Women’s suffrage highlighted in Andrew Cuomo inaugural address on New Year’s Day

It was a bittersweet moment in New York history on New Year’s Day with the second-term inauguration of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the death of his father, Mario M. Cuomo, three-term governor of New York on the same day. Cuomo’s highlighting of the woman’s suffrage movement in his inaugural address is a good sign as far as the State of New York coming to terms with its upcoming 2017 suffrage centennial. And the NYS Governor reinforced a mindset that hopefully will be repeated in the weeks and months to come and result in action.

From Andrew Cuomo’s inaugural speech:

“… When they were talking about a dream of women’s rights and women’s suffrage, where did they go? They went to New York. And Elizabeth Cady Stanton said, ‘Yes, we can do this,’ and it is the New York women who came together and organized and got women the right to vote. When they stood up and said in the ’60s, gays deserve equal rights, it was us, at Stonewall, who stood up and said, ‘That’s right, gay people deserve equal rights.’ New York was there first. When a big state had to pass marriage equality because we were discriminating against gay people, and not letting them marry was just another source of discrimination, and you needed a big state to stand up and pass it — and it was hard — it was New York that passed marriage equality. And it resonated all across the country.”

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Happy New Year from Suffrage Centennials, PLUS a video, “Good News!”

It was a great year in 2014 with suffrage centennial celebrations in Montana and Nevada. Bernice Ende rode into Rochester, NY and other communities in 2014 to bring attention to upcoming women’s suffrage celebrations. Also in 2014, the second national park in the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the U.S. was approved. Now the Finger Lakes region in upstate New York will host visitors in Seneca Falls and the Auburn communities of New York. The Harriet Tubman national park was a long time coming. The appropriations bill passed by the U.S. Congress also approved the national women’s history museum in Washington, DC that has attracted controversy over time.

The accomplishments of 2014 must be viewed as preparation for the big celebrations, New York’s state suffrage centennial in 2017, as well as the national 2020 suffrage centennial celebration. Turning Point Suffragist Memorial had its first “Night of Terror” observance in 2014 to lay the groundwork for building a suffragist memorial on or before 2020 in Lorton, Virginia. And then the news that the “Suffragette” feature film from the UK will be released in the fall of 2015. This coming year has a loaded schedule of observances and preparation for suffrage celebrations and observances. Follow Suffrage Centennials during 2015.

Suffrage Centennials: Video you'll loveNEW VIDEO: “GOOD NEWS” FOR 2015.

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New release date of September 2015 for “Suffragette” film from the UK as Meryl Streep gives interviews!

Fall 2015 release date announced for “Suffragette” film from the UK  on Vimeo.

Though it had initially been scheduled for release in January 2015, the production team for “Suffragette” (the film from the UK), has revised its expected release to September 2015, according to Pathe, the film’s publicists. Meryl Streep’s recent interviews will prepare the public for the production that is predicted to make a splash during 2015. Streep plays Emmeline Pankhurst in the film that’s directed by Sarah Gavron and written by Abi Morgan. Streep told reporters that she is “shocked” about how the suffrage movement is neglected by the mainstream media. And she pointed out how in its day the suffrage movement was so threatening that the English authorities responded to movement activists as if they were terrorists.

“Girls, we’ve been waiting for this,” Streep told USA Today. She made the analogy between 1910 in England to today by noting that the Brits developed surveillance techniques to spy on the suffragettes, as many called themselves in England. “Suffragette” is the first film to be shot in the Houses of Parliament in London. By playing the part of suffrage activist Emmeline Pankhurst, Meryl Streep is expected to bring this remarkable period of votes for women history to the attention of the mainstream public in the time leading up to the 2017 suffrage centennial in New York State, as well as the U.S. 2020 suffrage centennial.

The “Suffragette” film is expected to be a boost for those who are promoting suffrage-related projects and programs. “Suffragette” is on a IMDb list of films that are serious contenders to be nominated for “Best Picture” in 2015. Whatever accolades the production receives, the spinoff effects are likely to be profoundly felt by those attempting to bring attention to the suffrage movement in the United States.

The ties between activists in both countries were strong and included key activists from both nations. Individuals such as Lucy Burns, Alice Paul, Harriot Stanton Blatch, Elisabeth Freeman and others were trained in the English suffrage movement, an experience that influenced tactics and strategies on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Suffrage Centennials: Video you'll loveVIDEO: Anticipating the news about the “Suffragette” film release date.

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Throw Five Pennies into the Wishing Well for Suffrage Centennials, plus two videos!

Wishing Well for Suffrage CentennialsInstead of New Year’s resolutions this year, throw five pennies into the wishing well! We’ve announced three wishes: a funded commission to plan New York State’s suffrage centennial celebration in 2017. Plus a statue of real women in New York City’s Central Park and a suffragist memorial on or before the 2020 suffrage centennial observance. Support the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial and the Statue Project in New York City‘s Central Park.

We’re holding the space open for you to add two more wishes! By declaring your intentions and wishes, you increase the chances of the wish being realized. In 2014 one of our wishes came true: the Harriet Tubman national park. Santa didn’t deliver on the “Votes for Women” trail in the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the United States. So, we’ll carry this wish over this coming year.

SuffrageCentennials.com has two countdown clocks: One for the NYS suffrage centennial in 2017 and the other, a countdown clock for the national suffrage centennial in 2020. “Suffrage Centennial” isn’t a household reference at the moment, but public awareness is increasing day by day. That’s why we’re starting early. There’s a lot of catching up to do. And for this reason, SuffrageCentennials has a Facebook page, in addition to Twitter, email subscription and a quarterly newsletter. See links below.

Suffrage Centennials: Video you'll loveVIDEO: What are New York State elected representatives doing relative to upcoming suffrage centennials? VIDEO with thoughts about the upcoming 2017 centennial in New York State with commentary by Teri Gay and Antonia Petrash.

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On Christmas Day . . . an event honoring Inez Milholland that must be remembered!

VIDEO: Christmas day memorial service for Inez Milholland in 1916.

On Christmas day in 1916 a memorial service was held in the nation’s Capitol to honor the life of Inez Milholland, the U.S. suffrage martyr. The new book “Remembering Inez” is now available that highlights this Christmas memorial service, as well as presenting remarkable photos, many of which have not been seen before in publications of general circulation. In 2013 the UK devoted a year to commemorating the English suffrage martyr, Emily Davison. And during 2016 it’s expected that we will give proper attention to Inez Milholland. An excellent biography of Inez is also available. Follow Suffrage Centennials.com for more information about Inez and upcoming centennial celebrations, of which this is an important one in 2016. We’ll be publishing more digital links and content about Inez Milholland in this week before Christmas.

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2015 Wish List for Suffrage Centennials

2015 wish list for Suffrage CentennialsKeep these visions in mind during 2015: a funded NYS commission for the 2017 and 2020 suffrage centennials; a national suffragist memorial in Lorton, VA; and a Central park statue of real women in New York City’s Central Park.

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New Yorkers move suffrage celebration plans forward for 2017

SuffrageCentennialsLOGONew York State has two national parks now in the Finger Lakes region, what many people refer to as the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the United States. The news concerning recent Congressional approval and funding of the Harriet Tubman national park gives a huge boost to everyone interested in the upcoming New York State suffrage centennial celebration in 2017, as well as the national suffrage centennial in 2020.

New York City has made a huge leap already in terms of preparing for the state’s 2017 suffrage centennial. Tracy Penn Sweet is the program director for the Women’s Suffrage Centennial in New York City. Her job is to develop a five-year plan to prepare for the 2020 national suffrage centennial. There’s also planning activity in the Rochester, NY area, plus many busy activists in New York City, Long Island and around the state, as well as a 2017 statewide conference in the the final stages of organization. We’ll let you know as soon as the information is available.

Over the past year various historic coalitions and ad hoc citizen groups in New York State have been discussing the possibilities inherent in preparing for such important future observances. Special projects are in the early stages of discussion and organization and people are spreading the word enough to stir plenty of interest. The committee supporting the statue proposed for Central Park statue in NYC of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony just set up its web site. And there’s more to come from organizations large and small on the local, state, and national levels.

Will the State of New York weigh in on any of this? It’s hard to tell. The best possible case would include state funding, promotion and support services for upcoming suffrage centennials because of the economic development and tourism potential. There’s considerable support on the grassroots for early planning and preparation. Over the next few weeks we’ll follow up with more about national initiatives in support of the 2020 centennial observance of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. There’s activity on the national level in support of 2020, including plans to complete a national suffrage memorial in Lorton, Virginia, 2020 ceremonies in Philadelphia, support groups and special interest coalitions and communications that are visualizing what’s possible and then taking the next step. Stay tuned!

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Book on suffrage martyr Inez Milholland is a great gift idea in preparation for 2016 suffrage centennial observance of her death

Remembering Inez is new book featured on SuffrageCentennials.comSo many people have seen the image of suffrage activist Inez Milholland on her white horse leading the March 1913 suffrage parade in Washington, DC that it has almost become a cliche. Well, this may be an exaggeration because a large segment of the U.S. population has never heard of Milholland. So it will be some time before the dramatic image of this well-publicized activist will become old hat.

You’ll be doing your part by getting prepared for the 2016 centennial observance of Milholland’s death by purchasing Remembering Inez: The Last Campaign of Inez Milholland, Suffrage Martyr by Robert P.J. Cooney, Jr. The 2020 suffrage centennial will hopefully feature America’s suffrage martyr prominently. Remembering Inez is an enormous step in the right direction in terms of presenting images associated with Milholland’s life and times that haven’t been in general circulation before this. With this work, we’re treated us to the little-known perspectives of those who worked with and loved this extraordinary activist in this offering by American Graphic Press. And that makes it a candidate for a special gift this holiday season.

A great deal was written about Inez Milholland in the newspapers of her time. The appeal of Milholland’s attraction (mind and body) is complex and many insights can be gained by reading the excellent biography of Milholland by Linda J. Lumsden. In fact, these two books together will bring a broad smile to the face of the suff buffs in your family and circle of friends. The Cooney book highlights impressive photography of the period and what Milholland’s contemporaries had to say about her. In every instance it’s a remembering with thoughtful and profound feeling. And we’re treated to some of Milholland’s own words about the movement and what the activists were up against in their uphill campaign to win the franchise.

Robert P.J. Cooney, Jr.  is the author of Winning the Vote: The Triumph of the American Woman Suffrage Movement , a classic work that details the many campaigns involved with winning votes for women before 1920. Winning the Vote was produced in conjunction with the National Women’s History Project. It’s a basic reference book worth owning, loaded with images that will keep you fascinated from page one to the end, and it’s a hefty tome indeed that anyone interested in the suffrage movement shouldn’t be without. If you order through the National Women’s History Project, you’ll be supporting a terrific organization in its 35th year in 2015, and occasionally there’s a worthwhile discount not available from other retailers. Cooney started the Woman Suffrage Media Project in 1993 and he created and co-edited The Power of the People: Active Nonviolence in the United States.

Remembering Inez is an essential and important work to add to any suffrage movement library. Order the book now at the specially dedicated web site: RememberingInez.com And follow SuffrageCentennials.com with email and Twitter for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennial celebrations.

NEWS BREAK: The proposed Harriet Tubman national park might fit on Santa’s sleigh this year!

News Break for Suffrage CentennialsVIDEO: You’ve come to the right place to get the video update about how the U.S. Congress has a good chance of passing the proposed legislation creating and funding a Harriet Tubman National Park. The Tubman park and the national women’s history museum are tacked onto a defense authorization bill that has a lot of other projects that would probably otherwise not pass Congress. Sad that worthy projects can’t be addressed on their own merit. This leaves the “Votes for Women” trail in upstate New York hanging. Here’s hoping the park will be up and ready for the New York State suffrage centennial in 2017 and the national suffrage centennial in 2020. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com