People are gearing up to celebrate the big one, the 2020 national suffrage centennial when American women will have been voting for 100 years. New York City will celebrate Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s 200th birthday on Thursday, November 12, 2015 with an artistic interpretation of the Declaration of Sentiments by feminists, activists, and artists at the Historic Great Hall at Cooper Union in New York City. More details to be announced.
The National Park Service will mark the 100th anniversary of its founding in 2016, and the National Historic Preservation Act will have been in effect for 50 years. These two landmark moments come just two years after the National Museum of American History quietly marked its own 50th anniversary in 2014. A Working Group at the National Council on Public History 2015 Annual Meeting in Nashville will serve as a collaborative forum for planning a scholarly symposium to mark these important events. The symposium will take place in March 2016 during the NCPH Annual Meeting in Baltimore.
IN OTHER NEWS: The year 2016 is the centennial observance of the death of U.S. women’s suffrage martyr Inez Milholland. Canada will hold suffrage centennial observances in 2016. And if a woman candidate runs for the U.S. presidency, the story of how women won the vote will the focus of considerable interest. The film from the U.K., “Suffragette,” will be distributed internationally in October 2015. And the film, “10 Days in a Madhouse,” is anticipated to be released in late September 2015. This film is based on the investigative reporting of Nellie Bly that resulted in dramatic reforms in public mental institutions.
A legislative proposal is circulating in New York State to officially name a planning commission for the state’s upcoming 2017 suffrage centennial. Whether or not there’s an appropriation from the state legislature remains an open question. And 2015 is the centennial observance of four states that put the issue of women’s suffrage to the voters in 1915: New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. While these initiatives failed, the women’s suffrage movement gained considerable support that contributed to later victories.
Fundraising continues for projects such as the proposed Stanton/Anthony statue in New York City’s Central Park and the national Turning Point Suffragist Memorial in Lorton, VA.
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