kids to tour the Capitol and look at the exhibits showing artifacts from the women’s suffrage movement.

“It was so moving to see just these thousands of school children stopping and learning about these women’s advocates from Utah history. And learning about how they are following in their footsteps today,” McBaine said.

 

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