Women are rising all over the world. Join the demonstration of women and the men who love them. Visit Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Thursday, February 14, 2013 and be part of our virtual party during One Billion Rising.
Women are rising all over the world. Join the demonstration of women and the men who love them. Visit Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Thursday, February 14, 2013 and be part of our virtual party during One Billion Rising.
They called her Aunt Susan and she had so many adopted nieces, people couldn’t keep count. That’s why this post features a ten-minute audio clip from “Jailed for Freedom” by Doris Stevens, published back in Grandmother Edna’s day, that gives you a feeling of almost being there.
Susan B. Anthony died before the ratification of the 19th amendment that gave women the right to vote in 1920. So when August 26th comes around this year, at a time when people aren’t usually thinking about Aunt Susan, consider the possibility of having a party. There are lessons to be learned by putting on a skit about Susan. How about courage? Vision. Inner strength. She had her eye on the prize of women voting and wouldn’t give up. These themes are eternal.
I didn’t even have a script when I directed and produced my own Susan skit back in 2010. I went to the primary sources, lifted lines straight from the record, recruited the cast, and everyone had a blast with dress ups. The audience got the point.
So if you’ve been toying with the idea of putting on a program for August 26th (Women’s Equality Day) or a special fundraiser or other event for your friends, organization, or club, try Susan B. Anthony’s arrest in 1872 and her trial for voting. The trial was a hit at the Susan B. Anthony birthday party I organized in February of 2010, and it’s especially relevant for other special events because it’s an example of nonviolent civil disobedience. Susan was arrested for voting, and everyone knew back then that women couldn’t vote.
The audio clip on this post is a wonderful resource, plus the internet is a great resource for finding quotes from Susan, as well as her speeches, for reading out loud. Here’s Susan B.’s petition to Congress in January of 1874. And resources from Susan’s trial record. Think about it! It’s a great way to introduce young people to Aunt Susan and there are great parts: Susan, the officer who arrests her, the district attorney, and the judge. Drama, conflict, plenty of action. Great lines.
Now –see how you do on a quiz about Susan B. Anthony.
Alice Paul is finally getting the recognition she deserves. Yet, during her lifetime she wasn’t interested in glory. She kept her eye on the prize: women’s rights and the vote. This video fills in a great deal. And keep in mind that author Mary Walton never heard of Alice Paul before a newspaper editor brought Paul to her attention. Meanwhile, this interview highlights where Walton calls Paul “the most overlooked civil rights leader of the 20th century.”
Sit down in your favorite lawn chair for a little over ten minutes and sip some iced tea. Find out about a little-known story involving Susan B. Anthony and the 4th of July. Doris Stevens wrote this splendid piece in 1920. It’s the first chapter of her book, “Jailed for Freedom,” and you can listen to it right now. This reading is in the public domain and brought to the Suffrage Wagon News Channel by LibriVox.
Meanwhile, back on the suffrage campaign trail, the women worked day and night, weekends and holidays. This 1912 article from my grandmother Edna’s suffrage movement archive gives the details of the work. The suffragists were frequently accused of being emotional about the issue of Votes for Women. The reporter Cora E. Morlan includes Dr. Anna Howard Shaw’s story of 15,000 men at a convention in Baltimore putting on a show or what she termed a “wild demonstration.” Now, who’s emotional?
This is a reminder about the Kickstarter campaign for the suffrage documentary ends Friday afternoon, June 3rd. And this posting has some interesting web pages to look at after you’ve visited the Kickstarter site.
The suffrage movement was coming into its own at the time of film and moving pictures. Here’s a link to a suffrage video gallery. Enjoy!
If you aren’t aware of the Susan B. Anthony handbag, this article from the New York Times will bring you up to date. And if you’ve ever wondered about suffrage collectables, Legacy America lays out what’s available and what it costs.
I stand on strong shoulders when remembering the suffragists’ persistence. When suff lobbyist Maude Younger approached Senator Irvine Lenroot in the halls of Congress, he snapped at her: “Nagging. If you women would only stop nagging.”
Maude also had a sense of humor about her determination. She described Senator Thomas Martin as someone who “…would not sit down and talk suffrage, nor would he stand up and talk it. The only way to discuss suffrage with Senator Martin was to run beside him down the hall.” She said that talking suffrage with the senator was “very good exercise.” Maude was well known for her card index of representatives which turned out to be a very effective and not-so-secret advantage when lobbying.
NOW, BACK TO REALITY. There are 23 days left and the Kickstarter project is only 16 percent funded. The clock is ticking!
I need you to pledge to fund the completion of the film project I started last year. There’s a goal of $5,000 for polishing the editing, adding some more material, and getting the news out into the world. No money changes hands until we’ve reached the goal in early June. A lot of work has gone into this so far. And BTW, the Kickstarter boots are in your size!
Bonnie Smith of Boston, MA says she may not be related to the American suffragists by family, but she’s related “profoundly in spirit.” Bonnie has a great web site worth checking out, an ebook about how to create a women’s history trail in your community, and an enthusiasm that won’t quit.
She says: “I recently gave a walking tour in downtown Boston of women’s history sites for an international group of women economists who were attending a conference at Simmons College. It changed my life, and every talk or tour I have given ever since.
“These women were from all over the world, including parts of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. They asked very specific questions about tactics, how things worked (courts, government, etc.). They wanted to know exactly how people got it done. I suddenly realized that I WAS TALKING TO THE LUCY STONES OF THESE COUNTRIES. They wanted to know tactics and strategy and they need the support of the global female community.
“I believe that we Americans have a special responsibility to support reformers and revolutionaries. . . I believe strongly that ‘our’ stories are inspiring to the world. Despite all of our issues, people do still look to America for inspiration. I would love to see more of ‘our’ suffragists promoted on international sites.”
Bonnie’s perspective on why the story of the 19th amendment isn’t better known is worth checking out: “We still suffer with backlash, with a lack of understanding about the word ‘feminist,’ and with too many people — including the media — promoting the notion that we are in a post-feminist age — which is ridiculous. The big challenge, though, is to teach this information in ways that are inspiring and relevant — to connect the dots to today. All too often, this information is presented in a strident, preachy way and it really doesn’t have to be! These are very inspiring stories of smarts, tactics, courage, and stick-to-it-iveness.”
Visit the web site for Bonnie’s suggestions on how your business can celebrate Women’s History Month.
Selection below from the International Women’s Day web site:
“. . . International Women’s Day is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.”
On International Women’s Day, Dr. Ida Lichter reminds us to remember and support today’s “new suffragists” in her op-ed piece. Ida Lichter is the author of Muslim Women Reformers: Inspiring Voices Against Oppression.
Help us stand on the shoulders of courageous, determined women whose insistence on winning the right to vote carried forward the ideals of this country’s founders. Play an important part in telling the story through the Kickstarter campaign, “Hitch a Ride on the ‘Spirit of 1776.’” Make sure that an important part of our nation’s history isn’t forgotten. Back the work in progress about my grandmother who represents the thousands of women who persisted until Votes for Women was won. No money changes hands unless we reach our goal. Get on the bandwagon now! It’s Women’s History Month and there’s no time like the present.
I wrote this award-winning story about how my grandmother (Edna Buckman Kearns) risked her life for Votes for Women; it takes us back to 1915. And what a great way to kick off the many activities of Women’s History Month! Accompanying this tale is a contribution by Tara Bloyd, Edna’s great granddaughter, who seasons the story with her favorite corn soup recipe. My grandmother Edna canned fruits and vegetables and made jam to raise money for the women’s suffrage movement. While our family saved some of Edna’s plates and dishes, the most prized possession is Edna’s canned corn which is featured in the story.
It’s going to be a busy month for me as I join up with musician Gerri Gribi who’s bringing her autoharp and mountain dulcimer to the Santa Fe area for a whirlwind performance tour to celebrate Women’s History Month. She’ll be singing and I’ll tell stories about my grandmother, Edna Buckman Kearns. Gerri and I will be at the New Mexico School for the Arts, on KSFR radio with Diego Mulligan, the featured guests at a Saturday, March 5th meeting of the Santa Fe chapter of the American Association of University Women, as well as presenting a special program and afternoon tea party on Sunday, March 6th for the Abiquiu Library and Cultural Center. Later in the month, there’s a women’s history program for federal employees in Albuquerque. I’ll be breathless and exhausted by the end of March!
Listen to the band play “Fall in Line” (Suffrage March) composed by Zena S. Hawn. This tune was at the top of the program at a special tea held on February 9, 1915 to celebrate the birthdays of Susan B. Anthony and Dr. Anna Howard Shaw. My grandmother was one of about 30 women on the planning committee for the event at the Hotel Biltmore in New York City. I used the 1915 program as a guide for planning a Susan B. Anthony party in Santa Fe during February. Birthday parties and elegant teas in honor of suffrage leaders were common during the women’s suffrage movement, and we’re falling in line by carrying on the tradition. Celebrate Women’s History Month by having a party with your friends and organization. A teapot, some tea and cookies. That’s all it takes. If you’re looking for a program, rent “Not For Ourselves Alone” which is about Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. It’s also available on Netflix instant play. Screen it in advance. Roll out the tea and sweets and have a great time!
Speaking from soap boxes in the street wasn’t an activity without its risks, as is noted by this June 30, 1914 New York Times article about an associate of my grandmother, Martha Klatschken, who had cold water dumped on her head when she was out advocating for Votes for Women at Twelfth Street and Avenue B in NYC.
With the observance of Martin Luther King Day this week, there’s also an awareness of other civil rights movements in the U.S., including the woman’s suffrage movement.
Below: Go to the web site about Elizabeth Freeman for more information: www.elizabethfreeman.org
I’m planning a Susan B. Anthony birthday celebration next month. More about this soon! And there’s news from Velya Jancz-Urban who always wanted a “Votes for Women” tea pot to go with her china set that has been stored away. Here’s what she said about it. Now the entire set will be coming out of storage just in time for afternoon tea party season. February 15th is Susan B. Anthony’s birthday and a perfect opportunity for Velya to use the “Votes for Women” dish set, which by the way, is available at the gift shop at the Susan B. Anthony House, among other places. Photo: Velya opens her teapot gift during the holidays.
My grandmother Edna worked with suffrage leader Alice Paul on the national campaign to win Votes for Women.
It’s the goal of many Americans to have the day of January 11th (Alice Paul’s birthday) designated as a national holiday. Have you signed the petition? Have you thought about planning high tea during 2011 for your friends or organization as a way to talk about the issues?
Take a look at this video piece about Alice that was produced by the Alice Paul Institute. They have ecards that you can send to friends and associates . . . for example, “You have a voice. Thank Alice.” “You can speak up. Thank Alice.” Author Mary Walton calls Alice Paul “the most overlooked American civil rights leader of the 20th century.” One source worth checking out is an Alice Paul interview conducted by Amelia Fry that’s available online.
Women throughout the world who are struggling for recognition, participation in the political process –and freedom in general– they are the new suffragists. Someone to be acknowledged in this area is Ida Lichter, a psychiatrist who lives in Sydney, Australia. Her recent book, Muslim Women Reformers: Inspiring Voices Against Oppression, is a carefully researched and illuminating account of what Ida calls “the new suffragists” of today. I highly recommend it.
In a recent email exchange, Ida and I discussed the link between the U.S. suffrage movement and the “new suffragists.” Ida said: “Although there are different campaigns for equal rights in a variety of Muslim countries, I was struck by the passion, courage and determination of many women reformers to achieve equality with men by focusing on the injustice of discriminatory laws. They utilize scholarly exegesis to unmask the egalitarianism they believe to be inherent in the Koran but expunged by a patriarchal, tribal reading. Like the suffragists, they aim to achieve enfranchisement and equal rights, and many women, particularly in Iran, have taken part in well-organized peaceful protests and a One Million Signatures Campaign, risking injury, arrest and detention. They also want an end to the infantilization and idealization that characterized misogyny in the West for centuries and is still prevalent in many Muslim societies. In their quest, they embrace a historic revision of the patriarchy and a new definition of Muslim women by women.”
Ida is on Twitter and I’ve been following her recent posts so that our rich history and tradition can be linked to those struggling in the world today. It’s possible to offer much-needed support inspired by the “Spirit of 1776.”
Check out this three-minute podcast that’s a selection from an interview with performer Gerri Gribi in the “Votes for Women Salon” series. She believes that history is taught in the context of war, not movements for peaceful nonviolent social change, which is one reason why the story of the 19th amendment hasn’t been given its due. The suffrage movement was the fulfillment of the promise of 1776 where the country’s founders declared that all men were created equal. Women wanted to be part of the political process, and they banded together to win the vote.
Find out more about Gerri Gribi online. Stay tuned for other points of view about why the story of the 19th amendment has been lost. What do you think?
The song “Sister Suffragette” in a clip from the 1964 Disney film Mary Poppins represents an introduction to women’s history for many. It has been used in lesson plans, as well as to refer to the English suffrage movement. It’s worth revisiting the scene through YouTube: “Sister Suffragete Sing Along,” the written lyrics, or a more sober clip of news commentary such as “Who were the suffragettes?”
This “Sixty-Second History Lesson” highlights how suffragist Alice Paul took up the challenge of organizing a Votes for Women parade in 1913 in the nation’s capitol. It was a delicate, and some would say an impossible task–to organize a successful parade as the city geared up for the inauguration of a U.S. president, Woodrow Wilson.
Alice’s intention was, not only for the parade to be politically effective, but for it to be an art form. Paul’s intention was described in a letter to a friend: ”Therefore, while we want, of course, marchers, above all things, we are endeavoring to make the procession a particularly beautiful one, so that it will be noteworthy on account of its beauty even if we are not able to make it so on account of its numbers.” The beauty and art of the parade were set into motion, but as it turned out – the city and its inhabitants weren’t in the mood to respond in quite the way Alice Paul had imagined.
Relationships between men and women have been getting a lot of play. At a TED conference in Washington this week, the speakers lined up to present a wide range of points of view. Conference speaker Hannah Rosin noted that the present time is “an unprecedented moment when the power dynamics between men and women are shifting.” Women constitute the majority of the work force and they dominate the professions of medicine, the law and accounting, she said. The entire CNN article has a lineup of surprising perspectives worth checking out.
Susan B. Anthony: “We little dreamed when we began this contest, optimistic with the hope and buoyancy of youth, that half a century later we would be compelled to leave the finish of the battle to another generation of women. But our hearts are filled with joy to know that they enter upon this task equipped with a college education, with business experience, with the fully admitted right to speak in public –all of which were denied to women fifty years ago. They have practically but one point to gain –the suffrage; we had all. These strong, courageous, capable young women will take our place and complete our work. There is an army of them where we were but a handful.”
The day the mountains move has come/ I speak, but no one believes me./ For a time the mountains have been asleep,/ But long ago they all danced with fire. / It doesn’t matter if you believe this, / My friend, as long as you believe:/All the sleeping women / Are now awake and moving. Yosano Akiko (Japan, 1911).
If a national holiday is designated for suffragist Alice Paul, she will be the first woman honored by a national holiday. Help get the movement going with an online petition. Many people across the nation are remembering the Night of Terror. Sign the petition and spread the word.
“American women have enormous power at their fingertips. . . They have more skill, more wealth, more political and consumer clout than ever before in history. More power, if and when we choose to use it. That’s the punch line. Can we bring ourselves to recognize our common interest as women, and wield power on the basis of it?”
Susan Estrich, from Sex & Power
There’s a buzz about women’s suffrage. Amazement about Alice Paul. A huge celebration in Washington State. Reviews, commentary. Check it out and appeciate all the time it took to do this wrap up of the Iron Jawed Angels spirit that’s out there. It takes time to link up with what’s being said and this is about the last time I’ll do it…if only to make the point that appreciation and recognition of the suffrage movement is the Talk of the Town.
Contemporary ecofashion inspired by suffrage movement. Commentary about League of Women Voters. Reflections on Alice Paul and associates. Blog entry by Utah woman. Commentary from England. Elizabeth Cady Stanton not a happy camper on her birthday. Remembering Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Washington State celebrates 100 years of women voting. Touring theatrical company performs play about suffrage movement in Washington State. Suffrage movement source of pride in Washington State. People agreed to share power in Washington State. “Oh, the women are coming to Seattle.” Long overdue recognition of Anna Ella Carroll. British suffrage movement referred to in article about digital activism. Remembering Jeanette Rankin. Abigail Smith Adams bio, plus suffrage photos and books. Women in the U.S. Senate. Suffrage movement cited by John McCain’s daughter. Internet radio interview about the suffrage movement and Alice Paul. Listen online. The ups and downs of the American suffrage movement. Low moments during the 2010 elections. More about the celebration in Washington State. Votes for Women Tea Towel. Appreciation expressed to suffragists and their sacrifices. Anthony arrested for voting. Reflections on election day. Inspired by “Iron Jawed Angels.”
So what’s the big deal with a suffrage wagon? And what is it anyway? Something kids drag along the sidewalk for play? You’d be surprised how often the question is asked, and you’d think I might have called the blog something else. But a suffrage campaign wagon is what it is. Horse-drawn wagons were used by the women in the US suffrage movement in parades, in community tours, as a speakers’ platform and as a symbol of their work. Photos of suffrage campaign wagons show up in the collections of the Library of Congress, Bryn Mawr College, among other places. They were used to draw attention to the issues. And it was big news when women driving wagons such as these with signs traveled from place to place to drum up action.
The suffrage campaign wagons were generally pressed into service for the cause, and then they returned to being bread or milk wagons or whatever function they might have served previously. Few, if any, suffrage wagons survived. And if nothing else, they remain as a symbol of the extensive grassroots organizing of the turn of the century. Why should anyone care? That’s a good question. Because today we stand on the shoulders of strong people who worked their fingers to the bone to bring us the vote. Social movements are documented through photos, letters, organizational records and so on. But it’s difficult to produce an experience of having touched the movement and a period of time of our history. When we have an example of a suffrage wagon to touch and feel, it’s a treasure.
The Associated Press published an article, “Sexism Still a Problem for Women Seeking office” that highlights the attacks on women running for political office that the writer, David Crary, pointed out went beyond the boundaries of ordinary political attacks and what he described were gender specific. It’s worth checking out.
Beyond that, these attacks are reminiscent of the woman’s suffrage movement when suffragists were called on the carpet for not taking care of their families and daring to leave the safety of the home where they belonged. In my grandmother Edna Kearns’ papers, there are various references to this, such as when she marched in parades in Washington, DC and New York City where such taunts from the sidelines were common.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Material Mama blog and commentary about the history of voting. Digitized copy of The Woman’s Bible. Colorado women voted ahead of the country. Lucy Hayes on stage. Women shouldn’t give away their power. Book on women in the South. Historians remember harsh history of woman’s suffrage. Remember the past to shape the future.
Plans for a national suffrage memorial at Occoquan Regional Park in Lorton, Va. are underway to bring recognition to the woman’s suffrage movement. Finally! The conceptual design for the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial has been unveiled. Fundraising is underway. Design features for the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial include: Entrance Plaza Gates duplicating the White House gates where suffragists stood as “silent sentinels” in protest and held “watchfire for freedom” rallies. Commemorative Banners anchoring the entrance, replicating those carried by the suffragists. A Memorial Cascade and Waterfall emanating from a wall mounted with more than 120 stainless steel plaques that identify the women incarcerated for the cause and copy the design of the “jailed for freedom” pin that was presented to them by Alice Paul. A Footbridge Into A Memorial Meditation Garden symbolizing the crossing over and/or advancement of the movement and signifying the continuing push for equality. Nineteen Interactive Vignettes along a winding path that will provide the history of the suffragist movement and the story of the women held at the Occoquan Workhouse.
Historians with the Sewall Belmont House and a Smithsonian curator are participating in the creation of the vignettes. The memorial is expected to cost between two and four million dollars and the goal is to have the memorial built by the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment in August of 2020. The memorial’s organizers have a online newsletter and ambitious ideas.
Women remember the jailing of suffragists. “Iron Jawed Angels” is still being talked about. College student speaks about apathy and the value of voting. Reflections on Alice Paul. Washington State resident shares about her great-grandmother who was a suffragist. One hundred years of voting in Washington State. Scholar and biographer discusses Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Newspaper columnist reviews the history of women voting. British women use 1912 suffrage theatre performance as a fundraiser. New Mexico had a woman governor for two weeks in 1924. A detailed Woman’s Suffrage Timeline.
In other news, the League of Women Voters of Saratoga County (NY) is holding a celebration of the 90th anniversary of woman’s suffrage on Friday, November 12, 2010 (7:30-9:30 p.m.) at the Saratoga Music Hall at City Hall, 474 Broadway. There will be a dramatic reading of the “Declaration of Sentiments” written by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and read by Coline Jenkins, the great great granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The 19th amendment to the US Constitution, written by Susan B. Anthony, will be read by Shirley Anthony Carman and Beverly Marx, first cousins, four times removed from Susan B. Anthony. There will be a champagne toast to the suffragists, a musical tribute, and food. $20 members and $25 non members.
The suffrage wagon is a back door opening to the subject of a grand period of our history: the struggle for Votes for Women. Judging by the number of mentions about the suffrage movement, as seen online, the level of interest is increasing. Here are some recent highlights:
One Washington county honors its suffragists. College student reports on reflections about voting in light of the sacrifices made by the suffragists she studied in Beverly, MA. Review of the book, The Feminist Promise. A quick lesson on the American Woman Suffrage Association. A teachable moment (one hour and fifteen minutes) about Alice Paul and the passage of the 19th amendment. “Woman’s Suffrage: I had no idea.” The discovery of women’s history and Alice Paul in a blog called “Mom2Mom.” British women activists connect their present-day struggle with the suffrage movement.
Philadelphia Inquirer review of a new book about Alice Paul by Mary Walton. Review in a New Jersey paper. Columnist Jack Levine writes about his grandmother voting and her involvement in the suffrage movement. Susan B. Anthony letter on sale for $15,000. News article about how women’s history doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. US president Obama mentions woman’s suffrage in a September 29th speech. Program features suffragist in Massachusetts program. In New York program.
People are interested in the history of woman’s suffrage. Author Teri P. Gary is finding this out as she travels upstate New York to speak to groups about her research and the story of the movement in Washington, Warren and Saratoga Counties. She’s been at about 40 appearances during the past year and is about to take a break so she has time for writing. Her book Strength Without Compromise: Womanly Influence and Political identity in Turn-of-the-Twentieth Century Rural Upstate New York (2009) isn’t a candidate for the best-seller list. But it’s hot among certain audiences of people hungry to know more about this part of history. Teri has three more appearances scheduled:
Monday, Nov. 1 – at 7pm – Book talk and signing at the United Church in Greenwich, NY for the Washington County HIstorical Society (and is open to the public)
Sunday, Nov. 7 – (11am – 4pm – signing books all day at The Chronicle Book Fair in Glens Falls, NY at the Queensbury Hotel (this is the largest book fair in the Adirondacks!)
Saturday, Mar. 19, 2100 – 2pm – Book talk and signing at Hubbard Hall (an 1878 historic opera house) in Cambridge, NY – in conjunction with singer/songwriter Bob Warren, who will present his musical composition, “Only the Message Mattered,” about the life and work of Susan B. Anthony in the Greenwich, New York area.
Inspired by the true stories of Lucy Allen, Chloe Sisson and the Political Equality Club of small town Easton, NY, Strength Without Compromise focuses on the quest for political equality as carried out by suffragists in the rural areas of northern upstate New York at the turn of the 20th century. To order Teri’s book, contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
“They aren’t absentee –just absent” is a Newsday Op Ed piece written by Antonia Petrash about women and voting. Petrash is the director of the Glen Clove (NY) Public LIbrary, and she is writing a book about the suffrage movement on Long Island.
The grand opening of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Center in Fayetteville, New York is scheduled for the weekend of October 8-10, 2010. This is an incredible opportunity to find out more about a key suffragist in the movement, Matilda Joslyn Gage. There’s a very full weekend of activities –both educational and entertaining. Visit the newly-restored Susan B. Anthony house in Rochester, NY on a bus tour. Be part of the open house at the Gage home with special exhibits and features. Enjoy an evening of music and the special opening ceremony. For more information.
A rare and precious film clip of 1913 showing Rosalie Jones and Elisabeth Freeman leaving on a hike to Washington, DC for suffrage gives a sense of, not only their courage, but the intense interest in women voting and the need to accelerate the pressure. The story in my family was that my grandmother, Edna Buckman Kearns, planned to take the wagon, the “Spirit of 1776,” on the long trip with Rosalie and Elisabeth, but she backed out at the last minute for health reasons. Edna went to the big march in Washington, but couldn’t commit to the long ordeal of the hikers underwent.
Edna, her husband Wilmer Kearns and their daughter Serena Kearns accompanied Rosalie Jones and Elisabeth Freeman on the 1914 hike to Albany in January, no small accomplishment. Hiking as a media event in the suffrage movement received considerable publicity.
On the 90th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, the newspaper covering Nassau County on Long Island featured Edna Kearns and a roundup of the number of women holding elected positions on Long Island. Check it out! I’m sure Edna thought it perfectly reasonable that Rockville Centre, where she lived, should have a woman mayor, Mary Bossart. While an accomplishment, it should be noted that Mary Bossart was elected in 2007 as the first woman mayor for Rockville Centre. She served as a village trustee for eight years.
What a way to celebrate the New Year as I concentrate over the next few weeks and dive into grandmother Edna’s life and correspondence. I watched “Iron Jawed Angels” which focused on Alice Paul and others who worked their fingers to the bone for a national suffrage amendment. There were no films like this when I was growing up. And there’s another reason to celebrate. The year 2010 is the 90th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. constitution. Women worked hard and long for it. Our grandmothers and great grandmothers were in the front lines. This is a highlight of how Hollywood dealt with the issue.