Should we honor Inez Milholland, our US suffrage martyr? What if she isn’t perfect?


Sign up for the blog from the Inez Milholland centennial observance to stay updated on news, views, and observances.

It would seem like suffrage centennials should be free of controversies. What’s the issue anyway? We observe and celebrate an event, a movement, an individual every hundred years. The question has already emerged. What if these revered individuals weren’t perfect? What if they advocated an idea or said something that 100 years later that isn’t consistent now with our changing and transitional perspectives? One example is the move to take down statues dedicated to those who soiled their hands in terms of bloodshed or an offensive point of view? What about the Canadian suffrage activist Nellie McClung where a proposal to erect a statue in her honor caused push back because of her views on eugenics?

This raises the question. Is Inez Milholland, the US suffrage martyr, perfect? Should we honor her or recognize the sacrifice she made of giving her life for women’s right to vote if we find out that she may have said something 100 years ago that is today offensive or not suited for our ears today?

This isn’t an issue with Inez Milholland. However, the Canadian observance of its suffrage centennial was shadowed by such a controversy over Nellie McClung.

Some US scholars are advocating that it’s about time we know our entire history—the good and the bad and the ugly. This has been happening. For most of the 20th century the first wave of the women’s rights movement has been marginalized, buried, and dismissed as not important. Then women’s history scholars moved in during the latter part of the 20th century with brilliant scholarship about a subject still relatively few know very much about.

Women’s history moved to the forefront during the 1970s, and with it, a realization that people of yesterday are just as imperfect as they are today. We need to be aware of this. It’s time to acknowledge those who came before us and how they made tremendous sacrifices to pave the way. And if we insist on moral purity for all, this standard must be applied equally, across the board.

Check out the progress of the restoration project for the Quaker Meetinghouse in Farmington, NY. For more information, link to their web site.

“How Women Won the Vote” is a fabulous resource for events, special programs and celebrations. It is published by the National Women’s History Project. Copies can be ordered through the NWHP web site and store.


Plan a fall trip to see women’s history road markers & find out about similar work around US!

If you are planning a fall trip, consider visiting Long island where the historic roadside marker commemorating the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon used by Edna Kearns is one of many on the island commemorating first wave women’s rights organizing organizing there. Many of these road markers are funded by the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, as well as other community groups in the process of building a votes for women trail.

Historic commemorative road markers are appearing across the United States as part of an ongoing program of The National Historic Landmarks Program’s Women’s History Initiative. Many new historic sites and commemorations are being planned for 2020 and earlier.


The National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites (NCWHS) invites you and your organization to become a member. Founded in 2001, NCWHS supports and promotes the preservation and interpretation of sites and locales that bear witness to women’s participation in American life. The Collaborative makes women’s contributions to history visible so that all women’s experience and potential can be recognized and valued. Member support is essential in helping NCWHS carry out its mission. Link.


The Huntington, NY roadside marker dedicated in April 2018 commemorates a parade and suffrage rally on Huntington’s main street (Wall and Main Streets) in July of 1913 involving suffrage activist Edna Kearns and Mrs. Mary Jones, a local “anti” activist. See Suffrage Wagon News Channel ( for more information about the Huntington, NY roadside marker.

ALSO, check out web site dedicated to honor Inez Milholland, our US suffrage martyr. The National Women’s History Project sells pins honoring Inez Milholland. Check the numerous gifts at the online store.


Zakiya Thomas will serve as the new National Women’s Party executive director in Washington,DC. Zakiya joins the NWP at a critical juncture as it prepares for the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and reaffirms its commitment to advance full constitutional equality for women.

The NWP will launch a nationwide multi-year initiative in 2019 by using its historic collection of women’s rights artifacts to inspire action toward full equality for women. The initiative will be conducted in partnership with local civic organizations, individual and business leaders, and advocates.

Love of suffrage road markers sweeping the nation! PLUS NEWS!

Pomeroy Foundation officials say their centennial marker grant program is proving to be popular. The organization is collaborating with Humanities New York to make community markers available to  strengthen cultural heritage tourism and bring much needed attention to people, places, and parts of history more Americans want to know about.

The above graphic shows part of a leaflet distributed by the Pomeroy Foundation with thanks to Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Many activists have worked with local communities and citizens to fund over 300 markers so far, and there are more to come.

The leaflet features the marker program combined with America’s suffrage martyr—a combination that will prove to be popular as 2020 approaches—the centennial celebration of women voting in the United States.

The National Women’s History Project devoted a year in 2016 to bring Inez MIlholland to public attention on the centennial of her death in 1916. Marguerite Kearns and Robert P.J. Cooney Jr. coordinated the effort. Martha Wheelock produced a 15-minute film in 2015 on Inez Milholland that has turned the tide as far as public opinion is concerned.


The League of Women Voters nationally has been filing in court to preserve the electoral system. This includes suits in North Carolina and Arizona. The first wave of the women’s rights movement in the US worked long and hard to win voting rights for women. Now there are centennial observances coming up which bring up the issue of the health of the electoral system and widespread attempts to undermine it.

September 17, 2018 is Constitution Day. Make sure you have something planned as a celebration. Our special interest is in the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution. If you didn’t get it on your calendar for 2018, make sure it’s there for planning purposes in 2019 and 2020.

The City of New York has set aside $10 million over the next four years through the Department of Cultural Affairs to diversify public art. Members of the public sent in close to 2,000 suggestions about who the candidates for memorials and statues might be.

Follow the centennial blog on Inez Milholland, the U.S. suffrage martyr:

And check for new developments:

This entry was posted on September 14, 2018, in Blog.

Focus on Tennessee: Ratification story, plus special research project!

We’re focusing on Tennessee—a research project about African-American women in the suffrage movement, and another view of the ratification story. Do you know the story about Pete Seeger and his aunt, Anita Pollitzer? It’s another perspective on how American women won the right to vote in the state, Tennessee, that brought about the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution. ALSO, an event in Maryland and update on Inez Milholland memorabilia.

It’s worth reading! Continue supporting Suffrage Centennials!

Pete Seeger, Anita Pollitzer And The “War Of The Roses”

Special meeting on September 15, 2018 about “Protect the Legacy,” a statewide project in Tennessee focusing on uncovering suffrage stories about African-American women and their political activity in Knoxville, TN at the Beck Cultural Center.


Another event in 2018 with the 2020 suffrage centennial in mind at the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center. ALSO, the Inez Milholland stickers are in the store at the National Women’s History Project. They are $1 and great souvenirs for your next event. Breaking news—the NWHP is changing its name to the National History Alliance. It will take a while for the change to be complete. When you’re thinking about gift ideas for the 2018 holidays, visit the NWHP store. started publishing in 2013.

Reminder notice…you may be a first wave voting rights activist descendant!

Dear Friends,

We said this before, and we’re saying it again. You may be a votes for women, first wave women’s rights descendant, and not know it.

If you are, you aren’t alone. Tens of thousands of women and their allies spent decades working for the right to vote from 1848 (and before) through 1920.

In 2020, US women will have been voting for 100 years. That you may be descended from the first wave of American voting rights activists shouldn’t be passed over lightly. Many families didn’t mention this association and organizing priority to their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and other descendants.

Are there interests you have and activities that you’ve not mentioned to friends and family members? Of course.

Even if you can’t make a direct family connection, the first wave of the women’s rights movement in the United States is an important and essential part of our national legacy and history…whether you’re a young person, woman, man, or wherever you find yourself on the gender continuum.

The chances are excellent that you are descended, either directly or by interest, to the tens of thousands of voting rights activists and their allies who worked and sweated for decades to win the right to vote. If you aren’t directly related, you may be a descendent in some other way—spiritual or because of your level of interest.

There are many citizens who define themselves as first wave women’s rights descendants because they are passionate about this part of American history. By combining the accomplishments of all the waves of rights activists, we find ourselves standing on strong shoulders.

Our place in history will be celebrated during 2020, and we want to make sure you’re part of this turning point in time.

Sign up to receive the Suffrage Centennials quarterly newsletter. You can also choose to receive weekly posts by adding your email to the form on the web page.

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Happy Labor Day from your friends at Suffrage Centennials!

What it means when we say: “Let’s Rock the Cradle” on Vimeo.

When someone says, “Lets Rock The Cradle,” they are also saying—”Let’s get these suffrage centennials underway.” This is a boost for suffrage centennial fans.

Stop in at and stay a while. LetsRockTheCradle started as a blogging tour of the “cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the US. The “cradle” is located in the Finger Lakes district of New York State.

Follow the exhibition news of the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon used by first wave activist Edna Kearns and others during 1913. The iconic wagon is in the collection of the New York State Musuem in Albany, NY.

Jump on the Suffrage Wagon at


The observance of suffrage centennials isn’t an obsession of only women. The first wave of the women’s rights movement in the United States wasn’t a monolithic effort conducted by one type of individual or organization. It was a loose coalition of the entire spectrum of activists—and this caused all sorts of challenges in addition to embarrassing moments when a vertical point of view collided with a horizontal social perspective. The movement depended on a highly sophisticated collaboration with men and organizing in many communities across the nation.

For most of the 20th century following the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, the stories of the first wave were forgotten. Now they are coming out of the mist and examined. It’s a fascinating process. The nation, states, and local communities are planning special events and commemorations for 2020.

What are you thinking about for 2020?


Bringing Hattie Redmond and Inez Milholland out in the open!


One bulletin from Suffrage Wagon News Channel focuses on the continuing effort to bring Inez Milholland, the US suffrage martyr, to public attention. Over one hundred years have passed since her death, a turning point in the struggle of American women to win the right to vote.

The National Women’s History Project set aside 2016 to acknowledge the sacrifice of Inez Milholland. Marguerite Kearns and Robert P.J. Cooney coordinated the effort.  And the centennial blog honoring Inez MIlholland continues publishing. Check it out.



Oregon’s statewide commemoration of women gaining access to the vote in 2012 has many highlights, and one of them is the uncovering of the history of black suffragist Harriet “Hattie” Redmond. She was intimately involved in the campaign of 1912 by holding rallies and hosting speakers at her church, serving on the central planning committee, and registering to vote in early 1913 after Oregon’s constitution was amended. Recently Oregon State University announced that one of their buildings is being renamed the  Hattie Redmond Women and Gender Center. This is part of an effort to rename campus buildings associated with slave owners and supporters of slavery at OSU.

More interest than ever is being generated by the upcoming 2020 national suffrage centennial with the centennial observance of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution. The UK is celebrating its 100th year of women voting during 2018.


Follow: for news and views. Celebrate women’s history on Labor Day. The amount of effort and strenuous work put into the first wave of the women’s rights movement is being recognized, finally!

Votes for women gift idea—classic reference book on suffrage movement, plus NEWS!

Need a gift idea? This comprehensive work, The Vote: The Triumph of the Woman Suffrage Movement, is a classic introduction and votes for women movement resource. Available from the National Women’s History Project and American Graphic Press. A great resource when planning for 2020 suffrage centennial observances and celebrations.

“Winning the Vote” by Robert P.J. Cooney, Jr. on Vimeo.


With one state to go on the ratification of the ERA, the debate continues. This lengthy radio program presents a range of opinion. In 2023, US women will have been working for 100 years to include equal rights for women in the US Constitution.


BELOW: Article about the road marker funded by the William G. Pomeroy Foundation highlighting the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage wagon used by Edna Kearns and others in 1913 votes for women organizing in New York City and on Long island.

 Link to “Huntington Now.”


JOIN THE WOMEN’S HISTORY ALLIANCE: Membership is free though the National Women’s History Project that is making it a priority to work toward making August 26th a federal holiday. Sign up at the NWHP store.

Use the NWHP Gazette to hand out at special events. Order at the NWHP store.


While you’re waiting for the stickers to come in, order an Inez Milholland button. These have been popular to hand out when showing the 15-minute film, “Forward into Light,” the feature video produced by Martha Wheelock and Wild West Women. Order the button through the NWHP online store. There’s also an Inez centennial poster and a book about Inez Milholland’s last campaign by Robert P.J. Cooney, Jr. Take note! And we’ll let you know when the Inez stickers are available. is the blog for the Inez centennial web site. 

August 26, 2020 is the focal point of the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution when American women will have been voting for 100 years. Have you started planning yet for a special program during 2020?

Visit our sister sites: Suffrage Wagon News Channel and

Work ongoing to highlight women’s history sites nationwide…PLUS news!

The city of New York’s public art initiative will commission artworks honoring women’s history. The mayor and the Department of Cultural Affairs, has committed up to $10 million over the next four years to fund new permanent public monuments and other works.The “She Built NYC” initiative kicked off on June 20 with a call for nominations of women or historical events that significantly impacted New York City. Members of the public made nearly 2,000 suggestions. The city will narrow the list to five finalists for commemoration. An advisory panel will help match the women, group of women, or event to a public site.
The Alice Paul Institute in New Jersey is celebrating Women’s Equality Day by hosting “A Night in Suffrage White” on Saturday, August 25, 2018— a day before the holiday commemorating the passage of the 19th Amendment. Attendees are asked to wear all-white in honor of the suffragists. The event, which started in 2017, is BYO everything, from tables to chairs to dinner. The cost to attend will go to girls’ leadership programs at API. Tickets are $20 per person but can only be purchased in groups of four, six, eight, 10 or 12, so gather friends together to celebrate 98 years of US women having the right to vote.The pop-up dinner will be held at Paulsdale, in New Jersey, a National Historic Landmark that was the home of Alice Paul, a major leader in the women’s suffrage movement. The Alice Paul Institute at Paulsdale is located at 128 Hooten Road, Mount Laurel, New Jersey.


August 26th is Women’s Equality Day. As 2020 and the national women’s suffrage centennial approaches, there is more interest than ever in those on the ground who witnessed and participated in this fascinating part of history. Find out what Marguerite Kearns has to say about growing up as the descendant of suffrage activists—Edna Buckman Kearns and Wilmer Kearns, her grandparents. Follow Marguerite on Suffrage Wagon News Channel that has been publishing since 2009.


Zoe Nicholson is celebrating her 70th birthday and she’s hearing the call of the wild. Give her a visit at The above clip from her email message urges friends to visit the web site. We’re rooting for the terrific work Zoe has been doing with her theatrical piece about suffrage activist Alice Paul.


The National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites (NCWHS) invites new members. Founded in 2001, NCWHS supports and promotes the preservation and interpretation of sites and locales that bear witness to women’s participation in American life.

MEMBER BENEFITS—Women’s Sites are the focus!

Receive a copy of the published guides: Women’s History: Sites and Resources and Revealing Women’s History: Best Practices at Historic Sites.

  • Participate in the online member directory, viewable only by members and includes name, site and email contact information.
  • Access new member services as they are developed, including members-only content and a members’ forum.
  • Showcase your work on our website. We regularly post news from member sites on our homepage and on social media, and welcome news and contributions from members.
  • Enjoy exclusive access to NCWHS webinars and online workshops and other professional development opportunities to learn more about doing women’s history at historic sites.
  • Attend the NCWHS annual member meeting, held either online or in conjunction with a national conference in a related field.
  • Present your research at sessions NCWHS organizes at the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), National Council on Public History (NCPH), Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, the Organization of American Historians (OAH), and other national and regional conferences.
  • Become an active part of a national network of individuals, organizations and sites that share resources and promote the cause and each other.
  • NCWHS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Your membership and any other gift is tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.

National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites

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