Briefly Noted

Celebrate women’s suffrage in Utah

By Katherine Pioli

The year 2020 will mark the 150th anniversary of Utah being the second U.S. territory to grant all women full voting rights. Wyoming granted women full voting rights the year prior, in 1869, but Utah women exercised their right first since Utah held two elections before Wyoming women had a chance to vote. This makes Utah women the first to vote in this modern nation. (Ironically, Utah women lost their rights when Utah entered the Union.)

The year 2020 also marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, granting all U.S. women the right to vote. And the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.

If you’re as excited as Better Days 2020 CEO Neylan McBaine about these historic anniversaries, there is a way to convey your enthusiasm. The nonprofit, which is dedicated to popularizing Utah women’s history, has teamed up with the Utah Department of Motor Vehicles to offer a new Women’s Suffrage Recognition license plate for your vehicle. You can register for your license plate online and get it mailed to your door. For instructions visit: www.DMV.Utah.Gov/

Better Days 2020 has also created a great classroom curriculum for students K-12 that focuses on Utah’s role in women’s suffrage. Classroom materials and online resources are available for free to educators through the website. In another project, Better Days 2020 has gathered, with the help of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers and the Utah Association of Counties, the unique local histories of women in each of Utah’s 29 counties. Find book recommendations, coloring pages, posters, trading cards, articles and activities at

And for teachers, there are two training sessions happening this summer (June 10-14 and July 15-19) at the University of Utah, conducted in partnership with the U’s Tanner Humanities Center, to help prepare teachers to lead students through this important material. Register at

This article was originally published on May 31, 2019.