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Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon Send-Off

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On Wednesday, June 5th, we celebrated the send off of Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon’s statue to Washington D.C., where she will be installed in the U.S. Capitol. The University of Utah Department of Chemistry American Chemical Society Student Chapter was present to clebrate, hosting their own booth to conduct chemistry demonstatrions. The festival-style event included live music, food trucks, lawn games, activities, and a short program to officially launch Martha on her journey to D.C. It was open to the public, and had a crowd of at least 600 people, including families and kids as well as elected officials and community leaders.

sAs a frontier doctor, suffrage advocate, and the first female state senator in the nation, Martha Hughes Cannon left a lastinga impact on our state and the nation. During her time in office, she revolutionized Utah's public health system, testified before Congress in favor of a national suffrage amendment, and helped shape our community during the early years of statehood. Not only did Martha make history by being the first female State Senator, she was also an alumna of the University of Utah’s Department of Chemistry! Her 1878 chemistry degree from the U (then U of Deseret), is featured on the left. 

An article from Utah Women’s History stated: “A pioneer in many respects, Martha “Mattie” Hughes Cannon (1857-1932) blazed trails for women as a skilled physician, ardent suffragist, progressive public health reformer, and most notably, the first female state senator in the United States.” (Right: photo courtesy of Utah State Historical Society).

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To read the rest of Martha’s biography visit here!

Last Updated: 6/6/24