Tag Archive | Woodstock women

Suffrage centennial road trip & campaign to restore suffrage movement silent film!

Suffrage Envoys, v. 3

Author Anne Gass set out on September 21, 2015 for a Sara Bard Field cross-country trip for woman suffrage that will continue through November 19, 2015. She left from San Francisco headed for Auburn, then Reno, and onto Salt Lake City, Midvale, Utah and then will drive across Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Chicago, Ohio, and then upstate New York where she’ll visit Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, and Albany. She’ll be in Wilmington, Baltimore and finally Washington D.C., and finally arriving in November 16 for several nights before returning home to Maine. Travel can be unpredictable, as Sara Bard Field and her companions often found before the construction of modern highway networks. You can follow the road trip online.

The trip traces suffragist and poet Sara Bard Field’s cross-country automobile trip that carried a petition from the Panama Pacific Exposition to President Woodrow Wilson demanding the 19th Amendment to the constitution. Anne is seeking more information and artifacts from the historic journey, which was sponsored by Alice Paul’s Congressional Union (later the National Woman’s Party) and was met by a large demonstration in Washington D.C. 100 years ago.

"Mothers of Men"

Mothers of Men, a melodrama made in 1917, one the few surviving women’s suffrage films, stars Dorothy Davenport. Made just three years before the 19th Amendment, the production attempted to show the nation how strong women could be if allowed to hold political office. The only known film elements are held outside the United States and have been deteriorating to the point that it is imperative to begin the restoration. Donations are requested. For more information.

IN OTHER NEWS: The Honorable Margaret Milner Richardson received the Silent Sentinel award on September 17, 2015 from the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial project. Elizabeth Crawford continues with her blogging in anticipation of “Suffragette” film from the UK. New Zealand suffrage petition with 24,000 names available online. Continuing coverage of Woodstock, NY town board resolution supporting 2017 and 2020 suffrage centennials that shares local women’s history with a broader audience (Women in Black). Book for young people about Silent Sentinels and the picketing of the White House. U.S. suffrage martyr Inez Milholland honored on National Voter Registration Day. Follow 2016 Inez Milholland centennial on Twitter. Suffrage Wagon Cooking School celebrates its first birthday. Fundraising for the proposed statue of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in Central Park continues. Susan B. Anthony Museum and House 2015-2016 lecture series announced.

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.

The Women in Black, 25+ years of peaceful vigils move toward a centennial observance!

Women in Black, 2015. Photo: Olivia Twine.This feature is part of a continuing series of articles highlighting women’s history of Woodstock, NY that was reinforced by a resolution of the town board in August 2015. Woodstock became the first community in New York State to officially honor its women’s history in support of the upcoming 2017 state suffrage centennial and the nation’s 2020 suffrage centennial. Woodstock’s Women in Black parallels the dramatic visual rhetoric of the American suffrage movement as their peaceful vigil heads in the direction of a centennial observance in the future. Olivia Twine’s articles and photographs about women’s history appear in local, regional, and New York State publications.

by Olivia Twine

Their numbers vary, but a contingent of the international movement for peace, Women in Black, have been demonstrating on the Woodstock, New York village green almost every Sunday afternoon since the first Iraq war began in 1991. For the first few years, and even on the coldest of winter days, the women (and occasionally a man or two) stood, mostly alone, holding their signs. As Woodstock’s popularity as a tourist destination revived in recent years, the stalwart group became part of a scene as busy as a Bruegel painting and only slightly less sensual. When controversies sharpen with crises in the Middle East, the women are occasionally confronted by (mostly men) demonstrating in support of war.

“WE STAND UP IN SILENCE,” EXPLAINS RENEE ENGLANDER

The women activists are well-versed in political history, and they don’t pontificate. “We stand up in silence,” said Renee Englander, a participant in the Woodstock group since the beginning. “We are silent because words cannot express the tragedy of war and hatred. The message of peace is not difficult to understand.”

Although they don’t engage in political discussion, literature is available to explain the positions and the history of Women in Black. The movement originated in Jerusalem in January 1988 when a group of Israeli women courageously stood together at a busy intersection to protest the occupation of Palestine. They drew inspiration for a public vigil from the mothers of Argentina who circled the main square carrying pictures of their missing loved ones and for wearing black from the South African Black Sash movement in opposition to apartheid.

OCCUPANTS OF THE WOODSTOCK VILLAGE GREEN REPRESENT PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE

“Solidarity vigils” sprang up in other countries. By 1990, the Women in Black had gained a reputation as a movement of women of conscience of all nationalities and denominations who advocate for justice, civil society, and peaceful co-existence. They stand against policies that kill, destroy cities, force migration, and annihilate human relations. “We oppose all forms of local and global violence: war, terrorism, inter-ethnic conflict, militarism the arms industry, nuclear weapons, racism, neo-Nazism, violence against women, and violence in neighborhoods,” the literature states.

One recent weekend, Englander was among several women demonstrating adjacent to Grandpa Woodstock, a living symbol of the post-Woodstock Festival era now available for photo ops. The weekly drum circle was getting started. An informal procession of young folks pranced to the beat on their way to the bus stop. The crowd of weekend visitors waiting for transport back to New York City gathered across the street, a built-in audience for activities on the Green. A photographer focused on Grandpa Woodstock as I angled to photograph the Women In Black. (It’s difficult to get a shot without backing into traffic or standing across the street and including cars in the frame.)

OTHER ADVOCATES TAKE UP POSITION TO PRESENT A FUTURE VISION

A photo of Grandpa Woodstock appeared a few days later in the New York Times, accompanied a September 4 article by Corey Kilgannon highlighting the irony of the Woodstock Nation era which represented the mutual sharing of resources now marketed to promote commercial success for the town.

Grandpa Woodstock expresses those humanitarian values to anyone who wants to listen. Does that idea attract visitors, or is it the accompanying suggestion of life as a timeless party? It’s all good as long as activists like Women In Black, who share a commitment to justice and a world free of violence, are able to share their vision of peace, compassion, and justice. On Saturdays, their place is taken by a Mennonite group known as Families for Peace. On balance, the Woodstock Village Green is a peaceful place which represents the town, standing side by side with commercialism.

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.

Woodstock, NY: The town that loves its women! Resolution supports suffrage centennial celebrations!

Watch the Video

Woodstock, New York: Traveling to this distinct Hudson Valley town! on Vimeo.

The town of Woodstock, NY is planning special events during 2016 to honor its women’s history and prepare for the state’s 2017 suffrage centennial. Consider Woodstock as a travel destination!

On August 11, 2015 the Woodstock, NY town board unanimously passed a resolution to support New York State’s 2017 suffrage centennial by making a priority of sharing the story of Woodstock women with a larger audience. The resolution sketched out a plan for the town to promote and participate in the state’s centennial observance by sponsoring events and making a priority of educating the public about Woodstock’s women and how New York State is the “Cradle” of the U.S. women’s rights movement in the United States.

The Woodstock town board resolution expands local public support for the state centennial in 2017. Woodstock joins New York City which has made a similar commitment to the 2017 centennial through its Department of Records and Information Services. The city agency has plans to sponsor suffrage-related events and exhibits from now through 2020, the nation’s observance of 100 years of American women voting. During its 2015 session, both houses of the NYS Legislature passed bills to create a state suffrage centennial commission for 2017.

WOODSTOCK, NY TOWN BOARD RESOLUTION, 2015.

Resolution passed August 11, 2015: To Mobilize Recognition of Woodstock Women during the year 2017 and from now through 2020 to celebrate the New York State and National Suffrage Centennials.

“WHEREAS Woodstock, New York has a long tradition of artistic, literary and activist expression by women, and New York State is considered the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the United States, and WHEREAS 2017 is the centennial observance of the 1917 victory of women winning voting rights in New York State; and WHEREAS 2020 is the National centennial observance of the ratification of the19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that guaranteed American women the right to vote;

 “AND WHEREAS local exhibits, programs, events and celebrations pertaining to women and their campaigns for equal rights contribute to overall happiness, raise spirits and morale, and contribute to local economic development through sustainable cultural heritage tourism and affirm the community’s commitment to equality that is part of our town history and heritage;

“BE IT RESOLVED that the Town of Woodstock, New York prepare for the State 2017 and National 2020 women’s suffrage centennial celebrations by encouraging individuals and businesses, arts, cultural, governmental, service and political organizations and groups to plan and coordinate events pertaining to women and their accomplishments to be held during the years 2017 and from now through 2020, in addition to participating in regional and statewide networks promoting such initiatives, including the New York State Path Through History tourism network.”

THE WORD GETS AROUND: Hudson Valley Magazine. New York History blog.

Other SuffrageCentennials travel suggestions!

Combine Travel with Cultural Heritage Tourism on Vimeo.

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.