On November 7, 1989, in Virginia, Lieutenant Governor Douglas Wilder, also a Democrat, becomes the first elected African American state governor in American history.
Although Wilder was the first African American to be popularly elected to the governor’s post, he was not the first African American to hold that office. That distinction goes to Pinkney Benton Stewart Pinchback, a Reconstruction-era lieutenant-general of Louisiana who became Louisiana state governor in December 1872. Pinchback served as acting governor for five weeks while impeachment proceedings were in progress against Governor Henry Clay Warmoth.
Wilder served as Virginia governor until 1993, whereupon he was forced to step down because Virginia law prohibits governors from serving two terms in succession.
Colorado women won the right to vote in the general election of November 7, 1893. Denver Post file photo. Colorado women at the polls in 1894 after winning the right to vote in the 1893 general election.
Two massive campaigns prior to this ended in failure at the polls, even though the second election in 1877 was backed by such notables as John Evans, N.C. Meeker and Benjamin Eaton.
Through continued efforts, a bill placing women’s suffrage on the ballot for 1893’s general election was presented by Representative John Heath. The bill passed both houses and was signed by Governor Davis Waite.
The suffragettes opened campaign headquarters in the Tabor Grand Opera House in rooms donated by Baby Doe Tabor. The state was flooded with literature and the press and political parties backed the movement.
On November 7, the Colorado male electorate voted yes on women’s suffrage. The election returns were 35,698 votes for and 29,461 against.
Mrs. John L. Routt, the wife of the first state governor, was the first woman to register to vote.