Who says a suffrage centennial now and again doesn’t open doors? Not us. The UK is abuzz with news that UK performer Carey Mulligan has put everything aside to negotiate a role in “The Fury,” a feature film about the suffragette movement. It has been kicking around behind the scenes for a few years, and various suffrage centennials have rescued and brought the subject matter to the attention of the media biggies. The Votes for Women centennial, for example, kicked off this year with 100 years observance for Emily Davison with a documentary, plus all sorts of cultural and political events (including an opera). And now, there’s a suffragette sit com, “Up the Women,” that has been signed up for another season. We can’t see these programs, at least for now. But it certainly will stimulate the market when the wave of interest hits our shores. Meanwhile, Norway is having its suffrage centennial. See our coverage. Suffrage centennials are great, and even greater if they’re connected to what’s happening today. The Norwegian conference planned for November fits perfectly.
Norway has put considerable time and effort into its centenary of women’s right to vote. The June special programs may be over, but there’s an upcoming international conference in the works, plus excellent materials and graphic representations of the observance. Details of the November conference are still being ironed out, but there’s plenty to look over while we’re waiting for more details. See conference schedule and contact information.
The 1913 mass English suffrage march didn’t get the same publicity that the suffragette movement garnered the same year that Emily Davison became a martyr after being trampled by the King’s horse. However, women today are walking and marching in England, following the same route, and celebrating their suffrage history along the way. There are parties and special programs, in addition to the performance of a theatrical piece called “Oxygen.” The story of this 1913 march that ended in a rally with 50,000 people in attendance almost was lost in the shadow of reporting on the more militant wing of the suffrage movement in England. The ways in which this is being played out today is a fascinating study. See #1. #2. Details about the march as it will be passing through Corsham. #1. #2. Photo from the Guardian coverage.
This reading by Amelia Bolen is Part I of the story about how suffrage activists didn’t pass up the opportunity to attend the 1876 centennial celebration of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1876. In this first person account by Elizabeth Cady Stanton from her memoir, we’re treated to a visual blow-by-blow description of how these activists worked together to make their point and deliver a reminder that the nation’s women citizens would not rest until they’d made their point that the American Revolution remained unfinished as far as women were concerned. This audio recording is a suffrage centennial special. Image: Library of Congress.
Video. The “Spirit of 1776” is the name of a suffrage campaign wagon that’s part of New York State history. And it’s also representative of the national suffrage movement because it carries the theme that started in 1848 with the Seneca Falls Convention. The Declaration of Sentiments, written by Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and others rewrote the 1776 Declaration of Independence to include women. In 1913 the “Spirit of 1776” wagon began its journey in Manhattan and headed to Long Island for a month of intensive grassroots campaigning. The women wore colonial costumes to deliver their message of “Taxation without representation was tyranny in 1776. Why not in 1913?” With the presentation ceremony in Manhattan covered by New York and Long Island papers, the horse-drawn wagon emphasized the theme of the “Spirit of 1776,” the wagon’s name and references to equality, what the activists insisted were the founding principles of the nation. Because social movements don’t always have artifacts and memorabilia that lend themselves to exhibition, this suffrage wagon has come to represent the national theme of the movement, the “Spirit of 1776,” that was repeated in suffrage speeches, events, literature, and visual rhetoric. For more information: #1. #2. #3. Image: Puck, Library of Congress. Reading by Amelia Bowen.