The suffrage history exhibit at the New York State Museum opened in early November and runs through May 2018 in order to celebrate 100 years of women voting in the state. The display is a major step forward in terms of highlighting New York’s status as the “cradle” of the women’s rights movement in the United States.
November 4, 2017 featured a conference sponsored by the New York State Cultural Heritage Tourism Network that has been planning its centennial observance over the past few years. NYS Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul presented the keynote speech. This was followed by a reception in the evening by the NYS League of Women Voters where Coline Jenkins, the great-great granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton spoke about her family as descendants.
The above panel is one of many showing the diverse range and participation of New Yorkers. All year in 2017 Humanities New York has been encouraging and funding a broad spectrum of events, conferences, and programs.
The festivities are considered a highlight of what is to come during 2020 when American women will have been voting for 100 years.
The Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative 2020 that was launched in March 2015 publishes news monthly about plans underway for the 2020 national suffrage centennial. Post information monthly. Jill Zahniser gathers the news. To sign up, send an email to: Suffrage2020@thezahnisers.com. The following information is from a recent listserv bulletin.
New Research on Elected Women: Rutgers University (NJ) Center for American Women and Politics has released a new research report, Representation Matters: Women in the U.S. Congress. The report details the ways in which elected women make a difference.
Susan Goodier and Karen Pastorello’s book, Women Will Vote: Woman Suffrage in New York State, was released in September 2017. Goodier’s previous book recounted the anti-suffrage movement in New York.
Viking Press will publish Elaine F. Weiss’ The Woman’s Hour: The Last Furious Fight to Win the Vote in March 2018. Weiss is a journalist whose previous book focused on the women’s land army of World War I.
Brooke Kroeger’s book, The Suffragents: How Women Used Men to Use the Vote, was published by SUNY Press in September. Kroeger is a journalism professor at NYU who has previously written about Nellie Bly and Fannie Hurst.
The HerStory Scrapbook website (herstoryscrapbook.com/) focuses on the final four years of the women’s suffrage campaign, as reported by The New York Times. From 1917 – 1920, The Times published over 3,000 articles, editorials, and letters about the women who were fighting for, and against, suffrage. The HerStory Scrapbook includes more than 900 of the most interesting pieces from that period. It is the equivalent of having had someone save articles from The Times in a scrapbook for posterity.
Many of the books, written by the suffragists, about the final stages of the suffrage movement focus on either the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) led by Carrie Chapman Catt, or the National Woman’s Party founded by Alice Paul. The New York Times reported on both women. And, that makes our understanding so much richer. The HerStory Scrapbook website also features 90 women who fought for women’s suffrage.
WomensActivism.nyc at the NYC Department of Records and Information Services is honoring the women who won the right to vote in NYS in 1917 and people fighting for justice today with a celebration of women’s activism in New York as part of the 2017 suffrage centennial. The date is November 6, 2017, 6-8 p.m. at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 155 Chambers Street, New York, NY 10007. FREE. Women’s speeches, writings, drama, poetry, music from the past and present, multi-media installations and live site-specific performances, Women’s suffrage sing-along, Open mic and food, and surprise take-away gifts.
There’s a long way to go for women’s rights history (and its impact and inspiration for the present day) if the tourism industry promoting women’s history is to compete with the Civil War, Erie Canal, American Revolution, and other NYS historical highlights. This is why we’re rocking the cradle. It’s an initiative from the grassroots—ordinary people like the women and their men allies who sparked a remarkable social revolution in women’s rights that has been marginalized over the years and this is changing. That’s why we’re rocking the cradle and we’re asking you to join us.
Other events: The opening of the Votes for Women exhibit at the New York State Museum on November 4, 2017 in Albany, NY. “NY Votes for Women: A Suffrage Centennial Anthology,” showcases twenty-one women who explore these questions in a variety of memoirs, stories and poems. Join Cayuga Lake Books, the Anthology editors, and readers on October 26 at 6:30 PM and hear readings from the following contributors: Carol Kammen, Gaia Woolf-Nightingall, Lisa Harris, Nora Snyder, Sarah Jefferis, Yvonne Fisher. To learn more about the Anthology, visit suffragestories.wordpress.com
Exhibits highlighting the influence of Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) women on the vision of the women’s issues will open at Women’s Rights National Historic Park in Seneca Falls, NY on October 7 and the Matilda Joslyn Gage Center for Social Justice Dialogue in Fayetteville, NY on October 14, 2017. Programs and dialogues at both sites will invite visitors to explore the often-untold story of Haudenosaunee influence, survival, and legacy. Ranger dialogue programs exploring these issues will take place in the Wesleyan Chapel on Saturday, October 7 at 11 am and 2 pm; Sunday, October 8 at 1 pm; and Monday, October 9 at 1 pm.
Children and families will also have the opportunity to create artwork around themes of trust and friendship and engage with a hands-on, outdoor timeline demonstrating the continuity of indigenous cultures. A full schedule of events at both sites are available on these websites: www.nps.gov/wori and www.matildajoslyngage.org.
The exhibits were created by the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation. This project was supported by the International Coalition of Sites of Conscious—a network of historic sites and museums dedicated to interpreting themes of human rights through dialogue-based approaches, with additional funding from Humanities New York and the Governor’s New York Suffrage Centennial Commission. Follow on Facebook (@WomensRightsNPS), Twitter (#WomensRightsNPS) and Instagram (WomensRightsNPS). All programs are free and open to the public.