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News and actions: Suffrage Pageants

Hazel MacKaye was riding high in 1914 when her pageant, “The American Woman: Six Periods of American Life” was performed at the Seventy-first Regimental Armory (sponsored by the New York City Men’s League for Equal Suffrage). It was a cutting-edge production that milked the potential for drama and social commentary. Edna Buckman Kearns was involved, not only in the event’s organization, but also the performance.

Suffrage pageants reached different audiences than parades and demonstrations and they represented an emotional training ground for later forms of protest, such as the picketing of the White House in 1917. The picketing of the Woodrow Wilson White House was launched following the death of Inez Milholland, the U.S. suffrage martyr.

This year, 2016, is the centennial of Milholland’s death. Find out more about her on the centennial web site. Become a partner in the centennial observance. The Inez Milholland Centennial is a program of the National Women’s History Project. The national co-chairs are Marguerite Kearns and Robert P.J. Cooney, Jr.

Support funding for the 2017 suffrage centennial in New York State. Watch for the release of the Inez Milholland film in April 2016. Get behind the New York State Museum in putting the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon used by Edna Kearns on permanent exhibit. Sign the online petititon asking that President Obama grant a presidential citizens medal to Inez Milholland, the U.S. suffrage martyr.

Marguerite KearnsCOMING SOON from Marguerite Kearns: The quarterly newsletter from Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Also follow on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platforms on Vimeo and YouTube.

Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming women’s suffrage centennial events and celebrations. 

“Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

Volunteers needed for suffrage movement database

The online journal and database, “Women and Social Movements in the United States” is engaged in several crowdsourcing projects to create a new online biographical dictionary of the woman suffrage movement in the U.S.  Over the past few months volunteers have written brief biographies of Black women suffragists and militant suffragists who supported the National Woman’s Party. Now work is starting on biographical sketches of suffrage supporters of the National American Woman Suffrage Association between 1890 and 1920. The goal is to prepare this Online Biographical Dictionary in time for 2020, the 100th anniversary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920 that extended woman’s suffrage to states that had not already enacted woman suffrage.

In anticipation of the 100th anniversary volunteers are being recruited to participate in this crowdsourcing project. The goal is for one volunteer from each state and the District of Columbia to serve as “state coordinators who will help to develop a list of activists to be included in the project and then recruit faculty, students, and interested history buffs to research and write the biographical sketches. State coordinators will review and copyedit the biographical sketches and share them with Tom Dublin, co-editor of the Women and Social Movements website and director of the Online Biographical Dictionary project. The sketches will be published on the website. Anyone interested in serving as a state coordinator or in writing biographical sketches for the NAWSA project, send an email to tdublin@binghamton.edu.

Suffrage Wagon CafeFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platforms on Vimeo and YouTube.

Comment on the Suffrage Wagon blogFollow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming women’s suffrage centennial events and celebrations. 

“Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

Letter from the National Women’s History Project!

Inez MilhollandMy Dear Friends,

One of the real pleasures of working with the National Women’s History Project is when we actually get to “write women back into history.” We have a special opportunity this year, and I hope you’ll support and benefit from the Inez Milholland Centennial.

This new project of the NWHP will shine the spotlight on a brave, nearly-forgotten attorney and suffragist who died while campaigning for Votes for Women. Already, responding to our initiative, California Congresswoman Jackie Speier has nominated Inez for the Presidential Citizens Award in 2016.

The co-chairs are NWHP allies Robert P. J. Cooney, Jr., and Marguerite Kearns. (At the same time, NWHP board member Martha Wheelock is creating a fifteen-minute film on Inez to be released in April 2016.) Please help us all write this heroic woman and three generations of suffragists back into history.

The Inez Milholland Centennial will encourage the recognition of this beloved suffragist on the centennial of her death and also encourage communities nationwide to honor and celebrate their own state and local suffrage activists.

Please consider supporting this effort by becoming a Partner. At the website, you can also

  • sign the digital petition to support her nomination,
  • subscribe to the free newsletter,
  • gather information to organize an event,
  • order buttons and other resources, and
  • help spread the word about her and other American suffragists this election year.

Plan something for this month. Inez is one of the women the NWHP has chosen as 2016 Honorees. Visit our Inez Milholland Centennial web store page and learn more at InezMilhollandCentennial.com.

This exciting new project is described in more detail on the Inez Milholland centennial web site. Share the contents on Facebook and Twitter, and in the newsletter for your organization. Even better, add a local angle to the news release by announcing what you or your organization will be doing to honor Inez Milholland, not only during March but also throughout 2016.

Onward!      Molly Murphy MacGregor

INEZbillboardFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platforms on Vimeo and YouTube.

Comment on the Suffrage Wagon blogFollow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming women’s suffrage centennial events and celebrations. 

“Choose it and Use it” is a video reminding us of how the past is linked to what we do today and its impact on the future. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

Nomination to honor U.S. Suffrage Martyr, Inez Milholland

27 A group of grassroots activists and a California Congresswoman have joined forces to honor suffragist Inez Milholland on the centennial of her death while campaigning for Votes for Women.

Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) has submitted a nomination to President Obama for Milholland (1886-1916) to be awarded the Presidential Citizen’s Medal in 2016. This second highest of civilian awards recognizes Americans who have made a significant contribution to the nation’s progress. Citing her “vital” leadership in the suffrage movement, Congresswoman Speier called Milholland “a shining star in the pantheon of inspiring leaders” in the early 20th century.   The nomination is featured on the web site, InezMilhollandCentennial.com.

The yearlong Inez Milholland Centennial campaign is part of the National Women’s History Project, the 35-year-old educational center responsible for the month of March being officially designated as National Women’s History Month. Journalist Marguerite Kearns, descendant of a suffragist and editor of the SuffrageCentennials.com website, is co-chair along with Robert P. J. Cooney, Jr., author of “Winning the Vote” and editor of “Remembering Inez: The Last Campaign of Suffrage Martyr, Inez Milholland.”

The two activists have started a digital petition (www.change.org/p/help-honor-an-american-hero) and postcard campaign so individuals and organizations can show their support for the nomination. The project’s website offers further details, information and resources about Milholland, and newly issued “Honor Inez” buttons. The project welcomes partners and invites the participation of schools, individuals, and groups throughout the country.

The year 2016 is the centennial of Milholland’s death in Los Angeles of exhaustion and pernicious anemia. The loss of the charismatic, thirty-year-old New York attorney intensified women’s efforts for the ballot and led to the picketing of the White House in January 1917. “Milholland’s death reignited the drive for a Constitutional amendment and tragically emphasized the price American women were forced to pay to win their own civil rights,” noted Kearns.

“2016 is also an election year,” Marguerite Kearns observed, “when American women will be remembering the long and difficult 72-year campaign for Votes for Women nationally that they finally won through the 19th Amendment in 1920.”

While highlighting Inez’s story, the centennial project encourages communities throughout the country to research their own local and state suffragists and celebrate their achievements.

As Cooney noted, “Inez Milholland was one of tens of thousands of women who worked for equal rights between 1848 and 1920, and we should know many more of them by name.”   The effort is part of the preparation for the national suffrage centennial in 2020.

A new 15-minute film, “Inez Milholland: Forward into Light,” is in the process of completion by producer Martha Wheelock of Wild West Women. A trailer for film, which is scheduled to premier in April, is posted on YouTube.

Inez Milholland is one of sixteen 2016 Honorees being recognized by the National Women’s History Project at a special Women’s History Month luncheon in Washington, DC. The noontime event is being held at The Hamilton Live on March 19, 2016. For tickets, visit nwhp.org.

 

 

Christmas in 1823, a story by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

2015 is the 200th birthday of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Here’s what she had to say about Christmas in 1823. Two large and diverse events in New York City and Seneca Falls, NY in November 2015 brought many people together to remember that the women’s rights movement in the United States was long and uphill. This holiday message adds to the year’s birthday observance.

Note that Peter, referred to in this piece, is key to this holiday story. In service to the family, Peter appears to have been in charge of inspiring the holiday spirit, assisting in the preparation of the holiday meal and telling stories. Stanton notes that he sat in a separate section at the church in the Finger Lakes region of New York State and his presence caused static. Check out this story. It’s a personal account of the life experiences of a very complex and controversial activist. Johnstown, NY, the childhood home of Mrs. Stanton, has an active program year round of programs featuring Mrs. Stanton and women’s history.

Holiday stockingsby Elizabeth Cady Stanton

The winter gala days are associated in my memory with hanging up stockings, and with turkeys, mince pies, sweet cider, and sleigh rides by moonlight. My earliest recollections of those happy days, when schools were closed, books laid aside, and unusual iberties allowed, center in that large cellar kitchen to which I have already referred. There we spent many winter evenings in uninterrupted enjoyment.

A large fireplace with huge logs shed warmth and cheerfulness around. In one corner sat Peter sawing his fiddle, while our youthful neighbors danced with us and played blindman’s buff almost every evening during the vacation. The most interesting character in this game was the black boy called Jacob, Peters lieutenant, who made things lively for us by always keeping one eye open — a wise precaution to guard himself from danger, and to keep us on the jump. Hickory nuts, sweet cider, and olie-koeks (a Dutch name for a fried cake with raisins inside) were our refreshments when there came a lull in the fun.

As St. Nicholas was supposed to come down the  chimney, our stockings were pinned on a broomstick, laid across two chairs in front of the fireplace. We retired on Christmas Eve with the most pleasing anticipations of what would be in our stockings next morning. The thermometer in that latitude was often twenty degrees below zero, yet, bright and early we would run downstairs in our bare feet over the cold floors to carry stockings and broom to the nursery.

STOCKING STUFFINGS BACK IN 1823Vintage holiday card

The gorgeous presents that St. Nicholas now distributes show that he, too, has been growing up with the country. The boys and girls of today will laugh when they hear of the contents of our stockings in 1823. There was a little paper of candy, one of raisins, another of nuts, a red apple, an olie-koek, and a bright silver quarter of a dollar in the toe. If a child had been guilty of any erratic performance during the year, which was often my case, a long stick would protrude from the stocking; if particularly good, an illustrated catechism or the New Testament would appear, showing that the St. Nicholas of that time held decided views on discipline and ethics.

During the day we would take a drive over the snow-clad hills and valleys in a long red lumber sleigh. All the children it could hold made the forest echo with their songs and laughter. The sleigh bells, and Peter’s fine tenor voice, added to the chorus, seemed to chant, as we passed, “Merry Christmas!” to the farmers’ children and to all we met on the highway. Returning home, we were allowed, as a great Christmas treat, to watch all the preparations for dinner.

Attired in a white apron and turban, Peter assisted the cook. Holding in his hand a tin candlestick the size of a dinner plate, containing a lighted tallow candle, with a stately step he marched into the spacious cellar, with Jacob and three little girls dressed in red flannel at his heels. As the farmers paid the interest on their mortgages in barrels of pork, head-cheese, poultry, eggs, and cider, the cellars were well crowded for the winter, making the master of an establishment quite indifferent to all questions offinance. Laden with vegetables, butter, eggs, and a huge turkey, Peter and his followers returned to the kitchen. There, seated on a big ironing table, we watched the dressing and roasting of the bird in a tin oven in front of the fire. Jacob peeled the vegetables, we all sang, and Peter told us marvelous stories.

StrawberriesA BLACK AND WHITE CHRISTMAS IN UPSTATE NEW YORK

Peter was a devout Episcopalian, and took great pleasure in helping the young people decorate the old stone church, built by Sir William Johnson, and which stood just opposite our house. He would take us with him and show us how to make evergreen wreaths. Like Mary’s lamb, where’er he went we were sure to go. His love for us was unbounded, and fully returned. He was the only being, visible or invisible, of whom we had no fear. We would go to divine service with Peter Christmas morning and sit with him by the door, in what was called “the negro pew.”

He was the only colored member of the church, and, after all the other communicants had taken the sacrament, he went to the altar. Dressed in a new suit of blue with gilt buttons, he looked like a prince, as, with head erect, he walked up the aisle, the grandest specimen of manhood in the whole congregation; and yet so strong was prejudice against color in 1823 that no one would kneel beside him. On leaving us on one of these occasions, no sooner had he started than the youngest of us, Kate, slowly followed after him and seated herself close on the altar steps beside him. As he came back, holding the child by the hand, what a lesson it must have been to that prejudiced congregation!

SuffBookShelfFrom: ELIZABETH CADY STANTON: As Revealed in Her Letters, Diary and Reminiscences. Edited by Theodore Stanton and Harriot Stanton Blatch. Free ebook is available online.

Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platform on VimeoIn your free time, meet friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe. Your host: Marguerite Kearns.

SuffrageCentennials.com for trends, news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. 

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Suffrage Wagon News Channel has been publishing since 2009: Holiday News Notes  on Vimeo.

Suffrage Wagon Cafe is open on December 8, 2015 for a special holiday program.

KSFR public radioListen to the interview with Marguerite Kearns on public radio that features director Timothy Hines and producer Susan Goforth of “10 Days in a Madhouse.” It’s about Nellie Bly’s undercover investigative reporting in a mental hospital, an expose that rocked the nation before the turn of the 20th century. Nellie Bly opened the doors for women in journalism. Nellie Bly covered the women’s suffrage movement. Her interview with Susan B. Anthony presented the activist in ways that no other reporter had been able to reveal.

Suffrage Wagon Cooking School has been busy behind the scenes. Drop in for a visit.

Suffrage Wagon Cooking SchoolFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platform on VimeoIn your free time, meet friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

SuffrageCentennials.com for trends, news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. 

 

Episode #8: The Good & Bad News of “Spirit of 1776” Suffrage Storytelling

WATCH THE VIDEO ON SUFFRAGE WAGON

Episode #8: “Spirit of 1776” suffrage storytelling with special guest, Jonathan Geffner on Vimeo.

THE GOOD NEWS & THE BAD NEWS!

How’s Wilmer Kearns doing in his ongoing effort to win the heart of Edna Buckman? Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news. Edna loves Wilmer’s storytelling. The bad news is that she hates his pipe and cigar. Edna’s mother May Begley Buckman was a temperance activist and these two items (a pipe and cigar) are on May’s “no no” list. It could be worse. May dislikes alcohol even more and Wilmer’s happens to like beer. And this only complicates matters. But Wilmer’s of the opinion that he’ll address these obstacles one at a time.

Are you wondering about the temperance movement? More than 100 years ago alcohol was even more of a problem than it is now. And some people like Edna’s mother got on the bandwagon to do something about it. See PBS special trailer.

THE PLOT THICKENS AS WILMER KEARNS FACES A NEW PROBLEM

The situation with Wilmer is complicated by the fact that his first job was in the accounting office of a cigar manufacturing firm in New York City, a rapidly growing industry at that time. The combination of cigars and booze didn’t endear Wilmer to Edna’s family. They didn’t know about Wilmer’s fondness for beer –only cigars. And Wilmer’s looking in the mirror mornings to ask himself: Which is more important? Edna or cigars?

The solution? Wilmer needs advice and he’ll ask Aunt Sarah. Meanwhile, the writings by Mary Wollstonecraft are still causing problems. Coming soon on Episode #9 of “Spirit of 1776” suffrage storytelling. Stay tuned!

Special thanks to Jonathan Geffner, special guest on Episode #8.

Suffrage Wagon CafeFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Suffrage Wagon News Channel has video platform on VimeoIn your free time, meet friends at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

SuffrageCentennials.com for trends, news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials.