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Suffrage Wagon Cafe opens on March 28, 2015 during Women’s History Month

VIDEO: Suffrage Wagon Cafe: Grand Opening on SWAN Day on Vimeo.

A music video, the “Spirit of 1776: A Suffragette Anthem,” celebrates grassroots activism during Women’s History Month in March. The music video is one of the highlights of the opening of Suffrage Wagon Cafe on March 28th, SWAN Day, an international celebration honoring women artists. Suffrage Wagon Cafe is an online meet-up place dedicated to entertainment and education.

“Americans are making a connection today between their family histories and the larger sweep of American history. The result has been like a jolt of electricity that’s redefining our cultural identity,” Marguerite Kearns explained when speaking about her own suffrage activist grandmother, Edna Kearns, who organized in New York City and on Long Island from 1910 to 1920. “Dry accounts in history books aren’t enough anymore. We want our history alive and relevant.”

With the popularity of programs like “Finding Your Roots” (PBS) and ancestry web sites, a collective memory of women’s history is now possible. This includes the narrative of how one hundred years ago in 1915 women laid an important foundation for voting and civil rights movements in the 20th century.

The anticipated release of the major motion picture “Suffragette” from the UK with Meryl Streep in a starring role is expected to bring the English and American suffrage movements to the attention of a broader segment of the public when the film is released in the fall of 2015. Already there’s speculation about the possibility of an Oscar win for the production.

Women in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts conducted bold campaigns in 1915 that involved thousands of indoor and outdoor meetings, telephone campaigns, lobbying of public officials, parades, and high-profile public relations campaigns. Although none of the referendum initiatives were successful, the extraordinary effort opened the door to the eventual victory and the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920.

The music video, “The Spirit of 1776,” makes this precedent-setting grassroots organizing effort more accessible to millions of Americans. The “Spirit of 1776″ music video to be highlighted at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe is available on YouTube (http://youtu.be/Aga11k5s0Bc).

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Get ready for “Suffragette” film from the UK during Women’s History Month!

VIDEO: Get ready for the release in 2015 of “Suffragette” film from the UK by visiting Suffrage Wagon Cooking School. Women’s History Month is a perfect time to host a special occasion for friends, family, or your organization.

NEWS ROUNDUP: New York State’s gearing up for its 2017 suffrage centennial. The National Women’s History Project is celebrating its 35th birthday with a party in March. Suffrage movement icon Joan of Arc now has her own museum in France. Big festivities in Rochester, New York for Susan B. Anthony’s 195th birthday. New and excellent suffrage educational materials released. Second season for “Up the Women,” the suffrage sit com in the UK.

FacebookFollow 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. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. 

100+ Suffrage Movement Videos or Bust!

100+ Suffrage Videos or Bust! A VIDEO  featured on Vimeo.

We’re getting close to going over the top by producing and publishing 100 suffrage videos. Visit our Vimeo channel.

IN OTHER NEWS: The National Women’s History Project is celebrating its 35th year with a big party on March 28th. Video. Follow special coverage on video during Women’s History Month in March. Video.

This video announces the “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage wagon digital library in the planning stages. The 1913 news article may be the first photo taken of the wagon prior to its presentation to the New York State Woman Suffrage Association in Manhattan in 1913. Note the article to the left: “‘Women Should Strike’ Says Woman Lawyer.” While it might bring a smile to our faces today, it’s a terrific example of how such an article could strike fear in the hearts of those opposed to women voting back in 1913.

Suffrage Campaign Wagon

In 2013, the centennial celebration of the “Spirit of 1776″ wagon’s first journey was acknowledged by resolutions passed by both houses of the New York State Legislature. The wagon was exhibited at the New York State Museum in 2010 and at the state Capitol in Albany, NY in 2012. Photo: 2012 at the Governor’s exhibit, “From Seneca Falls to the Supreme Court.”

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate suffrage centennials and women’s freedom to vote. And follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. 

Valentine’s Day Special: My grandmother Edna May Buckman loved Wilmer Kearns, but she didn’t want to get married!

Marguerite's Musings

Edna1914ArticleTennesseeby Marguerite Kearns

I’m not saying that my grandparents wore these particular coats shown below, but they certainly glanced at the winter styles and were, I suspect, influenced by the fashion.

The styles appear on the same page as an article about Grandmother Edna and her suffrage movement organizing and activities.

If I transpose my grandparents onto the couple in the newspaper, I imagine Edna thinking in 1915 that Wilmer turned out to be quite a supportive and loving husband.

BUT WHAT ABOUT EDNA’S DETERMINATION NOT TO MARRY?

In 1904 one of Edna’s letters to Wilmer Kearns (then working in NYC) described friends and family members’ puzzlement by the couple’s  infatuation with each other and they wondered if the relationship could be moving in the direction of becoming serious. After all, Edna had announced her intention not to marry early in her teenage years. And Wilmer and Edna came from very different backgrounds. Many young women, like Edna, preferred to be free and independent, unless, of course, they found the exceptional guy, which Wilmer turned out to be.

The conscious decision to remain single wasn’t all that unusual in the 19th and early 20th century. Edna’s childhood friend Bessie, for example, found support in other women, who like her, preferred to remain single. And this recent article from Massachusetts also documents the larger context. Edna’s friend Bessie at the turn of the 20th century was fascinated with the Cult of Single Blessedness, another variation of the same trend.

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate suffrage centennials and women’s freedom to vote. And follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. Check out Suffrage Wagon’s video channels on Vimeo and YouTube.

“Spirit of 1776″ is up and running. . .

A digital library is being built to document the travels of “Spirit of 1776″ suffrage wagon a video on Vimeo.

"Spirit of 1776" digital library

Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate suffrage centennials and women’s freedom to vote. And follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. Check out Suffrage Wagon’s video channels on Vimeo and YouTube.

100 Years Ago: What was Edna Kearns thinking about? Going to the ball!

2015 is the centennial of the 1915 New York State suffrage centennial on Vimeo.

PART OF SUFFRAGE WAGON’S SPECIAL NYS’S SPECIAL SUFFRAGE CENTENNIAL COVERAGE:

1915 special feature

Edna Kearns: 100 years ago

Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate suffrage centennials and women’s freedom to vote. And follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. Check out Suffrage Wagon’s video channels on Vimeo and YouTube.

What was suffragist Edna Kearns concerned about 100 years ago? Suffrage films!

Edna Kearns: 100 years agoby Marguerite Kearns, History Communicator*

New York State suffragist Edna Kearns was no slouch. Her correspondence shows this clearly. One hundred years ago New York State suffrage activists were poised on the cusp of a year-long campaign to win a referendum. New York wasn’t alone. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Massachusetts women were also up against the challenges before them. And an enormous amount of effort was poured into these state campaigns. Although the prospect of votes for women in these four states were defeated, the national momentum toward victory in 1920 with the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was well  underway.

This letter sent to suffragist Edna Kearns in January 1915 shows that activists on the community level freely communicated their needs and challenges with each other. In this letter,  one activist reached out to Edna Kearns to pick her brains about the use of film to bring women out of their homes and introduce them to the idea of woman suffrage. What a concept!

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF FILM IN SOCIAL MOVEMENTS LIKE SUFFRAGE

Film is an especially important medium today. Check out Suffrage Wagon’s “Crash Course on Suffrage Film” that features film and video selections from today and yesterday, all of them extremely important in introducing the public to the suffrage movement, here and abroad.

Are you up to date about the upcoming film, “Suffragette,” from the UK that’s expected to be released in September 2015? The BBC suffrage movement sit com is in its second season. Watch the trailer. And books continue streaming out of the UK, in particular the recently-released work on English suffragette, Princess Sophia. This book by UK broadcast journalist Anita Anand is especially interesting because of its six-figure advance.

FacebookEDITORIAL NOTE:

The asterisk above next to the byline refers to the link to an appeal for people to step forward as “History Communicators.” Take a close look at a passion many of us already share.

Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate suffrage centennials and women’s freedom to vote. And follow SuffrageCentennials.com for news and views about upcoming suffrage centennials. Check out Suffrage Wagon’s video channels on Vimeo and YouTube.