Tag Archives: Marguerite Kearns

Can the U.S. catch up with the U.K. on suffrage movement awareness? Marguerite’s Musings

VIDEO: “Marguerite’s Musings” with Marguerite Kearns is a regular column about women’s history! on Vimeo.

Marguerite's Musings, a feature of Suffrage Wagon News Channelby Marguerite Kearns

The United States is racing to catch up with the United Kingdom that has been far ahead in terms of bringing awareness of the historic women’s suffrage movement to public attention in recent years. Keep in mind that American audiences haven’t seen a home-grown major motion picture on the suffrage movement since 2004 with the HBO production “Iron Jawed Angels.” Excellent documentaries, especially independent productions, are being produced on the American shores, as well as YouTube and Vimeo offerings.

Public interest in the American suffrage movement has increased dramatically since the announcement about the U.K. “Suffragette” production team casting Meryl Streep in the role of Emmeline Pankhurst, the pivotal leader of the militant wing of the English suffrage movement.

THE SEPTEMBER 2015 “SUFFRAGETTE” FILM FROM THE U.K. HAS SHAKEN THINGS UP

The U.K. “Suffragette” film production directed by Sarah Gavron and written by Abi Morgan has announced the film’s release in September of 2015. In previous announcements, the release date had been in January 2015. Already there’s speculation among entertainment commentators about the production’s Oscar potential in 2016. While the United Kingdom has had the edge in terms of public attention, there’s a growing audience of those who want to know more about long and difficult struggle for U.S. women to win the right to vote from 1848 to 1920. Suffrage centennial events and celebrations in the U.S. and abroad are taking on an increased importance.

The 2004 HBO film “Iron Jawed Angels” introduced millions of Americans to the 1917 picketing of the White House by Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party. This led to the suffragists’ imprisonment, force feedings, and a round of publicity that wore down opposition to women winning the vote. The bold activism led to the eventual ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920 that expanded the franchise for American women. The Turning Point Suffragist Memorial project is organizing to honor this period of the suffrage movement in its fundraising to have a suffragist memorial completed and operational by the 2020 suffrage centennial.

THE U.K. HAS GRABBED THE LEAD IN SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT AWARENESS

The U.K.’s prominence in suffrage movement awareness has a lot to do with the “Suffragette” film as well as the high-profile media attention showered on the centennial observance of the death of English suffrage martyr Emily Davison in 2013. By comparison, the American suffrage martyr, Inez Milholland, is much less known. The centennial of her 1916 death in 2016 may bring Milholland out of obscurity. However, it’s too soon to tell if U.S. suffrage martyr Milholland will ever have the same public recognition as Emily Davison in the U.K.

The second season of the BBC suffrage sit com “Up the Women” has made the suffrage movement familiar to a broader segment of British television audiences. And the recent release of a major book, “Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary,” by Anita Anand (Bloomsbury) focuses on an Indian princess, the goddaughter of Queen Victoria and a high-profile player in the English suffrage movement.

The book “Sophia” is a great read, and this book doesn’t stand alone. There’s also a growing body of scholarly research about the U.S. suffrage movement that has eroded the movement’s relative obscurity. Some excellent books have been published in the U.S. over the past few years. The close ties between the American and English suffrage movement from 1900 through 1914 are also of increasing interest on both sides of the Atlantic. Projects in the process of development in the U.S. include the proposed national suffragist memorial in Lorton, Virginia and a statue of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in NYC’s Central Park.

A LONG LIST OF THOSE PLANNING FOR UPCOMING SUFFRAGE EVENTS AND CELEBRATIONS

Various advocacy organizations and historic sites are already busy planning upcoming suffrage events from now through 2020. These include the National Women’s History Project, the Alice Paul Institute, AAUW, SUNY, the NYS Museum, New York City government, the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Foundation, the National Park Service, the New York State Council on the Humanities, NOW, the NYS Cultural Heritage Tourism Network, WAMC public radio Albany, Vision 2020, Susan B. Anthony Museum & House, the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, Sewall-Belmont House, the Girl Scouts, historic sites and local historical societies, the New York History blog, Turning Point Suffragist Memorial, Votes for Women 2020, Newseum, feminist and voting advocacy organizations, scholarly journals, and many individuals, community organizations, media outlets, public officials, state agencies, and those offering special content such as theatre, workshops, and conferences. If you are aware of suffrage events and programs, let me know at suffragewagon at gmail.com so I can add them to the expanding list.

ACTIVITY AND AWARENESS HAS INCREASED DURING 2015 IN THE U.S.

State centennial celebrations held west of the Mississippi in recent years have brought considerable attention to how American women there first won the right to vote. Delta Sigma Theta made a major contribution to awareness of the participation of African-American women in the movement when it organized record numbers of its members to participate in the centennial parade observance in Washington, DC in 2013.

Susan B. Anthony’s 195th birthday was observed in February 2015 by suffrage movement fans across the U.S. Ambitious plans are also in the works to celebrate Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s 200th birthday in November of 2015. The Women’s Rights National Historic Park in Seneca Falls, New York has announced an active program schedule throughout the year.

Tens of thousands of activists were responsible for American women winning the right to vote. It’s a remarkable accomplishment that deserves to see the light of day. And this means opportunities to mobilize on the local, state and national levels. Don’t forget to bring memories and stories from family archives out of the closet and down from the attic. And support ALL suffrage-related events. If you demonstrate support for the efforts of others, the support will also be there for you.

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. 

Suffrage Video Mania for Women Voters, with Marguerite Kearns, host of Suffrage Wagon Cafe

VIDEO: Mark your calendar for special suffrage movement programs for women voters at the Suffrage Wagon Cafe! on Vimeo.

Suffrage Wagon Cafe will open on March 28, 2015 as part of the international celebration of women artists called SWAN Day (Support Women Artists Now Day). It’s an initiative underway to imagine and manifest what it’s like for women’s art and perspectives to be fully integrated into the life of the planet. The long-term goal of SWAN Day is to inspire communities to recognize and support women artists as a basic element of civic planning.

SUFFRAGE WAGON CAFE IS GO-TO PLACE FOR NEWS, VIEWS & CELEBRATIONS OF THE SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT

Suffrage Wagon Cafe is a platform of Suffrage Wagon News Channel that features lectures, music, film, conversation, and networking about the suffrage movement. Women’s History Month is a great time to subscribe.

SWAN Day is an annual event facilitated by WomenArts (www.womenarts.org) that’s scheduled for the last Saturday of Women’s History Month in March. The idea for SWAN Day grew out of a collaboration between Martha Richards of  WomenArts and Jan Lisa Huttner of Chicago’s WITASWAN (Women in the Audiences Supporting Women Artists Now).  For more information about SWAN Day events happening around the world, visit www.WomenArts.org/swan/.

WomenArts is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women artists have access to the resources they need for their creative work.  Its emphasis is on women in film, video, and theatre.  The WomenArts website provides free networking, advocacy, and funding information services to approximately 2,000 visitors a day.

OTHER VIDEOS ABOUT THE SUFFRAGE WAGON CAFE: Pass on the “Spirit of 1776″ video. Follow Marguerite Kearns and the “Spirit of 1776″ wagon. Grand opening of the Suffrage Wagon Cafe.

Vote graphic on Suffrage Wagon Nes ChannelFollow 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 centennial events and celebrations.

“Great Work, Meryl Streep”: Marguerite’s Musings about the “Suffragette” film from the UK

"Marguerite's Musings" by Marguerite Kearnsby Marguerite Kearns

During an interview recently about the upcoming film “Suffragette” from the UK, Meryl Streep announced: “Girls, we’ve been waiting for this.”  Who was she talking to?

I haven’t been a girl for so long, I automatically assumed she wasn’t talking to me. But Meryl Streep got my attention and she’s referring to the new film, “Suffragette” from the UK where Streep has a starring role as Emmeline Pankhurst, the English suffrage movement matriarch. If there’s anyone who can knock down doors and get people to pay attention to something important, it’s Meryl Streep. She’s in a perfect position to bring this neglected part of history to light.

Meryl Streep made the point in an interview with USA Today that in their day, suffrage activists in England provoked the government so much that authorities developed surveillance cameras to document those they perceived to be terrorists.  In yet another statement, Streep expressed surprise about how the mainstream media generally has ignored this part of history.

APPEAL TO MERYL STREEP TO PRESS FOR ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS

How refreshing it is for those of us struggling to get out the word about the suffrage movement to have someone like Streep join the cheering section! While you’re out there, Meryl, please affirm the growing number of folks pressing for answers to questions about upcoming suffrage centennials as well as the 2020 suffrage centennial commemorating the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A considerable amount of blood, sweat and tears went into this accomplishment.

Will the upcoming 2020 national suffrage centennial in the U.S. receive the attention and funding it deserves? Is a national suffrage centennial commission realistic? The commission established to commemorate World War I recently received $5 million for its mission of serving as a national clearing house for events and programs. At the present time, there’s nothing in the wings for women and their suffrage centennial except more opportunities for yard and bake sales to carry out similar work.

WILL THE 2020 SUFFRAGE CENTENNIAL DO AS WELL AS THE CENTENNIAL FOR WORLD WAR I?

Meryl Streep, we’re delighted you’re on board. And we trust that you’ll be asking other questions wherever you go, such as:  Will the 2020 suffrage centennial observance in the U.S. bring to the attention of present and future generations the significance of this important votes for women accomplishment?

In what way will we receive the torch from past generations of activists and pass it on? There’s so much ground to cover and the “Suffragette” film is a terrific opportunity to raise questions and expect answers. Let’s the most of it, Meryl. We’re counting on you. And count on us to be allies by telling our friends about “Suffragette” and our plans to stand in line to buy tickets on opening night in mid September 2015!

BREAKING NEWS: The UK is pressing forward, not only with the “Suffragette” film but with the publication of two new books about the English suffrage movement: one about Princess Sophia and another about Emmeline Pankhurst. Stay tuned!

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Join the conversation by commenting on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate suffrage centennials and women’s freedom to vote.

Happy New Year from Marguerite Kearns

Follow the Suffrage Wagon

Follow the Suffrage Wagon through snow and sleet and rain. . . on Vimeo.
FacebookHappy New Year! Follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Join the conversation by commenting on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

Kearns Family Members Got Together over the Holidays: Marguerite’s Musings

Marguerite's Musings

It’s always fun to stumble on a family connection. It’s one thing to know that my Kearns relatives are still based in Beavertown, PA where my grandfather Wilmer Kearns was born. And it’s even more exciting to know the extent of their ties and how they spent the holidays visiting, either in the NYC area or Beavertown, PA

I found a social notice of Max and Peg Kearns (Wilmer’s brother and sister in law) visiting Wilmer and Edna Kearns in 1917 in the South Side Observer of Long Island, December 30, 1917. “Mr. and Mrs. Charles Maxwell Kearns, of Pennsylvania, are the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Wilmer Kearns for several weeks.”

I’m busy documenting how Wilmer Kearns served as treasurer of Kearns Motor Car Company, the family business,  when he and Edna lived in New York City. And Lulu Kearns, Wilmer’s sister, played an important part of suffrage organizing with my grandmother Edna Kearns in 1913.

A holiday video greeting.

Another opportunity to celebrate the holidays with the Suffrage Wagon on Vimeo.

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Join the conversation by commenting on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

A happy holiday video card from the Kearns family!

Happy holidays from the Kearns family! on Vimeo. Edna, Wilmer and Serena Kearns were all involved in the suffrage movement and oh, what a time it was!

THE 2014 HOLIDAY CARD VIDEO from the Kearns family:

That’s right. We’re still celebrating Suffrage Wagon’s fifth birthday in December 2014.

Three very interesting articles I thought you’d find interesting include highlights of the book Remembering Inez. There are optimistic signs about planning in New York State for upcoming votes for women centennials. See summary. And there’s a 2015 wish list that includes a funded NYS suffrage planning commission for 2017 and 2020 suffrage centennials, as well as a suffragist memorial in Lorton, VA and a proposed statue of “real women” (Anthony and Stanton) in New York City’s Central Park.

Video about Suffrage Wagon’s fifth birthday.

.  “A happy birthday greeting” for Suffrage Wagon.
Birthdays are great fun. Martha Wright and Edna Kearns were both born on December 25th. See our previous coverage.

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Join the conversation by commenting on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

Happy birthday video & audio podcast: “You are There” program in 1853

Happy 5th Birthday, Suffrage Wagon News Channel from Marguerite Kearns on Vimeo. Yes, five years of plugging along with this web site is something to brag about, or perhaps weep. In any event, it’s time to celebrate. Have fun with the birthday jingle and then…

Tune into an audio program about a suffrage convention in 1853. Be the first on your block to say you were there.

Congratulations! The National Women’s History Project will be in its 35th year in 2015. “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives” is the theme for National Women’s History Month 2015. The theme presents the opportunity to weave women’s stories – individually and collectively – into the essential fabric of our nation’s history. Join the National Women’s History Project. We’re members.  Visit the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial and follow the effort to complete a suffragist memorial on or before 2020, the votes for women centennial.

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Subscribe to email on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Comment on the Suffrage Wagon blog to register your views and observations. Follow the news about suffrage centennials while celebrating women’s freedom to vote.