Tag Archive | 19th amendment

Buckle your seat belt for suffrage centennial celebrations that could knock your socks off!

Suffrage centennials are taking the nation by storm! on Vimeo.

New York State is positioning itself to be a frontrunner in cultural heritage tourism that could demonstrate to the nation the type of sustainable economic development that’s possible on the ground. Current shifts toward favorable public opinion about the history of women’s voting rights and upcoming suffrage centennial celebrations suggest that such observances can be meaningful as well as economically advantageous for local communities, regions, states and the nation.

In recent years, the following states celebrated their centennials of women winning the vote prior to 1920: Wyoming (1890), Colorado (1893), Utah (1896), Idaho (1896), Washington (1910), California (1911), Arizona (1912), Kansas and Oregon (1912). Montana and Nevada observed one hundred years of women voting in 2014 with special events, projects and activities. New York’s centennial celebration is scheduled for 2017, with Michigan, Oklahoma and South Dakota to follow. And there’s the upcoming national suffrage centennial in 2020.


Opportunities for New York State are in the early stages and they follow the best practices of states that have already held suffrage centennial observances. The pieces are in place to develop cultural tourism networks and infrastructures. There’s a state suffrage centennial commission recently passed in the NYS Legislature, the involvement of state agencies, the result of long and dedicated work by citizens and organizations working together.  New York City and upstate communities are involved. Passionate grassroots advocates have taken leadership roles. Funding is available. And the internet is exploding nationwide and around the world with stories of amazing women, today and in the past. A major motion picture, “Suffragette,” will direct public attention to voting rights struggles. It’s a matter of bringing all of this together that will make the difference between blowing an opportunity and the potential of suffrage centennial celebrations going viral.

We can’t take anything for granted in a controversial climate that has marginalized women’s history over the past century. We could miss opportunities and assume that someone’s in charge, when in fact, a grassroots collaborative initiative is underway that could be taking on more than it can handle. The good news includes the efforts of visionaries who have set 2020 as the goal of achieving equality for women in the United States. There are stirrings in the U.S. Congress to revive the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) by 2020. A woman on U.S. currency is now a possibility. Special projects are downright exciting, including the building of a statue of women in NYC’s Central Park, a nationwide women’s trails initiative, upcoming conferences, literary initiatives, a proposed suffragist national memorial outside of Washington, DC, and a core of dedicated activists who view sustainable economic development of cultural heritage tourism as key to the process.


Compared to the big bucks being invested in the national centennial observance of World War I in 2017, the story of women and our accomplishments could turn out to be little more than a flash in the pan. Getting our story out to the nation takes dedicated and persistent work. Local communities must set priorities about how to honor this extraordinary opportunity. There’s a cultural struggle underway in light of the 2016 presidential elections and a great deal of past neglect of women’s history to overcome. A great deal of our history has been buried or marginalized. We can blow these openings and opportunities. And we can built infrastructures and constituencies that will last longer than any planned centennial celebrations.


Are you on board? The move to celebrate suffrage events and centennial celebrations is about insisting on taking our place in the sun, assuming leadership, and spreading the word about how we stand on strong shoulders with not only women’s issues but our shared national activist history. Marriage equality was once thought impossible. One commentator recently called the activist who took down the Confederate flag in South Carolina as someone who had committed “patriotic civil disobedience.” Women’s suffrage history has a strong tradition of patriotic protest. We can connect the past and present and future by supporting efforts to build sustainable lifestyles and practices necessary for life in the 21st century and beyond. We’re moving mountains, but we can’t take anything for granted yet. Let’s make the most of every door that opens to us. We can sail through the challenging times ahead if we pull together. We’re on our way. Onward!

Suffrage CentennialsimagesFollow SuffrageCentennials.com on Facebook page, Twitter, email subscription, and the Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. Plan for your suffrage centennial event. And don’t forget to pass on women’s suffrage storytelling to the next generation. Suffrage Centennial videos on Vimeo.

Suffrage Centennials News Notes Roundup

CentennialSliderThe National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites (NCWHS) and the National Women’s History Project (NWHP) have joined forces to create a national clearinghouse for information on state woman suffrage celebrations leading up to the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution on August 26, 2020. Such an effort will culminate in the creation of a nationwide woman suffrage trail highlighting the role of each state in the 72-year struggle from 1848 to 1920. The NCWHS and NWHP invite state governments, as well as women’s groups and history organizations, from across the nation to join this effort. The call also includes identifying women’s history sites. For more information, contact Pam Elam at plelam@aol.com.

The Suffrage2020 Listserv has valuable information that will be delivered to you personally by email if you sign up. In a recent bulletin there’s a suffrage centennial timeline, women’s suffrage resources, and news about a new document listing Women’s Heritage/History Trails and Tours around the nation. Post to Suffrage2020 by sending an email with your message to Suffrage2020@thezahnisers.com.

To celebrate the centennial of the White House picketing for woman suffrage that began in January of 1917, the editors of Women and Social Movements in the United States invite women’s history faculty, students and independent scholars to join a crowdsourcing experiment.

Historian Jill Zahniser compiled extensive information about women suffrage picketers and their supporters that was published as a database in the March 2015 issue of WASM. Women from 35 states and the District of Columbia are represented in the database. Zahniser has launched this project by constructing the database and writing 500-word biographical sketches of six women activists. Another 28 already have biographical sketches in Notable American Women. Biographical sketches of the remaining 190 picketers and their supporters are needed for whom there are no authoritative biographical sketches. Twenty educators in U.S. women’s history have volunteered to mentor students in their classes between now and June 2017 in the methods of researching and writing these remaining biographical sketches. Are you a graduate student or independent scholar who would volunteer to write one or two of these sketches?

Jill Zahniser will edit these new suffragist sketches and they will be published in the fall 2017 issue of Women and Social Movements in the United States. If you don’t have access to this journal, access to the excel spreadsheet which contains this database and related files from the project will be provided. Contact WASM co-editor, Tom Dublin at tdublin@binghamton.edu.

Suffrage CentennialsimagesFollow SuffrageCentennials.com on Facebook page, Twitter, email subscription, and the Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. Plan for your suffrage centennial event.

Suffrage centennial planning is taking off in New York State

New York is getting ready for its 2017 suffrage centennial on Vimeo.

New York State is humming with women’s suffrage centennial planning activity. There’s the recent bill establishing a state suffrage centennial commission that’s now on its way to the NYS Assembly. New York City is buzzing with suffrage centennial planners active, organizations looking ahead, and citizens involved with their share of the action.

There’s considerable activity underway in NYC to celebrate the victories of the women’s suffrage movement across lines of race and class, with national landmarks (the Statue of Liberty, Fifth Avenue, Union Square) as a background for political theater and celebrations.

A fall gala in 2017 will honor NYC suffragists and feature their descendants. Sponsored by the Gotham Center for New York History, Suzanne Wasserman and Louise Bernikow are enthusiastic organizers. If you’re a descendant of a NYC suffragist, an invitation will be sent your way if you get in touch. Find out about the Suffrage Soapbox and a Facebook page, Votesforwomenny, for NYC suffrage centennial events and celebrations. Louise Bernikow (louisebernikow@gmail.com), 212-6626307, can be contacted for more information. Louise’s book, Milliners & Millionaires: New York City Women and the Fight for the Vote, will be published in 2017.

The New York State Museum will feature a special exhibit in 2017: “Votes for Women: Celebrating New York’s Suffrage Centennial” that’s scheduled to open in the fall of 2017. The state museum has acquired a series of 1917 Franklin County women’s suffrage petitions from Jean Kubaryk, a teacher at North Warren Central School District. The “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon will also be on exhibit at the state museum in 2017. The state Council for the Humanities has held workshops about funding for 2017 centennial programming and taken an active role in planning for the centennial observance.

After a year and a half of work, the NYC Parks Commissioner has approved the Central Park women’s statue project proposed to honor Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. All the details, including the location, can be found on the website www.centralparkwherearethewomen.org. Next steps include the design phase and approval by the city Public Design Commission.

Women posterThe NYC Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS) is celebrating the state’s 2017 women’s suffrage centennial by launching activities and programs from 2015 to 2020 to bring attention to New York City’s under-recognized female activists of the past and present, as well as inspiring activism. DORIS is hosting an exhibition through June 30, 2015 entitled “Women Make History: A March Through the Archives” at 31 Chambers Street in New York City. Group tours are welcome. Contact visitorcenter@records.nyc.gov for more information. There’s an evening of music, performance, art, and oratory on November 12, 2015 honoring Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s 200th birthday at Cooper Union in NYC. Tickets will go on sale in the fall. Visit the NYC link at www.WomensActivism.NYC. Follow on Twitter and Facebook. Contact Tracy Penn Sweet – tsweet@records.nyc.gov for more information.

The Central Park suffrage statue activists will be shifting into a fundraising phase to pay all costs for the proposed statue and its endowment fund. Even though the Statue Fund is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization, fundraising is challenging. So Pam Elam, President of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund, Inc., sends out the reminder: “A thanks, again, to everyone who has already endorsed the statue campaign and/or made a pledge/donation. Please help us spread the word and gain new endorsers and donors. Your help would be greatly appreciated.”

If you have specific plans for celebrations in 2017 and 2020, let us know and we’ll highlight upcoming events. We’re also gearing up for the 2020 Votes for Women national suffrage centennial. Follow Suffrage Centennials for trends, news, and views.


On July 22, 2015, join historian and singer Tisha Dolton as she leads a discussion and sing-a-long of some of the songs that helped shape the 72-year struggle for the enfranchisement of women in the US. It’s part of the Adult Summer Reading program at Rensselaer (NY) Public Library. Tisha has a new Facebook page that highlights her activities and programs.

We’ve been collecting suffrage centennial news from New York State–a sampling from our archive : #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 Stanton related events

Suffrage CentennialsimagesFollow SuffrageCentennials.com on Facebook page, Twitter, email subscription, and the Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. Plan for your suffrage centennial event.

Suffrage movement photographs help prepare us for the centennial of all suffrage centennials: 2020

Women’s Suffrage Movement Photographs from the Library of Congress enrich Suffrage Centennial Celebrations on Vimeo.

Okay, let’s say you’re open to the idea of celebrating suffrage centennials and you might even plan travel in the future. But what’s a good place to start? By checking in with the suffrage activists themselves, on the streets and in parades and at rallies and special events. They were a creative group. This is a conclusion that comes after getting to know these activists who put themselves on the line from 1848 to 1920. And as we all know, the struggle for equality continues.

If you’d been around to ask some suffrage activists why they focused only on the ballot, a puzzled expression would have spread over their faces. They’d explain that equality has always been the goal and the franchise turned out to be such a hard nut to crack, it took several generations of women to put it out of the way. The woman’s suffrage photo collection at the Library of Congress is fascinating and this is by no means the entire collection. Consider it a beginning or a refresher. And keep your eye on the prize: suffrage movement events and celebrations from now through 2020, the nation’s big celebration, the centennial of all centennials.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Link for Library of Congress photo and prints collection. Terrific suffrage collections and educational programs are available from “American Memory,” under Women’s History, including: An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera; Words and Deeds in American History: Selected Documents Celebrating the Manuscript Division’s First 100 Years; Votes for Women: Selections from the National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection, 1848-1921; Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks, 1897-1911; and American Women: A Gateway to Library of Congress Resources for the Study of Women’s History and Culture in the United States.

Thanks for this information roundup to Robert P.J. Cooney Jr., historian and author of “Winning the Vote: The Triumph of the American Woman Suffrage Movement” an illustrated reference book that can inspire your pilgrimage or journey to historic sites, suffrage events and centennial celebrations.

Suffrage CentennialsimagesFollow SuffrageCentennials.com on Facebook page, Twitter, email subscription, and the Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. Plan for your suffrage centennial event.

Suffrage Centennials won first prize as nonprofit blog!

SuffrageCentennials.com was showered with attention by New Mexico Press Women at the organization’s annual conference and awards banquet on April 25, 2015 with a first-place award as a non-profit blog. Judges said that the perspectives expressed on Suffrage Centennials represent a “great introduction” to the subject of the women’s suffrage movement and the upcoming centennial celebrations, as well as being “a great topic” in its own right.  NMPW is New Mexico’s largest inclusive media organization.

The year, 2020, is the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Prepare now for the celebration.

Suffrage CentennialsimagesFollow SuffrageCentennials.com on Facebook page, Twitter, email subscription, and the Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos. Plan for your suffrage centennial event in 2020.

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.

imagesSuffrageCentennials.com has a Facebook page, in addition to Twitter, email subscription, and a Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up for email on this web page. Stay up to date with postings, audio podcasts, and videos.

Countdown to the 2020 suffrage centennial

On Women’s Equality Day, Vision 2020 held a “Toast to Tenacity” at the Independence Visitors Center at Fifth and Market Streets in Philadelphia, PA. Vision 2020 is counting down to the suffrage centennial in 2020. One of its new initiatives is the online “Doctor or Doctress?” online exhibit, one of many initiatives in preparation for the 2020 votes for women suffrage centennial. Vision 2020, a national organization, is based in Philadelphia. It’s working to achieve women’s economic and social equality by the year 2020, the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution that granted women the right to vote. Vision 2020 delegates have been appointed in all 50 states for this important votes for women celebration. For more information.

Follow the Suffrage Centennial blog with email or Twitter for news and events. Send us event announcements.