If New Zealand can issue a suffrage centennial medal, can the United States manage a similar act of recognition?
Inez Milholland (1886-1916) died in the course of working for women’s rights. The year 2016 marked the centennial of her death in California. In 2015, U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier nominated Milholland for a presidential citizens medal. Yet it is possible that there will be a change in administrations in Washington, DC and Milholland’s nomination will fall into the cracks.
It’s not likely that this would happen in New Zealand because it has had a Suffrage Centennial Medal in place since 1993. The national medal was intended to “recognize those New Zealand and Commonwealth citizens who had made a significant to women’s rights or women’s issues within New Zealand.” The medal has been awarded to 546 men and women.
Is there a problem in the United States? We’re trailing New Zealand and other parts of the world if Inez Milholland doesn’t qualify for a presidential citizens medal before the change of administrations in Washington, DC. Of course there is a rush for last-minute issues, but the presidential citizens medal for Milholland was filed more than a year ago.
THE SUFFRAGE CENTENNIAL MEDAL FOR NEW ZEALAND IS STRIKING
Take a look at the New Zealand medal. It’s circular and bronze with an antique finish. The ribbon is purple with three narrow stripes of white, yellow and white in the center. When worn, the medal can be suspended by the ribbon shaped into a bow. The medal was manufactured by the Royal Australian Mint.
New Zealand was the first nation in the world to grant women the right to vote. It took American women more than 72 years of hard struggle to win this same right.
Doesn’t 2017 qualify this nation to consider a presidential medal for Inez Milholland? After all, 2016 was the centennial of the death of Milholland, our national suffrage martyr. The medal is significant especially after the election year of 2016 highlighting the first woman from a major party to run for the nation’s highest office.
INEZ MILHOLLAND (1886-1916) LED THE FIRST WOMEN’S INAUGURAL MARCH IN 1913 IN THE NATION’S CAPITOL
There is still time for action. But will it happen in time? Inez Milholland led the first inaugural women’s march in Washington, DC of 8,000 to 10,000 women in 1913. The 2017 women’s march in mid-January is the second such inaugural march of women designed to draw attention to women’s rights.
The awarding of a presidential citizens medal for Inez Milholland is part of a long-term effort by the National Women’s History Project to write women into American history. Individuals and organizations have been doing this work for more than 35 years. Awarding Milholland this medal will be a step in the right direction and something to be applauded.
The Intersecting Lives of Two Militant Visionaries
Written and Presented by Zoe Nicholson
A Wild West Women Production
We always had a little tearoom, always at our headquarters.Miss Alice Paul.
Nothing Alice Paul did was quite as innocent as this remark implies. More to the point, …The Grated Door, the Woman’s Party tearoom in Washington, where the militants, under Alice Paul, met daily to plan the next move in the campaign for suffrage. Boston Post, Sunday, Jul 24, 1921 – Page 24
14 Jackson Place, The Woman’s Party Headquarters 1917 – 1922 had full view of Mr. Wilson’s White House, just across Lafayette Square. As the Silent Sentinels guarded the many White House gates, they took rest and planned a revolution over a cup of tea. Sewing torn banners, warming feet, drying off and taking a short respite; more than tea was being served. It was the birthplace of Non-Violent Direct Action in the United States.
TEA with ALICE and ME
Presentation and Production
This multi-media stage presentation is a TED talk on steroids. It is both historic and current. It is the astounding story of one woman’s life and how she was intentionally redacted into obscurity by jealous and disapproving moderates. It is a story about a small Quaker woman who carried a fire for Equality that could not be extinguished – no matter the defeats, the rise and fall of public opinion or her declining age.
March, 4, 1913 – as the first person to create a march to the White House, the architect of the successful radical suffrage campaign and the woman whom so few could identify from a photo; knowing her is not merely gift but a call to action.
A true strategic genius and strident leader. She did not suffer fools but women were drawn to her for one simple reason, she knew what had to be done.
Finally, after studying, writing and speaking about Miss Alice Paul for almost 40 years, Zoe Nicholson, standing in Alice’s shadow, proclaims our legacy and lights a newcomer’s torch. Zoe believes that this intentional invisibility needs to end, Alice needs to be brought into stark relief, with all her faults, all her cultural limitations and elevated to her proper status. The loss of Alice’s imprint has robbed us of this true American hero.
I am in love with equality and you are too.
It is just that simple.
Because, in fact, there is no place else to be.
From: Martha Wheelock, ED Wild West Women Inc. Wild West Women. We make films. Films about women.
The Centennial of the 19th Amendment and all the various events that led up to August 26, 1920 are now being celebrated across the country. Most recently we marked the death of Inez Milholland. One hundred years ago suffrage activists marched into Statuary Hall for Inez’s national memorial –a significant first for women. Inspired by the 1,000 women carrying banners up the steps and under the leadership of Alice Paul, the National Woman’s Party began standing in silence, holding suffrage banners, around the White House, January 10, 1917.
Wild West Women, Inc. is proud to produce a new and innovative program, Tea with Alice and Me; written and presented by Alice Paul scholar, Zoe Nicholson. This multi-media stage production, narrated by Zoe is personal, political, insightful and inspiring. She not only illustrates the 9 decades of Alice’s activist life but establishes direct parallels to current protests, demonstrations and strategies. Now, more than ever, we need to embrace our legacy as activists. We need to treasure and exercise the VOTE. We need to bring our radical political women into national prominence. Women and girls will find leadership and strength in the great Alice Paul.
Examining her 92 years, we raise her astounding life out of obscurity,
declare her strategic genius and arm ourselves with relentless courage.
We need Alice Paul’s legacy in these times.
Two years ago, assistant producer on the film, Inez Milholland ~ Forward into Light, Zoe Nicholson began work on a script for a full stage presentation about Alice Paul. Zoe, herself, (and we as eavesdroppers), is the interlocutor with “Alice Paul.” Zoe has been researching and “living” with Alice Paul over several decades. Zoe is more than a scholar and academic; she is imbued, absorbed and obsessed, the way one has to be to get at the heart and head of Alice Paul.
Since 1980, Zoe has been more than studying Alice Paul, she has been using her tactics and teaching others about Non-Violent Direct Action. 1982, for 37 days, Zoe herself fasted at the Illinois State House for the ERA, as Alice Paul did for Suffrage. I have attended four presentations by Zoe on Alice Paul and Zoe holds an audience mesmerized while delivering profound understanding not only of Alice Paul but also of inspired activism. Zoe lifts her audience from any chronological biography to the application of activism, drawing parallels from what is practiced today to its point of origin, Alice Paul. Stories draw us in as she tells us about the scheming, the long commitment and Alice’s resolute demand for Equality.
Not only will this Kickstarter Campaign provide the resources to mount the program, Tea with Alice and Me, it will be used for the professional multi camera filming, with professional sound recording the presentation. This will be used to promote the live presentation, guarantee that this rich history lives in public record and lift Alice Paul to her rightful status as the Founder of US Non-Violent Direct Action, militant suffragist and author of the ERA. It will be available for schools, colleges, libraries and public television.
From: Zoe Nicholson, Writer, Speaker, Activist The Hungry Heart, A Woman’s Fast for Justice
NOW more than ever, we need to embrace women activists. Americans need to know that Alice Paul founded Non-Violent Direct Action to the U.S. Every day Americans turn to study the tactics of Gandhi when we could be listening to our very own Alice Paul. From Tar Sands to Charleston, from North Dakota to Ferguson, from Reproductive Justice to Immigration, there is no doubt that understanding and interpreting the methods and heart of Miss Alice Paul would raise the conversation and inspire women and girls, men and boys, all those who seek to create change through peaceful Non-Violent Direct Action. One day Alice Paul will be recognized as the first American to use Non-Violent Direct Action, Civil Disobedience and political protest within a political movement and I hope I will be one of the instruments of that righteous occasion.
Happy New Year greetings on this last day of 2016.
Women’s history is part of American history and our mission is to bring women into the conversation and participation of the nation. This web site is inspired by activists like Edna Kearns (1882-1934) whose “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon will be on exhibit at the New York State Museum during 2017, the state’s suffrage centennial observance.
December 31, 2016 is the last day of the year-long Inez Milholland Centennial, a campaign of the National Women’s History Project. Marguerite Kearns and Bob Cooney have been co-chairs of the effort throughout 2016. Inez Milholland, the nation’s suffrage martyr, was nominated for a citizens medal in November 2015. More information at: InezMilhollandCentennial.com Will outgoing president award Inez MIlholland with a citizens medal before he leaves office? Check the Inez centennial web site to find out.
MORE PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR OBAMA TO AWARD CITIZENS MEDAL TO INEZ MILHOLLAND!
Inez Milholland led inaugural women’s march in Washington, DC in 1913!
As President Obama prepares to leave office in 2017, women from across the United States are preparing to participate in the women’s march in Washington, DC to tie in with the January 2017 inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S President.
This will be the second historic women’s march in the U.S. Capitol linked to a presidential inauguration. The first was a woman suffrage demonstration on March 3, 1913 just before the inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson. The leader of that 1913 votes for women march, which included between 8,000 to 10,000 participants, was Inez Milholland (1886-1916) riding a white horse. Her image was featured in newspapers across the nation. Three years later, Milholland entered U.S. history as the nation’s suffrage martyr.
Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association in Lorton, Virginia, has joined with the National Women’s History Project in Santa Rosa, California, as well as other groups and individuals across the nation as part of a growing network building toward 2020, the centennial observance of American women winning the right to vote.
The present, past and future come full circle as these organizations join hands during the final days of the Obama administration. They are expressing support for the President to award suffragist Inez Milholland (1886-1916) with a Presidential Citizens Medal before he leaves office.
Milholland, a New York attorney and suffrage leader, died in Los Angeles on November 25, 1916 of exhaustion and pernicious anemia. Born in Brooklyn, she graduated from Vassar College and New York University School of Law. She collapsed during a grueling speaking tour for the 19th Amendment and became a martyr to the cause of justice and equality. Details about this beloved suffragist, who died at age 30, are available at InezMilhollandCentennial.com.
A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
“We have a unique opportunity to give girls and women hope for the future,” said Pat Wirth, executive director of the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association that has been fundraising to build a votes for women memorial in Lorton, just outside of Washington, DC. The proposed memorial is scheduled for completion by 2020.
Inez Milholland was a founding member of the National Woman’s Party, centered in the nation’s capital, that carried out the picketing of the White House 100 years ago starting in January 1917. Suffragists were imprisoned for picketing and force fed when they went on hunger strikes. They will be honored at the Turning Point Memorial. Milholland’s final plea, featured on their banners, became their theme: “Mr. President, How Long Must Women Wait for Liberty?”
MEDAL SYMBOLIC THAT OFFERS TANGIBLE PROOF OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS
“The Presidential Citizens Medal is symbolic and it will offer tangible recognition of the long and difficult struggle of American women and their male allies to tip the balance toward equal voting rights,” noted Molly Murphy MacGregor, executive director and co-founder of the National Women’s History Project. The NWHP sponsored the yearlong Inez Milholland Centennial campaign whose co-chairs Marguerite Kearns and Robert P.J. Cooney, Jr. have prepared a petition and final support documents for presentation to the White House.
One hundred years ago, while on the campaign trail in the west, Inez Milholland predicted that “Victory is in sight.” A century later, “Americans are still coming to terms with how the dream of equality has not yet been realized,” said Los Angeles filmmaker Martha Wheelock. In 2016 she produced and distributed “Forward into Light,” a documentary about Inez and has distributed it free to thousands of individuals and organizations across the nation. The DVD is available through InezMilholland.org.
This coverage on public radio by Allison Dunne brings the story of Inez together in a way that sheds light on the nomination’s significance.
Author Sandra Weber, author of new book on suffrage movement from McFarland Press (2016), reminds us of how Inez Milholland inspired American women 100 years ago and she continues to inspire today. See article.
Weber draws attention to the 2015 nomination of Milholland for a citizens medal that is part of the Obama administration’s unfinished business in mid January 2017. Weber is the author of “The Woman Suffrage Statue” published in 2016 by McFarland.
Happy birthday suffrage activist Edna Kearns (1882-1934) on December 25th. Find out about Edna and her “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon at Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Edna’s “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon will be on exhibit in New York State during its 2017 suffrage centennial observance.
On this day before December 25th in 2016, we remember the Christmas Day memorial service held in 1916 to honor Inez Milholland (1886-1916) for her service to the nation. This is why we’re a partner in the InezMilhollandCentennial.com observance.
A nomination to award Inez with a presidential citizens medal is in the pipeline at the White House. The nomination was filed over a year ago by U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier of California. Did you sign the petition?
The UK honors its suffrage martyr Emily Davidson who died after injuries from the King’s horse in 1913. And in the United States, Inez Milholland died in 1916 while on a lecture tour in the West to win voting rights for women.
The current campaign continues to support President Obama in awarding Inez with a presidential citizens medal before he leaves office.