Wyoming became the 44th state of the union on July 10th, 1890. It's 97,100 square miles cover a remote section of the Rocky Mountains characterized by sagebrush-covered hills and plains interspersed by high mountain ranges and river valleys. World-famous Yellowstone National Park is in the northwest corner of Wyoming, and the Grand Tetons, and other forested mountains provide striking and beautiful scenery.
The early explorers of Wyoming were fur traders including Wilson Price Hunt in 1811, Robert Stuart in 1812, Jaques La Ramie, William Ashley, Jim Bridger and William Sublette. They built Fort Laramie in 1834, the first permanent settlement in Wyoming, and Fort Bridger 1842, which became a trading post on the Oregon Trail.
Settlers traveling to Oregon, California, and other western states on the Oregon Trail followed the Platte River from Nebraska, crossed the highlands, and came into the Bear River Valley on the western border.
The construction of the railroad in 1867-68 was a major turning point in the history of Wyoming. It brought in many new emigrants working on the railroad, and in the coal mines. After this cattle ranching became a major industry and later on, oil became a major source of revenue.
Wyoming is still a sparsely populated area, with just 493,782 inhabitants as of 2000. Interstate 80 is the main east-west artery, and Interstate 25 crosses the state from north to south on the eastern side.
For More Information:
See Wikipedia's Wyoming article.