Tag Archives: TUrning Point Suffragist Memorial

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.

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“Why I support the suffragist memorial” on Day #14 of the first “Night of Terror” observance

Graphic for "Night of Terror"by Marguerite Kearns

One more day to go on the “Night of Terror” blogging. I wouldn’t have predicted I’d make it to the end of this two-week stretch of daily blogging. It’s all for a good reason. November 15, 1917 became a “turning point” in the 72 year struggle for American women to win the right to vote.

Some people claim other turning points, like the March 1913 suffrage parade in Washington, DC, and the death of Votes for Women martyr Inez Milholland in 2016. But all these dates are related. It could be said they’re companion turning points culminating in the 1920 ratification of the 19th amendment. This is what the 2020 votes for women centennial will be all about…the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. And oh, won’t it be great if the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial is completed on or before this suffrage centennial celebration. Follow news about suffrage centennials on email or Twitter.

This is why I urge you to join me in supporting the proposed suffragist memorial in Lorton, Virginia. The Washington, DC suffrage parade in 1913, followed by Inez Milholland’s death in 1916, directly led to the decision to picket the White House, and that became pivotal. Of course the unfinished American Revolution for women’s rights continues today. But that’s another story.

If there’s an enormous monument for Martin Luther King in the nation’s capitol, it makes sense for there to be a suffragist memorial not far away in Lorton, VA. Both monuments –the suffragist and civil rights monuments– acknowledge important parts of American history. If we believe in equality and justice for all, it’s important to affirm ALL manifestations of attempts to complete the American Revolution. We have a great deal to do: support our Mother Earth, achieve freedom and equality for everyone, plus much more. One piece of legislation –the 19th Amendment– expanded rights for more Americans than ever before and since. This at least deserves a memorial, don’t you think?

November 15th “Night of Terror” Blogging: Day #1 (Nov.1); Day #2 (Nov.2); Day #3 (Nov. 3). Day #4 (Nov. 4), Day #5 (Nov. 5). Day #6 (Nov. 6). Day #7 (Nov. 7). Day #8 (Nov. 8), Day #9 (Nov. 9), Day #10 , (Nov. 10), Day #11,  (Nov. 11), Day #12 (Nov. 12), Day #13 (Nov. 13).

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as 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. Follow the news about suffrage centennials while celebrating women’s freedom to vote.

Day #12: Video of youngest White House picket and Podcast #7 of “Night of Terror”

"Night of Terror" podcasts on Suffrage Wagon News Channelby Marguerite Kearns

Day #12. We’re getting close to the end of the “Night of Terror” audio podcasts, but the observance continues until November 15th. Listen to Podcast #7.

By popular demand: A video about Serena Kearns, the youngest White House picket (see below). The video highlights a variety of Votes for Women activities and events where Serena took part, including the organizing journeys of the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon in 1913.

Serena Kearns, youngest White House picket

Podcast #7 highlights the indignant words of the women who were held at the Occoquan Workhouse. The terror continues at the workhouse, as Doris Stevens continues in her description of how the administration of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson attempted to squash the rebellion of the prisoners. Pickets at the White House became increasingly more unacceptable to the federal government. Keep in mind that the picketing of the White House continued while those at the Occoquan Workhouse carried their protest forward.

I’ve been blogging  for a total of eleven days now in honor of the “Night of Terror” observance on November 15th, a partnership with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association.

Share Podcast #7 of the audio series, the “Night of Terror.” Production by Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Audio by Librivox. Reading by Kate West. From Doris Stevens’ “Jailed for Freedom,” 1920.

Get behind Turning Point Suffragist Memorial in funding and building a memorial to the brave women who picketed the White House and experienced the “Night of Terror.” Let’s make sure the memorial is complete before or in time for the 2020 votes for women centennial that will honor American women voting for 100 years. Think of it. Imagine it. Support it.

November 15th “Night of Terror” Blogging: Day #1 (Nov.1); Day #2 (Nov.2); Day #3 (Nov. 3). Day #4 (Nov. 4), Day #5 (Nov. 5). Day #6 (Nov. 6). Day #7 (Nov. 7). Day #8 (Nov. 8), Day #9 (Nov. 9), Day #10 , (Nov. 10), Day #11,  (Nov. 11).

Audio podcast series of the “Night of Terror.” Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3.  Podcast #4. Podcast #5. Podcast #6. Podcast #7.

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 postings on the Suffrage Wagon blog. Stay up to date with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

“Night of Terror” Day #11 of blogging, plus video & Podcast #6!

"Marguerite's Musings" with Marguerite Kearnsby Marguerite Kearns

Day #11. Betty Graham of Portland told others about testimony from a government doctor that lifted the suffragists’ spirits in Podcast #6 of the “Night of Terror.” The health of the pickets incarcerated at Occoquan Workhouse concerned many family members and friends. The podcasts reveal the daily concerns of those concerned, like freezing in their cells.

First-person accounts, like those in the audio podcasts, bring us closer to understanding the “Night of Terror.” I’ve been blogging for a total of ten days now in honor of the “Night of Terror” observance on November 15th, a partnership with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association.

Check out Podcast #6 of the audio series, the “Night of Terror.” Production by Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Audio by Librivox. Reading by Kate West. From Doris Stevens’ “Jailed for Freedom,” 1920.

“The Song of the Women” video. This is a reminder of the participation of New York women who joined in support of the picketing. On the “Night of Terror’ at the Occoquan Workhouse, 14 of the larger number hailed from New York State,

Let’s get behind Turning Point Suffragist Memorial in funding and building a memorial to the brave women who picketed the White House and experienced the “Night of Terror.” We want to make sure the memorial is complete before or in time for the 2020 votes for women centennial that will honor American women voting for 100 years. Think of it. Imagine it. Support it.

November 15th “Night of Terror” Blogging: Day #1 (Nov.1); Day #2 (Nov.2); Day #3 (Nov. 3). Day #4 (Nov. 4), Day #5 (Nov. 5). Day #6 (Nov. 6). Day #7 (Nov. 7). Day #8 (Nov. 8), Day #9 (Nov. 9), Day #10 (Nov. 10)

Audio podcast series of the “Night of Terror.” Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3.  Podcast #4. Podcast #5. Podcast #6.

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Quarterly newsletters just by signing up. Stay current with audio podcasts and videos. Celebrate women’s freedom to vote.

Marguerite’s Musings on Day #10 of the “Night of Terror,” plus Podcast #5 and video

Marguerite's Musings with Marguerite Kearnsby Marguerite Kearns

Day #10 and Podcast #5. More alarming reports reached the outside from Lucy Burns about the “Night of Terror,” –messages written on small scraps of paper. Follow the continuing story on Podcast #5 of the  audio series. Nothing pretty. First-person accounts. Being held down and force fed. Not easy to know about, but essential in terms of understanding the Big Picture and its significance.

The publicity associated with the “Night of Terror” resulted in a “turning point” in the national suffrage movement. Suffrage Wagon’s partner, Turning Point Suffragist Memorial, doesn’t have that name by accident. The federal government couldn’t stand the publicity in 1917, especially after the U.S. entered World War I. And it must have been particularly difficult because of the split within the larger suffrage movement. The antis, or those who were against women voting, shifted a large part of their effort to supporting the war.

Suffrage Wagon supports suffragist memorial

And many suffragists, including members of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, announced that they could work for woman’s suffrage, as well as support the war. A New York Times article on August 31, 1917, “State Suffragists Condemn Picketing,” is a case in point. At its Saratoga, NY conference, the Woman Suffrage Party denounced the women picketing the White House. Imagine yourself in 1917, hearing about the brave women at the White House gates and still others at the Occoquan Workhouse and the controversy swirls around you, daily. Only now do we realize that the bold actions of these women became the “turning point” for the movement.

The audio podcasts provide an intimate view of activists in the last stages of the national Votes for Women or suffrage movement. The audio by Librivox and its team of volunteers is memorable. These first-person accounts are from Doris Stevens in her book “Jailed for Freedom,” 1920.

I’ve been blogging for nine days now in honor of the “Night of Terror” observance on November 15th, a partnership with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association.

Here’s Podcast #5 of the audio series, the “Night of Terror.” Production by Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Audio by Librivox. Reading by Kate West.

Let’s get behind Turning Point Suffragist Memorial in funding and building a memorial to the brave women who picketed the White House and experienced the “Night of Terror.” Make sure the memorial is complete before or in time for the 2020 votes for women centennial that will honor American women voting for 100 years. Think of it. Imagine it. Support it.

LibriVox is a terrific resource and one that educates and inspires. How appropriate. LibriVox is run by volunteers, and we’re honoring activists who volunteered for a tour of duty at the White House gates. We’ve edited the LibriVox recordings and made them short and sweet to fit your busy lifestyle.

COMING SOON: The final three episodes of the audio podcast series called the “Night of Terror.” You’ll get a ring-side seat account about what happened on at the Occoquan Workhouse and the aftermath. We support the building of the suffrage memorial! Join us.

November 15th “Night of Terror” Blogging: Day #1 (Nov.1); Day #2 (Nov.2); Day #3 (Nov. 3). Day #4 (Nov. 4), Day #5 (Nov. 5). Day #6 (Nov. 6). Day #7 (Nov. 7). Day #8 (Nov. 8), Day #9 (Nov. 9).

Audio podcast series of the “Night of Terror.” Podcast #1. Podcast #2. Podcast #3.  Podcast #4. Podcast #5.

A video about the suffrage movement.

Join me in supporting  Turning Point Suffragist Memorial in its campaign to fund and build a memorial to the brave women who picketed the White House and experienced the “Night of Terror.” Think of it. Imagine it. Support the suffragist memorial.

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as 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.

Day #5 of the ‘Night of Terror” observance & the “why” of the White House picketing

Marguerite Kearns at Suffrage Wagon News Channelby Marguerite Kearns

I’m late getting the blog post Day#5 finished, but it’s still 10:54 p.m. where I am. One of my stalwart friends asked me the other day: “But why did the women picket the White House in 1917? Couldn’t they have expressed their point of view in some other way?”

Good question and one that I welcome in this fifth day of partnering with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial to raise awareness of and support for the building of a suffragist memorial to honor those brave women who experienced the “Night of Terror” at the Occoquan Workhouse near Washington, DC in 1917.

When you look at the 1917 picketing from a larger perspective, put yourself back into time. How would you feel as someone in the second generation of women petitioning for the right to vote? Then turn the clock back to 1848 and the women’s convention at Seneca Falls, NY. This wasn’t the first occasion when women decided that enough was enough. But it’s the date when we start counting as far as the suffrage movement is concerned –when there’s no doubt that the nation heard the rumblings from impatient citizens who demanded participation in the public arena. The suffrage movement started in 1848 and concluded in 1920 with the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Keep this in mind: it was touch and go for a great deal of that time.

Think of it. Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and others spent 50 years petitioning for the vote by the turn of the 20th century. This is when my grandmother Edna Kearns and her generation stepped up to the plate and took over from the first wave of activists. By 1917, women had been working themselves into states of exhaustion by continuing to pressure for the right to vote. I’ve written a lot about Grandmother Edna Kearns. Here’s a video where she speaks for herself.

By 1917, my grandmother Edna B. Kearns had been in the suffrage fold for at least a decade. When’s the last time you spent ten years working on a single cause? Did you burn out? Were you even a bit annoyed or frustrated at your lack of progress? When the National Woman’s Party announced the White House picketing in 1917, many activists didn’t hesitate to join. However, others condemned them for taking such a bold action. The “suffrage movement” wasn’t one movement. It existed under an umbrella of women from many backgrounds.

Women joined the picket line from all over the United States. The National Woman’s Party needed people on the front lines who were prepared to go to prison, if necessary. And without the extraordinary support network that stretched across the United States, the campaign wouldn’t have been as effective.

This is Day #5 of blogging to honor the “Night of Terror” observance on November 15th, a partnership with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association.

COMING SOON: The eight audio podcast series called the “Night of Terror.” You’ll get a ring-side seat account about what happened on November 15, 1917 at the Occoquan Workhouse.

November 15th “Night of Terror” Blogging: Day #1 (Nov.1); Day #2 (Nov.2); Day #3 (Nov. 3). Day #4 (Nov. 4)

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as 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.

On Day #4, ELECTION DAY, fire up the oven for hot treats!

Vote graphic on Suffrage Wagon Nes Channelby Marguerite Kearns

The picketing of the White House started in January of 1917 and went on for over a year. Standing in front of the White House gates with a picket sign was no walk in the park. So, a cup of hot tea and some goodies must have sounded terrific at the end of the day.

This is why a visit to Suffrage Wagon Cooking School is a perfect way to honor Election Day and the November 15th observance.  Turning Point Suffragist Memorial is the “go to” place if you’re on a college or university campus and would like to host a fundraiser for the Occoquan Workhouse suffragist prisoners’ memorial. And you can quickly put together a fundraiser at home with a little determination and a recipe for traditional English scones.

This is my fourth day blogging in honor of the “Night of Terror” observance on November 15th, a partnership between Suffrage Wagon News Channel and Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association. Turning Point has a web site and blog. You can also follow on Twitter and Facebook. There’s a great deal of activity going on at Suffrage Wagon and Turning Point these days. The goal? To fund and complete a memorial to the brave women who faced the “Night of Terror” November 14-15, 1917.

And now the fun part: Let’s cook up a storm with a fundraiser for the memorial right in your own home or school, organization, or college campus. Video about how to make traditional English scones for a fundraiser.

Suffrage Wagon Cooking School‘s video guides you through making traditional English scones like suffrage activists used to make. Hot tea and goodies must have been welcome treats after a long day out in the streets speaking from soapboxes or picketing the White House.

Baking scones is part of the two-week observance of November 15th this year when Suffrage Wagon News Channel partners with Turning Point Suffragist Memorial. It isn’t easy raising money to build a memorial to the brave women who picketed the White House in 1917 and then were held at the Occoquan Workhouse near Washington, DC to experience the “Night of Terror.” That’s why we love having you along for the ride. Find out how you can host a fundraiser with friends and family. Contribute to and support the proposed suffragist memorial with the goal of it being completed before or in time for the 2020 votes for women centennial celebration.

Carry the vision of a suffragist memorial forward. These events and celebrations are part of the previews of suffrage centennial observances now and in the future. Follow SuffrageCentennials.com for updates about suffrage centennials. If you’re planning a centennial event, let SuffrageCentennials know about it.

Suffrage Wagon News Channel is a multi-media platform for news and stories of the suffrage movement that has been publishing since 2009. Follow the Suffrage Wagon. December 2014 is Suffrage Wagon’s fifth birthday. Suffrage Wagon News Channel is inspired by the “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon used by suffrage activist Edna Kearns in New York City and on Long Island.

November 15th “Night of Terror” Blogging: Day #1 (Nov.1); Day #2 (Nov.2); Day #3 (Nov. 3).

LINKS: “Why I vote and support a suffragist memorial”: Marguerite’s Musings.

FacebookFollow Suffrage Wagon News Channel with email twice a week, as well as 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.