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 Severance 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 activist work there earned Caroline the distinction of being a key player in the movement for equality. Attention to suffrage history is increasing as the 2020 national suffrage centennial approaches. 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. PDF.
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If you’re interested in suffrage centennials, whether for sport, pleasure, for educational purposes, a suffrage centennial gets its juice and its momentum from special observances of women’s history. The date may be different in countries around the world, but the ritual and significance is enhanced by becoming aware of Women’s History Month or other observances such as International Women’s Day. The deeper and rich significance of these celebrations is particularly meaningful when there’s a message of struggle and freedom won by women. It’s all too common for centennial celebrations to be no more than a flash in the pan in a world overrun with images and messages. Don’t lose heart. There are increasingly more events and celebrations. The internet has many resources, including an excellent resource from the Library of Congress with a teacher’s guide, primary documents, and images. This link has valuable course outlines actually used in college and university programs. Dust off your teapot and invite people over for a special tea party with home-baked goodies. Don’t let Women’s History Month (March) or International Women’s Day (March 8) pass without some special recognition!