by Marguerite Kearns
It’s amazing that references to the “suffrage movement” have surfaced in New York’s election campaign for governor? Not by the incumbent Democratic candidate Andrew Cuomo himself, but a verbal brawl in the media between Christine Quinn ( Cuomo supporter) and Tim Wu (running on the Working Families Party line for lt. gov., with Zephyr Teachout for governor). The topic of the suffrage movement flared at a rally at City Hall in New York sponsored by the Women’s Equality Party in mid August 2014.
Sherlocks like me scan the internet for any and all references to the suffrage movement. Did the suffragists create a “little movement” from 1848 to 1920 as Tim Wu suggested? Did the remark offend the “legacy of Susan B. Anthony” as Christine Quinn, campaigner for Cuomo, insisted? Did Wu’s response get him off the hook with his retort that the suffrage movement had been “amazing”? Find out for yourself. PDF.
The new music video, the “Spirit of 1776” is out, circulating, and delivering the news of this important symbol of the suffrage movement –the unfinished American Revolution. And this means more chipping away at bringing upcoming suffrage centennials to the attention of a broader public. See article in the New York History blog. Eighty Bug is the songwriter and performer who pulled out her magic wand and the music video miracle manifested. Share the “Spirit of 1776” music video with others! There’s an audio version too. The words and chords are great for sing alongs and for use in classrooms.
And check out this short video about the significance of NYS’s 2017 suffrage centennial.
So far, nine states have celebrated their centennials of women winning voting rights prior to 1920: Wyoming (1890), Colorado (1893), Utah (1896), Idaho (1896), Washington (1910), California (1911), Arizona (1912), Kansas and Oregon (1912). Montana and Nevada are observing one hundred years of women voting in 2014 with special events, projects and activities. New York’s suffrage centennial celebration is scheduled for 2017, with Michigan, Oklahoma and South Dakota to follow.
Will New York State get its act together and engage in some substantial long-term planning for a suffrage centennial celebration in 2017? Some NYS stakeholders are on the phone monthly to discuss centennial event possibilities, but hardly a peep yet from the state Capitol in terms of appropriate funding and an official endorsement. Some observers predict that New York’s 2017 suffrage centennial will turn out to be little more than expanded opportunities for women to hold bake sales and volunteer. Can NYS pull off a celebration consistent with its position of being the “Cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the United States? Follow the Suffrage Wagon and a web site called Suffrage Centennials.
And stay tuned! This week the National Archives and the Sewall-Belmont House in Washington, DC hosted a streaming online discussion about the upcoming national suffrage centennial in 2020. There is significant movement with certain proposed projects that are in the planning stages in New York. It’s still too early to tell which proposals will stick to the wall. So we’ll be covering the upcoming 2017 New York State suffrage centennial celebration, as well as each and every development along the way.
Follow the Suffrage Wagon to stay current. Watch the new wagon video. And don’t forget to imagine the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon that inspired this web site on permanent exhibit at the New York State Museum for 2017 and 2020! Recent attention to “Spirit of 1776” on WAMC public radio.
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