Category Archives: women’s history

A legacy trip in the “Cradle” of the Women’s Rights Movement, plus other news

Edna on a horseThe New York History Blog featured women’s stories during March 2014, Women’s History Month. It’s a platform that welcomes news of suffrage-related events, histories and news. Check out some of the offerings, and if you aren’t following the New York History Blog, get on board.

More baby steps in the long process to win approval for the National Women’s History Museum. All members of the House Administration Committee voted in support of HR 863, this week that will move the National Women’s History Museum legislation forward. Committee Chair Candice Miller (R-MI), Ranking Member Robert Brady (D-PA), and Committee Members Phil Gingrey (R-GA) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) spoke in support of creating a commission to produce a feasible plan for a privately-funded national women’s history museum. The bill passed out of the Committee without amendments, the first step to obtaining bill passage in the House of Representatives. The House Natural Resources Committee will consider the bill next.

A four-day, three-night Susan B. Anthony Legacy Trip is scheduled from August 4 through 7, 2014, “Be Part of Her Story” includes an in-depth and behind-the-scenes exploration of Susan B. Anthony’s life, her friends and family, her times and causes, her lifetime struggle to achieve equality for everyone. Organized by The Friends of Susan B. Anthony Museum and House, the trip includes three nights lodging in a downtown Rochester hotel, transportation to all venues, seminars on topics related to the suffrage movement with experts in their fields, travel around the historic Finger Lakes region, and visits to Rochester sites of importance to the Anthonys and suffrage. The trip is limited to 40, so sign up soon! National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House, 17 Madison Street, Rochester, NY 14608.

Follow LetsRockTheCradle.com for upcoming events, action campaigns, and featured historic sites in the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the United States. In other news: There’s a new Facebook page about Matilda Joslyn Gage. The Finger Lakes Museum has appointed a new director.

Follow Suffrage Wagon for news and views of our suffrage history. 

Bonnie Smith’s tips on being interviewed about important subjects: Women’s History Month special

Bonnie Smith's tips for being interviewedBonnie Smith is nuts about history and how it can drive your business, your important causes and organizations. She has been passionate about this subject matter for years and understands that getting out the word is essential. The suffrage activists at the turn of the 20th were extremely sophisticated about the importance of the news media, and this was a new platform for the nation. Are you about to be interviewed by a reporter? It can be a bit unnerving, but here are some tips Bonnie believes will help.

* Don’t wing it! In spite of how much you know your subject, during the interview you won’t remember everything. Write down the key points you want to make, print them out, and hold the sheet of paper in front of you.

Think about the questions the reporter will ask and be prepared. There’s the specific subject of the interview, but there’s also context, information about you and/or your company, something about your own history or the history of your organization. really think it through.

An example: One of Bonnie’s clients knew Pope John Paul II, and he will be interviewed in April when the Pope is canonized. She prepared interview sheets for her client that include a chronology of his relationship with the Pope (dates and what happened when), bullet points about the Pope’s life and career, and quotes that my client has given over the years to newspapers. He will be prepared.

Your goal is to appear knowledgeable about your subject and self confident. Be prepared!

* Stand up when you talk to the reporter. It sounds simple, but people sound more alert and self confident when they speak standing up vs. sitting down!

* Get rest, go for a walk, whatever helps you be at your alert best.

* Try to be interviewed at the time of day that works best for you. See if you can work with the reporter to arrange your interview during the best time of day for you.

* Do NOT have a glass of wine or anything else to “relax you.” Believe it or not some people do this, and it’s a bad idea. It shows.

What else puts you in a good mood? Do it! You want to come across as happy and, again, self confident and knowledgeable.

Check out Bonnie’s web site and get on her email list. Make sure you hear about her latest projects and books!

 

New York State’s wagon women are Rosalie Jones, Elisabeth Freeman & Edna Kearns: a special for Women’s History Month

Rosalie Gardiner JonesThe “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage campaign wagon in the collection of the NYS Museum is a terrific jumping-off point when telling the suffrage story. New York State is not only the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the U.S., but New York has its three wagon women: Rosalie Jones, Elisabeth Freeman, and Edna Kearns. All three suffrage activists drove horse-drawn wagons on Long Island and beyond that figured prominently in suffrage activist tactics and strategies in the period from 1913 to about 1915.

Only one horse-drawn wagon used for grassroots campaigning remains from this period, and that’s the “Spirit of 1776″ used by Edna Kearns in the collection of the New York State Museum.

Rosalie and Elisabeth garnered considerable attention, especially in rural areas, when they traveled by wagon to Ohio and Washington, DC. Women traveling in a horse-drawn vehicle represented a novel attraction along the road, and it enabled face-to-face contact with many voters who otherwise would not have heard the women’s message.

See video on Rosalie Jones. Elisabeth Freeman’s great niece, Peg Johnston, has been telling Elisabeth’s story through a web site loaded with detail. Long Island historian Natalie Naylor considers suffragist Rosalie Jones one of her favorite characters from history. See Natalie Naylor’s book that features Roaslie Jones, as does the book on Long Island suffragists by Antonia Petrash.

And of course, there’s my grandmother Edna Kearns who has been inspiring me for years to learn more about the suffrage movement and spread the word through Suffrage Wagon News Channel. The great part is that Rosalie, Elisabeth and Edna worked together in the cause, and today we carry on the message of this early wave of voting activists.

They’re talking down in Washington, DC about a national women’s history museum

Congressional hearing on national women's history museumThe Committee on House Administration in the U.S. Congress held a hearing on December 11, 2013 to hear testimony about establishing a commission to study the creation of a national women’s museum in the nation’s Capitol. Online streaming brought the session to a broad audience across the country.

The Washington Post covered the hearing and published this report: #1. #2.

While this hearing represents a dramatic breakthrough for the idea of a national women’s museum whose advocates have never testified on this issue before, this campaign has a 15-year history. The testimony of three witnesses only confirmed what others have already discovered. It’s challenging to get support for women’s history and related issues. And, persistence pays off.

This is an example of how it’s necessary to work on simultaneous fronts and with partners to achieve important goals when bringing women’s history out of a dark closet where it has been on the back burner for decades.

Holiday news notes: December 2013

Follow the suffrage wagon with postings twice a week and newsletters four times a year. We also have YouTube and Vimeo channels.

Make traditional English scones: Video from Suffrage Wagon Cooking School

Scones from Suffrage Wagon Cooking SchoolAn old friend, Chef Cutting, dropped by the Suffrage Wagon Cooking School to show us how to prepare fresh English scones. Check in with the link.  He’s not only making them for Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, but also as a way to remember Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

November 12th is Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s birthday, and it’s also my mother Wilma’s birthday, Olivia Twine’s birthday, my goddaughter Alicia’s birthday, and I’m sure there are many more birthday celebrants out there.

Frederick Douglass & Susan B. AnthonyTea parties are very much part of the suffrage movement. I’ve seen photos of “Let’s Have Tea,” the statues of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony having tea, a project of the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood Association (artist Pepsy M. Kettavong) in Rochester, NY. Seeing these sculptures for myself was a highlight of the fall 2013 LetsRockTheCradle blogging tour of the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the Finger Lakes region of upstate NY. It made me think about how the month of November is a great time to dust off the old teapot, make scones from scratch and invite friends over.

These occasions are but two reasons why Chef Cutting’s instruction on English scones from Suffrage Wagon Cooking School fits perfectly into your plans to hold a tea party. And as someone with English roots himself, Chef Cutting reminds us that the English suffragettes were great tea house enthusiasts, as were their American sisters in the movement.

Suffrage Wagon Cooking School is but one reason to follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Our 4th birthday is coming soon, and we’ll be celebrating women’s freedom to vote. Also, 2013 is the centennial year of the “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage wagon’s first journey back in 1913. This year both houses of the New York State Legislature passed a resolution designating July 1, 2013 as “Wagon Day” in the State of New York. If you missed any of this news, you’ll find highlights in the Suffrage Wagon archive.

Can the Women’s Rights Trail become a reality?

by Marguerite Kearns and Olivia Twine (as published in New York History)

Street sign in Seneca Falls, NYThe federal government shutdown in Washington, DC may have dimmed the lights at the Elizabeth Cady Stanton house in Seneca Falls, NY, at the visitors’ center, Wesleyan Chapel, and other park site locations. But it didn’t deter our determination to continue on the blogging tour of the “Cradle of the Women’s Rights Movement in the US” that has kept us busy from late September into October 2013.

Seneca Falls took up most of our fourth day on this blogging tour that also included Johnstown, Fayetteville, Auburn, Rochester, and Farmington. Identifying what constitutes the “cradle” is an informal process we devised that highlights key locations of activism located in a geographic area of the Finger Lakes region in upstate New York that suggests a cradle shape.

These historic sites are within easy access of the New York State Thruway which makes the region an attractive and accessible destination for local, regional, national, and international travelers. Rest stops along the superhighway are loaded with state “Path Through History” leaflets and brochures, including one feature magazine where the photos of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony are prominently displayed.

At the present time there’s no definitive way to determine where to begin and end when navigating the “cradle.” Numerous historical sites in this region could qualify as destinations on a journey through this hotbed of free-thought movements.

3-StatueSenecaVisitorsCenter-300x160

We had to be realistic about what could be accomplished in a short time. Regular travelers would likely cover the territory more quickly and efficiently, while we lugged heavy camera equipment, lingered to photograph sites, and speak to as many people as possible along the way.

We purchased books, t-shirts, ate in local diners, and in our own way contributed to supporting the Finger Lakes region that has considerable strengths in history, arts and culture, colonial and abolitionist resources, Native American culture, an attractive landscape, and much more.

Seneca Falls, NY is a key site in the “cradle”. It’s the location of the 1848 convention that’s considered the jumping off point for the first wave of the US women’s rights movement. Other important historic sites, events, and themes are also associated with philosophical and political movements stirring the region and its residents throughout the 19th century.

Women’s rights activists were extremely active in abolition and temperance, which could have easily distracted us when our instinct was to race off in the direction of anything and everything that remotely seemed interesting. Even settling on a few representative locations still resulted in a whirlwind trip leaving us exhausted but more certain than ever about one thing.

The promotion and development of the “cradle” should be an important and essential priority for New York in its efforts to stimulate the upstate economy and lay the groundwork for a campaign to put the state in the forefront of travel destinations during the 2020 national suffrage centennial celebrating the 19th amendment to the US Constitution.

Back in 1848 there were many challenges facing the women who wrote and promoted the Declaration of Sentiments declaring that all men and women are created equal. The tasks facing those who promote the “cradle” remain equally daunting today.

Belt tightening at the Seneca Falls national park site has been ongoing for some time. Federal employees have been called upon to do more with limited resources. And uncertainty about additional funding for a Votes for Women History Trail only adds to the complexities associated with doing more for less money or nothing at all.

The Votes for Women trail is a proposed federal initiative that would highlight 20 historic sites, including many of those on our own “cradle” blogging tour this fall. In addition, New York State has an incomplete women’s heritage trail initiative that encompasses more than the suffrage movement. Funding to complete this state trail is supported by many New Yorkers, but whether or not funding is possible during future legislative sessions in Albany remains to be seen.

The creation of a federally-funded Votes for Women auto trail doesn’t involve the pouring of concrete, the construction of new roadways, the erection of bridges, or a delivery of bricks for new buildings. It remains, however, a significant undertaking that has advanced to the stakeholder criteria phase. A Votes for Women trail has the potential of manifesting the vision of a clearly-identified “cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the US. But realistically, what are its chances of success?

An optimistic interpretation of the significance of reaching the stakeholder phase is by no means assured without additional federal funding. Some commentators question if completing this stakeholder criteria phase is an identifiable accomplishment that’s able to propel a drive to attract more visitors (and new revenues) to New York. Others suggest that reaching the stakeholder phase may simply represent a dead end.

“We really don’t know what it means,” says Noemi “Ami” Ghazala, acting superintendent of the Women’s Rights National Historical Park. “The criteria may sit there for a short time or remain there for years.” When Ghazala took on the position of acting superintendent of the federal park in August of 2012, the annual Seneca Falls visitation numbers were at 20,000. In one year under Ghazala’s watch, this number has increased 40 percent to 29,000.

The increased visitation numbers involved considerable effort and outreach, Ghazala explains, including appearances in schools, state fair visitations, and a focus on increasing the numbers. When Ghazala gazes into her crystal ball to the year 2017 (the centennial of women voting in NYS), she sees support and interest in the state centennial, though how a statewide celebration will manifest is less clear.

“Whatever happens, we’ll do our best here at the park. I emphasize to groups that raise the question of a state or national centennial that it’s important to work smarter. Let’s stop duplicating our efforts. If one organization has an event, let’s all of us go to it. We can all use the support. None of us has the resources to pull off a big celebration.”

For more information about the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the United States, visit LetsRockTheCradle.com 

Photos: Street sign in Seneca Falls, NY outside the home of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Statue in national park visitors’ center. Images by Marguerite Kearns.

A visit to Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s hometown in Johnstown, NY

Nancy Brown of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Hometown AssociationBy Marguerite Kearns and Olivia Twine

It’s late afternoon in Johnstown, NY, magic hour, right before sunset when filmmakers capture the best lighting. Nancy Brown, a fifth grade teacher, is waiting to take us to the local historical society and out to dinner with three other board members of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Hometown Association.

This is the town where well-known women’s rights activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton grew up. The place is also loaded with history of the American Revolution, plus generations of tanners and workers in the glove industry who lived and worked here. We can’t get to the Johnstown Historical Society at 17 North William Street without passing sites of major historical interest. It’s as if everybody is related in some way to this historical community. It looks like classic small town America, made in America.

The Historical Society building has a front parlor room that’s devoted entirely to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, with things to die for: her piano, her chair, her father’s bookcase, her family bible. They have sleuths volunteering for the board who ferret out facts about the Cady family never known before. Elizabeth’s parents and many of her relatives are buried in the local cemetery. Local people here talk about Elizabeth Cady Stanton as if they’re related to her. And they are. Like they’re first cousins or neighbors.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton's piano

Today the activists of the local historical and hometown association understand the value of what they’ve got in their cultural heritage and they’re building it up from the grassroots.

Yet they feel there’s something lacking, despite the fact that Johnstown has the oldest working courthouse in America, the same courthouse where Elizabeth’s father was a judge. This is an area with strong women, well-known local women, including Molly Brant, Rose Knox, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and a Native American Catholic saint, Kateri Tekakwitha.

Johnstown has a strong revolutionary history, a strong labor history. By going to the next level, the two local organizations are moving into the future by developing awareness through advertizing, street signs, a social media presence, collaboration and partnering. They have organized themselves thoroughly, and the town reflects this with its banners, cell phone tour, and exhibits including one at the local bank, the site of the Cady home where Elizabeth grew up.

The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Women’s Consortium, the umbrella of women’s organizations including the hometown association, is planning a symposium in 2015 to honor the year of Cady Stanton’s 200th birthday.

And still, something is missing. Ask them what they need, and there’s no question in their minds.

“The greatest gift the State could give us would be to fund a Votes for Women history trail,” said Nancy Brown of the Hometown Association. “A trail has been established, but there’s no funding.”

And what else is missing? They say that other historical-related groups located in the “cradle” are worthy, energetic, and well organized, but there’s no unity among the separate organizations. These associations of people may work together and share information, but there’s a recognized need to make a focused effort to get a trail funded that would be good for the state and visitors on a number of levels.

Emphasized Helen Martin of the historical society: “Money for a historical trail is desperately needed. Money –that’s the biggest gift the state could give us. There’s so much potential, like I could see a big convention of womens’ groups in New York State, maybe at the state fairgrounds. Some place where we can celebrate women’s past, get media coverage and press, get the right speakers.”

“We must pull together,” added Nancy Brown. “Look at all that needs to be done!”

“We know our past; we know where we are. But where are we going?” posits Helen Martin. “Let’s break that glass ceiling!”

These community grassroots organizers are aware of what can be accomplished by themselves and the value of working together with others to reach a goal. This involves rocking the cradle.

As we made our way back to the Holiday Inn from the Union Hall Inn Restaurant and dinner with Hometown Association board members Bonnie Valachovic, Barb Taylor, Sandy Maceyka, and Nancy Brown, we asked about their goal. We were told: “…to be the home of women’s equality by 2020.” But isn’t this competing with Seneca Falls? “Oh no,” they said.

“We complement Seneca Falls and other places and sites. There’s no doubt in our minds that Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s experience in Johnstown as a young person made her the revolutionary thinker she was.”

The Johnstown Historical Society at 17 North William Street, Johnstown, NY is open weekends 1-4 p.m., Memorial Day through September. Or by appointment 518-762-7076.

The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Hometown Association has a one-hour, one-mile cell phone tour called “Walking the Footsteps of Elizabeth Cady Stanton,” plus events, exhibits, banners and signs throughout the town. They also have a fabulous web site: http://ElizabethCadyStantonHometown.org

Follow Marguerite and Olivia on their travels for LetsRockTheCradle.

Photos: Top is a photo of Nancy Brown of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Hometown Association featuring an image of one of Johnston, NY’s historic landmarks. Below is Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s piano at the Johnstown Historical Society.

Marguerite’s Musings: Presidential Bus Goes to Seneca Falls, NY

Marguerite's MusingsIt isn’t every day that a US President visits Seneca Falls, New York. Yet this is precisely what happened this past week as I’ve been encouraging everyone to visit the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the US. Who would have believed that the presidential bus would pull into the small upstate NY town and citizens lining the streets would witness a historic event! Has a US president ever visited Seneca Falls? Don’t know, but it certainly helps our “Let’s Rock the Cradle”campaign of encouraging everyone to visit the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the US. See some of the press from this past week: An Albany media outlet. #1. #2. And another clip from Washington, DC. #1. #2.

Tomorrow, or August 26th, is Women’s Equality Day initiated in 1971 by Congressional Representative Bella Abzug. And on Wednesday, or August 28th, is the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for jobs and freedom. It’s a time when collectively we’re re-evaluating who we are and what we stand for. And what better strategy than to touch into our own history! Suffrage Wagon link for Seneca Falls.  Here at Suffrage Wagon, we’ve pretty much been celebrating Women’s Equality Day all month with a rap video, audio, and fun in the kitchen with Suffrage Wagon Cooking School.

Fresh corn is coming into the markets right now. I love the local farmers’ market where the corn has been picked that very morning. And Chef Cutting is on the case at Suffrage Wagon Cooking School to guide us through the process whether we roast our corn in the oven, on a grill, or campfire. It’s mouthwatering great! Chef Cutting loves giving a great show, and it will transform how you roast corn. And now: the highlights of August as collected by the National Women’s History Project:

August 26, 1920 -August 26, 1920 - The 19th Amendment of the US Constitution is ratified granting women the right to vote Celebrate Women’s Equality Day
August 26, 1970 - 
Betty Friedan leads a nationwide protest called the Women’s Strike for Equality in New York City on the fiftieth anniversary of women’s suffrage
August 26, 1971 - The first “Women’s Equality Day,” instituted by Bella Abzug, is established by Presidential Proclamation and reaffirmed annually
August 26, 1976 - “EXONERATION OF ANNE HUTCHINSON DAY” - Banished by the Massachusetts General Court in 1637, our early American Foremother was exonerated in a Proclamation by then Governor Michael Dukakis
August 28, 1963 - More than 250,000 gather for a march on Washington, DC, and listen to Martin Luther King Jr’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech
August 30, 1984 - Judith A. Resnick is the second US woman in space, traveling on the first flight of the space shuttle Discovery.

Subscribe to Suffrage Wagon by email, or follow us with Facebook or Twitter. Let’s get the wagon back on the road again!

New suffragette feature film in UK: Suffrage Wagon News Notes

NewsNotesA lot on our plate: The Brits are ahead of us with an announcement about a new feature film about the suffrage movement under production! #1. #2. Do you know about the Suffragette Cocktail? #1 #2. The “anti” suffrage forces are on the move –the same old thing and with the attitude of a former generation. #1. #2. 

Video on how to make the best roast corn for your next cookout. Introducing Suffrage Wagon Cooking School. It’s part of our suffrage centennial series, and 2013 is the centennial of the “Spirit of 1776′s” first journey. You’ll love this way of cooking from Chef Cutting. Make your next cookout a sensation!

August is perfect to begin planning for a high tea in early November to commemorate the Night of Terror. A quick refresher. This may seem early, but it’s also when planning should be underway on how to celebrate Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s birthday on November 12th.  And also, there’s the Night of Terror in November. It’s a possibility for a gathering of friends because there’s more possibilities for a program about our history that will have guests sitting on the edge of their seats.

Norway is having its suffrage centennial this year. The June events may be over, but there’s an international conference in November 2013 that promises to be interesting. For more information. Chick History has news items worth subscribing to. #1. #2. Women’s issues that haven’t changed since 1911. #1. #2. Activist school in UK was once called Suffragette Summer School. #1.165 years since the Seneca Falls convention of 1848. #1. #2.

And if you haven’t ever traveled to Seneca Falls, NY, it’s still warm weather right now. Visit our page on Seneca Falls resources.

Video of the Declaration of Sentiments, 1848, reading by Amelia Bowen. Video about the “Spirit of 1776″ resolution that declared July 1, 2013 Wagon Day in NYS. Ode to the “Spirit of 1776″ wagon.

News items to think about: Bad jokes about women’s rights aren’t funny these days. #1. #2.  Long Island exhibit includes women’s suffrage. #1. #2. And what about Votes for Women on the east end of Long Island? #1. #2. The Women’s Equality Agenda highlights. #1. #2. NOW impatient with politicians with histories of objectifying women. #1. #2. Another suffragist ancestor honored. #1. Illinois suffrage centennial produces play. #1. #2.  The force feedings are still remembered. #1. #2.

Suffrage Wagon has its own YouTube channel. We’re posting new videos all the time. Visit Suffrage Wagon’s feature platform.

What was Edna Kearns doing on June 27, 1913?

What was Grandmother Edna Kearns doing in June 100 years ago? Grassroots organizing at every opportunity. There were meetings –outdoors, indoors, up on soapboxes, standing on automobiles, out with the “Spirit of 1776″ wagon on the beach, and anywhere a crowd gathered. Such is the nature of grassroots organizing. You get out the message however you can, where ever you can. The South Side Observer was a Long Island paper. Edna knocked on editors’ doors with her columns and special suffrage reports. For information about Edna Kearns, her life and work –video and bio.

And now the answer as to what Edna Kearns was doing on June 27th one hundred years ago. She was clipping the newspaper to preserve a record of her grassroots organizing:
South Side Observer, June 27, 1913

Visit Seneca Falls, New York

Visit Seneca Falls, New York: Located in the “cradle” of the women’s rights movement in New York State. Seneca Falls is considered the historic gateway to the Finger Lakes.

Link to Seneca Falls ad. Women’s Rights National Historic Park and National Women’s Hall of Fame are in Seneca Falls, NY. Also: #1.  The park is a must see. New programs every season. Seneca Falls has an insider’s guide for visitors which makes the case that there’s something for everyone in the family.

Resources: The awakening of Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Part I. Part II. A virtual birthday party for Elizabeth Cady Stanton from Suffrage Wagon News Channel gives reasons for visiting Seneca Falls this summer. We celebrate Cady-Stanton’s birthday all year long.  Ideas for teachers.

Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

Susan B. Anthony DANCES as part of One Billion Rising!

VIDEO SPECIALS: A tribute to Susan B. Anthony who joins One Billion Rising across the United States and around the world. Susan’s video tribute. LINK. Susan dances with One Billion Rising. LINK.

It’s Valentine’s Day, a day of love and caring and respect for those who are special. It’s a perfect day for One Billion Rising which unites many different types of people in a rising of spirit, action, energy and determination. Let’s put an end to violence to women and girls.

Dance with Suffrage Wagon today. RSVP at suffragewagon at gmail dot com

February 15th is Susan B. Anthony’s birthday, a day celebrated by suffrage advocates and allies during Aunt Susan’s life time that continues to this day. Many women over the years called themselves Susan’s nieces. And it seems fitting to continue the tradition.

Susan’s smiling on February 14, 2013. Join us for One Billion Rising!

WE LOVE YOU, AUNT SUSAN!

Keep up to date with Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

One Billion Rising is ready to blast off!

OBR-Horizontal-Logo-english-web-v2Suffrage Wagon joins with activists around the world for ONE BILLION RISING, the largest day of action in the history of V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls.

One Billion Rising started as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that one in three women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS.

On February 14, 2013, V-Day’s 15th anniversary, activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities, and women and men across the world are gearing up to express a shared concern and outrage, demand change, strike, dance, RISE in defiance of the injustices women suffer, and demand an end to violence against women.

“When we started V-Day 14 years ago, we had the outrageous idea that we could end violence against women,” said Eve Ensler. “Now, we are both stunned and thrilled to see that this global action is truly escalating and gaining force. Union workers, parliament members, celebrities, and women of all backgrounds are coming forward to join the campaign.

“On 14th February 2013, V-Day’s 15th Anniversary, we are inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth and activate women and men to dance across every country. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers, and our solidarity across borders. “

V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of Playwright/Founder Eve Ensler’s award winning play The Vagina Monologues and other artistic works. In 2012, over 5,800 V-Day benefit events took place produced by volunteer activists in the U.S. and around the world; these events have educated millions about the real state of affairs involving violence against women and girls.

To date, the V-Day movement has raised over $90 million and reached out to millions about the issue of violence against women and the efforts to end it. Through this work there has been international educational, media and PSA campaigns. Shelters have reopened. Over 14,000 community-based anti-violence programs and safe houses have been created in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Kenya, South Dakota, Egypt and Iraq. Over 300 million people have seen a V-Day benefit event in their community.

V-Day has received numerous acknowledgements including Worth Magazine’s 100 Best Charities, Marie Claire Magazine’s Top Ten Charities, one of the Top-Rated organizations on Philanthropedia/Guidestar and Great Nonprofits. V-Day’s newest campaign is ONE BILLION RISING which will culminate on February 14, 2013 with a global action worldwide. www.vday.org

To sign up and learn more, visit www.onebillionrising.org

Stay connected to news and stories of the suffrage movement. LINK.

Women who dared: “Her Hat Was in the Ring”

Jill Norgren, Kristen Gwinn-Becker, and Wendy Chmielewski are project directors for “Her Hat Was in the Ring: U.S. Women Elected to Political Office Before 1920,” a searchable database and web site showcasing 2,300 women who campaigned for and were elected to political office in over 40 states across the U.S. between 1869 and 1920. The web site is freely available and constantly being updated. There is information on the site about campaigns, political office, campaigns by state, and political party. Links to other sites about elected women and suffrage, as well as cartoons, postcards, and literature are also included.

GIVE FEEDBACK TO THE SUFFRAGE HOLIDAY GIFT COLUMN. Fill out the Holiday Gift Suggestion form! Subscribe to Suffrage Wagon News Channel.  Sign up for the quarterly newsletter. You’ll love the suffrage news notes, the special events and celebrations!

“Sister Giant” conference makes link to suffrage movement

Have you heard about “Sister Giant”? Take a look at this video, below. It’s a promo for a November conference, November 10 to 11, 2012 in Los Angeles. What makes it especially interesting is the promotional teleconference I logged on to recently which described the upcoming conference. “We are the potential of Seneca Falls,” stated one conference organizer in the online introduction. “This amazing event will take place four days after the presidential election. No matter who wins, we’ll need to talk.”

Making the link between the past, present, and future is an important part of the conversation. The “Sister Giant” organizers are advocating a new model of relational leadership with a holistic perspective where women are claiming their own voices, working in alliance and not against each other,  and increasing the field of support and positive thinking.

There’s still time to still register for the “Sister Giant” conference. If you can’t make it to LA, you can sign up for the streaming conference for $35.

For more information about Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

What you’ve always wanted to know about Suffrage Wagon News Channel

Check out this overview of Suffrage Wagon News Channel: who we are, how long we’ve been covering news and stories of the suffrage movement, plus why this work is important.

ACTION ITEM: Help the National Women’s History Museum find a home. Sign a petition.

Oregon suffrage centennial sash, plus news from Arizona and Kansas

  • Oregon’s suffrage centennial has some novel programs, such as the traveling sash that’s photographed as it moves around the state (called “Follow the Sash”). A sash is available for $15 from the Oregon Women’s History Consortium. The centennial web site, “Century of Action,” has historical documents, essays, news, events, and suffrage history.
  • Glencoe Elementary Suffrage Singers are shown above with Oregon’s first female governor, Barbara Roberts. The choir performed an original suffrage song called “Hey Mister” for audiences. Photo by Andie Petkus, courtesy of Oregon Women’s History Consortium, Century of Action project.
  • For some of the Arizona suffrage centennial highlights, follow this link. New play part of Arizona celebration.
  • Novel published in time for Kansas suffrage centennial celebration.
  • You can subscribe to Suffrage Wagon News Channel on several platforms.

Some activists threw themselves into the suffrage cause at their own peril

From a 1914 newspaper, the “Daily Herald,” depicting “Miss Davison.” By Will Dyson.

. . .such as the UK’s Emily Davidson who threw herself in front of the King’s horse. More is coming out about Davison and the details of her life, inlcuding the tale of how Davison hid herself in a crypt so she could use Parliament as her home address as a way to lobby for the vote. The posting comments are as interesting as the researcher’s report.

The film clip of Emily Davison’s dramatic protest is well known, and the clip of her funeral procession in London impacts us as only film can do.

Watch a suffrage story on video and share your suffrage story

Did you know about the picketing of the White House by suffragists? This is a story we can’t tell often enough. The headquarters of the National Woman’s Party in Washington, DC (aka the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum) has prepared this video using some archival images many people have not seen.

These wonderful and energetic folks at the Sewall-Bemont House & Museum have launched a virtual campaign called “Share Your Story. Save HerStory.” It’s precisely the kind of campaign that builds leadership through stories of the suffrage movement, which is the mission of Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

Contact Elisabeth Crum at 202-546-1210 ext, 17, or send her an email with your answers to the following questions: “Why is woman suffrage important to you? Why will you vote this year? Who are the women (past and present) who inspire you to vote? What do you think women should know about the WNP and how will that move them to vote in 2012?” Stories will be collected as blog posts, video, Facebook, and Twitterview. For more information.

I’ll be participating in the story campaign. What about you? Stay up to date with news and stories of the suffrage movement: suffragewagon.org

Alice Paul: the most overlooked civil rights leader of the 20th century!

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.”

Will the 2017′s suffrage centennial events match the women of 1913?

During one week in May of 1913, New York State suffragists planned a whirlwind schedule of activities to support the suffrage movement. My question is this:  Will the centennial celebrants of 2017 in New York State match the women of my grandmother Edna’s generation? The above newspaper clip is from one of Edna’s newspaper columns. 

Perplexed about a holiday gift for someone special?

Campaigning for Votes for Women in 1913

I’m hearing a lot about downsizing consumption this holiday season. This suggests a suffrage-themed gift could be in order. Yvonne Crumlish, whose grandmother Addie’s Votes for Women pennant was featured on “History Detectives” in September, tells me that she saw the HBO special “Iron Jawed Angels” for the first time this year. This could mean that “Iron Jawed Angels” is a potential gift idea for those becoming familiar with suffrage history, even though the HBO film has been around for a while.

Jennifer Hinton  has suffrage theme gifts you can assemble yourself. Start with the upcoming holidays, a young woman’s 18th birthday, her 21st birthday, special occasions for someone of any age. And while you’re at it, plan a party around a suffrage theme during Women’s History Month.

Jennifer’s suggestions are clever, such as the “Forward into Light Gift Kit,” “Tea Time at the Pankhursts,” “Sojourner Truth Tub Soak” and more.

Lucretia Mott adored oolong tea. Elizabeth Cady Stanton made a point of mentioning this in her memoir, Eighty Years and More. So oolong tea is a special gift idea, especially when there’s great organic oolong tea available online.

How about a book about Lucretia Mott and a package of oolong tea to accompany it? The National Women’s History Project has a wide variety of books and gift items. The Susan B. Anthony House’s online gift shop features Alva Belmont’s reproduction tea set. Mrs. Belmont, an active supporter of the National Woman’s Party, built a tea house and held suffrage events there.

Planning a trip to Oregon in 2012? The state is celebrating 100 years of women voting and there’s a full program of activities and exhibits receiving considerable web attention.

Splits in suffrage movement didn’t deter working relationships

Mrs. Raymond Brown took over after Harriett May Mills as president of New York’s state suffrage organization. A rare recording of Mrs. Brown speaking is a valuable look at the period, as well as a reference in one of Grandmother Edna Kearns’ newspaper columns that she wasn’t all that pleased with Mrs. Brown being selected as state president. Despite her personal opinion, Kearns and Brown worked closely together on suffrage organizing of Long Island. Photo: Library of Congress.

Plan holiday meals using the Woman Suffrage Cookbook

This suffrage cookbook available free online tells a great deal about the women of the movement, their perspectives, and the special place of cooking in family life. When you’re planning a meal or special event, find a recipe to make and share the process and results with us at Suffrage Wagon. Holidays are giving us an opportunity to try out some suffrage recipes. To those of you following along, read through the cookbook’s section on suffrage and let us know what you think! And then, get in touch: suffragewagon at gmail dot com

“Just show up,” say Votes for Women activists out in force at Mineola Fair

“Just show up.” That’s the advice for us today in all aspects of our lives. It was the motto of the suffragists who used community events such as the county fair to show up and use the occasion to advocate for human rights.

Check out the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 22, 1915. What’s Edna Buckman Kearns up to now? She’s making her presence known at the Mineola Fair, and here’s what the Brooklyn paper had to say about it.

Carrier pigeons sent messages to the U.S. President

Even children were on the speaking circuit to win votes for women –something important to remember. After spending “Suffrage Day” in 1914 organizing an automobile parade and open-air meetings, Brooklyn suffragists sent a Votes for Women appeal to President Woodrow Wilson by carrier pigeon. The NY Times covered the pigeon release. Grandmother Edna was busy speaking that day at Union Square Park in Manhattan. The article noted that when Edna spoke, she was accompanied by her ten-year-old daughter Serena Kearns. Edna wasn’t feeling well that day, but she dragged herself to the podium, as the article notes.

Other young girls, in addition to Serena, participated in the movement. On Suffrage Day in 1913, one such youngster (Dorothy Frooks) spoke from the podium to the hundreds of people gathered. According to the account, Dorothy had been on the suffrage speaking trail since the age of seven. The NY Times reported on another of Dorothy’s speaking engagements.

Bad girls and troublemakers!

“History Detectives” was a great way to begin the week, along with Louise Bernikow’s article for the Women’s Media Center about this deep dark hole of our history.  You can watch the “History Detectives” show online after the fact.

Part of the thrill of doing this work is when my grandmother Edna Kearns speaks to me, when I can hear her voice above the noise and chatter of present day. Above all, she’s saying, “Don’t give up. Lucretia Mott took a lot of flack in her day from people who said she wanted too much too soon. And take Susan B. Anthony as an example. Ridiculed often, she never wavered from her goal.” Hefty advice for the days when we feel overwhelmed, isolated, discouraged. Hang in there, says Grandmother.

Notes pioneer women’s historian Anne Firor Scott: “It is worth trying to understand the past because in the process of doing so one learns so much about the possibilities and mysteries of human existence at the same time one is learning how partial and incomplete is even the most careful reconstruction of lives, events, and social movements. Sometimes I am willing to say, with Leonard Woolf, The Journey Not the Arrival Matters.” (From Making the Invisible Woman Visible.)

Anne Firor Scott’s interview with North Carolina Public Radio commentator Frank Stasio is worth a listen. Scott speaks about her life, women’s history, teaching and her perspective on the current state of affairs in the world. She reminds us that scholars and history buffs aren’t escapists in the sense that we prefer to live in the past instead of the present. Rather, we reach out to bridge the past with the present and extract the lessons meant for us today.

Risks, danger = nothing stopped the suffs!


The suffragists took risky actions in the name of Votes for Women. They did almost anything, just like I’m shamelessly promoting Tuesday’s “History Detectives” program (PBS, 8-9 p.m.) to spread the word about our exciting suffrage history. The 1909 climb to the top of Mt. Rainier also has a food angle because these same women published the Washington Women’s Cookbook. See also my most-recent posting for BUST.

The suffs acted fearlessly, not only to keep the issue of voting alive, but also to send the message that they wouldn’t give up until reaching their goal. One of my favorite stories is about a suffragist –Elizabeth Smith Miller– who planned to train a green parrot to belt out Votes for Women slogans. Miller died before she could carry out her plan. Winning the vote for women was uphill, just as it is challenging today to bring suffrage history into the crowded marketplace and compete for people’s attention.

Here’s another segment from the “Votes for Women Salon” audio interview with Louise Bernikow who’s one of the historical consultants for the “History Detectives” segment. Louise talks about the support for suffrage on the grassroots, which is what Yvonne Crumly’s grandmother Addie represents in the “History Detectives” segment. If you can’t watch the “History Detectives” post, check in with Suffrage Wagon News Channel for a link in the next post so you can watch at your convenience!

The suffrage pennant that has Louise Bernikow talking!

It’s big news when the major media highlights anything to do with woman’s suffrage. The “History Detectives” show on September 20 (8-9 ET, PBS) is worth watching for the affirmation and charge you’ll get.

The 20-minute “History Detectives” segment highlights a Votes for Women banner that Yvonne Crumlish’s father gave her 30 years ago. The investigation provides an overview of the movement and delves into the story of how Yvonne’s grandmother Addie Blemly might have acquired the pennant and whether or not she was personally involved in the NYS suffrage campaigns. It was puzzling to Yvonne because her grandmother never mentioned anything the pennant. “History Detectives” took on the challenge.

I interviewed Louise Bernikow, one of the historical consultants for the segment, about the September 20th program and the general topic of suffrage history. Here’s a three-minute clip, the first of several on Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Louise is downright excited about the Votes for Women 72-year history. That’s the part I love.

Why was the suffrage movement in New York so important? Louise sums this up in a clip of four minutes that highlights how the 1917 victory was a tipping point for suffrage across the nation. In fact, when NYS women joined the fold of voters nationwide, it doubled the number of women qualified to go to the polls. But the goal of voting for ALL American women still must have seemed a stretch back then.

Louise photoshopped this great image for her Facebook page devoted to the September 20th program. Watch for other audio clips from Louise between now and then on this blog. And check out Louise’s web site.

Potential for “Cultural Tourism” or “Heritage Tourism” in Oregon during 2012

Oregon’s 1912 victory for Votes for Women is bringing a lot of history out of the bottom bureau drawer. See excellent article, the web site devoted to the centennial — a “Century of Action” in Oregon — and the building momentum of awareness about the political potential of women voting today. The lives of Oregon activists such as Abigail Scott Dunaway (close friend of Susan B. Anthony) are highlighted in an audio program on Oregon public radio worth listening to. Discussions like this raise nagging contemporary questions about pay equity, affordable day care, paid maternity leave, women holding political office and much more.

Be the first on your block to know!

Check out these Suffrage Wagon News Channel tidbits: The Alice Paul Institute has a YouTube Channel about its mission and activities.

Back in 1910, marching in the streets was a radical idea. The idea was so outrageous that enormous crowds turned out as spectators. Activist Harriot Stanton Blatch, who organized the first New York City suffrage parade, summed up the impact of a good parade by saying nothing “. . . could be more stirring than hundreds of women, carrying banners, marching –marching –marching.” For some women, the idea of marching was simply unacceptable, and they wanted nothing to do with it. Many others loved the drama and the downright impact of a good march. The New York Times called a 1912 suffrage parade “the like of which New York never knew before.”

REMINDER: On September 20th, “History Detectives” will feature a substantial segment on the suffrage movement in upstate New York. Education is a slow process and perhaps some day people won’t stare back with quizzical expressions on their faces when we mention the woman’s suffrage movement. Remind friends and family members to tune into PBS.

Maude Malone wouldn’t leave U.S. President Woodrow Wilson alone

Maude Malone at a 1914 suffrage meeting. Photo: Library of Congress.

When activist Maude Malone stood up at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in October of 1912 to interrupt Woodrow Wilson’s campaign speech on monopolies taking over the country, she yelled: “How about votes for women?” She then repeated her questioning: “You just said you were trying to destroy a monopoly, and I ask you what about woman suffrage? The men have a monopoly.” Wilson replied that this wasn’t an issue the national government needed to be concerned about. The suffragist continued: “I am speaking to you as an American, Mr. Wilson.”  Although Malone was hauled off to jail, the incident didn’t go unnoticed.

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Intense suffrage debates on Long Island street corners

The location of one such fiery debate was identified as the corner of North Ocean Avenue and Main Street in Patchogue, NY as part of the campaigning to open up Long Island to more suffrage organizing. The Votes for Women activists held parades, spoke on street corners and from the back seats of automobiles, as well as horse-drawn wagons. At times their presence in town was heightened with a live band.   See entire article from the archives of Edna Buckman Kearns that includes the details of a shouting match between the women and a man on the street. Edna witnessed the event, and it was her job at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle to write about it.

“History Detectives” preview about Votes for Women mystery

Happy Women’s Equality Day! Here’s the preview for the September 20th episode of “History Detectives” where a Maryland woman inherited a colorful mystery from her father: a purple and gold pennant emblazoned with the words “Votes for Women.”  The imagery fascinated her – four women rallying around a fifth woman who stood blowing a trumpet.  She wondered if the pennant belonged to her grandmother, Addie Luther Blemly.  She was aware that her grandmother lived in Wolcott, NY, but knew little more about her life.  History Detectives host Elyse Luray set out to learn the significance of this pennant and to find out whether Addie Blemly played a role in the woman’s suffrage movement. The “History Detectives” special on September 20th features Louise Bernikow who will be interviewed on Suffrage Wagon News Channel prior to the broadcast. Save the date!

Read Suffrage Wagon News Channel on your Kindle. Order through the Amazon Kindle store. There’s a 14-day trial.

Free download of suffrage music

Music. You gotta have music on August 26th, even if it’s from your own boom box. For starters, performer Gerri Gribi has a free download of “Oh, Dear, What can the matter be?” which is direct from the suffrage movement.  And playing “Fall in Line,” a suffrage march, will give your High Tea an air of authenticity. Formal invitations aren’t necessary. Surprise your guests by phoning them personally.

The program (below) is also from the February 1915 tea at the Hotel Biltmore honoring Susan B. Anthony and Dr. Anna Howard Shaw. It’s an example of the effort poured into movement tea parties and receptions. Check out the video about Rep. Bella Abzug who sponsored federal legislation for the creation of Women’s Equality Day in 1971.  The August 26th observance acknowledges the Votes for Women victory in 1920 and makes a bridge between the past and the present.

Woman’s suffrage is going national!

Find out more about “History Detectives” and Louise Bernikow’s appearance on the program.
Feedback I’ve been getting suggests that training is necessary in the art of High Tea. The Atlanta Board of Education produced a training film for young women that covers the basics of putting on a tea. Films like this aren’t being made any more. It covers “correct behavior,” proper form and dress, “etiquette and taste, where the tea-pot should be placed and more. Also, check out other training films in the archive of the Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

I like to use the program for the 1915 tea in honor of Susan B. Anthony and Dr. Anna Howard Shaw as an example of how to organize a similar event, even if it’s just you in charge of the organization. The enlargement for the image above may be slow in loading, but it’s worth the wait because the size is 100 percent. On the right page of the program, there’s the who, what, where and when. The suffrage quotes speak for the issue and justify the importance of the occasion, as do the patrons who are an integral part of the fundraising. If you think I’m pushing the 1915 tea, you’re right! Grandmother Edna was on the planning committee.

Don’t forget to put September 20th on your calendar in 2011!

Plan a party for Women’s Equality Day!

Clear the decks for a party celebrating Women’s Equality Day on August 26th! Need some help when it comes to getting excited about the passage of the 19th amendment? If you’re planning high tea and you’d like a program or memorabilia to go with the sweets, the National Women’s History Project has a collection of materials you’ll find useful: “Women Change America” place mats, equality-day balloons, posters, banners, speeches, a 15-minute Powerpoint, CD with 17 songs, video presentation for grade 7 to adult, purple and gold sashes, and a Women’s Equality Day program kit. Or a program could be as simple as asking people to write the answers to the Women’s Equality Quiz.

Just create an invitation, decide on the place, your guests, the menu. And you’re on your way to hosting a party. If it still seems daunting, just think about the number of people who will tell you afterwards: “Thank you for doing this!” This is the first of several postings this month in preparation for a party celebrating women winning the vote. If you can’t get it together for August, start a “to do” planning list for parties in January (Alice Paul Day) and Susan B. Anthony’s birthday in February.

U.S. Congressman Maurice Hinchey. . . on Edna Kearns’ suffrage wagon

U.S. Congressman Maurice Hinchey

“Thank you for contacting my office with regard to your Grandmother Edna’s suffrage wagon. Her story is an outstanding example of how women here in New York forged the path to the passage of the 19th Amendment and I am confident that people in the 22nd Congressional District and beyond would welcome the opportunity to see this part of our history on permanent exhibition.”

From a July 27th letter from U.S. Congressman Maurice D. Hinchey, 22nd District, New York, to Marguerite Kearns.

Point of view from a Canadian lover of suffrage history

Barbara Allisen

I don’t remember when I first learned about the Canadian suffrage movement at school, but I do remember that politics were often discussed in our home. We lived in a very small farming community and the community hall, where elections were held, was across the street. Not all members of the family had the same voting preferences and should one of the females express a different opinion, teasing would follow about how terrible things were since women had been given the right to vote. But voting was taken seriously, and it was fully expected that each person who could vote would do so. I remember some farmers whose X signatures had to be witnessed because they could not write their names. At school, we had Civil Studies and held class elections. Much of the information I know comes from stories about the lives of these and other pioneer women I read after graduating from college.

On January 27, 1914, Nellie McClung and several hundred supporters filled the Legislative Building in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Nellie delivered the message: “We are not here to ask for a reform or a gift or a favor, but for a right–not for mercy but for justice.”

FOR MORE FROM BARBARA ALLISEN

Little-known fact: Women hissed a U.S. President

The suffragists didn’t take the insults by U.S. President William Howard Taft lightly when he addressed their organization, the National American Woman Suffrage Organization– back in April of 1910. Taft had been known to oppose women voting, but perhaps he’d at least be polite in addressing their convention. Instead, he launched into a tirade about how extending the vote to women would be a disaster. The audience hissed, to which Taft said that self restraint was part of the game. Later, the organization officially apologized to Taft, but the point had been made. The women were up against very powerful individuals and interests.

Is this story true? A two-minute suffrage podcast.

It’s all in the telling, and the suffragists are believed to have written their own version of the tale. In March of 1913. U.S. President-elect Woodrow Wilson arrived at the train station in Washington, DC all geared up for his inauguration ceremony. He expected  to be the center of attention, but he wasn’t. “Where are the people?” he is alleged to have asked. The response: “On the Avenue watching the suffragists parade.”

Doris Stevens in her book, “Jailed for Freedom,” tells the story as fact. Here’s her story about the parade in a two-minute clip. The reading is brought to us by Librivox.

Interview with Teri P. Gay gives woman’s suffrage movement a broad perspective

Suffrage Wagon News Channel is featuring an audio interview with author and historian Teri P. Gay. Find out why Teri believes the upcoming 100th anniversary of woman’s suffrage in NYS and the nation is significant. Listen to her point of view about how this celebration might play itself out. What’s behind the fact that suffrage history is so relatively unknown? And more!

The interview is presented in snippets of a few seconds all the way up to five and seven minutes. It’s the kind of interview you can listen to in your car, when taking a stroll with your headphones around the block, or when sitting down with a good cup of tea. Teri’s book, “Strength without Compromise: Womanly Influence and Political Identity in Turn-of-the-Century Rural Upstate New York” is proving to be a hit among audiences of organizations and civil groups in the upstate NY region because it’s about their local history. Teri has given book signings and talks on over fifty occasions over the past year. She’s discovered that among the groups and organizations, audiences are anxious to find out the local angle of the suffrage movement in their communities. Enjoy the interview! And you can order her book.

California and Oregon and their 100th suffrage anniversaries

California is celebrating its suffrage centennial celebration. Oregon is realizing the potential of its 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage by beginning the observance now. A presentation by former governor Barbara Roberts before the City Club of Portland demonstrates this point. Her speech to the group is worth listening to. Roberts told the audience: “History is meant, not to sit on a shelf, but to devour and think about and talk about and share.” She called the suffrage movement something “. . . that’s little told and is highly under appreciated” and how this “is about to change.” Roberts’ perspective is shared by many: “We’re bringing our place in history out of the shadows” and she’s reminded of Susan B. Anthony’s charge: “Never another season of silence.”

Oregon, Kansas and Arizona celebrate their 100th suffrage anniversaries in 2012. The state of Washington had its 100th suffrage anniversary last year. Colorado, Utah, and Idaho have already acknowledged their 100th year of women voting.

July 19-20 is 163rd anniversary of Seneca Falls convention

1848 Seneca Falls Convention

Think back to 1848 in Seneca Falls and hold the thought of women and men gathering for the conference where the radical idea of Votes for Women was first expressed. There’s still time to plan an event for Women’s Equality Day on August 26th for your friends or organization. The National Women’s History Project is a terrific resource.

Note the new feature column above, “Save the Date,” that highlights August 26 and September 20. On July 24th there’s an interactive tour of New York City of women’s history.

Lucy Burns donned an evening gown to get Churchill’s attention!

Lucy Burns.

Keeping the issue of voting alive and in the minds of politicians was an important tactic of the English suffragettes in 1909. It wasn’t one action that did the trick, but the constant reminders, in unexpected places, at unexpected times. Lucy Burns was an American, who with Alice Paul, was radicalized in the English front lines of suffrage. One evening she dressed in an elegant gown, socialized with the dignitaries at a fancy-dress ball, and then approached Winston Churchill. After waving a banner in  his face, she asked: “How can you dine here while women are starving in prison?”

The police removed her from the building, and Churchill got the message.

News from the NYS Museum

No one likes the belt tightening underway in organizations and institutions across the nation. And the distribution of pink slips in offices at the New York State Museum is no exception. The museum’s employees held their collective breath in 2010 when 12 staffers were laid off, and then again recently. There’s a breeze blowing through the museum these days when one considers that one third of its staff disappeared in just over a year due to layoffs, forced and voluntary retirements. In the past six months, the museum has closed its doors on Sundays, removed some exhibits and contracted its cafeteria out for cultural events. Some observers are wondering if the state museum will be able to carry out its legislative mandates.

How will this impact my grandmother’s suffrage campaign wagon that sits stored in a museum warehouse in the Albany area? No one knows at this point. With the 100th anniversary of women voting in NYS coming up in 2017, there are many reasons why New York should be planning an enormous celebration –one that will highlight the extraordinary accomplishment of New York women that was a tipping point in the national campaign.

All the more reason for us to continue gathering support for museum officials and those in the state’s executive chambers charged with budgetary matters to take the necessary steps to get the suffrage wagon out of the warehouse and on permanent exhibit. Let’s see what happens next!

A 4th of July story about Susan B. Anthony

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.

Photo of my grandmother Edna in 1912

Barnstorming for Votes for Women on Long Island, my grandmother Edna Buckman Kearns didn’t leave a stone unturned in her campaigning for Votes for Women. This photo is from a New York State suffrage publication, showing her to the right holding an umbrella.

That we always remember the “Night of Terror”

Dorothy Day was among the suffragists arrested after picketing the White House in 1917. She said: "Those first six days of inactivity were as six thousand years. To lie there through the long day, to feel the nausea and emptiness of hunger, the dazedness at the beginning and the feverish mental activity that came after. I lost all consciousness of any cause. . . I could only feel the darkness and desolation around me."

Two minutes of “Jailed for Freedom”

Doris Stevens, who wrote "Jailed for Freedom"

Listen! This podcast of just over two minutes is the introduction to Jailed for Freedom by Doris Stevens who documented the last phase of the struggle for Votes for Women. It explains why a bolder approach was necessary and how this became a state of mind as well as a record of actions. The work is dedicated to Alice Paul. This short clip is from a recording of the entire work, now in the public domain, brought to you by LibriVox. This book can be ordered through Amazon.