Tuesday, December 10

Esther was Morris but Bill wasn't Bright

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By Art Cashin

On this day in 1869, the new Wyoming territory officially gave women the right to vote. The concept was so stunning that when Wyoming became a state twenty-one years later some folks proudly opted for the nickname - - "Equality State". In fact the state motto is "Equal Rights". And, when Congress asked each state for the single statue of its key citizen, Wyoming sent to Statuary Hall in the Capitol none other than Esther Morris, the mother of women's suffrage in the West.

Not to diminish the enlightened attitude of the frontier - - but some New York cynics think the women won by knowing what women always knew - - guys tend to overplay their hand.

Mrs. Morris (she was not yet P.C. enough to know Ms.) had convinced a candidate for the other legislature, named Bill Bright, to promise the right to vote for women. To his - - and most politicians surprise - - he got elected. He then did the manly thing - - he told his pals he had promised this woman something but it didn't matter because the Republican Gov. (Campbell) would surely veto it. When they passed the vote, the governor, fearing a petticoat backlash did the manly thing - - he refused to veto it. Thus, in Wyoming, women got the right to vote because men do what men have always done for about 50,000 years.

To celebrate stay out as late as your wife will let you, and try not to talk too macho to a meter-maid. And think about the concept of women's suffrage - - but don't think too loud - -women sense these things.

Many thanks to Mr. Cashin and UBS Financial Services who graciously allow his historical musings to be republished on this site. To enjoy more of Art's posts simply click on "Cashin's Comments" in the label section on the sidebar.

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