Women voters get behind their suffrage centennial celebrations!

2014 suffrage centennial celebrations for Montana and Nevada. No word yet on New York's 2017 suffrage centennial planning.

Will the United States be ready to celebrate its 2020 suffrage centennial in Seneca Falls, NY?

Clues to an answer to the above question may be found in the release of the first administrative wrap up of the history of the Women’s Rights National Historic Park in Seneca Falls, the key location for any celebration of 100 years of women voting in the United States. The 450-page publication, “‘All Men and Women are Created Equal’:  An Administrative History of Women’s Rights National Historic Park” has been researched and written by Dr. Rebecca Conard, Professor of History and Director of the Public History Program at Middle Tennessee State University. The book cites interviews with park officials, park records and federal agency archives to document the beginnings and growth of the national park in Seneca Falls and Waterloo, N.Y. between 1976 and 2011.  The book includes maps, photographs, charts and appendices. An electronic summary is available.

The report abstract noted:

The report is a welcome contribution for those of us supporting and promoting the celebration of suffrage centennials. It should be noted, however, that New York State has not yet started planning its 2017 state suffrage centennial, and there is no official commitment (so far) to make it a priority. In addition, projects requiring Congressional funding have come to a standstill. They include the creation and funding of a Harriet Tubman national park and the “Votes for Women” federal heritage trail located in the Finger Lakes region, or what is also referred to as the “Cradle” of the U.S. women’s rights movement.

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Planning a suffrage centennial celebration? Be part of a national network. What about planning for a memorial?

Are you planning a suffrage centennial? This summer, the National Women’s History Project will begin expanding its website to make it a digital hub for information about women’s history.  The goal is to leverage work around the nation and expand the impact of women’s history on an individual, local, state, and national level. If you’d like to be included in this digital hub, email your contact information along with a firty-word description of your work to nwhp@nwhp.org.  The goal is to have the information online by the end of the summer of 2014. Network members will organize planning meetings throughout the country to develop plans for promoting women’s history.  Contact the National Women’s History Project, 730 Second Street #469, Santa Rosa, CA 95402   http://www.nwhp.org  (707) 636-2888.

Although statues and memorials can be expensive for suffrage centennials, it’s always possible to build a movement around the fundraising and all the associated stages up to and including the unveiling. Plenty of examples are out there. One excellent example is the statue of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass having tea, just down the street from the Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester, NY. A nearby plaque suggests the dynamic process that transformed this small park into a tourist destination.

See article about the National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House in New York State History Blog by Marguerite Kearns

Photo: The statue, “Lets Have Tea,” featuring Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony having tea, is in a small park down the street from the Susan B. Anthony House, 17 Madison Street, Rochester, NY.


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For the suffrage centennial, a variety of Montana activists share the spotlight

The Montana suffrage centennial activists are taking every opportunity to blow their bugles to announce some of the fabulous Montana women who put their lives on the line for equality and freedom. You can subscribe to the postings and be introduced to some of these individuals. Ella Knowles, known as the “Portia of the People,” is featured, and what she faced as an attorney is an eyeopener. When she started out as an attorney, she couldn’t take the bar exam because Montana law prevented women from doing so. She pressed the point and won. About fifty women were licensed to practice law by 1890 across the nation. The Montana suffrage web site has Ella’s life and accomplishments summarized, in addition to considerably more information. Follow Montana. It’s determined to get out the word in its suffrage centennial subscription series, “Women’s History Matters.” The Montana Historical Society is a driving force in the 2014 suffrage centennial and the impact is being noticed. During Women’s History Month, for example, these stories of Montana women are been diverse and fascinating.

A few examples during March that views the state’s women’s in the context of an ongoing social revolution: “Nannie Alderson: Pioneer Ranchwoman”(March 4); “Feminism Personified: Judy Smith and the Women’s Movement” (March 6); “Julia Ereaux Schultz, Health Advocate and Cultural Champion” (March 11); “Elizabeth Clare Prophet, the Church Universal and Triumphant, and the Creation of Utopia in Montana’s Paradise Valley” (March 13); “Behind Every Man: Nancy Cooper Russell” (March 18); “Legalized Midwifery: Montana Leads the Way” (March 20); “Men Were My Friends, but Women Were My Cause”: The Career and Feminism of Frances Edge” (March 25); “A ‘Compassionate Heart’ and ‘Keen Mind’: The Life of Doctor Caroline McGill” (March 27).

Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news, views and updates.

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A handy kit to celebrate Women’s History Month from the National Women’s History Project

Perplexed about how to celebrate Women’s History Month in March? The National Women’s History Project has items galore to decorate, educate, and lay the bases for having fun. It’s not necessary for it to be your suffrage centennial year. When Women’s History Month or week or day or whatever comes around, take advantage of it for a party or tea reception or fundraiser. The National Women’s History Project has kits; items can be purchased separately, such as the 2014 Gazette ($10 for 25 copies), plus balloons and pencils and books and games, and so on.

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2014 is centennial of suffragist Caroline Severance’s death: Women’s History Month special!

Caroline Severance’s name isn’t among the list of those remembered as suffrage pioneers, but this photo shows Caroline second to the right with Susan B. Anthony in Los Angeles in 1905, along with Charlotte Wills and Rebecca Spring; the image suggests that she traveled in high-powered circles. Caroline grew up in the heart of what’s considered today as the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the U.S. or the Finger Lakes region. Caroline Severance’s life and work are summarized in detail and featured in the “History of American Women” blog where we’re reminded that after moving to California her work there earned Caroline the distinction of being a key player in the movement for equality. Attention to suffrage history is growing in the lead up to the 2020 national suffrage centennial. Here’s the link to the article about Caroline’s life. Read it and reflect on Caroline and scores of others like her who devoted their lives to freedom during March, Women’s History Month. PDF.

Attention to suffrage centennials doesn’t exist in isolation. Be on the cutting edge of those who are rocking the ‘Cradle” of the U.S. women’s rights movement. Visit LetsRockTheCradle.com

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